What makes us laugh? What do commedia dell’arte, the Marx Brothers, and the latest TV sitcom have in common? Even though the subjects of humor are highly cultural, the ways we make one another laugh are common to all humanity: laughter is basic to the human condition. This talk explores the fundamental means of comedy, using examples throughout history to show the shared basis of humor and laughter.
David Schildkret is Professor of Choral Music at Arizona State University, where he teaches a variety of courses on music and the humanities. These include “Laughing to Music” and courses on score study and musical masterworks. Previously, he taught at the University of Rochester, Centre College in Danville, Kentucky, and Salem College in North Carolina, where he was dean of the School of Music. Both his teaching and published work focus on connections between music and various other pursuits: writing, painting, history, and architecture among them. He has lectured frequently around the state of Arizona, nationally, and internationally through the Fulbright Scholars program.