Poetry & Music

This lecture explores the relationship between poetry & music throughout human history, both past and present.


Poetry & Music-—At the onset, it might seem an unlikely coupling.  Poetry and music are fraternal twins whose passage through history is sometimes done solo — but not as after as it is done together. One is almost always intertwined with the other. Music intermingles around variable factors — rhythm, scale, harmony, beats etc … with words that employ similar patterns.

Just like the Literary Canon, the Western Music Canon is made of music that substantially shapes/ed cultural shifts. Scholars argue over the musical timeline during The French Revolution — some believe new musical sounds were changing at the same pace as French society. Others think French society was reshaped as a result of exposure to music created by a gaggle of foreign composers who were igniting the hearts and minds of Parisians with cutting edge new scores.

To understand this context better, imagine Beethoven as the Rap musician of the 1700’s. The Canon is a rainbow, jammed with new sound compositions that thematically and/or stylistically push against the lockstep of society, causing it to stumble and redirect its trajectory.

The oldest song (so far) discovered illuminates ideas about harmony and scale — both were thought to have not yet existed.

A 3,400-year-old cult hymn is the Oldest Song in the World


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