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216 × 138 mm
320 pages
40 illustrations
06 Nov 2017

Counterpoints Dialogues between Music and the Visual Arts Philippe Junod

Multimedia experiments are everywhere in contemporary art, but the collaboration and conflict between the various arts has a long history. From opera to the symphonic poem, to paintings inspired by music, many attempts have been made to pair sounds with pictures and to combine the arts of time and space. Counterpoints: Dialogues between Music and the Visual Arts explores this artistic evolution from ancient times to the present day.

Philippe Junod’s main focus is music and its relationship with painting, sculpture and architecture. He draws on theoretical and practical examples to show how different art movements throughout history have embraced or rejected creative combinations: The Renaissance, Neoclassicism and certain brands of modernism tried to claim the purity of each mode of expression, while other movements such as Romanticism, Symbolism and Surrealism called for a fusion of the arts. Counterpoints is a unique cultural history that provides a critical understanding of a popular but unheralded art form.

‘this is a comprehensive, historical introduction to the relationship between music and art. Philippe Junod examines that idea of an original unity between the arts, their battle for supremacy and the complex interweaving of parallels, analogies and synaesthesia (could colours be used like notes in a scale?) . . . this is a valuable and eloquent reference work, taking us to the dissolution of categories we find today.’ – BBC Music Magazine

‘An astonishing number of books have been written to propose or define various practical and theoretical harmonies of music and art. This is not another one of those books. This work expertly synthesizes the key issues, debates, and voices in the connections (or, just as importantly, disconnects) between music and the visual arts that have been ongoing for hundreds of years. Counterpoints accomplishes this by drawing on a remarkable array of primary and secondary sources from Pythagoras . . . Junod’s cyclopedic knowledge and scholarly acumen, clever, playful style, and passion for music combine to make this a rare scholarly work that deserves readership beyond academia. The illustrations, ranging from the fifteenth to the twentieth centuries, illuminate the discussion and will intrigue the reader. This book is a polymath’s Kircherian exploration. Highly recommended for libraries supporting art, music, and architecture.’ – ARLIS/NA

‘For decades colleagues and I have been enlightened and delighted by the insights of Philippe Junod, art historian extraordinaire with an expert passion for music (gleaned in part from study with Nadia Boulanger). At last English-speaking readers can enjoy his sympathy and depth of understanding, always conveyed with refreshing turns of phrase that lose nothing in this excellent translation. Reading Philippe Junod, I always sense anew, and with enjoyment, the rich fabric of our artistic history.’ – Professor Roy Howat, concert pianist, editor, author, Research Fellow at the Royal Academy of Music, London and Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, Glasgow

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Philippe Junod was Professor of History of Art at the University of Lausanne from 1971 to 2003. He is the author of numerous works on art theory.