Music and Architecture

Music and Architecture is an ongoing workshop series organised by Theatrum Mundi, a professional network of academics, architects, planners, performing and visual artists, hosted by LSE Cities. The aim is to bring together a diverse group of practitioners to discuss in small and informal groups, the relationship between physical space and musical space. The first workshops were divided into four parts: Harmony, Rhythm, Melody and Narrative, and Porosity.

The topic arose from Theatrum Mundi founder, Richard Sennett. Perspective, distance, height, balance, proportion, weight, density, light, colour and mass are fundamental elements within our experiences of both music and architecture. For architecture to come into existence, boundaries of physical space must be defined and for music, boundaries within our experience of time need be defined. So can an architect who sculpts and shapes physical space, learn from a musician who creates virtual environments of musical space?

The four contributions in this publication represent the breadth of conversation that arose from bringing together a multidisciplinary group. It’s interesting that despite vast gaps between genre, profession and experience, a core thread links each contribution – the notion of an unfinished, non-fixed or open space, whether that be in the design of porosity and presence in musical venues as in Richard Sennett’s contribution or in challenging our experience of listening to recorded material in the contribution from Lexxx Dromgoole and Gwilym Gold.

The title of this publication takes its name from architect Andrew Todd, an active member of Theatrum Mundi. It reflects the contributions from both Ronan O’Hora, how do we really hear what’s around us, and Laura Marcus – might we come to ‘listen’ to a house, street or town as an audience does to a symphony.