What is the correct Chinese translation of:

English: musical illustration

German: Musikillustration

I’ve already asked this question to a Chinese-German translator, but I didn’t receive a definite answer, rather, after a long debate in which I was trying, without great success, to make clear what I mean, he was saying I should simply say 插图 for this art genre, which doesn’t satisfy me until today. I proposed the term 音乐插图 which, according to him, is incomprehensible to Chinese native speakers in its meaning. Hence, I want to ask here as well as the topic is not yet finished for me.

What kind of art genre is meant by musical illustration?

A musical illustration is the result of a media transfer (媒介转换) from a piece of music to a painting or drawing. In the end, as the translator skeptically noted in our conversation, this "can be everything". As the image a person might perceive from listening to a piece of music might be different for every single person, this is correct. The relation between the piece of music and its visualization is rather loose and personal.

A musical illustration is, however, not necessarily the label or the cover of a record, nor is it some sort of picture of amplitude or frequency you sometimes see when listening to online music, which is usually computer generated.

If you want to see some example of what I mean with musical illustration, you can check my Allegro-Series (快板系列) on my Instagram (link in bio).

  • Simply treat it as a new word to Chinese readers, with brief definition and explanation provided alongside the translated work to help them understand what it means. Jan 23 at 3:46
  • Thanks 🙏, the answer's linked article's 音乐抽象画 nails it also along with an explanation. My works in this regard are also abstract, more precisely: soft abstract. Jan 23 at 8:50

1 Answer 1


I don't think there is an elementary word for this. You may call it 音乐绘画 and give an explanation of it.

See this article about an artist: https://m.sohu.com/a/593365348_121028563/?pvid=000115_3w_a I think he is painting similar things, but more abstract.

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