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Have you ever pondered the inextricable link between science and music? City Recital Hall and Inspiring Australia invite you to explore music on a different level in our free lunchtime series This Sounds Like Science.

Leading Australian researchers lend their expertise to topics including the role of music in breakthrough scientific studies on music and philosophy, periodic scales and the elements, music by robots, music and maths and music, feeling and emotion.

This Sounds Like Science is supported by and co-curated with Inspiring Australia, the national strategy for community engagement with the sciences.

Duration: Each event is approximately one hour, no interval

Feel free to bring your lunch into the auditorium. Our Lobby Bar is stocked with a range of light meal options or you can BYO.

Music And Philosophy

Tue 26 Feb 12.30pm

Throughout the centuries, music has inspired philosophers. Some thought it was dangerous (Plato) and tried to legislate its practice. Others found it metaphysically profound (Schopenhauer) or very suspicious (Kierkegaard). Goetz Richter, musician and philosopher at the University of Sydney’s Conservatorium of Music, discusses the perplexity philosophers feel when facing (the) music. Find out more.

Periodic Scales And The Elements Of Music

Thu 4 Apr 12.30pm

What has music got to do with the periodic table of the elements? Much more than the Tom Lehrer song, that’s for sure! Join chemist Dr Alice Williamson and science communicator Tom Gordon for an interactive exploration of the role music played in shaping the periodic table. Find out more.

Music By Robots

Tue 2 Jul 12.30pm

Computers do much more than process numbers, but can they be truly creative? In 1842, programmer Ada Lovelace argued that machines could compose music. Her forecast proved to be true, but are there aspects of making and playing music that robots cannot learn? Join artificial intelligence expert Professor Toby Walsh (pictured) in conversation with musicians Justin Shave and Charlton Hill from Uncanny Valley to explore creativity through the prism of music composed and played by machines. Find out more.

Why Music Is Maths

Wed 7 Aug 12.30pm

Why do guitars, flutes and voices sound different? How do we hear the different notes in a piece of music? Most importantly, what does all of this have to do with the cover of Pink Floyd’s The Dark Side of the Moon? Join Professor Geordie Williamson for a journey into the shape of sound and sound waves to explore the fascinating world of timbre, overtones, modes and frequencies. Find out more.

Music, Feeling And Emotion

Thu 8 Oct 12.30pm

Have you ever noticed how much music affects your mood? Mental health researchers Dr Sandra Garrido and Professor Katherine Boydell return to This Sounds Like Science for an interactive session as part of the Big Anxiety festival. Find out more.

All events are free. 

Details are correct at time of publication

This Sounds Like Science is supported by and co-curated with Inspiring Australia, the national strategy for community engagement with the sciences.