Lecture with digital slides and high quality recorded music
The Cat and the Fiddle: Images of Musical Humour from Medieval to Modern Times
Pigs playing bagpipes, monkeys fiddling, cat orchestras with owls conducting, humans and hybrids playing fire irons and kitchen implements: such images go back to the middle ages, where they often occur in the marginalia of illuminated manuscripts or as church sculpture. Musical humour later becomes a feature in Renaissance Flemish and Dutch art and in the 18th century is adopted for satirical purposes by Hogarth and other artists in Britain. In Victorian times such humour finds its way into children’s book illustrations, while the musical cartoons of 20th century artists such as Gerard Hoffnung and Ronald Searle are enjoyed by adults and children alike.
The Cat and the Fiddle: Images of Musical Humour from Medieval to Modern Times (Bodleian Library, Oxford).