21º IMS Congress Atenas, 2022

Local/Global Cultural Processes of Music in the Periodical Press

Wednesday, August 24, 11:00–13:00 • Room 741 RT3-7

Roundtable Organizer: Maria Alice VOLPE (Federal University of Rio de Janeiro).

Roundtable Chair: Miriam ESCUDERO (Butler University & University of Havana).

Roundtable Respondent: Belén VEGA PICHACO (University of La Rioja)

Roundtable Participants: Claudia FALLARERO (University of Havana); Miriam ESCUDERO (University of Havana); Cristián GUERRA-ROJAS (University of Chile); Fátima Graciela MUSRI (National University of San Juan); Teresa CASCUDO (University of La Rioja); Maria Alice VOLPE (Federal University of Rio de Janeiro)

This roundtable is organized by the ARLAC-IMS Working Group “Music and Periodicals”. Articulating the global with the local through the study of the periodical press is a main methodological way for our proposition, as a fertile ground for the study of identities through music. From the nineteenth century, the music press in Latin America exhibited a development related to the progressive advance of the general press, moving increasingly from brief opinions, placed in limited sections of the newspapers, to specific articles in specialized reviews. In the rest decades of the twentieth century, issues of identity and nationhood were intertwined with the urban modernization of some Latin American cities in the process of industrialization. Social mobility and larger consumption of cultural products went hand in hand with the increasing entry of new repertoires, genres, musical instruments, and sonorities from diferent latitudes of the Americas and Europe. The periodical press, particularly the illustrated magazines, reflected ideological positions concerning artistic and popular cultures, the reception of European musical canon, and the defense of nationalism and traditional folk genres. Embedded in a cosmopolitan milieu, nurtured by European immigration to Latin America, issues about the local and the global were in intense negotiation.This roundtable begins with an approach to the reception of foreign composers in Havana newspapers between 1829 and 1867, aiming to examine the circulation of repertoire and the shaping of musical taste. The next topic also focuses on Cuban press, aiming to investigate the articulation of costumbrist caricature as a source of social research on music in nineteenth-century Havana, considering the historical, contextual, and iconological study of the semantic and aesthetic implications of the satirical illustrated press. In the same way, another presentation explores comics, graphic humor, and cartoons about music in Chilean newspapers and other periodicals from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Finally, a paper from Argentina deal with socio-cultural historical aspects as the positions about art and popular music in Argentina’s newspapers in the 1920s. Topics covered are composers’ and performers’ birthplaces, predominant use of the Italian language in the operatic repertoire, defense of a public management of the theater seasons, and safeguard of traditional folk genres. To demarcate the borders in the musical field and to point some alliances between radio broadcasting and incipient cinema was an action in which the music criticism was revealed as the protagonist.

List of Presentations

Fátima Graciela MUSRI: Cross-border Cultural Processes in the Argentinean Press in the 1930s. To access, click here:

Répertoire International d’Iconographie Musicale (RIdIM):

“The Aferlife of Antiquity in Music Iconography Research”

Tuesday, August 23, 09:00–12:00 • Room 917 4R2

Session Organizer/Chair: Antonio BALDASSARRE (Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts)

Session Participants: Daniel MUZZULINI (Zurich University of the Arts); Florence GÉTREAU (French National Centre for Scientific Research); Maria Alice VOLPE (Federal University of Rio de Janeiro); Angeliki LIVERI (Independent, Athens, Greece)

The topic of the afterlife of antiquity (Nachleben der Antike) played an important role in the foundation of twentieth-century iconological research (Warburg, Panofsky, Saxl, etc.). This subject will be explored in the second part of the session on music iconography organized by Association RIdIM in collaboration with MOISA, the International Society for the Study of Greek and Roman Music and Its Cultural Heritage. The papers delivered will present topics considering the paths that music iconography research took after Warburg and Panofsky.

List of Presentations

• Daniel Muzzulini - Ptolemy’s Musical Shadow in the Sixteenth Century

• Florence Gétreau - Fabry Garat (1774–after 1825): His Portrait, His Lyre-Guitar; Parisian Anticomania from Madame Vigée-Lebrun’s ‘Greek Supper’ to the Travels of the ‘Lyre of Anacreon’ in Spain and Russia

• Maria Alice Volpe - Isadora Duncan in Rio de Janeiro, from Displayed to Imagined Iconography: Morals and Mores in the Revival of Greek Antiquity

• Angeliki Liveri - The Afterlife of Antiquity in Vienna’s Art

Isadora Duncan in Rio de Janeiro, from displayed to imagined iconography:

morals and mores in the revival of Greek antiquity

Maria Alice Volpe

Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil


Isadora Duncan’s visit to Rio de Janeiro in 1916 is mostly remembered by the presumed affair she had with the Brazilian writer João do Rio (Paulo Barreto’s pen name), and the legendary episode at some of the Alto da Boa Vista’s cascades in which she is said to have performed a Salome-like veil dance to her intimate Brazilian friend. The Brazilian press constructed a long-lasting imaginary about the “divine Isadora”. News about her public and private life, her journeys and schools in different countries, and articles about her dance principles abounded over decades, both before her visit to Rio de Janeiro in August 1916, and after her tragic death in September 1927. The impressions caused by the performance of Isadora Duncan at the Theatro Municipal in Rio de Janeiro (TMRJ) were recorded in detailed and evocative reviews. Photographs and illustrations of Isadora Duncan and her students published in the Brazilian newspapers and magazines from 1910s to 1930s provide only a partial exhibition of the values at stake. The joint analysis of textual and iconographical materials has shown that there remained much to be imagined. The revival of Greek antiguity by Duncan placed each individual body as an aesthetic value in itself within the art of dancing. João do Rio’s praise “May your musical body be blessed!” realized the inseparable relationship between music and body that constituted Isadora's self, which took place through movement. Duncan’s reconstruction of the body throught the revival of Greek antiguity unfolded multiple meanings, from the simplicity of gesture, the connection with nature, the spontaneity of body movements to sexual freedom. The press had a moral decorum to be observed. Some ideas that one would dare to express in words, could not be displayed in pictures, so they were left to the reader's imagination. This study investigates the intriguing relationship between the texts describing and explaining the “Isadorable” and the images selected to represent her. It discusses the extent to which the iconography of Greek antiquity associated with Isadora Duncan was used by the Brazilian press, not only to evoke high aesthetic ideals, but also to divert the reader's gaze from the moral and mores transgressions expressed in the descriptions and perceptions of the surrounding texts. The iconographic analysis will take into account: the graphic art for each illustration; the framing, scenery and costumes related to Greek antiquity; the image treatment for body parts; which parts of the dancer's body are exposed; if the illustration represents a static or a moving body; what are the movements, body positions and poses associated with Greek antiquity; how the rhetoric of images relates to the rhetoric of surrounding texts; and what is the relationship between the images and the repertoire danced by Isadora at TMRJ. I also hope that this research will incite some further reflections about the reception of Greek antiquity by modern culture in a wider diversity of cultural contexts.

References (short)

Baldassarre, Antonio. “Reflections on methods and methodology in music Iconography,” Music in Art 25 /1-2 (2000): 33-38.

Carden-Coyne, Ana. Reconstructing the Body: Classicism, Modernism, and the First World War. Oxford University Press, 2009.

Dumesnil, Maurice. An Amazing Journey: Isadora Duncan in South America. New York: Ives Washburn Publisher, 1932.

Levidou, Katerina; Romanou, Katy; and Vlastos, George (eds.). Musical Receptions of Greek Antiquity: From the Romantic Era to Modernism. Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2016.

Seebass, Tilman. “Iconography and Dance Research,” Yearbook for Traditional Music 23 (1991): 33-51.