Case Western Reserve University’s Siegal Lifelong Learning Program is offering a course, “Music and Epidemics,” on Thursdays throughout April. The class will run weekly April 7-28, from 10 a.m. to noon, at the Landmark Centre Building, Suite 100 (25700 Science Park Dr., Beachwood).
The course will be co-taught by Eric Kisch, an instructor at Siegal Lifelong Learning and former host and producer of WCLV’s Musical Passions program and the CityMusic Cleveland video podcast, and Linda Sandhaus, an associate professor emerita of pathology at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine.
A two-year battle with the COVID-19 pandemic has greatly changed our society and our lives, including how we express ourselves and respond to music. In this course, participants will explore how Western societies have responded musically to other epidemics through the ages. Focusing on the Black Death (plague), syphilis, tuberculosis, AIDS, and now COVID, the program will examine how these diseases affected societies. It will also look at how composers and musicians have responded artistically to these scourges and at those whose lives were cut short by the diseases.
Those interested in the course are encouraged to read Epidemics and Society: From the Black Death to the Present by Frank M. Snowden.