Read an English sample of my book ‘Sound’ here.


Tomas Serrien writes about music, society and philosophy. In 2015 he won the Geert Grote Pen, a prize awarded to the best Dutch master’s thesis in philosophy. His thesis was the inspiration for his debut book Klank: een filosofie van de muzikale ervaring (Sound: a philosophy of musical experience), published in December 2017. Klank received a lot of good reviews, was nominated for a reader’s prize and already is in its fourth print run.

In October 2019 the book Verdwaald in verlichting (Lost in Enlightenment) was published, which he wrote for Borgerhoff & Lamberigts in collaboration with imam Khalid Benhaddou and political philosopher Patrick Loobuyck. In January 2020 he made the five-part podcast series ‘The Magic of Listening’ for Klara radio. In October 2020 he made the podcast series ‘Orentroost’ together with Consouling Sounds.

With the creation of the independent website Mirari, he developed an online platform for free dialogue. Tomas regularly gives lectures, works on various interdisciplinary projects about music and is drummer in several bands. He is currently working on a third book and a music theatre for LOD (Gent) directed by Jamie Man.


‘Klank: een filosofie van de muzikale ervaring’

‘Sound: a philosophy of musical experience’.

Music is able to move people, to ease their pain, or simply to make them want to dance. But what do we experience exactly listening to Chopin, Pink Floyd or Bob Dylan? Which features characterize our musical experience?

In this book Tomas Serrien investigates the ways we experience music and sound. Although music is meant to  be listened to in the first place, the author explains why thinking and writing about music can be very meaningful. Developing a method to bring this difficult task to a good end, Serrien takes the reader along a musical exploration full of surprising thoughts. Do we pay enough attention when listening to music? What is the difference between music and sound? How do deaf people experience music? Which role emotions play when listening to music? Can music save lives?

Looking for the value of music the author discovers much unanswered questions which are more important to human kind than expected. This book comes with different playlists that illustrate and enhance the argumentative power of the text. Published at the end of 2017, this book already is in its fourth print run and nominated for a reader’s prize.

Click here for more information about my translation rights.

You can listen to the playlist on Spotify or Youtube

You can buy the book on Amazon.com

What do others think about Klank?

Ideal for people who wonder why “I See a Darkness” by Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy makes them so sad – apparently the 20th-century thinker Maurice Merleau-Ponty can help you on your way.  Humo, Belgian magazine

A passionate story about the elusiveness of music. Mauro Pawlowski, known from dEUS and Evil Superstars

Serrien’s fresh and accessible writing style has resulted in a book that can also be read without difficulty if you have never read another book about music and philosophy. With his unconventional approach and the many illustrations from pop music, he has made an original and valuable contribution to the growing library of Dutch-language music philosophy.  Albert van der Schoot, professor philosophy of music at the University of Amsterdam

***** A great book about music. Recently I also read ‘How Music Works’ by David Byrne, and that was good, but what Tomas Serrien did is so much better (and at the same time much more concise). Serrien goes to the core: the musical experience. That is the essence of music. Not how something is played or recorded, but what experience these musical sounds offer us when we listen to it. Wow. Music journalists who do not read this book must be fired! – Tim F. Van der Mensbrugghe, journalist at De Morgen.

Tomas Serrien has done something special. He investigates a phenomenon that we all know very well, but he does it in such a surprising way that every listener will hear their favorite music in a new way. – De Boekenkrant

For the added value seeker who is looking for a better way to describe musical experiences, this book is a must. – Metro

A passionate philosophical view about the versatility of the musical experience. – Joke J. Hermsen, philosopher and writer

Serrien tries to describe the indescribable, makes the unheard more audible and the elusive more tangible. That reason is already enough to read this piece of work – a passionate plea for the versatile music experience. – Written In Music