The scherzo (‘joke’) emerged in the vocal music of Monteverdi and became integrated into the string quartets and symphonies of Beethoven. Haydn and Mozart loved to fool around with their audiences and Scott Bradley’s scores for Tom & Jerry are integral parts of the comedic presentation. Clever composers have pranked our emotions for hundreds of years, from slapstick and belly laughs to gallows humour and cruel jibes.
This lecture deconstructs musical laughter of superiority, of recognition, and of the absurd.
A lecture by Jeremy Summerly
The transcript and downloadable versions of the lecture are available from the Gresham College website:
Gresham College has been giving free public lectures since 1597. This tradition continues today with all of our five or so public lectures a week being made available for free download from our website. There are currently over 2,000 lectures free to access or download from the website.