A History of Portugal Through Images: The Role of Musical Iconography in the Conception of Symbology’s of Narration, Meaning and Power

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History (from Greek ἱστορία, historia) meaning “inquiry; knowledge acquired by investigation” (Joseph J. 2008: 163) is one of many possible definitions of an academic discipline. It is an umbrella term comprising past events as well as the memory, discovery, collection, organization, presentation, and interpretation of these events. Historians seek knowledge of the past using historical sources such as written documents, oral accounts, material artifacts, ecological markers and, of course, visual sources (iconography). Herodotus, a 5th-century BC Greek historian, and geographer is often considered the “father of history” in the Western tradition (a title conferred on him by the ancient Roman orator Cicero) although he has also been criticized as the “father of lies” (Vives 1913). The point in here is that every type of source or historical record may be seen as, at best, an approximation of a real historical fact and/or action, and strongly conditioned by a personal vision, a patron, religion, politics, etc. In the present, we still do not now the veracity or forgery of some historical documents (including visual sources in musical iconography). Music iconography and history are closely related, as shown by the huge number of images already documented in articles, books, databases, this just considering the academic milieu. Nevertheless, Portuguese History and History of Music was never seen and presented this way. This article intents to be the genesis of a future History of Portugal through images. The visual sources here presented are depictions of events, figures, episodes where music as a major role to play. Despite the discrepancy of sources here studied (ceramic tiles, sculpture, painting, street art) and the giant time boundary, it is the more significant – in this case – to offer, precisely, diversity.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAdvances in Design, Music and Arts II. EIMAD 2022
Subtitle of host publicationSpringer Series in Design and Innovation
EditorsD. Raposo, J. Neves, R. Silva, L. Correia Castilho, R. Dias
Place of PublicationCham
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-031-09659-4
ISBN (Print)978-3-031-09658-7
Publication statusPublished - 2023

Publication series

NameSpringer Series in Design and Innovation
ISSN (Print)2661-8184
ISSN (Electronic)2661-8192


  • Genesis of a future history of Portugal
  • History of Portugal
  • Musical iconography


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