1st Edition

Musical Voices of Early Modern Women
Many-Headed Melodies

Edited By

Thomasin LaMay

ISBN 9781138258778
Published March 6, 2017 by Routledge
470 Pages

USD $62.95

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Book Description

Recent scholarship has offered a veritable landslide of studies about early modern women, illuminating them as writers, thinkers, midwives, mothers, in convents, at home, and as rulers. Musical Voices of Early Modern Women adds to the mix of early modern studies a volume that correlates women's musical endeavors to their lives, addressing early modern women's musical activities across a broad spectrum of cultural events and settings. The volume takes as its premise the notion that while women may have been squeezed to participate in music through narrower doors than their male peers, they nevertheless did so with enthusiasm, diligence, and success. They were there in many ways, but as women's lives were fundamentally different and more private than men's were, their strategies, tools, and appearances were sometimes also different and thus often unstudied in an historical discipline that primarily evaluated men's productivity. Given that, many of these stories will not necessarily embrace a standard musical repertoire, even as they seek to expand canonical borders. The contributors to this collection explore the possibility of a larger musical culture which included women as well as men, by examining early modern women in "many-headed ways" through the lens of musical production. They look at how women composed, assuming that compositional gender strategies may have been used differently when applied through her vision; how women were composed, or represented and interpreted through music in a larger cultural context, and how her presence in that dialog situated her in social space. Contributors also trace how women found music as a means for communicating, for establishing intellectual power, for generating musical tastes, and for enhancing the quality of their lives. Some women performed publicly, and thus some articles examine how this impacted on their lives and families. Other contributors inquire about the economics of music and women, and how in different situations some women may have been financially empowered or even in control of their own money-making. This collection offers a glimpse at women from home, stage, work, and convent, from many classes and from culturally diverse countries - including France, Spain, Italy, England, Austria, Russia, and Mexico - and imagines a musical history centered in the realities of those lives.

Table of Contents

Contents: Introduction To The Many Headed Ones: Preliminaries, Thomasin LaMay; Portrait of the artist as (female) musician, Linda Phyllis Austern. Women En-Voiced: Chivalric romance, courtly love and courtly song: female vocality and feminine desire in the world of Amadis de Gaule, Jeanice Brooks; Music and women in Early Modern Spain: some discrepancies between educational theory and musical practice, Pilar Ramos López; Virtue, illusion, Venezianità: vocal bravura and the early Cortigiana Onesta, Shawn Marie Keener; Strong men - weak women: gender representation and the influence of Lully's 'operatic style' on French Airs Sérieux (1650-1700), Catherine E. Gordon-Seifert. Women On Stage: From whore to Stuart ally: musical Venuses on the Early Modern English stage, Amanda Eubanks Winkler; With a sword by her side and a lute in her lap: Moll Cutpurse at the Fortune, Raphael Seligmann; La sirena antica dell'Adriatico: Caterina Porri, a 17th-century Roman prima donna on the stages of Venice, Bologna, and Pavia, Beth L. Glixon; Serf actresses in the Tsarinas' Russia: social class cross-dressing in Russian serf theaters of the 18th century, Inna Naroditskaya. Women from the Convents: The good mother, the reluctant daughter, and the convent: a case of musical persuasion, Colleen Reardon; 'Hired' nun musicians in Early Modern Castile, Colleen Baade; Sor Juana Inès de la Cruz and music: Mexico's 'tenth muse', Enrique Alberto Arias. Women, Collections, And Publishing: Patronage and personal narrative in a music manuscript: Marguerite of Austria, Katherine of Aragon, and London Royal 8 G.vii, Jennifer Thomas; Composing from the throat: Madalena Casulana's Primo libro de madrigali, 1568, Thomasin LaMay; Princess Elizabeth Stuart as musician and muse, Janet Pollack; Epilogue: Francesca among women, a '600 gynecentric view, Suzanne Cusick. Index.

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'An invaluable contribution to our understanding of musical women and women's music in the early modern period ... takes us well beyond the studies of 'exceptional' female composers that have managed to infiltrate the canon, combining rigorous scholarship with a keen understanding of the political and social ambiguities faced by women in the early modern period with an admirable breadth of focus. Musicologists, cultural historians, and their students will delight in these nuanced studies of courtesans, nuns, noble patrons, opera singers, and cross-dressed singer-actors.' Wendy Heller, Princeton University, author of Emblems of Eloquence: Opera and Women's Voices in Seventeenth-Century Venice 'This fascinating collection looks at the special and often intimate musical culture of renaissance and baroque women...The essays are detailed and enthusiastic--evidence of the contributors' dedication--and the footnotes, which stand in for a bibliography, will lead readers to many compelling sources. This is a major contribution to musicology and women's studies...Highly recommended.' Choice 'In sum, the book provides additional hard, scholarly knowledge about under-sung women musicians in the past, and raises important and provocative ideological questions about the kinds of meanings derived not just from the words of songs or texts, but from the gender-based provenance of their production... This is a solid contribution to the debate... it should certainly be in every library.' Early Music Review '... [an] excellent collection of essays... This addition to Ashgate's Women and Gender in the Early Modern World series fills in important gaps in our knowledge.' Renaissance Quarterly ’This collection makes an important contribution to the recuperation of women's musical activities and texts, and to revisioning music history and theory within 'a larger musical context which included women' as well as men... Readers will find fascinating stories, innovative analyses, and co