Sound Bites

The bendy path of classical music from Ancient Greece to today from your favourite ABC Classic presenter of Weekend Breakfast and bestselling author of Whole Notes & Cadence


Ed Le Brocq invites you to come on a journey with him through a living tradition that spans a millennium - the tradition of Western classical music.

Have you ever wondered where our music comes from? How did we arrive here, a place where we can have a hundred musicians on stage executing the wildest rhythms, a singer performing the most heartbreaking of melodies, or a solitary pianist playing an instrument that weighs half a tonne? How did the melodies and harmonies we listen to today, right now, come about?

Ed Le Brocq invites you on a journey through a living tradition that spans millennia: the tradition of Western classical music. With Ed, you will roam its magnificently bendy path, from the Mesopotamians to the mediaeval age to music composed just last week by Australia's most creative minds. You will discover how notes from the Indus Valley influenced the development of scales by Pythagoras and his mates in Ancient Greece, finding their way through the Romans into church music of the Middle Ages, and why some of those notes were banned. You'll find out how the invention of clocks changed rhythm, how pianos changed society, which composer was afraid of the number thirteen (and why we should be a little afraid of their music) and which composer had two skulls in their grave.

This canter through the development of one of humankind's greatest achievements will delight and exhilarate you and have you listening to music with fresh ears.

About the author(s)

Ed Le Brocq is a writer, musician and broadcaster. He was born on the White Cliffs of Dover and began playing music when he was six years old. He studied music in Manchester, Berlin and London, played professionally in the UK and Hong Kong, and moved to Australia in 2003. Ed is the presenter of ABC Classic's Weekend Breakfast.

Ed is also the author (under the name Emma Ayres) of Cadence, about his journey by bicycle from England to Hong Kong with only a violin for company; and (under the name Eddie Ayres) of Danger Music, describing his year teaching music in Afghanistan, as well as the children's book Sonam and the Silence; and (under the name Ed Ayres) of Whole Notes: Life Lessons through Music. His books have been shortlisted for several prestigious awards, including the Prime Minister's Literary Awards.

Ed, who lives in Brisbane, was born Emma and transitioned just before his fiftieth birthday. Better late than never.

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