Werner Seligmann Lecture
Emeritus Professor of Architecture
The Music of the Façade
One of the more distinguishing characteristics of architecture is its capacity to reflect and resonate, as well as influence and be influenced by, other cultural systems such as linguistics, literature, painting and music. That last one, music, has, perhaps, the most direct relationship to architecture in its form, content and impact. Like music, architecture is an immersive experience. It surrounds you and has the capacity to be deeply affective. Like music, architecture can elicit psychological and emotional responses.
Interest in the relationship between music and architecture can be traced back at least to the 5th century B.C.E. mathematician Pythagoras. His purported discovery of the correspondence between the harmonic ratios of music and the four common ratios of mathematics suggested that the application of those ratios to physical forms, such as a building, could induce visual harmonies akin to the aural ones of music.
Using both historic and contemporary examples of building facades the lecture will seek to draw analogies between architecture and music from various periods making the point that inspiration for the creation of one can often be found in the other.
Following the lecture, Professor Korman will be available to sign copies of his book “The Architecture of the Façade.” The book will be available for purchase at the signing.