Our topic is music in relation to the psychological state of melancholy, in relation to what is now called depression. We will begin with music students from the University of California, Berkeley playing the last movement of Beethoven’s Quartet op. 18, 6 “La Melancholia” and discussing how tender, sentimental, or reflective sadness in this work resolves formally and emotionally. We will explore with the audience the aesthetic, social and clinical ways music can ameliorate sadness or even depression.
LEIGHTON FONG is principal cellist of the Contra Costa Symphony and a founding member of the Left Coast Chamber Ensemble. He teaches cello at UC Berkeley.
THOMAS W. LAQUEUR, PHD is the Helen Fawcett Distinguished Professor of History at UC Berkeley and writes about the cultural history of body, living and dead. He is currently working on a book about how dogs make us human.