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Robert Hatten Lecture

Monday, September 24, 2018

7:30 pm - 9:30 pm

The Moores School of Music is thrilled to welcome Robert Hatten, Marlene and Morton Meyerson Professor in Music at The University of Texas at Austin, to UH. His lecture “How Does Music Mean?” explores how Western instrumental art music can express and communicate a wide range of meanings. Enlivened with continuous demonstration at the piano, this lecture explores the important ways listeners can interpret what composers have designed, gaining a deeper understanding of how music means (although what it means for the individual remains personal). Listeners can be guided to profound depths of spiritual meaning and moral emotions by following both direct cues and indirect clues left by composers. Hatten illustrates how these expressive cues and clues emerge by playing excerpts of themes by Mozart and Beethoven the way they might have been written according to stylistic norms. He demonstrates how musical gestures engage with environmental forces to create energetic profiles, and explores the concept of virtual agency in music and how it supports the expression of emotion. 

About the Speaker
Robert Hatten serves as the president of the Society for Music Theory (SMT). His first book, “Musical Meaning in Beethoven” (1994), was a co-recipient in 1997 of the Wallace Berry Award from SMT. “Interpreting Musical Gestures, Topics, and Tropes” (2004) helped launch the book series “Musical Meaning and Interpretation,” which he edits for Indiana University Press. His latest book, “A Theory of Virtual Agency for Western Art Music,” will be published by IU Press and will appear in October.

Dudley Recital Hall
Moores School of Music

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