Seminar "What Makes a Great Composer? An Economist’s Answer based on a Millennium of Data"

Le 16/05/2024

by Karol Jan Borowiecki, University of Southern Denmark

We would like to cordially invite you to a seminar organised in cooperation with CEBRIG and MODERNITAS on the economic aspects of music creation.

In his talk Karol J. Borowiecki will address the age-old question of what makes a great composer by using a big data approach. This involves assembling and analyzing data on thousands of famous and not-so-famous western classical composers who lived between 1100 and the present day. The data for this project, collected from compilations of musical themes, bibliographies, biographies, dictionaries and encyclopedias of musicians and their teachers, the personal correspondence of composers, and a variety of other sources, is used to systematically uncover the myriad factors that influenced composers’ output and creativity. To motivate and interpret the findings, prof. Borowiecki use theories drawn from economics and other (social) sciences that have been advanced to explain composer productivity. In the talk, he will cover topics related to agglomeration (geographic clusters), migration, well-being (whether negative emotions are conducive towards creativity), education (influence of teachers), and war. In doing this, he also shed light on how to identify, measure and enhance creativity, which is a key ingredient of innovation, and therefore fundamental to economic growth, welfare, and well-being.

Karol Jan Borowiecki is one of the leading cultural economists in European context and Professor at the Department of Business and Economics at University of Southern Denmark.He earned a PhD in Economics from Trinity College Dublin and a PhD in Economic History from Lund University. His primary research interests are economic history and cultural economics, but the majority of his work covers urban economics and labour economics as well. His research consistently focuses on the historical context of the development and forms of cultural heritage and artistic activity in Europe, which he follows in a long-term perspective.

Thursday May 16th 2024, from 2pm until 3:30pm.

Salle de réception
Building DE1 - Level 3 - Room R.3.105
Avenue Antoine Depage 1
1000 Bruxelles

Free entrance


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