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Where Have We Come From...And Where Are We Going?

Sue and Tom discuss who created the first piece of music, argue over how you can define what music 'is', anyway.

If you could ask BBC Radio 3 one question about music, what would it be? Sue Perkins and Tom Service are here to unravel everything you've ever wondered about music - but were too afraid to ask... Send YOUR questions to, tweet with the hashtag #r3qt or post them on Radio 3's Facebook page at

Who created the first piece of music? Why does music have such a powerful effect on us psychologically and emotionally? And how do you define what music really 'is', anyway...?

Comedian Sue Perkins joins Tom Service for the first in a new series of Radio 3's "Question Time", as part of the BBC's "Story of Music" season - every Monday evening in the interval of "Radio 3 Live In Concert".

They're here to unpick YOUR questions about everything musical - with a host of musical examples from Mozart to Motorhead, the Ancient Greeks to the English Pastoralists, from violin sonatas to big band jazz and Indian ragas...

Over five episodes, Sue and Tom will be looking at questions like why music makes us dance, why we divide it into 'major' and 'minor', and why there are eight (or should that be twelve?) notes in a scale...They'll be covering everything from from music history (why do people revere JS Bach so much?) to psychology (how can a simple sequence of notes stimulate our brains to feel emotion?) to music's global reach (does every culture use the same notes and rhythms?).

And they need YOUR questions to answer throughout the series! Send in your queries about anything musical to, tweet with hashtag #r3qt or post them on Radio 3's Facebook page: We'll be looking out for them!

In the first episode, Sue and Tom discuss who created the first piece of music, argue over how you can define what music 'is', anyway, and debate why so many people find contemporary classical music 'difficult'...

20 minutes

Last on

Mon 28 Jan 2013 20:25

Music Played

  • Ralph Vaughan Williams

    Serenade to music, arr. for orchestra

    Conductor: Adrian Boult Performer: London Philharmonic Orchestra

    • EMI 20th Century Classics.
    • 6279102.
  • Anastasios, Son Of Anastasios, Arr. Levy

    The First Delphic Hymn to Apollo

    Performer: Michael Levy

    • Self-published.
    • N/A.
  • John Cage

    Imaginary Landscape no. 4 for 12 radios

    Conductor: James Culley Performer: Cincinnati Conservatory Percussion Ens.

    • Mode.
    • mode229DVD.
  • Emily Howell

    From Darkness, Light: V. Prelude

    Performer: Erika Arul Performer: Mary Jane Cope

    • Centaur.
    • CRC 3255.
  • Emily Howell


    Performer: David Cope (1941)

    • Centaur.
    • CRC 3255.
  • Anton Webern

    5 Pieces for orchestra

    Conductor: Pierre Boulez Performer: Ensemble Intercontemporain

    • 437-786-2.
  • Harry Partch

    no.1; Study on Olympos's Pentatonic (from 11 Intrusions)

    Performer: Harry Partch Ensemble

    • New World Records.
    • 80622.