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Monday, May 14, 2012


Dear all,
on Thursday and Friday (as usual at 10:00 am, room 4), Prof. Giorgio Resta (University of Bari) and Enrico Maria Polimanti (professional pianist) will introduce us to the very special topic of Law and Music, with particular focus on the similarities between legal and musical interpretation.

This special event is open to all people interested, so please promote it!
Don't forget to come on Wednesday at 2:00 for our "repetition".

Suggested readings:
- J. Frank, Words and Music, in 47 "Columbia L. Rev.", 1259 (1947) .
- D. Manderson, Fission and Fusion: From Improvisation to Formalism in Law and Music, in "Critical Studies in Improvisation", 6.1. (2010).  

Enrico Maria Polimanti's CV:
Enrico Maria Polimanti was born in Rome in 1969. He studied at the Conservatorio di
Santa Cecilia and at the Royal College of Music in London, and has performed as soloist and
in chamber ensembles for many concert seasons and music festivals, playing a wide range
of traditional repertoire but also works by lesser-known composers such Lodovico Giustini
and Hyacinthe Jadin. He has played programmes dedicated entirely to Mozart, Haydn,
Beethoven, Schubert, Schumann and Debussy. Several composers have also written works
for him, one of whom is Francesco Giammusso, whose Piano Concerto he performed in Paris with the Orchestre Internationale de la Cité Universitaire.
Mr Polimanti’s recordings for the labels Tactus and Naxos gained recognition by the
critics in Italy and abroad (5 stars The Listerner and Musica) and his performances have been broadcast in Italy (Radio 3, V Canale della Filodiffusione, Radio Vaticana, RAI 3), France, Romania and Austria.
Engaged in the diffusion of musical culture, he regularly gives lectures and lecture- concerts in various schools, associations and universities both in Italy and abroad. Enrico Maria Polimanti has translated into Italian Charles Rosen’s Beethoven’s Piano Sonatas and Jean-Jacques Eigeldinger’s Chopin vu par ses élèves. His essay The Earth has many keys, which analyzes the works of five Italian contemporary composers based on the poetry of Emily Dickinson has been selected for the American Literay Scholarship (Duke University

Giorgio Resta's CV:
Giorgio Resta is Associate Professor of Comparative Law at the University of Bari, Italy (since 2002) and former Visiting Professor at the Faculty of Law, McGill University (2010-2011). He is the author of three books and several essays on personality rights, contracts, torts and intellectual property in comparative perspective. His first book “Autonomia privata e diritti della personalità” has been selected as one of the 10 best legal books of the year 2005 by the “Istituto Sturzo – Club dei giuristi”; the second, co-authored with Guido Alpa, is part of the prestigious Treatise of Italian Civil Law, directed by Rodolfo Sacco. His last book, in English, was published in 2009 with the title “Trial by Media as a Legal Problem: A Comparative Analysis”. He edited two books (the last one concerns the New intellectual property rights and the Numerus Clausus Principle) and the Italian translation of Hesselink’s “New European Legal Culture”; he also co-edited with Guido Alpa a casebook on Contracts Interpretation. In 2008 he served as a member of the scientific board of the Legislative Committee for the reform of third book of Italian Civil Code, appointed by the Italian Ministry of Justice; currently he serves as legal counsellor at the Ministry of Justice. He is member of the Italian Association of Comparative Law, the Italian Association of Law & Literature and co-director of the law series “Interferenze” (published by Editoriale Scientifica). He has been granted scholarships from the International Council for Canadian Studies, the Max-Planck-Institut für Internationales und Ausländisches Privatrecht (Hamburg, Germany), the Max-Planck-Institut für Geistiges Eigentum (Munich, Germany), the European Commission and the Italian Research Council. He has been invited to lecture and deliver conferences in foreign Universities, such as the École des hautes études en sciences sociales (Paris), the Duke Law School (USA), the University of Bremen, and the University of Toronto. He studied, as a visiting scholar, in several Universities, such as the Yale Law School, the Duke Law School, the Ludwig-Maximilians Universität (Munich, Germany), and the University of Cologne. In 1995 he graduated with magna cum laude from the University of Rome “La Sapienza”. In 1999 he received his PhD in Private Law from the University of Pisa. He is member of the Italian Bar. 


  1. Cara Stefania Gialdroni,
    Il blog è interessante come sempre. Grazie anche per il link al Lex iurisdictio Malacitana

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. About the subject of interpretation (or, in this case re-interpretation) of music I'd like to suggest a group of musicians who are recently gaining fame on youtube by playing classical music (and not only) their own way, The Piano Guys. I'll link here one of my favourites (it's Bach revisited)

    I'm not an expert of music, so I can't say whether they are actually ruining some piece of art.. in my opinion they are just proving how it is possible to "put a new spin on classic stuff and a classic spin on new stuff", as they say.
    I think it could be somehow compared to the work of judges in common law systems, but it might be a rough comparison. Anyway, going back to the topic of the relationship between law and history, I believe the way these guys approach to the past is exactly what our judges and lawmakers should do to make our legal system more sensible to the modern eye.

    ps. I was wondering whether someone could tell me what was the last piece mr Polimati performed in class today, the one by Schumann. Thanks

  4. Dear Micol,
    thank you for your comment and sorry for the late reply. I think that the last piece performed was 3 Fantasiestuecke but I guess that I should write also the number, which I didn't write down...

  5. concerning the similarities of musical and literal interpretation it was said that there is the so called triangular or quadrangular relationship:
    I am not sure if I can accept the so called quadrangular relationship in law, in so far as there should be the legislator, the judges, the audience and the scholars. If we consider that a interpretation of law is getting necessary in a particular case which is in front of a court, I hold the opinion, that there should be a 5th person, which has to be separated from the rest of the audience. and this should be the person to which the law applies not in general, but in the specific case. I understood the audience as a more general term under which we have to understand any kind of natural or legal person to which the interpreted law CAN become applicable


    Here a very intresting (but in German) article concerning something like Law of Music:
    This article is about the number of illegal downloads and copies of modern music. Nearly unbelievable is the sad fact, that today nearly three quarter of all music is owned illegally.
    Another good example is about a german musician who really likes to sue anyone who downloads illegally his music. So far no problem: But this sepcific musician got sued for using parts of other musicians melodies in his songs without declaring it. I think this is a good example that shows, that there are today also musicians that are really into having a big financial effort even if they behave in a way which on the other side they don't accept from their own fans.

  7. I think both law and music are two different fields whose relationships have never been hightlightened enough. Probably the problem appeared stronger in the last decades, with the birth of record labels, the extent of copyright also to musical works and the focusing on the possibility to have music for free, not respecting copyright. But the most interesting thing about relationships between each other is that both law and music, how explained during the classes, may have a strongly symbolic content: while a musical work creates emotions naturally, Is much harder that a legal rule may have the same effect (law is and remains, in my opinion, a “cold” science). Different is the case if we consider Constitutions which, although being law, really represents values, hopes and the history (legal but not only) of a people and of a nation, as as a national anthem or any other musical work having “nationalistic” contents can do. And I’d like also to underline another link between the two fields: both music and law are built starting from basic elements, as bricks for a building. These elements are, on the one hand, musical notes and, on the other hand, general principles (which we could define as “natural law principles”). Both two are immanent, eternal and ancestral elements and both two are common to every legal system and to every kind of music. So that one could define musical notes as general principles of music and legal general principles as notes of law.

  8. Hi everybody,i was thinking about another example of connection between Law and Music : Harmony
    In music harmony is the use of simultaneous pitches (tones, notes), or chords. The study of harmony involves chords and their construction and chord progressions and the principles of connection that govern them.
    "The term harmony derives from the Greek ἁρμονία (harmonía), meaning "joint, agreement, concord",the study of dissonance and assonace in a music composition ! During the years this term has evolved becoming less formally structured , thus producing new styles such as Jazz and Blues.
    As in music so in law it is represented by the Constitution, that shows us the " harmony" of the entire system because it contains the highest foundamental principles of our State; or by the International law that involves the concord between the States,or some particular rules that represent the "harmony" of entire discipline and we can find a lot of other examples about this connection!
    Best regards
    Benedetto Loris Gaudino