Composers’ Secrets

Please help Deal Music & Arts by subscribing to our YouTube Channel.

Paul Max Edlin is Artistic Director of Deal Music & Arts.  He is also a Composer and is Director of Music at Queen Mary University of London.  In this series of four short talks, he discusses how composers embed secrets within their music.  Some are secrets they want to share, perhaps through structural approaches to represent a chosen narrative.  But some secrets are essentially private, and were embedded into the abstract language of music as a means to express deeply held beliefs and/or personal feelings, some which had to be kept secret out of fear of serious reprisal.

These films have been created to help achieve a greater understanding of and appreciation for music and all that goes into the creation of music.

The first talk, Cracking the Codes, focuses on how ciphers are established and how they relate to a long tradition of cryptography.

The second talk, Love, Lust and Faith, focuses on the music of Alban Berg and J.S. Bach, citing ciphers, palindromes and chiastic structures to symbolise the shape of the cross.

The third talk, Secret Societies and Sexuality, focuses on the music of W.A. Mozart, Anton Bruckner and Pytor Tchaikovsky, focusing on subliminal messaging and inner torment.

The fourth talk, Politics, Birds and Mythology, focuses on the music of Dmitri Shostakovich, Olivier Messiaen and George Crumb, and explains how they express their fears and concerns in a system of repression, extol the beauty of God’s creation and create scores that visual express and heighten the very message they are wanting to make.