NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—The Rutgers University Music Department is hosting a combination symposium and concert that will explore the relationship between music and technology.

On President’s Day, February 15, the event will ask questions like,” does technology waste time or save it?” and “is music less expressive or connecting when it is made through a computer or other technology?”

The event, titled “Expressive Engines: Musical Technologies from Automata to Robots” will attempt to answer these sort of questions through discussion as well as the chance to actually listen to various automatic and technological music samples through history.

The event is being hosted by two Music Department professors, Rebecca Cypess and Steven Kemper, who are both Highland Park residents.  Cypess is a musicologist and performer, while Kemper is a music technology professor.

Several scholars will be helping to run this event and will offer their expertise including Scott Barton (Worcester Polytechnic Institute), Rebecca Cypess (Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers University), Emily Dolan (Harvard University), Bonnie Gordon (University of Virginia), Steven Kemper (Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers University), Thomas Patteson (Curtis Institute of Music), and Troy Rogers (Expressive Machines Musical Instruments).

The symposium which runs from 8:45 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at Richard H. Shindell Choral Hall in Mortensen Hall is completely free for all attendees and does not require any tickets.

The concert starts at 7:30 pm at the Nicholas Music Center on the Douglass campus and will feature Rutgers students and faculty members playing alongside musical automatons and robots.

The automatons will come from the Murtogh D. Guinness Collection of Mechanical Musical Instruments, the Morris Museum, as well as Expressive Machines Musical Instruments, a composers’ collective, performance troupe, and instrument design/development shop.

Tickets for the concert are $15 for the general public, $10 for Rutgers alumni, employees, and seniors, and $5 for students, and can be purchased by calling the Mason Gross Performing Arts Center ticket office at 848-932-7511.