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Music and Nature in the Enlightenment (TECG, Wed. Feb 12, 2020)

Please join us next Wednesday (February 12) for this term’s first meeting of the Toronto Eighteenth-Century Group. Ellen Lockhart (Music) will be presenting her paper, “Wolves in the Scale: Hearing Nature in Late Eighteenth-Century Music.”

Ellen writes:

The acoustic phenomenon that we now call beat tones--the harsh howling sound emitted by slightly imperfect perfect intervals--came, in late eighteenth-century London, to be known as “the wolf.” This talk will consider this acoustic wolf alongside discourses surrounding the animal canis lupus, long eradicated from the wild but amply represented in London’s menageries. My objective is to use the vantage point of music to gain further insight into one of the era’s supposed great shifts, the changing relationship between society and nature.

Our venue, as always, is the English Department Seminar Room (Room 616, Jackman Humanities Building, 170 St. George Street). All events begin at 7:30 pm. Please join us 15 minutes early for chat.

Local grad students in eighteenth-century studies have formed a reading group, which meets before each TECG talk to discuss a reading recommended by the speaker. New members are always welcome. For more information, please contact Michael Reid (

For generous sponsorship of this year’s programme, I am grateful to Gale, publisher of ECCO, the Burney Newspapers, and other primary source collections.

For further information about the Toronto Eighteenth-Century Group, please visit our website:

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