Music as a Metaphor for Life. Allure and Hazard


International Symposium


Music as a Metaphor for Life. Allure and Hazard


2. – 4. 11. 2017


University of Music and Performing Arts Graz (KUG), Florentinersaal, Palais Meran, Leonhardstraße 15, A-8010 Graz




In many ways, it is tempting to understand music, specifically instrumental music, as a metaphor for life. Both traverse time; both feature beginnings and endings; both can vary in intensity; both may reach climaxes or, conversely, break down. Similarities such as these easily catch our attention. But might they, at the same time, also misguide our thinking? To tear out one particular trace: We never know of our lives, as long as we live them, how they are going to end. In a composition, by way of contrast, the end has been fixed long before the first tone sounds. Life, then, may be like a musical improvisation rather than a composition. Yet improvisation, as a metaphor for life, again, could lead astray in other ways. And is metaphor the right word anyway, or should we speak of analogy or isomorphism or something else? Clearly, here is much to reflect upon – as well as to listen to with care.


Organisation: Manos Perrakis and Andreas Dorschel (Graz, AT). With: Pauline Fairclough (Bristol, UK); Julian Johnson (London, UK); Kathrin Kirsch (Kiel, DE); Maria João Neves (Lisbon, PT); Nanette Nielsen (Oslo, NO); Michael Spitzer (Liverpool, UK); Benedict Taylor (Edinburgh, UK), Markos Tsetsos (Athens, GR); Laura Tunbridge (Oxford, UK)


Part of the project M 2072-G26, funded by the Austrian Science Fund (FWF).