The Music of Time

The Suffragette Songstress

Ethel Smyth took on the forces of inequality, in both politics and culture, producing highly acclaimed works of music that are now all but forgotten.

The Lost Classics

Though originally set to music, we almost always encounter the Ancient Greek epics as mute texts. But now their songs can be heard again.

Beethoven and Napoleon

French emperor Napoleon Bonaparte was a hero to Beethoven, inspiring a revolutionary symphony. But disillusionment was soon to follow.

Slips of the Tongue

Historians set great store by what people heard in the past, but what about those things they misheard? 

The Musical Machiavelli

While best known as the author of The Prince, Niccolò Machiavelli played an important if unlikely role in the history of music. 

Futurism and the Art of Noises

As the sounds of the world rattled into the future, so, too, did art and music courtesy of Luigi Russolo and Filippo Tommaso Marinetti.

The Din of Battle

The nature of warfare is constantly changing. So are the challenges that composers face in depicting the sound and struggle of battle.

Listening for the Change

Understanding the period and context in which a piece of music was created can offer great rewards for the listener.

The Sound of Silence

How and why did concert-going change from a raucous, noisy affair to one of hushed appreciation?