Music and imagery in many ways combine. From the imagery of lyrical music, to the bringing together of scenic architecture, orchestra and performance in opera, or the pairing of live music and moving images in early silent film, there is a way in which the combination of music and imagery will intensify dramatic effect, of any visual, or musical or narrative form.
With the development of popular culture in the 20th century different styles of music subdivided radically. They developed as a form of identity, in lifestyle and clothing, which was attached to a marketing apparatus that turned these stylistic subcultures into categories, and then produced imagery and fashion to match.
At the same time the rapid technological developments of the 20th century ave provided us with many new ways to combine the visual and the musical. Music arranging and composing software requires the visualisation of music patterns; conversely, this logic can be used for the matching of sounds to preexisting geometric and visual ideas.
Heinz Werner used the term physiognomic perception to refer to the form of perception attuned to expression or expressive attributes. In this view music does not simply accompany, or add to the perception of the visual. It enabled perception of gestures, faces, tone and mood of things. Elsewhere the visual marketing of music is a process that recognises the inevitability of cultural associations with any performance or appearance. And new ways of visualising sound or using sound as a response to a visual map are a creative use of the technologies which belong to all our lives. It is your business how or for what you combine music and the visual. Suffice it to recognise the incredible variety, possibility and power of their combination.
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