Music And Propaganda In The Visual Arts

International Conference


Warsaw, 29–31 March 2012




The visual arts have served as a main propaganda tool from the days of antiquity until modern times, and the links between various forms of artistic activity and politics have long been the subject of research. Without allowing for such ideological content, a proper understanding of numerous works of art (particularly of those commissioned by the ruling authorities, institutions or social groups) seems to be impossible. In many instances the choice of themes to be represented and the symbols employed therein aimed at specific audiences in order to shape particular views or even behaviours; some of these depictions make explicit or implicit use of musical devices. The conference will be devoted to the links between musical iconography, politics and ideology and the various manifestations of political, religious and commercial propaganda from antiquity to the twentieth century. We particularly encourage papers dealing with the following issues, but any other proposal fitting into the general scheme is welcome:


1)musico-pictorial propaganda within feudalism, absolute monarchy or totalitarianism;

2)musical symbolism, the ideology of the Catholic church and sixteenth-century Reformation;

3)national and social movements and its musical icons;

4)the place of music within posters, mass-media, and advertising.


Please submit proposals for 20-minutes presentations to the address below (deadline: 15 June 2011). The submission should contain an abstract of up to 350 words, together with contact details (participant’s name, name of the institution, email and postal address). The main language of the conference will be English.



Institute of Art of the Polish Academy of Sciences

in cooperation with

IMS Study Group on Musical Iconography


Contact person:

Dominika Grabiec, email:


Address of the hosting institution:

Instytut Sztuki PAN

Zakład Muzykologii

ul. Długa 26/28

00-950 Warszawa, Poland


Scientific committee:

Paweł Gancarczyk, Dominika Grabiec, Jolanta Guzy-Pasiak, Barbara Przybyszewska-Jarmińska, Björn R. Tammen, Marcin Zgliński