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Maths, melodies and the mind

Event schedule details

Sunday 30 June

15.00-15.45

Event location details

Britten Theatre

Royal College of Music

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Speaker: Henrik Jensen, David Dolan 

Explore how maths is helping us understand our perception of musical improvisation at Imperial College.

Join Henrik Jeldtoft Jensen, Professor of Complex Systems from Imperial’s Department for Maths, and Professor David Dolan, renowned concert pianist and teacher of classical improvisation at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, to understand what happens to musicians and their audience while performing improvised classical music.

Through a number of experiments involving top-level musicians from Guildhall and electrodes attached to the heads of the performers and audience, they have been able to pick out significantly different reactions in our brains associated with improvised music that is akin to the effects of LSD, or the difference between our minds asleep and awake.

You’ll be taken on a musical journey through the brain to explore the effects of melodies on the mind. With performances of classical pieces by Franz Schubert, and live improvised pieces from Professor Dolan and a string quartet from the Guildhall School, you will be able to hear about, and experience for yourself, the latest research into special states of mind linked to musical improvisation.

This is part of our ‘Art of Science’ talks series. Take a look at the other talks in this series.


This event is free but booking is available to guarantee a place. 
Please arrive ten minutes before the event begins. If you arrive after the event has started, your ticket will be reallocated.
Limited tickets will be available on the day, but we recommend pre-booking to guarantee a place.

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Event categories

  • Adults
  • Talk