When Alfred Stieglitz began to photograph clouds, he wrote to a friend: "I had told Miss [Georgia] O'Keeffe I wanted a series of photographs which when seen by [composer] Ernest Bloch he would exclaim: Music! music! Man, why that is music!" In 1922, amidst significant personal changes, Stieglitz created his first series of cloud studies, alternately titled Music: A Sequence of Ten Cloud Photographs; Clouds in Ten Movements; and Music: A Series of Ten Pictures. These images were a precursor to Stieglitz's "Equivalents" series, in which he sought to depict emotional states through visual representations.
This foreboding landscape with its dominating, brooding black sky evokes the personal, familial tumult then occurring in Stieglitz's life.