top of page

Music and Visual Culture in England, c. 1400-1750

Updated: Jun 11, 2022


Shakespeare Institute, Stratford-upon-Avon

15th-16th September 2022

Distinguished Professor Patricia Fumerton, Keynote Speaker

Trevelyon Miscellany, (1608), fol. 189r (Washington: Folger Shakespeare Library, Object No. MS. V.b.232).

The connection between music and art has long been a trope of learned discourse in England, drawing broadly from a long standing and cross-cultural body of influence, text, and material. Such was the theoretical relationship; however the most cursory of glances over objects that occupy the uneasy hinterland between the musical and the visual reveal that beneath claims of kinship (in terms of metaphor, in terms of praxis) the association was of a deeper, more complex, knotty and surprising symbiosis. Musical and visual representation are two forms of cultural expression that have perpetually been in dialogue with each other, but this dialogue has not always been harmonious and indeed has been sometimes downright fractious.

This event seeks to understand better the relationship between the musical and the visual in early modern England, in theory and in practice. How did early modern English people conceive of the relationship between visual and musical representation? What was its quality or essence? What approaches to the study of musical-visual culture, or indeed co-study of the musical and visual, serve as evidence for historical study? Historiographically, can each of these cultural forms, each with their own methodological customs of analysis, ever sit easily together?

Topics for twenty-minute papers or performance-presentations may include:

  • Methodological explorations of music and visual culture vs musical-visual culture.

  • Relationships between sight and sound in terms of sense perception and connections to the passions.

  • Music in the context of visual spaces (including the theatre).

  • Musical notation as a visual phenomenon.

  • Encounters between music and visual culture that bear witness to the developing discourse of whiteness and race.

  • Musical iconography.

  • Visual and material objects as evidence for musicological scholarship.

  • Thematic, figurative, or emblematic co-experience of music and visual culture (Classicisms, love, sleep, recreation, etc).

  • Musical and visual modes of experiencing the divine.

  • Objects of musical and visual culture that speak to global encounters between the English and the non-western world.

This event is in person. If you'd like recorded video streams of the talks sent to you after the event, please fill out this form: - they are available for a limited time only.

Music and Visual Culture in England
Download PDF • 10.27MB



bottom of page