ISM | Humour and Music Jump to main content

Humour and Music

A lecture delivered by Gresham College

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.

Barnard's Inn Hall/ Online or Watch Later