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Curtis Institute of Music

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All-School Project 2023-2024: Music of the Earth: Home



(See the Curtis website for more information:

Rain. Wind. A stand of birches rustling. A wave whispering as it turns with the tide. What is the Music of the Earth?

Each year, the Curtis All-School Project opens innovative spaces for students to perform, study, and create music in response to a genre, theme, or epoch. In 2023-24, on the cusp of the school’s centenary, what better moment to celebrate Music of the Earth?

Whether engaging with ancient percussion traditions, the Renaissance concept of the music of the spheres, or Messiaen’s fascination with birdsong, the all-school project invites students and faculty to ask questions about the music that emanates from the earth and its inhabitants. Those questions will prompt deeper engagement with the scores, stories, art, and operas that compel us to confront contemporary issues of climate change and global justice.

Through performance projects, musicians will revisit the responses of other generations to the music of the earth, even as they craft their own sonic replies. In coursework, students will engage with musical, historical, literary, sociological, artistic, and philosophical investigations that concern the environment. Co-curricular projects will offer students forums in which to discuss historical and social movements in support of environmental health, clean air, and clean water. In concert with these explorations, the librarians and archivists of Rock Resource Center will augment research and performances with scores, special collections, and archival exhibitions.