Music in Art: International Journal for Music Iconography XXXV (2010)


Sing d’Arcy (Faculty of Architecture, Design and Planning, University of Sydney), The Magna Hispalensis and the Twin Organs of Fray Domingo de Aguirre and Luis de Vilches: Eighteenth-Century Seville and Its Mirror of Wonder.

The Magna Hispalensis was conceived on a grand scale and executed on the gargantuan. No other temple in all Catholic Europe apart from the very Basilica of St. Peter could rival the great pile of Seville Cathedral in terms of size or magnificence. When in 1724 Fray Domingo de Aguirre and Luis de Vilches presented their vision for the new organs of Seville cathedral, there can be no doubt that this project was as ambitious as it was to be influential. Never before in “la Europa Órgano” had a scheme of such symmetry and splendour been proposed. Though the tonal development of the classical Castilian organ was not to see its eventual apotheosis until the closing years of the eighteenth century, as exemplified in the works of Jordi Bosch and Julián de la Orden, the 1724 scheme for Seville cathedral marked the construction of the first ever pair of mirror organs of eight facades. Just as Seville cathedral had become the model for all new cathedralic projects both in Castile and in New Spain, so too would its multi-facade mirror organs become the prototype for the cathedrals and collegiate churches of Andalusia.

Catherine S. Amidon (Plymouth State University), Enrico Riley: A Journey in Giant Steps.

In a canvas installation entitled Giant Steps (2004), Enrico Riley (b. 1973) paints homage to John Coltrane. Riley works with shifts in tone and space to reflect the texture and rhythm of the rapid shifts in sound that defined the 1960s jazz aesthetic to which he is drawn. Lengthy drumming sessions inspired both Riley’s painting and John Coltrane’s fugue-like Giant Steps. The “intertwining” links the mind-body connection inherent in Riley’s process to phenomenology and opens new perceptions beyond material existence. Through his own sensory experience, Riley synthesizes American modernist visual vocabulary, European philosophy, and Afro-Atlantic sound in his paintings. Giant Steps transcends the gap between sound and image, action and passivity, to manifest as a metaphor for a fragment of a sheet of music with a long, complex, and historically rich score.

Galina Bakhtiarova (Western Connecticut State University), The Iconography of the Catalan Habanera: Indianos, Mulatas and Postmodern Emblems of Cultural Identity.

The habanera, a song that became popular in Catalunya in the second half of the twentieth century, evolved into a postmodern emblem of Catalan cultural identity. From the imagery that invoked nostalgia for the lost tropical paradise of the Caribbean, its sensual women and lost opportunities for fortunes and enrichment, the habanera and its iconography evolved into an assertion of Catalunya as a seafaring nation with a place of its own in an overseas colonial enterprise. Arguably, a richly illustrated Álbum de habaneras, a collection compiled and edited by the composer Xavier Montsalvatge, in 1948, started a pattern of collecting and publishing illustrated habaneras. In addition to illustrations in books, habaneras generated a variety of images, such as contemporary commercial publicity materials, posters, postcards, and brochures that played an exceptional part in the transformation of these songs into a nation-wide phenomenon and an intrinsic part of the Catalan cultural identity. The changes in Spain’s political and social situation, during the last years of the Franco dictatorship, and the tourist boom of the 1960s played a crucial role in the evolvement of the habanera as a massive phenomenon in Catalunya. Catalan self-assertion may be seen through a prism of European integration and further globalization as Catalunya continues its secular attempts at self-representation as a part of a globalized European community rather than a region overshadowed by the center.

Antonio Baldassarre (Mexico City), The Jester of Musicology, or The Place and Function of Music Iconography in Institutions of Higher Education.

Presents a discussion on the history and current situation of music iconography research in institutions of higher education, including a brief description of the Répertoire International d’Iconogaphie Musicale (RIdIM) and its goals. On the basis of the analysis of both the crucially interdisciplinary nature of music iconography research and the still not very favorable situation of music iconography in contemporary university, it is argued that music iconography seems to be predestinated to demonstrate that speaking about music is an affair that can only benefit from diversity, continuous examination of viewpoints, and critical thinking, thereby performing within the system of higher music education the role of a court jester who can express thoughts and ideas that courtiers do not have the heart to articulate because of their involvement in and dependence on the university system.

Stephen Bergquist (Boston), Ten Musical Portraits.

The ten portraits discussed here are interesting not only for their subjects, but as examples of the art of printmaking. None of them is commonly to be encountered, and several of them are extremely rare. Niccolò Nelli’s engraving of the Neapolitan Massimo Troiano (1568) is one of the very earliest engraved portraits of a composer. Georg Friedrich Schmidt’s engraving of Handel, one of five lifetime portrait prints of the composer, was considered by Sir John Hawkins to be the best; it was printed in only a handful of impressions. The portrait of Conrad Friedrich Hurlebusch by Pieter Antony Wakkerdak is a beautiful example of the mezzotint technique. The famous Delafosse portrait of the seven-year-old Mozart and his family is shown here in a proof before letters, one of only two such impressions known. The musical prodigy William Crotch is depicted at the age of three, playing the organ. Thomas Rowlandson’s etching of The Polish Dwarf Performing Before the Grand Seigneur is a portrait of an actual person, the violinist Joseph Boruwlaski. Aglaé Quenedey’s etching and aquatint of the pianist Daniel Steibelt is an example of the “physionotrace”, a likeness produced through the use of a machine similar to a large camera oscura. Hector Berlioz was portrayed by the great etcher Alphonse Legros toward the end of the composer’s career, when his health was on the decline. The caricature of the French pianist Raoul Pugno is from the cover of a printed menu for a dinner held in his honor in 1897. Joseph Joachim, in an atmospheric etching by Ferdinand Schmutzer, is shown in the last year of his life, playing a duo with the Baroness Alexandra von Keudell.

Robert G.H. Burns (University of Otago), Depicting the “Merrie”: Historical Imagery in English Folk-Rock.

Promotion of Englishness in the first half of the twentieth century often drew upon the use of folk signifiers, such as morris dancers and “maypoles on the village green”. A nostalgic view of an earlier, rustic England was also evident among folk fans during the second revival that took place in the United Kingdom between the late 1940s and the 1970s. Moreover, notions of an idealized past existed among factions of the progressive rock audience during the 1970s, and these notions drove the design aesthetic of English folk-rock. In the progressive rock movement of the 1970s, cover artwork influenced by eighteenth- and nineteenth-century rural imagery projected notions sometimes referred to “Merrie England”, a potent symbol for contemporary ideological viewpoints since the first folk revival during the early twentieth century. English folk-rock used eighteenth- and nineteenth-century imagery in album cover design to appeal to the progressive rock audience. Moreover the use of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century imagery was a means of reestablishing English identity during the late 1960s and early 1970s, at which time American folk-rock had emerged as a popular music style in the United States. The argument is demonstrated with examples of LP covers of Fairport Convention and Steeleye Span.

Ian Chapman (University of Otago), Luncheon on the Grass with Manet and Bow Wow Wow: Still Disturbing After All These Years.

In 1981, “New Tribalist” band, Bow Wow Wow released their debut album, See Jungle! See Jungle! Go Join Your Gang, Yeah! City All Over! Go Ape Crazy. The cover was an elaborately staged photographic reenactment of Manet’s 1863 work, Le Déjeuner sur l’herbe, and featured the band members posed in the place of Manet’s subjects. The cover caused outrage because the band’s lead singer, fifteen-year old Annabelle Lwin, was pictured naked amidst her clothed male band-mates. An examination of other album covers by the band around this time, in conjunction with lyric analysis and consideration of manager Malcolm McLaren’s stated intentions and other artistic and commercial interests, show that underage and early teenage sexuality was a central component of the band’s artistic raison d’étre. This paper examines how McLaren utilized provocation based upon moral/sexual themes in his fashioning and promotion of Bow Wow Wow. Focusing primarily upon their controversial first album, comparisons are drawn between the reception of the Manet work in 1863 and other historic works that McLaren, a man well-schooled in art history, deliberately referenced during the time he managed Bow Wow Wow. Despite the passing of more than a century between Manet’s work and McLaren’s parody, I contend that the nature of the provocation, and the critical reaction that ensued following the presentation of each work, is of a similar nature and that McLaren almost certainly intended this thematic alliance.

Christopher Cook (Syracuse University, London Program), Entertainment in a Box: Domestic Design and the Radiogram and Television.

The incorporation of consumer electronics into British domestic interior spaces from the 1930s to the 1980s, in particular the arrival of radiograms and television sets in family living rooms, significantly altered the traditional boundaries that had been drawn between notions of private and public space. This paper also explores how the design criteria for televisions and radiograms in the period came to reflect this shifting frontier.

Henry Johnson (University of Otago), Brushing up on Mutineers: Music on Art at Fletcher’s Mutiny Cyclorama, Norfolk Island.

Norfolk Island’s Cyclorama is a 360-degree painting that tells the story of Fletcher Christian (1764–1793) and the mutiny on the Bounty. The Cyclorama is a visual spectacle and sonic experience that takes the viewer on the mutineers’ life journey from their cultural roots in the British Isles to their infamous mutiny in the Pacific Ocean in 1789. After a period of uncertainty, as a way of avoiding the British, the mutineers settled on the remote island of Pitcairn, but were relocated to Norfolk Island in 1856 (some islanders subsequently returned to settle in Pitcairn). With this particular Cyclorama there is an accompanying soundscape that adds to the experience, and the performance event provides a focal point for rethinking the interconnections between music and art. The superimposed sounds consist of music, sound and speech that add a sonic imagery to the visual story of the mutiny on the Bounty and its legacy of the lies of Pitcairn and Norfolk islanders. The Norfolk Cyclorama and its musical manifestation have helped create a cultural soundscape of mediated music that represents the story of the mutineers and their descendents. In this sense, as with many other multimedia art works, the visual has helped determine the sonic. Just as many art works of musical relevance can inform the cultural historian on the life and place of a particular musician or music object, the Cyclorama creates cultural meaning in terms of illustrating the social history. But what makes this particular art experience unique among sound and visual creativity is that the accompanying soundscape adds to the experience through a social and cultural negotiation between artist, composer and viewer.

Zulfiqar Ali Kalhoro (Pakistan Institute of Development Economics, Islamabad), Representations of Music and Dance in the Islamic Tombs of Sindh, Pakistan.

During the Kalhora rule of the Sindh province in southwestern Pakistan (1681–1783), sepulchral architecture gained prominence and it is believed that tombs adorned with wall paintings have been at that time built throughout the province. The tombs of the Kalhora rulers were decorated with floral and geometric designs whereas the tombs of their generals and soldiers had the figural depictions. The towns of Khudabad and Garhi, and later the village of Mian Nasir Muhammad Kalhoro, were the main artistic centers not only for the production of wall paintings in tombs but also miniature paintings made for the Kalhora rulers. Besides paintings of representing traditional tales (Sassui–Punhun, Nuri–Jam Tamachi, Leila–Majnun, Sohni–Mehar, Leela–Chanesar, Moomal–Rano, and Bijal–Rai Dyach), tombs also depict the scenes from everyday life, such as images of entertainers, animal handlers, and battle scenes reflecting the tribal chivalry. The occurrence of dancing and music scenes provides an evidence about performances in the area since the eighteenth century. The images of musical instruments in the tombs in the Larkana, Thatta and Mithi districts reflect the secular attitudes toward the religion, among both artists but also rulers who did not try to ban or remove them from funerary architecture although Islam prohibits producing figurative images.

Martin Knust (Stockholms universitet), Urged to Interdisciplinary Approaches: The Iconography of Music on the Reliefs of Angkor Wat.

About one millennium ago Angkor used to be one of the mightiest empires in the world. However, there is only scarce information available about its culture, because there are hardly any literal sources left except one contemporary report by a Chinese trader, Zhou Daguan, written at the beginning of the fourteenth century. Because of the almost total lack of “classical” written sources, the stone-carvings of musicians in Angkor could have a crucial function in research about this ancient culture. Of course, they can only be interpreted if results of other disciplines are taken into consideration, mainly those of ethnology and archaeology. But also the research results from these disciplines are still quite limited, what implies that the music iconography could serve as a central part of Angkor research, which is per se urged to interdisciplinary approaches. Music iconography can shed light on the ethnic and social structures of Angkor as well as reconstruct the place music had in that society. The context in which musicians are represented on bas-reliefs of Angkor Wat are military ensembles. A musician is never depicted alone, but always within an ensemble of three to thirteen musicians, playing percussion and often brass and/or woodwind instruments.

Walter Kreyszig (University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon), The Significance of Iconography in the Print Culture of the Late-Fifteenth-Century Music Theoretical Discourse: The Theoricum opus musice discipline (1480) and Theorica musice (1492) of Franchino Gaffurio in the Context of His Trilogy.

In the examination of the disciplina musicae, iconography has generally focussed on the two principal subdisciplines, that is, musica practica with its concentration on the depiction of musical instruments and related issues of performance practices, and musica theorica with its emphasis on the graphic representation of music-theoretical systems. With the launching of Gaffurio’s Theoricum opus music discipline (Napoli, 1480), the first printed volume in a lengthy and venerable music theoretical discourse, which focused largely on the juxtaposition of the Greek systema teleion and the Guidonian system of solmization and hexachords, the study of iconography received a considerable broadening and intensification with regard to the graphic representation and that in a drastically altered context of intent. While the iconographic depictions of both musica theorica and musica pratica continued to exist side by side, the expansion of the music theoretical discourse after 1480 gave rise to a prominent reliance of music theorists on the capturing of details pertaining to aspects of music theoretical systems in iconographic representation. The music theoretical corpus of the eminent musical humanist Franchino Gaffurio, in particular his trilogy comprising the Theorica musice (Milano, 1492), the Practica musicae (Milano, 1496), and the De harmonia musicorum instrumentorum opus (Milano, 1518), attest to this enhancement of the music theoretical discourse through iconographic depictions. The iconographic representations in the form of woodcuts, all of which are intimately linked with Gaffurio’s written word, serve as visual summaries of his diversified and, for the most part, dense prose, rich in both detail and overall content.

Marí­a Paz López-Peláez Casellas (Universidad de Jaén), “No la una sin las dos”: Sympathetic Vibration in Treatises on Emblems.

During the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries several interpretations were given in emblem treatises to the acoustic phenomenon known from ancient Greece as sympathetic resonance. The most frequently attributed symbolism to the vibration by sympathy produced by two or more string instruments was associated with (1) Christian soul, (2) friendship and love, and (3) love and good government.

Holly Mathieson (University of Otago), National Ambiguity in the Portraiture of Sir Henry Wood: A Case Study in Iconographic Method.

An iconic photographic portrait of English Promenade conductor Sir Henry J. Wood (1869–1944), standing atop the rubble of the bombed Queen’s Hall in May 1941, became a patriotic symbol of English survival and hope in the face of German attacks in World War II. As Wood was England’s first native career conductor, it seems an appropriate image. However, comparisons with Wood’s earlier iconography and the various images he actively presented to the public throughout his career, cast a question mark over the extent of this projected patriotism. Early in his career Wood’s portraits contained pictorialisms consistent with an idealized, continental conductor. It was not until his success had been established, and retirement imminent, that Wood allowed himself to be portrayed as more typically English. An examination of the changes in visual type throughout Wood’s portraiture, leads to a more complex reading of the Queen’s Hall photograph and adds to our understanding of the reception native English musicians encountered, expected and in Wood’s case, actively aimed to avoid in the late nineteenth century.

Laura Moretti (Worcester College, Oxford), “Quivi si esserciteranno le musiche”: La sala della musica presso la “corte” padovana di Alvise Cornaro [“Quivi si esserciteranno le musiche”: The music room at the Paduan court of Alvise Cornaro].

In the first half of the sixteenth century the well-known patron of art and literature, Alvise Cornaro (ca. 1484–1566), gathered together in his house an impressive circle of artists and literary figures of Padua. Among these were the architect Giovanni Maria Falconetto, the playwright Angelo Beolco known as Ruzante, painters and sculptors such as Tiziano Minio, and men of letters including Pietro Valeriano and Bernardino Scardeone, not to mention Pietro Bembo, Sperone Speroni and Giangiorgio Trissino. Cornaro not only established a true open-air theater in the courtyard of his house, against the backdrop of the famous Loggia of Falconetto (1524), but he also erected a vaulted octagonal room with niches, the so-called “Odéo”. This room was drawn by Sebastiano Serlio in book VII of his treatise Architettura (1575), and we know that it was used for learned conversations and musical performances. However, no documents have so far been discovered that would yield information as to what music was performed. It is probable that compositions by prominent Paduan musicians such as Antonio Stringari, many of which were published in Ottaviano Petrucci’s Undicesimo libro di frottole, were performed in the Odéo. An even more interesting case, however, is the collection entitled Canzone villanesche alla napolitana di Messere Adriano a quatro voci con la Canzon di Ruzante. This anthology forms part of a series of new editions and reprints published alternately by Girolamo Scotto and Antonio Gardano between 1544 and 1563. Among the many interesting aspects of this collection is the presence of the so-called Canzon di Ruzante, already announced in previous editions of 1544 but not finally included until the 1548 version. This piece, for which Adrian Willaert used a text in Paduan dialect entitled Zoia zentil, can be set within the specific cultural and artistic context of the Paduan home of Alvise Cornaro.

Giancarlo Rostirolla (Rome), Pier Leone Ghezzi disegnatore di antiche lire: Un excursus tra antiquaria, organologia, musicografia e mito [Pier Leone Ghezzi as an illustrator of ancient lyres: An examination between antiquarianism, organology, music history and mythology].

Pier Leone Ghezzi (1674–1755) was mainly active as a visual artist in Rome, where he was in contact with many artists, writers and scholars, and especially with the contemporary world of patronage of which he left memories in his vast graphic production of thousands of portraits and caricatures. Among this oeuvre prevail the protagonists of musical life with more then three hundred items. This dominance is a reflection of the artist’s passion for vocal and instrumental music and especially for the opera. However, Ghezzi also cultivated other interests closely related to medicine, scholarship, history, and archeology. In addition he was a collector of artifacts (particularly of rings, cameos and engraved stones) during a period in which Rome, on the one hand, promoted major excavations on Via Appia and when, on the other hand, the important aristocratic families vied for collecting all the prestigious items that came to light in their palaces and gardens as a result of purposeful excavations or of random discoveries. Ghezzi arranged numerous albums with drawings of antiquities, now mostly preserved in the Codex Ottobonianus of the Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana, particularly aiming to provide for himself and for posterity models that reflect different aspects of ancient art. These models were taken from paintings, sculptures, potteries and metal objects found in tombs (but also referred to illustrations that appeared in archeological publications at the turn of the seventeenth and the eighteenth centuries). One of these albums, dedicated to “Lyres, vases and the lightning of Zeus”, invites to connect archeology and music, with their historical scholarly examination. Although some of the drawings in this album that represent lyres and harps, have already been investigated in some specialized studies aimed at exploring Ghezzi’s passion for antiquity, the present paper consider them in a systematic manner. Analyzing the forty-seven drawings of lyres and their sources from MS Ottob. Lat. 3109, with respect to both the captions provided by Ghezzi and the scholarly literature, not only stimulates thoughts on organological and music-iconographic issues but also reveal the knowledge that the eighteenth century had about ancient music and about the multifaceted world of symbols and myths in which the art of sounds and its instruments were often the protagonists.

Cristina Santarelli (Istituto per i Beni Musicali in Piemonte, Turin), Nouveau Realisme or “Musical Iconoclasm”? The Case of Arman.

The founder of the group Nouveau Réalisme, together with Jean Tinguely, Yves Klein and others, the French artist Pierre Armand Fernandez (better known as Arman; 1928–2005) developed between 1952 and 1962 his most recognizable style, beginning with his two renowned concepts: Accumulations (collections of common and identical objects which he arranged in polyester casting or within Plexiglas cases) and Poubelles (collections of strewn refuse). During his American period, Arman explored creation via destruction: the Coupes and the Colères featured sliced, burnt or smashed objects arranged on canvas, often using items with a strong identity such as music instruments, specifically the strings and the brass. The burning of objects (Combustions) was the last stage of the destruction process undertaken by Arman, since Inclusions are objects plucked into resin or raw cement. Broken, burnt or entrapped in the rigidity of the various materials, the musical instruments lost its primary function and became contextualized in a new reality.

Arabella Teniswood-Harvey (University of Tasmania), Whistler’s Nocturnes: A Case Study in Musical Modeling.

The American-born, London-based artist James McNeill Whistler (1834–1903) was a pivotal figure in the transition between nineteenth-century modernism and twentieth-century abstraction. His significance lies largely in his use of music as a model to explore and justify his interest in the self-sufficiency of pictorial technique. Throughout his life, Whistler clearly indicated his musical interest by producing images of music-making (including a portrait of his friend Pablo de Sarasate) and—from 1867 onward—by using the titles Symphony, Harmony, Variations, Nocturne, Arrangement, Note, Scherzo, Bravura, and Caprice. Most significantly however, the actual language and experience of music informed his approach to color and composition. Whistler’s Nocturnes—images without musical subject matter—are used as a case study to demonstrate the ways in which he emulated musical operations in his art. Illustrating the aesthetic and formal similarities between these Nocturnes and their musical counterpart, discussed are the ways in which Whistler modeled his approach to color on musical tonality; referenced the visual layout of a score and the texture of music; and employed musical elements such as rhythm, pulse, attack and decay, counterpoint and melodic voicing in his art.