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Sunday, May 11, 2014

Giorgio Resta and Roberto Baldinelli on LAW & MUSIC

Dear all,
next week's classes will be devoted to an extremely fascinating topic: the relationship between Law and Music. Prof. Giorgio Resta (University of Bari) with the help of  M° Roberto Baldinelli (violin) will introduce us to this extremely intriguing world. Don't miss it! 

Law & music might appear as one of the most recent and less investigated frontiers of the law & literature movement. To some extent this is true. However, the interface between law and music has also been the subject of important studies in ancient times (Plato in particular), in the middle age (one of the first examples is the anonymous treatise of the fourteenth century Ars cantus mensurabilis mensurata per modus iuris) and during the twentieth century. Prominent legal scholars have written about musical estethics and musicology (Pugliatti) and at the same time several important composers and musicians have been trained in the law (among the others C. P. E. Bach, Schumann, Stravinsky, Nono).

The most important intersection between the two disciplines is represented by the theory of interpretation. Interpreting and performing a score raises a set of questions involves a range of problems not entirely different from interpreting a constitution, a statute, a regulation, or even a legal precedent. During the lecture, Prof. Resta and M. Baldinelli will deal with these issues both from a legal and a musical perspective. 

J. Frank, Words and Music: Some Remarks on Statutory Interpretation, in "Columbia Law Review", 47.8 (1947), 1259-1278.

S. Levinson-J.M. Balkin, Law, Music, and Other Performing Arts, in "U. Pa. L. Rev", 139 (1991), 1597 ss.

Prof. Resta's CV
Giorgio Resta is Associate Professor of Comparative Law at the University of Bari “Aldo Moro” (Italy). He has received scholarships from national and international institutions (among the others the Italian Research Council, the Max Planck Gesellschaft and the International Council for Canadian Studies) and is regularly invited to lecture in foreign universities. In 2010-2011 he has been Visiting Professor at McGill University and in 2009, 2010 and 2013 at the École des hautes études en sciences sociales (Paris). He is author of many articles and books, including Trial by Media as a Legal Problem. A Comparative Analysis (E.S. 2009), Le persone fisiche e i diritti della personalità (UTET, 2006), Autonomia privata e diritti della personalità (Jovene, 2005; prize Club dei Giuristi). He is co-editor of Riparare risarcire ricordare. Un dialogo tra storici e giuristi (E.S. 2012), and Karl Polanyi. Per un nuovo Occidente (ilSaggiatore, 2013); and editor of Diritti esclusivi e ‘nuovi’ beni immateriali (UTET, 2010); Giustizia e mass media. Quali regole per quali soggetti (E.S. 2010). Recently he published three essays in Law & Contemporary Problems, Tulane Eur. Civ. L. Forum, Law & History Rev. His areas of interest are comparative law, information and new technologies law, intellectual property, law & economics. He is member of the Italian Bar.

M° Baldinelli's CV
Studies and Prizes
Maturità  Classica  Leaving  Certificate
Violin  Diploma  of  the  Conservatorio  di  Musica “Santa  Cecilia” of  Rome  under the guidance  of  M° Antonio  Marchetti
Postgraduate  studies  with  Shlomo  Mintz , Herman  Krebbers , Victor  Tretiakov, Pavel Vernikov, Lenuta Ciuley  and  Franco  Gulli
Violin Diploma of Merit from the Accademia Chigiana in the class of Boris Belkin
Winner of a S.I.A.E.(Società Italiana Autori Editori) scholarship
Admission to Ruggiero Ricci’s solo class at the Universitat  Mozarteum Salzburg Chamber  Music  Diploma  of  the  Conservatorio  di  Musica “Santa  Cecilia”  of Rome in the class of Luciano Cerroni
Winner of the Y.E.S.(Young European Strings) international selection
Admission  to  the  Principal  Leader  Course  of  the  Accademia  Nazionale  di “Santa Cecilia” and  final  diploma  in  2000
Master of Arts Violin Degree (Zweite Diplomprufung) with honours from the Universitat Mozarteum Salzburg in the class of Ruggiero Ricci 
Second Prize at  the 4th Solo Violin Competition of the Università  Cattolica of Rome

Professional Activities
Solo  concerts  for  the  Euromusica  Festival  of  Rome , Società  del  Quartetto  di  Vercelli , Estate  Chigiana  and  Kulturreferat  der  Stadt  Kitzbuhel 

1996-2014 Collaboration with  the  Orchestra  dell’Accademia  Nazionale  di  Santa  Cecilia  also  as  Assistant  Principal. 
2000-2014 Collaboration with the Orchestra del Teatro dell’Opera di Roma
2009 Collaboration with the BBC Concert Orchestra as Principal Second Violin
2007 Collaboration  with the Orchestra di Roma e del Lazio as Principal Second Violin
2003-2008 Collaboration  with the Orchestra Symphonica Toscanini
2002-2005 Concertmaster ( 40% ) and Principal Second Violin of the Orchestra Sinfonica Abruzzese. 


  1. Now, I just want to talk about some concrete example of law in music. The first song, "Hurricane" by Bob Dylan, represents a true tale of legal injustice. We are focusing our attention on a protest song: the boxer Rubin Hurricane Carter was inequitably condemned because Judges were convinced about the fact he had killed for three times during a gun firing in the Lafayette Bar in New Jersey in 1966. He was discharged only 19 years later, because the Judge of the Federal Court Haddon Lee Sarokin affirmed that Hurricane didn't receive an equitable process: This last one, in the boxer's case, was influenced by racial discrimination. So in the 26th February 1988 all charges against him were abolished.
    Secondly, I’m taking the song "Folsom Prison Blues", written by Johnny Cash, as example. It tells the story of a man who, listening to the whistles of a train out of his jail, remembers the moment in which he committed the crime ("I shot a man in Reno just to watch him die"). In this episode he imagines people on that train living freely and he thinks about what he could have done if he wasn't in prison.
    The third example is represented by a song about brushes with legal authority. I am talking about "I shot the Sheriff" by Bob Marley. In the plot it is told about a man who confesses of having killed the sheriff but he is charged for the fact he had killed the deputy Sheriff. In front of the court, the man also claimed he had acted because he was protecting himself since the Sheriff was about to shoot him. During an interview, Bob Marley said :"I want to write - I shot Police- but Government would be too negatively excited so I wrote - I shot the Sheriff". The concept is the same: Justice"

  2. With professor Resta we learned that music and law are connected in many ways. One is the censorship.
    Often the music has been subject to censorship but what censorship is? To answer I quote Bernard Shaw, according to him: “All censorships exist to prevent anyone from challenging current conceptions and existing institutions. All progress is initiated by challenging current conceptions, and executed by supplanting existing institutions. Consequently, the first condition of progress is the removal of censorship.” Music is a free expression of emotions and ideas. Musicians judge the world in which they live and they can make people think outside the box and, very often, this is dangerous for institutions and religions, we could say that Censorship has something to do with fear. This is the reason why during the London Olympics in 2012 Turkish state censored part of John Lennon song “Imagine” because the singer talks about his hope for a world where there is no religion and the Turkish state doesn’t want that his people imagines a world with no religion: the State is scared by this possibility. Also in Italy Imagine was censored in 1997 during “Domenica In” wasn’t translated the part of the song in which Lennon dreams about a world with no hell, no heaven and no religion. In Usa after the 9/2011 the American Network “Clear Tv” suggested a list of songs to be banned and Imagine was on the list because it was “dangerous for the Americans and against their feelings”. Lennon had problems with Governments and authority also when he was alive. The Government Nixon and FBI, worried by his extremist point of views and by his position in favor of characters of the Radical left as Angela Davis and scared that he could influence the American youth, began a smear campaign against him and they denied him the Green card that he obtain in 1975 after a long trial. In 1968 a San Paulo in Texas radio stations banned Bob Dylan’s songs because the lyrics contained political message and in 1970 in Illinois were censored the songs that talk about drugs and in the list there was Yellow Submarine by The Beatles.
    I could give many more examples of censorship for religious, political or racial issues, I want to conclude my little comment reporting the story of the Pussy Riot, the Russian punk rock band that has been arrested and condemned to 2 years in prison for their performance against president Putin, in the Cathedral of Christ the Savior, they have been imprisoned because the performance has offended the religious sensibility and the traditions of the Russian society and the Patriarch Krill I during a liturgy said advocated a tough response by the Government against what he called the “blasphemous act”. Many musicians all over the world speak out to support them for example Madonna and Paul McCartney.

  3. The relativity of an underlying connection between the third language of law and the humanitarian output of the arts has been relative throughout the discourses presented in the Law and Humanities course.

    In this example, between the relationship with music and the law, we can see again how this output of art and normativity relates to the boundaries of music. Music in itself is an expression of emotion and reason expressed through instruments. The greatest example of this output has a distinct relationship with the legal systems apparent in today’s society.

    The orchestra that leads and expresses an original piece, as noted by Giorgio Resta, draws this distinction into a concrete concept. The legal systems role in interpreting the original text is the reference of this similarity.

    The real question that arises in this situation, apart from the question of interpreting the text, is the question of what lies underneath the text. I believe this relates well with the study of Anne Wagner and the proposal of a third language that can be related to the nature of law. With whatever we define this language or underlying principle as it can always be seen that the question of the nature of law arises. Do we have a freedom of interpretation to interpret this third language with natural feelings? Or as quoted by Giorgio Resta, shall we will be without heart so that without such the law ‘would be a machine’?

  4. I think the most interesting part of this lesson, but more generally of this course is the connection that exists between law and art. It has the function of being an expression of the social situation of man, thus has the potential to affect the law. We have numerous examples of lyrics of singer-songwriters who perform this role: one of all is Fabrizio De Andrè. One of his songs that do this kind of criticism is "Gorilla" text taken from Brassens famous French author. Here De Andrè goes against the class of the judges, inflicting humiliation to a strong young magistrate (slender compensation for the fact that he had executed the day before.) This figure represents the symbol of human presumption to make judgments and punishments forgetting forgiveness and, above all, the understanding of the human being and his weaknesses.
      Attached below is the link:
    Luigi Winkler

  5. Gemma Di Stefano

    Plato was very interested in music and devoted much thought to it in his "dialogoi." For Plato there are two different sides of the music: the real and the ideal one.
    In his "Politeia" Plato condemns the real music, because it distracts people instead of educating. Each form of art is the imitation of reality and the reality, in turn, is a reflection of the world of ideas. The art, then, is the imitation of an imitation, so it is very far from the truth.
    Music as a source of pleasure is convicted.
    But music can also be a science and, as such, no longer object of the senses but of reason. The music, then, can approach the philosophy up to identify with it as the highest form of wisdom (sophia). This is the ideal music. The music for Plato was to have the value of "nomos" (law) and therefore had the task of educating citizens.
    “Music is a moral law. It gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, a charm to sadness, gaiety and life to everything. It is the essence of order and lends to all that is good and just and beautiful.” (Plato, Symposium)
    These ideas of Plato had a large influence in the ancient Greek, and it is probably for this reason that we have many theoretical treatises on music, while there are very few information about the techniques used in the performances.

  6. I never thought about the connection between law and music before Professor's Giorgio Resta class.
    As a huge fan of The Beatles, my first thought was to find a song about law.
    The only song that I found was written by George Harrison after The Beatles' break up: 'Sue me, sue your blues' (1973).
    The inspiration for the song was the legal issues of the band in the first years of the 70ies, especially Paul McCartney's lawsuit.
    He was angry and disappointed and all these feelings are in the lyrics. 'Bring your lawyer and I'll bring mine/Get together, and we could have a bad time' and 'Now all that's left is to
    find yourself a new band' (McCartney was accused by the band to be the responsible of the Beatles' break up).
    This is, in my opinion, a good example of the law in music, what the law is for the composer. Probably, this song is also about the frustration of the author, what the law did to him and to his band. After the lawsuit and the bitterness, this is what remains: 'in the end we just pay those Lawyers their bills'.

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