Science meets Art (more precisely: Economics meets Jazz)

How do scientists communicate their findings? Most of them do so in scientific journals, maybe in scientific books, depending on the discipline. Some scientists communicate via the media, from traditional newspaper articles and radio transmissions via Twitter to TikTok. What about music? Music is rarely used as a communication device for scientific findings.

Let us ask the same question from the perspective of music: What do singers (from Choral to Opera via Pop to Jazz and Avent-garde) sing about?  Romance probably covers 90+x% of all texts, but some songwriters talk and sing about other topics (think about political songs). Yet, what is the scientific foundation of theses texts? Are these texts more than subjective, more or less well-informed impressions of the songwriter?

It is the objective of this seminar to find answers. Students from the Mainz School of Music and the Master of International Economics and Public Policy (MIEPP) will bring their specific background and experience to shed light on these issues. The seminar is organized by Prof. Alexander Gelhausen, Mainz School of Music, and by Prof. Klaus Wälde, Gutenberg School of Management and Economics.

  • Organisational issues

The seminar will take place in Summer 2022. The presentations and performances will be on stage. The procedure for MIEPP students currently consists of two parts. The first part is a regular seminar of the format as "all the other" seminars held so far in the MIEPP programme. Students write a paper and present their findings using a PowerPoint presentation (or other). In this sense, the seminar is open to all MIEPP students. The second part "on stage" consists in a revised version and presentation of the standard presentation of the first part. The precise format of the second presentation on stage is being developed right now and will be further developed by students. Free your creativity. The second part is optional for seminar participants but both parts will be marked.

  • Next steps

At this point (January 2021), students both from MIEPP and MSoM identify songs with meaningful texts, i.e. being related to political, economic, environmental, psychological, sociological or other topics relevant to society on which there is a literature in economics (luckily, there is hardly any topic on which economists have not worked and published in the past). MIEPP students send song proposals to Klaus Wälde, MSoM students send them to Alexander Gelhausen. Individual discussion will help identify the relevant scientific literature in economics or the relevant background for a performance for music students.