Public Program- Ellen R. Cohn

Lectures and Performances
Thursday, October 19, 2006 - 7:30pm

Benjamin Franklin and Music
by Ellen R. Cohn

In honor of the tercentenary of Benjamin Franklin's birth, historian and musician Ellen Cohn will present a lecture/recital focusing on Franklin's musical life -- the instruments he played, his theories of musical aesthetics, and the songs he loved to sing. She will illustrate it with examples of the kinds of music that Franklin admired and with some of Franklin's own songs including a ballad he wrote when he was twelve years old, a love song he wrote for his wife, and clever drinking songs that enjoyed widespread popularity.

Ellen R. Cohn is editor-in-chief of The Papers of Benjamin Franklin (Yale University Press), a comprehensive, annotated edition of Franklin's writings and correspondence, and senior research scholar in the History Department at Yale University. She has published and lectured widely on various aspects of Franklin's life, from his charting of the Gulf Stream to his activities as a printer in France, and is the outstanding authority on Franklin's musical interests. Ellen Cohn also was trained as a classical pianist. Since 1976 she has been a performer of traditional songs and instrumental music of North America and the British Isles, playing piano, guitar, mandolin and concertina. She has toured, either with groups or solo, throughout the United States, Canada, England and France.

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