عنوان مقاله [English]
Music iconography is a useful source for uncovering and investigating important musical-historical knowledge. Mainly derived from paintings and iconographical sources, it can often provide insights which cannot be found in written sources. Studying Western paintings in terms of music iconography is common practice, albeit with an awareness of the issues the field faces. However, the study of Persian paintings and pictorial representations of music faces greater problems, due to the lack of realism in the conceptualization of Eastern art. The motivation behind this manuscript was provided by the field’s common interpretation and explanation deficiencies, as well as the lack of methodology for Iranian researchers. This article may be useful for Persian music iconography researchers, and will help them to better explain the field. As one aim of this essay is to help musicology and ethnomusicology researchers, an effort has been made to explain key points of musical interpretation pertinent to Persian paintings. This study examines relevant iconography, music iconography, literature reviews of music iconography, the role of the art history in music iconography, the awareness of artistic styles, the reliability of images, and the representation of common musical instruments in each era. It also introduces international music iconography research centers, databases and conferences, and at the end, proposes practical steps for studying a picture containing musical elements in Iranian art. One key point in surveying music iconography is that the primary purpose of many of these paintings was not to provide musical information, yet music researchers can still interpret them for musical knowledge. Thus, comprehending the artistic styles in this field, and the contemporary era of the artwork, remain two of the most important interpretive points to be taken into account. The results of the paper indicate that, although there is no realistic point of view in Persian paintings, musical instruments (especially in the Timurid and the latter Safavid period) are illustrated realistically; Persian paintings regarding musical instruments are therefore generally reliable. In some pictures, there are left-handed players; due to the rules of visual composition, however, nothing can be definitively concluded regarding their handedness. Based on the concept of “Transformation” as proposed in Erwin Panofsky’s iconological methodology, it can be understood that – in spite of an unchanging text in various historical editions of the Shahnameh – the musical instruments in its illustrations are inspired by the contemporary era. Therefore, for instance, the Safavid and Qajar Shahnameh manuscripts depict musical instruments from their own respective periods. Musical treatises, historical books, travel accounts and other written documents should be considered for comparative study and enhanced interpretation, as well as for the analysis of pictures relating to music. With reference to various key points in music iconography, 18 steps are proposed that may provide practical methodological guidance for researchers in this field. An effort has been made to choose the most impressive pictures as case studies. This article is an applied research project, and has been carried out using descriptive, analytical, historical and comparative research methods.