Journal article Open Access

The Intersection Between Art, Music, and Society: Musical Iconography's Social Dynamics Impact

Edson Leite

Art Style | Art & Culture International Magazine


This research focuses on musical iconography as a valuable source of information that refers to understanding themes and concepts supported by knowledge of history, sociology, anthropology, philosophy, traditions, popular wisdom, etc., to perform an interpretation of the intrinsic meaning of civilization’s documents historically. It is related to the works and from the whole context involving different temporal conditions to enable testimony and imagination in a vivid way that characterizes a fundamental means of expression and communication within the universe of art, referring to symbolic devices that conform to the social memory of a recent past. The images hold information linked to the history of art and the time they were produced and constitute tools for understanding the world. Music carries traits characteristic of the society that makes it and processes information decoded by musical iconography. Integrating the senses and the presence of rhythm as a form in all the arts allows the appreciation of musical iconography in a broad sense, as something that reaches the various manifestations of art and human communication, intertwining artistic proposals. From modernity on, Baudelaire, Kandinsky, and, later, Messiaen reported the correspondences between the senses and sensory experiences with constant references to music and musical metaphor. Such experiences enabled a new meaning and application to the term musical iconography, which we understand to be extended to non-figurative works. The artistic practices involving the universe of music will be analyzed. They will include artworks from the Museum of Contemporary Art of the University of São Paulo (MAC USP), one of the most significant art collections of contemporary art in Brazil and Latin America. The reflection on the music represented in modern and contemporary images will reveal aspects of the social context and current artistic production, enabling the historical review and interpretation, thinking the dimension of musical iconography.

Art Style, Art & Culture International Magazine is an open-access, biannual, and peer-reviewed online magazine that aims to bundle cultural diversity. All values of cultures are shown in their varieties of art. Beyond the importance of the medium, form, and context in which art takes its characteristics, art is considered the significance of socio-cultural, historical, and market influence.
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