Magic lantern slides belonging to the musical genre are defined as having four specific properties: (1) orientation to the professional lanternist market; (2) the social context of public exhibition involving public interaction; (3) high scenic complexity —the slides were designed to be shown with the reading of printed texts supplied by the manufacturer, a vocal performance and / or musical accompaniment; and (4) the use of contents of the musical and lyrical literary traditions. According to the variability of the musical work used, and to the combination of the auxiliary formal languages involved in the final mise en scene, lyrical genre slides can be grouped into three subjects: song, anthem and hymn.
– Song magic lantern slides were inspired by or adapted from an admired song, which expressed a range of topics, from a satirical or elegiac emotion, to didactic moral teaching.
– Magic lantern slides with hymns were inspired by or adapted from musical texts, which tended to exalt and praise religious issues.
– Magic lantern slides with anthems were inspired by or adapted from musical texts, which were used as a symbol for a distinct group, and often tended to exalt national issues.
These slides had the texts inserted into the image itself, and they were synchronously screened with an individual singer, or with a choral performance inviting the active participation of this audience in the hall, with or without musical accompaniment.