Music in Art: International Journal for Music Iconography XLII (2017)


Decoration of Performance Space: Meaning and Ideology
Selected papers presented at the Thirteenth Symposium of the ICTM Study Group on the Iconography of the Performing Arts, Fondazione Giorgio Cini, Venice, 17–20 May 2016.


Zdravko Blažeković (City University of New York, The Graduate Center), On the Margins of Performance: Theaters, Their Decorations, and Audience Habits.

Theater buildings and concert halls are not only spaces providing conditions for the performance, but in a specific way they also communicate with the audience, performers, and passers-by on the street. With their monumental facades, busts of musical heroes distributed through foyers and staircases, or painted stage curtains, these places also conserve our cultural memory and foster our national identity. They are places created as architectural artworks in their own right, most often commissioned from the best architects at the pinnacle of their artistic careers.
As any temple, the opera house imposes on its visitors a particular rules of conduct and dress code; it has its rituals observed by performers on the stage and in their dressing rooms, its managers in offices and musicians in the orchestra pit, as well as its visitors who become part of this implicit performance without ever stepping on the stage.
This communication between the building, audience, and performers has been changing over the centuries, and the architectural designs of the past communicate with us today in a very different ways than they had communicated with the audiences at the time when they were built. Behaviour patterns, which architects had in mind for the original audiences, do not exist anymore; old signage of political power distributed in visually strategic places through the auditoria and hallways have lost their original meaning, and now are replaced and supplemented with new decorative models. Layers of different meanings have been amalgamated in the architecture of our theaters and concert halls, and it is our task to assess them and understand how they have communicated in the past and communicate now.

Diana Blichmann (Rome), Atlas with the Celestial Globe in the Stage Design of La Clemenza di Tito as a Symbol of Historical Power: The Portuguese Exploration of Brazil and the Political Propaganda at the Lisbon Court Opera in 1755.

La clemenza di Tito (1734) by Pietro Metastasio is a dramma per musica that glorified the sovereign present in the theater house, comparing him with the Roman Emperor Titus. Willing to forgive those who conspired against him, he shows himself “clement”. During the summer of 1755 the opera by Antonio Maria Mazzoni (1717–1785) was performed in the Teatro do Tejo in Lisbon in honor of the birthday of José I, King of Portugal (reign 1750–1777). Together with the opera Alessandro nell’Indie by David Perez (1711–1778), performed two months earlier, La clemenza di Tito was celebrating not only the theater erected by Giovanni Carlo Sicinio Galli Bibiena at the royal court in the same year, but above all the current monarch, comparing him to Titus. For this celebratory performance a libretto was printed, carefully edited with included engravings of the scenes that give sufficient certainty about the scenography of Bibiena.
The last scene of the opera (III.12) required a “magnificent place that introduces a vast amphitheater”. Here Titus exercised his clemency and he is celebrated like a great hero. Immediately afterwards follows the license connecting King José I with Titus. The scene turns here into a prodigious cave in the bowels of the earth, where Proteus gives a further tribute to José, the “Genius Augustus”. The exaltation of the monarchy, however, does not end there. Analyzing the words of Proteus who speaks about the “confines of the world”, “Atlantis fruitful”, “Lusitania”, “dwellers far away at the opposite shore” of Portugal and the “unknown world” the above-mentioned decorative detail becomes of paramount importance.

Michael Burden (New College, University of Oxford), A Return to London’s Opera House in 1782, with an English Translation of Jean-Georges Noverre’s Observations sur la construction d’une nouvelle salle d’opera.

In 1789, the King’s Theatre, London’s only house licensed for the performance of Italian opera, burnt to the ground. If the dramatic account left by the fencing master Henry Angelo is to be believed, the fire was so intense that it destroyed all of the establishment with the exception of the room over the arcade to the Pit Door. Although still a structure of 1705, the interior of the building destroyed in the blaze was not wholly an old one, but one that was primarily the result of a rebuilding which took place at the end of the 1781–82 season. The design of these alterations was by the Rome-born architect Michael Novosielski (ca. 1747–1795), who was also the theater’s scene designer. These alterations appear to have been a response to the season in which the ballet master Jean-Georges Noverre (1727–1810) had raised the profile of theatrical dance, and also to his pamphlet titled Observations sur la construction d’une nouvelle salle d’opéra, which he published in London and Amsterdam in the same month he arrived in London (October 1781). In the text, Noverre proposed a series of principles of theater design he believed should be adopted in the building of new opera houses, and these principles influenced the approach taken in rebuilding London’s opera house. The appendix includes English translation of Noverre’s pamphlet done by Tom HAMILTON and Michael BURDEN.

Francesca Cannella (Università del Salento), Aristocratic Residences as Performing Places in the Seventeenth- and Eighteenth-Century Apulian Fiefs.

Like other centers in Baroque Italy, the southern Apulian provinces were involved in the seventeenth century in a large process of urban renovation. The ancient fortified places lost their original defensive role, becoming tasteful, spacious and richly decorated residences, directly competing with the architecture in the Hispanic Viceroyalty’s capital.
In agreement with the aesthetics of the Baroque magnificence, the hall and the gallery were the most representative spaces of the new buildings, and they reflected princely power in every form. Some examples are the representative rooms of the palaces in the fiefs of Cavallino, San Cesario, Seclì and Ugento. The walls of these imposing private spaces are decorated with mythological characters, allegoric symbols or iconographic cycles, which also include musical subjects, representing a manifest of stately magnificence. In addition to the collection and exhibition of artistic objects, these spaces were also used as “theatrical places” for performances of spectacles, entertainment, dances and concerts.

Pilar Diez del Corral Corredoira (Technische Universität, Berlin), Il dilettevole trattenimento: El teatro del cardenal Troyano Acquaviva en el Palacio de España en Roma [Il dilettevole trattenimento: The theater of the Cardinal Troyano Acquaviva at the Palazzo di Spagna in Rome].

The theater of the Palazzo di Spagna in Rome, seat of the Spanish Embassy in the Papal City, is rather unknown. After the diplomatic breakdown with the Pope Clement XII Corsini in 1736, the newly elected Cardinal Troiano Acquaviva (1696–1747) became one of the most prominent figures in the Roman court. Besides his political mission, his main concern was to guarantee the stability of the new Bourbon King of Naples (Charles of Bourbon, son of Philipp V and Isabel de Farnesio).
Acquaviva was also a magnificent and generous patron of arts and music. He supported young Spanish artists as Felipe de Castro, but he also hired important theater specialists as Giovanni Battista Olivieri or renowned musicians as Giovanni Battista Costanzi. His artistic and cultural network was strengthened through his lavish celebrations and “conversazioni” that were the very core of the embassy’s life especially after he became also the minister of the king of Naples (1737). He commissioned the theater to fulfill the necessity of a more suitable space for the crowded celebrations he usually hosted. Based on scarce and recently unearthed documentary sources, this article provides for the first time a reconstruction of the commission and also a glimpse on the naturally extended artistic and musical network operating around the fabulous patronage of this eminent cardinal.

Michele Del Prete (Accademia di Belle Arti di Lecce), Sound Thresholds: Visual and Acoustic Values of the Fernwerk in Post-Romantic Organ Building and Architecture.

The Fernwerk (“remote division” or “celestial organ”) is a peculiar organ division whose construction became possible at the end of the nineteenth century due to tubular-pneumatic and electric actions. The Fernwerk—mainly developed by German organ builders such as Sauer, Walcker, and Steynmaier—is a subsection of an organ located not only in a separate place with respect to the main organ but notably in a space structurally distant from it and invisible to listeners (typically a hidden room behind the ceiling or the cupola of a large church). The visual and acoustical communication between such a covert place and the audience is enabled by a hole, which is—even if often evidently decorated—the only liminal visible trace of the sound machine it conceals.
The acoustic and visual nature of the Fernwerk is explained considering: (1) its status as an organ division within the system of more acoustical and visual divisions of the German organ building (Hauptwerk, Brustwerk, Rückpositiv), i.e. its continuity or its exorbitance from the previous tradition; and (2) the relation between the Fernwerk (as cypher of the disjunction between a visible sound source and its sound effect) and the later visual-auditory system of the electroacoustic loudspeakers (which includes a comparison between the decoration of the Fernwerk sound hole and the loudspeaker grid).

Danièle Lipp (Vienna), “Este es vuestro Carlos, este es vuestro Rey”: Representation of Political Propaganda in Musical Life at the Habsburg Court in Barcelona during the War of Spanish Succession (1705–1713).

From 1705 to 1713, during the Spanish War of Succession, Archduke Charles of Austria, the son of Emperor Leopold I, resided in Barcelona as the Habsburg candidate to the Spanish Throne. His regency as King Charles III changed completely the cultural life of the Catalan capital. He introduced for the first time regular performances of operas at his royal court to celebrate the marriage with Elisabeth Christine of Braunschweig-Wolfenbüttel as well as other festivities, arranging different spaces to make possible the representation of music performances. Public spectacles, parades and religious performances also increased considerably due to his presence in the city. Particularly important were performances of villancicos composed by the director of the cathedral chapel Francesc Valls, which were not only religious compositions per se but also had a particular political content
The paper presents examples of the new decorations, symbolic and allegoric allusions to the Habsburgs, and focuses also on the self-representation of the audiences that attended the music performances as well as the religious rituals. It also points out the resemblances between the representation of power at the royal court of Barcelona and the imperial Viennese court of Leopold I and Joseph I.

Stefania Macioce (Università degli Studi di Roma “La Sapienza”), Theater as the Representative Scene of the Power of Court: The Fifteenth- and Sixteenth-Century Italian Exempla.

In the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries theater became the chosen setting for the representation of court and of its dominant role from both a political and cultural point of view. The court represents its power through refined strategies operated by artists: the theater emblematically represents the metaphor of the power and prestige of the royal family. From the beginning of the second half of the fifteenth century, the court of Ferrara enacts, through the figure of Pellegrino Prisciani (ca. 1435–1518), a cultural operation orientated towards the recovery of classical texts and theater.
The representation of Menaechmi by Plautus indicates the beginning of a coherent route: parties, theatrical settings, the novelty of musical interludes transfer themselves from public squares to the reserved space of court, which celebrates itself in the choice of themes linked to mythology; documents refer to sumptuous representative apparatuses, but also of frescoes kept in the Este city, in particular in the sophisticated program of Schifanoia. The base theme is linked to the characteristic continuity with the ancient world according to the Renaissance application: the Este family (from Borso d’Este to Ercole I) guarantees and continues the prestige of the classical world to consolidate its image and its power on the territory.
The representation of this continuity contributes to defining the primacy of the court through figurative culture and in protecting its political supremacy through the persistence of the history and of the myth of Rome in particular. It is possible to individuate a sort of fil rouge, which, in the continuity of time, ties this theme to the decorative choices as a representative propaganda.
In the Olympic Theater of Vicenza, as in the one of Sabbioneta, the intent of the Gonzaga family becomes evident in the coherence of the decorative program, which is often related to the same theatrical representations. In this phase of the Renaissance, a representative specificity of the cultural and political primacy of the court is consolidated through the decoration of the theatrical space. The adoption of these effective cultural strategies with artistic, but also political finalities also flows into the decorative programs carried out by Clement VIII Aldobrandini (1536–1605) on the occasion of the 1600 jubilee where the theatrical representation solemnizes the complex iconographical plant of the Clementine Hall of the Vatican.

Alessandra Mignatti (Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Milan), The Milanese Regio Ducal Theatre and the Festivals of 1747.

The lavish festivals commissioned in Milan by the Minister Plenipotentiary Gian Luca Pallavicini (1697–1773) in 1747 had significant political implications. The previous year the Spanish troops, which had occupied Milan for a few months, had been driven out of the city and retaliations against nobles of the pro-Spanish party had occurred. The Carnival of 1747 first, and the birth of the third child of Maria Theresa of Austria in the following May provided opportunities for festivals and banquets to bring back serenity and approval for the Austrian power. The hall of the Regio Ducal Teatro was chosen for these festivals. Pallavicini had the hall renovated and magnificently decorated on these occasions. In spite of his careful administration of the state’s finances, Pallavicini used magnificence as a tool to fight the opposition of many Milanese nobles. Through a detailed analysis of engravings, idylls written for the events, and with the support of other documentary evidence recapitulated is the schedule of the festive events and their political implications; discussed are the structural elements of the theater, the arrangement and lightened for the ball, the rhetorical content of the two plafonds expressly painted by the Galliari brothers, and the furniture and the rich clothing of the attending aristocrats. Lastly, we discuss the important metonymic power of the empty canopied throne supporting Maria Theresa’s portrait.

Chris Price (Canterbury Christ Church University), The Canterbury Catch Club: A Performance of Class.

The 1826 lithograph of the Canterbury Catch Club in its heyday was clearly intended to depict a gathering of sophisticated, culturally literate gentlemen enjoying a concert provided by professional musicians in convivial surroundings. The decorations in the room, including a chandelier, portraits of St Cecilia and of Corelli, the hint of statuary which may or may not be trompe l’oeil, and the enscrolled motto convey a sense of confident affluence reflected in the carefully casual demeanours of the figures in the picture. Much of the image is a representation of reality. The club really did exist from 1779 to 1865, and organized weekly concerts throughout the winter months; many of the people can be corroborated by contemporary electoral records; and the room in which they met in the years 1779–1833 still survives in the city, as do the portraits. But records show that the atmosphere would have been thick with the fug of all those pipes; that the orchestra was composed of local musicians—many of them cathedral singers with little or no formal schooling—who were a perpetual irritation to the committee of local worthies running the Club; that women formed part of the audience and—exceptionally—were frequently heard performing in this provincial gathering; and that the ribald, transgressive nature of the post-concert communal singing of catches into the early hours of the morning—many of them lewd in the extreme—is wisely ignored here.

Giuseppina Raggi (Centro de Estudos Sociais, Universidade de Coimbra), The Queen of Portugal Maria Anna of Austria and the Royal Opera Theaters by Giovanni Carlo Sicinio Galli Bibiena.

Maria Anna of Austria (1683–1754), the queen consort of Portugal (1708–1754) played a key role in the process of cultural and social revolution that the King João V (1707–1750) promoted during his kingdom. The action of the queen was particularly incisive in the field of the Italian music, nominally of the opera. The queen also defined the geography of the royal residences and has chosen the locations around Lisbon that the King João V transformed into royal hunting lodge (palace of Salvaterra) or royal country house (palace of Belém), and where José I (1750– 1777) built royal theaters. The arrival to Portugal of Giovanni Carlo Sicinio Bibiena (1717–1760), in 1752, does not represents the beginning of the passion for the Italian opera at the Portuguese court, such as the scholarship usually affirms. Conversely, it was the result of the long cultural revolution promoted by the Queen Consort Maria Anna of Austria that deeply influenced the artistic policies of her son José and her daughter Barbara of Braganza, respectively king of Portugal and queen of Spain.
At the Biblioteca Nacional do Brasil in Rio de Janeiro has been recently (re)founded an album with drawings of the Portuguese architect José da Costa e Silva (1747–1819), who studied at the Bolognese Accademia Clementina. The album includes three drawings of a Portuguese royal opera theater which allow us to rethink the earlier reconstructions of the main Royal Opera Theater, the so-called Real Ópera do Tejo, destroyed by the earthquake in 1755. Although the matter continues to be polemic, the proposed reconstruction shows a complete image of the interior of the theater, in particular of the “spatial machine” of the royal box, as well as of the spatial disposition of the theatrical hall. The reconstruction demonstrates that Giovanni Carlo Sicinio Bibiena was able to design a royal theater corresponding to the taste and to the hierarchical structure of the Portuguese court and of the Lusitanian society.

María Isabel Rodríguez López (Universidad Complutense de Madrid), The Relief Decoration of the Roman Theater: The Case of Sabratha.

The theater of Sabratha (now Libya), a small coastal city of the ancient Tripolitania, was built during the reign of Marcus Aurelius (emperor AD 161–180) and completed during Septimius Severus (emperor AD 193–211). Located in the Regio IV of the city, the theater had the capacity of six thousand spectators and it was used until the earthquake of AD 365. The site was excavated in the 1910s and it was subjected to a process of anastylosis that restored its ancient splendor and magnificence. The first iconographic and architectural analysis of the building was done in 1959 by Giacomo Caputo (1901–1992), who published a description of the reliefs located in the so-called pulpitum (the murus pulpiti or proscaenium, which is the front bridging the gap between the orchestra and the stage). Built out of marble, it rises to a height of 138 cm above the orchestra level, and consists of seven exedras that alternate rectangular and semi-circular profiles flanked by Ionic columns decorated with reliefs.
Besides the theatrical scenes and the usual tragic and comic masks, the exedras are decorated with dancing maenads, Hercules, Mercury, the Three Graces, the Judgment Paris, and a whole cohort of characters associated with the theatrical spectacle. The central exedra, corresponding to the valva regia (the regal door), represents two sacrificial scenes framing a subject of political nature. The sacrifice on the left is carried out by Septimius Severus as an officiant, assisted by a camillus and accompanied by the prefect Plautius and the young Caracalla (AD 188–217). On the right is shown a scene with a bull being led to sacrifice. The central scene represents the personification of Rome, wearing military dress and shaking hands with the personification of the city of Sabratha, who wears a high mural crown and holds a cornucopia in her hand. The gesture of shaking hands meant concord and loyalty in Rome, and it alludes to Sabratha’s loyalty, submission and respect to Rome.

Claudina Romero Mayorga (The Ure Museum of Greek Archaeology, The University of Reading), Music and Theatrical Performance in the Mysteries of Mithras.

The so-called Oriental cults that entered the Roman Empire in the first century BC offered a joyful vision of life after death, along with a series of ceremonies full of color, music, dances and costumes of exotic nature. However, the importance of these sensory aspects has not been taken into account in the studies dedicated to the Mysteries of Mithras.
Mithras’s followers gathered in underground and narrow temples, with long benches attached to the sidewalls (podia), which determined an axial aisle that seemed to establish the unidirectional movement of the neophytes. The scarcity of literary sources that recount Mithras’s myths favoured the analysis of the iconographic repertoire, which was believed to encode the soteriology of the cult. The image of Mithras killing the bull (tauroctony) was placed at the head of the temple, along with another icon that depicted the divinity in symposium with the Sun god.
While there were public festivities dedicated to Isis, Cybele, Attis and Dionysus, we are not aware of ceremonies of such characteristics in the Mysteries of Mithras. Therefore, it is necessary to study the decoration of the temples found in the Roman Empire to appreciate the presence of music, its importance in the rituals and the involvement of the neophytes in such ceremonies. Thanks to archaeological findings, we know that fake knifes (as props), masks and musical instruments were usually part of the dramatization of mithraic myths, although these elements have not been studied in the traditional bibliography.

Maia Sigua (თბილისის ვანო სარაჯიშვილის სახელობის სახელმწიფო კონსერვატორია / Tbilisi Vano Sarajišvili State Conservatory), The Curtains of Tbilisi Opera House: Two Symbols, One Story.

In 165-year history of the Tbilisi Opera House, 1874 and 1973 were fatal dates: terrible fires devastated two beautiful theater buildings, and two legendary curtains burnt in them. Both curtains were some kind of symbols of the opera house and, at the same time, reflection of political attitudes and ideologies of their times.
In his Le Caucase: Impressions de voyage (1859), Alexandre Dumas père described his visit and the beauty of the Tbilisi opera (built by Giovanni Scudieri in 1851) and the curtain, painted by the Russian painter Grigorij Grigorievič Gagarin (1810–1893). Gagarin supported the Russian politics towards Georgia, seeing the country as a part of the Russian Empire. At the same time he also accepted a common artistic perception of Georgia as an exotic heaven on earth. These attitudes are reflected on the curtain of the first opera house.
Second building by Victor Schröter (1839–1901), completed in 1898, had the curtain painted in 1960 by the Georgian painter Sergo Kobuladze (1909–1978). Following Stalin’s death, the 1960s were a period of the so-called liberalization in the arts; but also the time of Soviet’s political and ideological difficulties and growth of the dissident movement. This was demonstrated on Kobuladze’s curtain. His first sketches, which included national motives, had been rejected; his second version reflected quasi-ancient figure of woman with a string instrument. In the work Kobuladze integrated also his research of the structure in ancient and old Georgian architectural monuments.
Both fires had suspicious circumstances. It has been suggested that Gagarin’s curtain might have survived until the 1950s. As for Kobuladze’s one, which was the symbolic icon of the Tbilisi opera, was reconstructed in Germany on the basis of the preserved original sketches, and installed in the renewed Opera House of independent Georgia in 2015.

Andrea Sommer-Mathis (Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften, Institut für Kulturwissenschaften und Theatergeschichte), The Imperial Court Theater in Vienna from Burnacini to Galli Bibiena.

Although the very first opera performances at the imperial court of Vienna can be traced back to the 1620s, we do not know very much about their venues and the decoration of these early performances. Various living rooms and dance halls of the imperial palace were adapted for the occasion, with simple stages and seating arrangements for the audience.
It took three more decades until the first free-standing theater building was constructed by Giovanni Burnacini (1610–1655) who was engaged from Venice in 1651. He not only introduced the newest Italian stage techniques in Vienna, but gave also shape to the proscenium of the theater; it was still rather simple but it included the imperial crown and coat of arms of the Habsburg dynasty.
These first structural attempts were reinforced and extended by Giovanni Burnacini’s son Lodovico Ottavio (1636–1707) who built the huge Teatro sulla Cortina, inaugurated in 1668 with the performance of Il pomo d’oro, though afterwards used only on very rare special occasions and finally demolished in 1683. Yet the preserved engravings of the auditorium and the proscenium lavishly decorated with allegorical figures and imperial devices are precious documents of the dominant Habsburg ideology.
Again it should take three decades until Francesco Galli Bibiena (1659–1739), the first member of the famous family of architects and stage designers active in Vienna, remodeled the former dancing hall into an opera house that had all the characteristics of a representative court theater: rows of boxes with a central royal box, an ornate proscenium, a splendid stage curtain and a magnificent ceiling painting, probably by Andrea Pozzo (1642–1709).


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Stephen A. Bergquist (Boston), The Musical Portraits of Augustin de Saint-Aubin.

Augustin de Saint-Aubin (1736–1807) is generally considered the greatest portrait engraver of the age of Louis XVI. Highly prolific, he produced well over a thousand engravings, including 342 portraits. The portraits, done after his own drawings as well as the drawings of other artists, are mostly of his contemporaries, but include a few historical figures. His subjects range from the famous to the not-so-famous, including Louis XV, Louis XVI, Newton, Pascal, Racine, George Washington, and Benjamin Franklin. Among his subjects are thirteen musicians, including Lully, Rameau, Gluck, Philidor, Mondonville, Pierre Jeliote, Antoine Blanchard, Charles Gauzargues, and Jean Monnet. Many of Saint-Aubin’s portraits, including eleven of his musical portraits, are after drawings by Charles-Nicolas Cochin II (Cochin le jeune; 1715–1790).
Cochin was well connected at court, and provided portrait drawings of many persons in court circles, including several of the musiciens du Roi. Around 1780 the Société académique des enfants d’Apollon, a private musical society founded in 1741, of which Cochin was a member, commissioned him to draw portraits of its members. Cochin produced forty-one such portraits, a few of which were engraved by Simon-Charles Miger, Thérèse-Éléonore Lingée, and Saint-Aubin. Saint-Aubin engraved four of Cochin’s portraits of members of the society: Carl Friedrich Abel, Antonio Sacchini, Henri Guérillot, and P.-J. Marco. Saint-Aubin’s portrait engravings are of their time—small in scale, unprepossessing, finely and delicately engraved, classical, without the grandiosity and ostentation of the Baroque portraiture of the preceding century or the Romantic portraiture of the century to come. However, they are highly attractive works, exquisitely wrought, and representative in all respects of the civilisation perfectionnée from which they sprang.

James Deaville (Carleton University), Le Chant du Désert: Images of the Arab-Islamic World in Late Nineteenth-Century French Chansons and Piano Music.

Orientalism in French music has occupied scholars such as Ralph Locke and Jean-Pierre Bartoli for years, yet their analyses have focused on large-scale musical-dramatic works, especially Orient-themed compositions such as David’s Le desert and Saint-Saëns’s Samson et Dalila. However, the discourse manifested itself in France throughout the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries in smaller genres as well, especially the chanson and the characteristic piano work. Sheet music from about 1850 until World War I reveals how pervasive was the Orientalist discourse in the popular imagination of the French, which came into contact with the Arab world above all through the colonization of Africa (particularly North Africa) and the Middle East. Titles branded by such fashionable adjectives “arabe,” “orientale” and “nubien/ne” abounded, with cover pages featuring standard Orientalist topical imagery of the indolent woman smoking a hookah (Carl Chesneau, L’Orientale: Valse brilliante, 1862), the mysterious solitary Arab male with his horse (Benjamin Godard, Chanson Arabe, 1880) and minarets and other Islamic-looking architecture surrounded with palms. The music itself draws upon traditional Orientalising melodic and harmonic practices.

Monika Fink (Institut für Musikwissenschaft, Universität Innsbruck), Polyphony in Image and Sound.

Paul Klee (1879–1940) implemented his idea of “polyphonous painting” in countless works, not only in those including references to contrapunct in their titles. He translated contrapuntal practice and canon into color shapes and linear structures and thus transformed musical layers into visual layering.
These pictures have inspired countless composers over the time to create works of art inspired by a musical approach to the visual material. At this, Paul Klee ranks among those artists whose works have been chosen for musical rendering most often. The interaction between visual and tonal polyphony is demonstrated through the compositions by Roberto Gacía Morillo (1911–2003), Takashi Kako (b.1947), Friedrich Teja Bach (b.1944), Hellmuth Christian Wolff (1906–1988), Iris Szeghy (b.1956), and Tzvi Avni (b.1927).

Charles A. Kennedy (Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University), “Becky from Babylon” and Other Oriental Beauties: Images of Middle Eastern Women in Twentieth-Century Sheet Music.

Since around the 1890s, a series of coinciding events pushed images of the Middle East into the forefront of American culture, what has naturally reflected in the repertoire of popular American songs from the first part of the twentieth century. The interest for the Middle East can be traced to the Columbian Exposition of 1893 in Chicago, when millions came to see the displays of natural and manufactures goods assembled from across the country and around the world. A second influence was brought about by the promotion of cigarettes, especially those with Turkish tobacco. A third influence was the growing political crisis of the Ottoman Empire. A fourth influence was the so-called “Salome craze” prompted by the American premiere of Richard Strauss’s opera Salomé in New York on 22 January 1907. The Dance of the Seven Veils quickly became the center of attention and “Salome” and a vaudeville sensation that swept Broadway. The final factor bringing Orientalism into popular culture was the burgeoning movie industry.
Songs inspired by these events followed a common set of stereotypes about life and especially the role of women in the Middle East. They use a form of shorthand to describe people and places most of the composers and their audiences had never seen. When artists designed their covers for sheet music editions, they often drew American women in costume, adapting the costume to fit the title. In other occasions they draw upon the experiences of travelers and photographs of the Middle East, when they made an attempt to depict the actual people of the region. With the subtext of sexual subjection of Oriental women to Western men, the illustrators represented the pattern of relative strength between east and west and the discourse about the Orient that it enabled. Both Europeans and later Americans shared the attitude that these alien people must be subjugated by repressive policies in the colonies and by stereotyping at home.

Lindsey Macchiarella (University of Texas at El Paso), Early French Modernism Across Modalities: Erik Satie and Eugène Atget.

Major cultural movements are not limited to a single medium of art and cross-medium comparisons bring changing aesthetics into sharper focus. While modernism is often examined from an interdisciplinary point of view, music and photography have yet to be considered together. Composer Erik Satie (1866–1925) and photographer Eugène Atget (1857–1927) were contemporary progenitors of French Modernism in their relative fields and were highly influential on younger generations. Though they worked in starkly contrasting mediums, their works show surprisingly similar features, such as the resolute and mocking rejection of Romanticism and a preference for functional, documentary, and spatially oriented art. Their structural juxtapositions and subtle exaggeration would later be heralded as the seeds of surrealism. Most distinctive, perhaps, is their avoidance of narrative and creation of a non-teleological sense of time. This study puts both Satie and Atget in an exceptional context, demonstrating the intrinsic interconnectedness of French Modernist aesthetics.

Michael Saffle (Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University), Images of China and Japan in Turn-of-the-Last-Century American Sheet Music.

Late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century English-speaking audiences often encountered China and Japan through operettas, musical comedies, and popular songs of greater or lesser ethnically stereotyped character. These forms of entertainment depended to a surprising extent upon visual “support,” provided on stage through sets and costuming, offstage through sheet-music covers that helped “locate” their imagined subjects and musical styles. Japan was more often represented visually in terms of feminine refinement, China in terms of aristocratic exploitation. A Chinese Honeymoon (1899) and other pre-World War I operettas have recently been criticized for their exaggerated depictions of “Orientals.” After 1914, however—and especially after 1920, when new laws made East Asian immigration to the United States much more difficult—China and its citizens were treated more gently and imaginatively in China Rose (1924) and other shows. A similar evolution accompanied the sounds and images associated with Japanese-themed songs and shows. Illustrations employed to advertise more than a dozen mostly forgotten Anglo-American operettas and musical comedies as well as three-dozen Chinese- and Japanese-themed popular songs document these shifting attitudes toward the imagined exoticism of the musical Far East in early twentieth-century Britain and the United States.

Thomas Tolley (The University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh College of Art), “Divorce a la mode”: The Schwellinberg Affair and Haydn’s Engagement with English Caricature.

Explaining Haydn’s failure to come to London in the 1780s contemporary newspapers sporadically embroidered from the composer’s matrimonial difficulties a narrative of the hen-pecked husband. When Haydn eventually arrived in London in 1791, without his wife, one newspaper immediately extended the earlier fiction by reporting that Haydn was about to marry Madame Schwellenberg. Juliane Elisabeth von Schwellenberg (1728–1797) was a leading personality in royal service of the British Queen Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, mercilessly caricatured in contemporary prints as an overweight, avaricious woman, lacking conscience. Other prominent figures repeatedly targeted by caricaturists were also spuriously associated with Haydn.
Haydn, who regularly perused the London newspapers, certainly knew these reports. The respect he quickly commanded and his personal discretion saved him from joining the ranks of the visually caricatured. The whole experience stimulated new creative impulses in Haydn, the principles of caricature, then a distinctively English preoccupation, suggesting innovative musical possibilities.
The article investigates Haydn’s relationship with English caricature, and what he learned from it to enhance his already secure reputation as a composer of wit. Clear evidence that Haydn engaged directly with techniques of English caricature—particularly double entendre, mockery, exaggeration, and a fixation with scatological humor—comes from a passage in his London journal (subtitled Divorce a la mode) in which the composer used English conventions of caricature to satirize fellow musicians. With reference to his London compositions and to examples of caricatures in his own collection, the paper demonstrates Haydn’s compositional interest in such devices developed with a view to expanding his appeal to English audiences.