Iberian musical crossroads through the ages: Images of music-making in their transcultural exchanges

Fifteenth symposium of the ICTM Study Group on Iconography of the Performing Arts
organized by the Societat Catalana de Musicologia, Institut d’Estudis Catalans

Barcelona, 17–19 October 2018

Iberian peninsula—the home of Spanish, Catalan, Portuguese, Basque, and Galician peoples—has been a significant economic and political region through the history, which had been both conquered by the powers coming from elsewhere and generating its own forces exploring and conquering other regions and cultures in the world. From the Bronze Age onwards, explorers and traders used the peninsula as the crossroad between the Mediterranean and much of the rest of the world. The Phoenicians came to Iberia in the ninth century BC, and the Greeks followed two centuries later. The Romans conquest of Hispania started during the second Punic War in 206 BC and by the time of Augustus near the entire peninsula was under the control of Rome. During the Middle Ages, Al-Andalus with its Islamic administration was open to an import of Arab knowledge, philosophy, culture, arts and music. Later on, Spain and Portugal were the strongest naval powers in the world and their overseas explorations have radically altered both the old and new worlds: Spain influenced South American and Caribbean cultures, and even the Philippines; the Portuguese travellers, traders and conquerors reached Brazil, sailed along the African coast, and arrived all the way to India, Malacca, and Macao. Through the crown of Aragon, Catalonia experienced cultural exchanges within the western Mediterranean Sea and southern Italy. In addition to the overseas networks, cultural and artistic exchanges were also occurring in Europe through commercial and political ties, and also through marriages between the royal houses. Throughout the history pilgrims walking the Camino de Santiago, or visiting the shrines of Montserrat or Fatima were bringing with them songs, dances and instruments from all over Europe.

All these and many other explorations and migrations created a fertile framework for a rich exchange of musical ideas, sounds, forms, rhythms, dances, and instruments. The Barcelona conference of the ICTM Study Group on the Iconography of Performing Arts will examine visual sources documenting transborder and transcultural transmission of musical ideas between the peoples of the Iberian Peninsula and the rest of the world. Papers are invited concerning the following topics:

  • Sounds of the ancient world: The Iberian cultures in an exchange with other Mediterranean traditions
  • Islamic sounds in Al-Andalus
  • Music and dances of Spanish Sephardim
  • Music along the road: Travelers and pilgrimages in Spain and Portugal
  • The Borgia family as a mediator of musical life between Iberia, Rome and the Vatican
  • Music and explorers (Columbus, Vasco da Gama, trade routes to Latin America, Asia, Africa)
  • Portuguese ethnohistoric accounts about music of Brazil, Macao, and Estado da Índia
  • Spanish encounters with music cultures of pre-Colombian America
  • Music in Catholic missions of New Spain and in the Christianization of Goa
  • Exchanges between Catalonia and kingdoms of Naples and Sicily
  • Reception of the Italian opera in Spain and Portugal
  • Zarzuela and other music theater in Latin America
  • Spain as a topos in music exoticism (opera, operetta, ballet, dance); Orientalism in Spanish art
  • Exchanges of musical instruments between Iberian Peninsula and the rest of the world
  • Internal musical exchanges between the peoples of the Iberian peninsula
  • Spanish/Portuguese iconographic models used in Latin American decorative programs
  • Transcultural musical topics in the 20th- and 21st-century art
  • Proposals related to other transcultural music exchanges in the world may be also considered

English is preferred language for the conference presentations.
Abstracts of 250–300 words may be submitted before 2 April 2018 to:

Zdravko Blažeković
Research Center for Music Iconography
City University of New York, The Graduate Center
365 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10016-4309
zblazekovic@gc.cuny.edu

and

Jordi Ballester
Societat Catalana de Musicologia
Institut d’Estudis Catalans
Carrer del Carme 47
08001 Barcelona
Jordi.Ballester@uab.cat

Decoration of Performance Space: Meaning and Ideology

Thirteenth symposium of the ICTM Study Group on Iconography of the Performing Arts,
organized by the Centro studi per la ricerca documentale sul teatro e il melodramma europeo Fondazione Giorgio Cini, Venice

Venice, 17–20 May 2016

Thinking of music performance, we usually consider the action happening on the theater or concert stage, in front of spectators. However, performance space surrounding the spectators, its interior and exterior architectural decoration, as well as fashion of spectators and their habits are also constituent elements of a performance, supplementing the experience of a live event. Decoration elements, such as mythological compositions painted on theater ceilings, state insignia placed above the proscenium, or portraits of distinguished playwrights, composers or performers on theatre facades reflect the attitudes of past times and ideologies of political powers patronizing performances; sculptures accumulated over the time in theaters’ foyers visually represent historical memory of the space becoming (national) shrines to performing arts. Theaters and other performance spaces are architectural artworks, often representing the pinnacle in artistic careers of their architects and interior designers, frequently appropriating the status of urban iconic symbols.

The conference will focus on visual programs and decorations of spaces in which musical performances occur and the self-representation of audiences attending performances. All types of performance venues and performances which include music should be considered, including concerts and music theatre, religious ceremonies, contemporary popular music events, urban spectacles, pageantries and parades. Proposals are invited concerning:

  • Architectural interior and exterior decorations of performance spaces
  • Reflections of political power presented in theatrical performances
  • Ideological context of religious rituals and their spaces
  • Political power demonstrated in public spectacles and parades
  • Theater and concert hall architecture
  • Spectators and audiences (habits, fashion, hair-styling, behavior)
  • Interpretation and issues concerning opera staging and scenography in general

English is preferred language for the conference presentations.
Abstracts of 200–300 words may be submitted before 15 February 2016 to:

Zdravko Blažeković
Research Center for Music Iconography
City University of New York, The Graduate Center
365 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10016-4309
zblazekovic@gc.cuny.edu

and

Maria Ida Biggi
Centro studi per la ricerca documentale sul teatro e il melodramma europeo
Fondazione Giorgio Cini
Isola di San Giorgio Maggiore, Venice
mariaida.biggi@cini.it

Images of Music-Making and Its Trans-Cultural Exchanges

Fourteenth symposium of the ICTM Study Group for Iconography of the Performing Arts,
organized by the Xi’an Conservatory of Music (西安音乐学院)

Xi’an, 27–31 October 2016

Besides notated compositions, preserved instruments, and writings on music, images can also furnish an abundance of information important for music history. The conference will provide scholars of music iconography with a forum to present their views on exchanges of cultural and musical influences. For the Chinese scholars, this will be an opportunity to get acquainted in more detail with the Western visual sources, as well as the research methodologies and techniques facilitated by the Western scholars which are often significantly different from the Chinese models. For the Western scholars, on the other hand, the conference will bring into focus the richness of Chinese iconographic sources, their significance in the music history of Asia, and methods of research facilitated within Chinese academia.

Proposals for Papers on the Following Topics are Invited:

  • Music culture of China and other Asian countries reflected in visual sources
  • Instruments and their symbolism represented in visual arts
  • Scenography and iconography of music theater
    (traditional Chinese/Asian theater forms, Western opera and music theater)
  • Iconography of dance
  • European visions of Chinese and other Asian musics
  • Methods of research in music iconography
  • Papers on other topics related to music iconography will be considered

English is preferred language for the conference presentations.
Abstracts of 200–300 words may be submitted before 15 March 2016 to:

Zdravko Blažeković
Research Center for Music Iconography
The City University of New York Graduate Center
365 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10016-4309
zblazekovic@gc.cuny.edu

and

杨婷婷 / Yang Tingting
Research Center for Northwestern Ethnic Music
Xi’an Conservatory of Music
No. 108, Chang’an Mid Road
Xi’an, Shaanxi Province 710061
xbmzyyyjzx@163.com

Timing of the symposium is coordinated with the dates of the 10th symposium of the International Study Group for Music Archaeology, which will be held at the Hubei Provincial Museum in Wuhan, 21–25 October 2016.