Why Do Humans Love Music? [In Person!]

WednesdayS October 18 to December 6, 2023 10:00 am to 12 noon


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Coordinator and Presenter: Jordan Klapman

Course OverviewAn exploration of the appeal of music to humans through history, including songs of love, friendship, joy, faith, songs of knowledge, and songs of comfort and catharsis in order to gain a better understanding of the historical, cultural, scientific, social, cognitive, emotional and aesthetic aspects of music. Also, discussions on why music has played such a fundamental role in the development of the human brain, human nature and humanity’s creation and development of culture, society and civilization. This series will be delivered in person, at Fairfield Seniors Centre, 80 Lothian Ave, Etobicoke. Registration will be on-line, and will open on or around Labour Day. 

October 18: What is Music? - A musically-diverse and periodically scientific exploration of neuroscientist Daniel Levitin’s theories about the reasons human beings love music— and why we love what music can do for our ears, hearts, minds, and souls.

October 25: Why Humans Love “Songs” - Poetry & Music: How two uniquely human creative endeavors have been combined throughout history, and how they can perfectly express humanity’s uniquely “musical brain”.

November 1: Songs of Friendship - We Shall Overcome: Examples though history of songs designed to create emotional cohesion and social bonding including dance songs, songs of protest and common cause.

November 8: Songs of Joy - Joy To the World: Humanity’s first songs, music as therapy, and the neurological effects and powerful cognitive benefits of joyful music

November 15: Songs of Faith - Songs of Praise & Thanksgiving: Music as ritual, exploring how it can create order and replace ambiguity with clarity— and how music aids in the commemoration of important life cycle events.

November 22: Songs of Comfort & Catharsis - Hushaby: Why humans need and love lullabies, why we especially love to “sing the blues” when we are feeling sad— and how songs reinforce society and help humans celebrate.

November 29: Songs of Knowledge - Live & Learn: Music as an information-bearing medium to aid in learning, memorization and preservation, and teaching skills and histories.

December 6: Songs of Love - Love Conquers All: How Music throughout history has dealt with the universal need to love, to feel love, and to be loved— and the evolution and unchanging nature of Music and Song.

Committee Contact: Glenn Yaffee

Jordan Klapman is a professional pianist, music director, silent film accompanist and music educator. He is one of Canada’s busiest silent film accompanists, pianist at the Wintergarden Orchestra and the Tanya Wills Quartet. He teaches courses on 20th Century popular music and is a popular lecturer at the Life Institute as well as Third Age Learning centres.