Cardiff Scientific Society: Music and Musicians – Morbidity and Mortality

21/02/2018, 19:00 - 20:00

Members only but membership can be bought at the event (£15 adults, free under-18s)

Speaker: Professor Gwyn Williams (Cardiff University)

Death and illness have been depicted or described in literature, painting, sculpture and music for centuries. The relationship in music is even more direct as there is a genre specifically devoted to death, the requiem mass.

This talk explores in two ways the aspects and influences of morbidity and mortality in the field of classical music. They often coexist in the same musician; first is the effect on the musician’s practice or composition of an illness or knowledge of impending mortality, and second the cause of the musician’s illness or disability. The latter arises from pure medical curiosity, and in some cases, controversy.

These topics will be explored by taking individual composers and discussing , in each case, the possible diagnosis of their illness, and how this illness, and in some cases their view of their own mortality, contributed to, or even enhanced, the gift to us of their music.


Cardiff Scientific Society

Cardiff Scientific Society is a members only, non-profit making organisation that retains the aims set out when it was founded in 1926, “By Lectures, Demonstrations, etc, of a popular nature, to extend interest in the application of Science to everyday life.”

The Society runs a series of lectures on scientific topics throughout the year. These are aimed at anyone with an interest in science. Lectures are members only but membership can be bought online, by post and at the door.

Single lectures can be attended for a £5 fee or a Membership can be purchased to cover the whole year. Current fees are £15 for adult members. Young members (18 and under) and Students can join for free.


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Cardiff Scientific Society