Alexander Lee

While best known as the author of The Prince, Niccolò Machiavelli played an important if unlikely role in the history of music. 

As the sounds of the world rattled into the future, so, too, did art and music.

The nature of warfare is constantly changing. So are the challenges that composers face in depicting the sound and struggle of battle.

Understanding the period and context in which a piece of music was created can offer great rewards for the listener.

How and why did concert-going change from a raucous, noisy affair to one of hushed appreciation?

It is not just the Christian musical tradition that has struggled to differentiate between the sacred and the profane. 

In Renaissance Florence, church and civic bells frequently rang out across the city’s crowded soundscape. Their calls were far from impartial.

Attempting to recover the human experience of Communism in the post-Soviet era, a Belarusian investigative journalist found pessimistic nostalgia in place of hope for the future. 

In newly independent Indonesia, nationalism, communism and Islam competed for the attention of the people. But the country’s greatest novelist saw humanity behind the ideologies. 

Angered by his native country’s rush towards western-style modernisation, the acclaimed Japanese author committed a shocking act of protest. Alexander Lee reveals the journey that led to such an extreme conclusion.