Applied musicology and performance 

Medieval Musical Iconography

6 sessions - Self-paced

Course Description

Musical iconography encompasses the study of music depictions in the visual arts. It is extremely useful for the study of medieval music as it can offer us information about performers, musical instruments, and performance practices omitted in contemporaneous music sources and treatises. However, medieval images are not “photographic” in nature.  They respond to complex visual conventions shared between their creators and audiences, which are rather foreign to modern viewers. For this reason, the music iconographer has to develop a “period eye” to ensure a precise interpretation of the music data recorded in medieval art. To this end, medieval images have to be placed within specific artistic styles and trends, in relation to textual sources, and in the social and cultural contexts of their creators, sponsors, and audiences.

In this course, students will:


Distinguish the different principles, styles, and trends of medieval art (800-1300)


Identify the main subjects, genres, and types of music depictions in the different periods of medieval art


Locate iconographic sources


Analyze medieval music depictions in combination with other contemporaneous music-related sources (music treatises, written music, payment records, religious and secular literature, archeological specimens)


Utilize some of the most important paradigms proposed by art historians and musicologists in the study of medieval art and medieval musical iconography


Complement other medieval fragmentary music data with the help of iconographic information


Develop theories about performance practice based on the study of iconographic sources

Dr. Mauricio MolinaInstructor:
Dr. Mauricio Molina



February 19 to June 10, 2024
6 sessions – Self-paced



Price 1.5 creds

1.5 credit ECTS: 320€


English - Spanish


Open to musicians, musicologists, and people interested in Medieval music and the Middle Ages in general (with or without experience playing medieval musical instruments)


Session 1 | Developing a “Period Eye:” Paradigms from Art History

Session 2 | Musical Iconography: Developing a Methodology

Session 3 | Texts and Representations

Session 4 | Iconographic Models, Traditions, Conventions

Session 5 | Iconography and Musical Instruments

Session 6 | Iconography and Performance Practice

Teaching Methodology

This course will be comprised of:

    • 6 tutorial videos of 20-35 minutes each (total 3.5 hours)
    • 6 recorded lectures of 45 minute each (total 4.5 hours)
    • 3 biweekly live Q&A sessions of 1hour and 15 minutes each (total 3.5 hours) conducted through the course. The sessions will be recorded so that students can access them at any time.
    • Downloadable materials and links to additional resources

Schedules and assignments:

    • The course is self-paced.
    • The majority of pre-recorded video lessons, lectures, and study materials will be posted on the first day of the term.
    • Students will have access to all session and their materials until the last day of the term.
    • The student workload to review the materials and complete the assignments is approximately 6.25 hours per session
    • There will be some suggested deadlines to submit assignments
    • Homework will be accepted until a week before the end of the term
    • Students taking the course for credit must complete all assignments and class requirements

Technical Requirements

    • Broadband Internet connection / WIFI

    • External or internal webcam
    • External or internal microphone
    • Speakers or headphones
    • Possibility of printing downloaded materials
    • Possibility of scanning your assignments
    • Possibility of auto-recording (audio and video)

Enroll Now

Places are limited for each section, so sign up early.

The International Course of Medieval Music Besalú offers singers and instrumentalists the possibility of studying the repertoires of monodic and polyphonic music composed between the 11th and 13th centuries.

With the support of: