Generally music iconography is considered to be the research field dealing with music on the basis of visual source material. However, applying visual source material is much more than a simple matter. Already in 1972, Emanuel Winternitz, one of the founding fathers of music iconography research, referred clearly and unequivocally to this instance: “We cannot simply look at a painting showing string instruments and say ‘no drones,’ or look at an angel concert in paintings or sculptures and say ‘five strings plus seven singers and two trumpets’. Things are usually much more complex.”(Winternitz, 1972:80).
This lecture will explore the complexities of the field based on the analysis and discussion of a selection of visual sources with musical subject matter.