Music in Art: International Journal for Music Iconography XXVII (2002)


Rosario Álvarez Martí­nez (Universidad La Laguna, Canarias), Musical Iconography of Romanesque Sculpture in the Light of Sculptors’ Work Procedures: The Jaca Cathedral, Las Platerías in Santiago de Compostela, and San Isidoro de León.

The earliest musical scenes in the Spanish Romanesque are represented in the Jaca Cathedral, the Gate of Las Platerí­as in the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, and the Lamb’s facade in the Church of St. Isidoro in León, as well as in the cloister in the Santo Domingo de Silos monastery (last decade of the 11th and first decade of the 12th century). They are based on biblical texts about King David with or without musicians and the Elders of Apocalypse. In the three analyzed images, David always holds the Greek lira modeled after miniatures and ivories originating in the Byzantine Empire. The instruments held by his attendants are usually more varied, even when the composition includes a representation of the Byzantine lira. Among these instruments are included symbolic triangular- or square-shaped psalteries, also based on miniatures from manuscripts, and promoting exegetic knowledge. At the same time, the shofar was introduced as a symbol for music in the Temple of Jerusalem, whose liturgy had been organized by David, while the organ made its first appearance as the ecclesiastical instrument. The two aerophones represented the opposite worlds of the old Temple and the new Church of Christ. The latter instrument served as a link between the ancient liturgy from Jerusalem and the new Christian Church. All this indicates that the real organological world surrounding sculptors did not have such a great influence on musical imagery as one may assume, but rather that instruments were based on descriptions in the exegetic and allegorical texts and other literary works. Even if in certain cases the sculptor had introduced in the composition the knowledge of the instrument that he may have seen or heard, he was executing the representation in his workshop from his memory, easily missing details.

Jordi Ballester (Universitat Autónoma de Barcelona), Past and Present of Music Iconography in Spain.

Outlined are the main trends in the research of music iconography in Spain—which started developing with studies of Juan Facundo Riaño (1887), Felip Pedrell (1901), and Enrique Serrano (1901)—and highlighted its goals for the future.

Anna Cazurra (Universitat de Barcelona), The Symbolism of the Muses at the Palau de la Música Catalana.

The Palau de la Música Catalana in Barcelona (built 1905–08) is one of the most representative buildings of the Catalan Modernism and the cultural movement Renaixença of the early 20th century. Its stage is decorated with eighteen female figures playing instruments, which are an explicit plastic expression of the ideology of the nationalistic music school impelled by the Catalan musicologist and composer Felip Pedrell (1841–1922). Pedrell tried to lay down the foundation of a Hispanic opera school through the creation of a Catalan operatic model inspired by Wagner’s ideas, that he thought could be adopted by the rest of Spanish composers. An analysis of the symbolism of the eighteen figures points out toward their connection with the aesthetics of the Catalan Modernism and Pedrell’s pan-Spanish nationalistic ideas.

Gerard Dapena (Parsons School of Design, New School University, New York), Spanish Film Scores in Early Francoist Cinema, 1940–1950.

An examination of the soundtracks from six films made during the 1940s—Eduardo Garcí­a Maroto’s Canelita en rama (1942), Luis Marquina’s Terremoto (1941), Juan de Orduña’s Serenata española (1947), José Luis Saenz de Heredia’s Bambú (1945), Benito Perojo’s Goyescas (1942), and Rafael Gil’s Teatro Apolo (1950)—demonstrate the different ways in which these musical scores may have used Spanish musical traditions (classical music, zarzuela, Andalusian and other regional folklore) in order to engage opposing notions and experiences of tradition and modernity in a dialectical fashion. Early Fancoist musical soundtracks are viewed as sites of crossings and mutual inflections between modern and traditional concepts of Spanish cultural identity. The variegated relation of film music to the moving image becomes a privileged space for those crossings and inflections, defining an ideological domain of hegemonic and counter-hegemonic world views and cultural models within the political, social, and cultural discourses tolerated by Francoism.

Gerhard Doderer (Universidade Nova de Lisboa), Portuguese Organ Cases of the Eighteenth Century: Splendor and Effectiveness.

An organ case has usually two different functions: one is to hold the contents of the organ, made up of the mechanisms and pipework (sometimes including the blowers), and the other is to display the decorative elements which are primarily on the façade. In smaller organs it is relatively simple to distinguish these two functions. When dealing with larger organs, however, it becomes almost impossible to separate the two parts, the function, which is to protect and give stability to the instrument, and the adornment, particularly when the organs are installed in the upper choirs of churches, chancels or on their own galleries. In the 18th century, organs in Portuguese churches followed this rule. Nevertheless, there was an established tendency aimed at attaining a synthesis between the two major functions of the case/façade of the instruments. Organ makers and sculptors managed to create a new and original dynamic based on liturgical traditions and specific, organological requirements, through an original concept in the organization of the elements making up the case/façade (placing of the vertical and horizontal reeds, structuring visible pipes into towers and niches, and by the use of carved, gold woodwork). During the second half of the 18th-century Portuguese organ cases were remarkable in relation to similar instruments in other European countries, not only in terms of enhancing the decorative element, but also in relation to the functionality of the organ case itself.

Romà Escalas Llimona (Museu de la Música de Barcelona), Claviorgans Attributed to Laurentius Hauslaib in New York, Moscow and Barcelona.

Given the shape, materials, and mechanisms of the claviorgans kept in the collections of the Museu de la Música in Barcelona (MDMB 821), the Crosby Brown Collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York (89.4.1191), and the Gosudarstvennyj Centralnyj Muzej Muzykal’noj Kultury imeni M.I. Glinki in Moscow, it is safe to conclude that all three instruments were built using the same criteria and format during a relatively short period of time in the early part of the 17th century and came from the workshop of Lurentius Hauslainb in Nuremberg. Their similarities in construction methods as well as the design of the cabinets are surprising, and they appear to be more an outcome of an established tradition than a product of an individual design of their maker. The measurements of the sounding parts of the instruments (provided in an appendix) makes it possible to establish their original tuning and later modifications.

José-Joaquí­n Esteve Vaquer & Cristina Menzel Sansó (Centre d’investigació musical de la Seu de Mallorca), Iconografía musical de los siglos XIV y XV en la catedral de Mallorca [Fourteenth- and fifteenth-century music iconography at the Mallorca cathedral].

The decorative sculptures of the Mallorca cathedral, a magnificent example of Mediterranean Gothic architecture, depict a great number of musical instruments. Most of them are found on the Mirador Portico, a gothic altarpiece, and the Armario de las Reliquias, dating from the 14th, 15th, and 16th centuries, respectively. Documental sources indicate that among the artists working there were both foreign sculptors (Rich Alamant and Joan de Valencines), and sculptors born in Mallorca (Pere Morey).

Sara González Castrejón (The Warburg Institute, London), The Royal Temperament Represented in Musical Emblems in Seventeenth-Century Spain.

The world harmony is one of the main concepts determining the vision of the cosmos in the 16th and 17th centuries, since every part of the creation was supposed to be subordinated to a previous order imposed by God. This idea influences the conception of man and also the conception of the state—an intermediate step between cosmos and man. In the emblematic literature there are some images related to music and musical instruments (especially string ones) which become a symbol of the harmonoic kingdom, with the strings representing the subjects in concord. At the same time, the king is supposed to recreate on the Earth that order established by God in the cosmos, so he sometimes appears as a musician, “tuning” his people to get a political consonance. This kind of symbols are often found in ephemeral architectures designed for royal festivals. Images related to the royal temperament show that the monarch cannot be defeated by his own anger, but must combine justice and clemence when ruling his people. Now the strings are compared with the passions and the consonance with the righteous soul, necessary to achieve a fair government.

Josep Lluí­s i Falcó (Universitat de Barcelona), Tipologias de aparición del músico en el cine y su aplicación al cine español (1930–2000) [Typology of representation of musicians in film and its application on Spanish cinema (1930–2000)].

Films have always used musical characters or musical subject matters as a source for screenplays, thus configuring a challenging “icono-sphere” that includes composers, instrumental performers, singers, and music schools. Four types of representations of musicians on the screen can be identified: they can be presented, represented, veiled, and simulated. In Spanish films, these categories can be recognized in several versions of the biography of the tenor Julián Gayarre (played by Alfredo Krauss and José Carreras), Pedro Almodóvar’s Tacones lejanos (in English High Heels), and musical films with the singers Sara Montiel, Julio Iglesias, and Marisol. The 1941 biopic on Pablo de Sarasate, on the other hand, is used as an example of the film genre in which the actor had to simulate virtuoso playing the violin without actually playing it.

Greta J. Olson (Chinese University of Hong Kong), Angel Musicians, Instruments and Late-Sixteenth-Century Valencia.

Angel musicians copiously decorate the frescoed walls and ceilings of the church of the Real Colegio–Seminario de Corpus Christi (Valencia). The institution was founded by the Valencian Archbishop Juan de Ribera (1532–1611) and the church dedicated in 1604. The walls, painted by Bartolomé Matarana between 1598 and his death in 1605/6, demonstrate a new approach to the groupings and choice of instruments despite being modeled upon the Gloria (choir ceiling fresco) at the church of El Escorial. Standard instruments, such as organ, harp, virginal, lute, sackbut, and a variety of wind, string and percussion instruments are poised near images of more popular instruments like the string drum and pipe, fiddle, or bladder-pipe. Nonetheless, they are arranged according to common instrument usage patterns and satisfy an underlying Counter-Reformation philosophy.

Luis Robledo (Conservatorio Superior de Música de Madrid), El órgano portativo del trí­ptico del Monasterio de Piedra (1390): Hipótesis sobre la disposición de su teclado [Portative organ on the triptych from the Monasterio de Piedra (1390): A hypothesis about the disposition of its keyboard].

The portative organ represented in the 1390 triptych from the Monasterio de la Piedra (presently at the Real Academia de la Historia, Madrid) has an atypical sequence of natural and accidental keys (“white” and “black” keys). Although the anonymous artist could have represented it this way out of capriciousness or lack of skill, a close analysis shows that this arrangement is coherent from a musical point of view and corresponds to the mode protus, both natural and transposed. In addition, with the help of infrared and ultraviolet rays it is possible to establish a hypothetical arrangement of the totality of the keyboard, which coincides with the number of triple rows of tubes. Therefore, the instrument could represent a real model used in the court of Juan I, a monarch whose fondness for keyboard instruments is well documented.