PD Dr. Daniela Sammler
Max Planck Institute for Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Leipzig

Why Jazz and Classical Music So Rarely Meet
Miles Davis or Mozart: From Idea to Musical Action in Classical Music and Jazz

1800 notes per minute in Liszt’s “Grandes études de Paganini No. 6” – a feat for the musician’s brain which astounds the audience. Keith Jarrett’s Köln Concert – 66 minutes and 5 seconds of creative improvisation which fills the audience with euphoria and melancholy at the same time. What makes this precision of motoric coordination and magic of musical expressivity possible? During the past ten years, neuroscience has begun using modern imaging methods to examine the brain processes and demands of playing music, and has found astonishing effects of music-making on the structure and function of the brain. Not only the kind of instrument, but also the musical genre the musician is trained in leaves traces in the brain, forming cognitive styles and forges activation pathways enabling musicians to deliver highest performance in their field. The neuroscientist Daniela Sammler invites you to this journey through the brain – from the musical idea to action, and full of the fascination of classical music and jazz.


Meet the Expert

How does the brain function at the interfaces between music and language? That is the subject of research of PD Dr. Daniela Sammler, a neuropsychologist and group leader at the Max Planck Institute for Cognitive and Brain Sciences in Leipzig. Intonation of speech, songs and harmony are part of her field of work, just like the influences of musical performance on professional musicians or brain damage in stroke patients on motoric-cognitive abilities. Research positions at the Hôpital de la Pitié-Salpêtrière in Paris, the Université Nord-de-France in Lille, the University of Glasgow and the University of Western Sydney led to numerous publications in internationally renowned journals documenting her broad repertoire in the field of music and speech cognition. Her dissertation on comparative neuroanatomy of music and speech processing in patients with brain lesions or pharmacoresistant epilepsy won the Otto Hahn Medal of the Max Planck Society for outstanding scientific achievements in 2009. In her habilitation thesis at the University of Leipzig she examined neuronal foundations of intonation in speech and music.

6:30 pm at the Werner-Otto-Saal
Free admission with concert ticket.

The language of this event is German.