1st Edition

The Female Voice in the Twentieth Century Material, Symbolic and Aesthetic Dimensions

Edited By Serena Facci, Michela Garda Copyright 2021
    218 Pages 7 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    218 Pages 7 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    By integrating theoretical approaches to the female voice with the musicological investigation of female singers’ practices, the contributors to this volume offer fresh viewpoints on the material, symbolic and cultural aspects of the female voice in the twentieth century. Various styles and genres are covered, including Western art music, experimental composition, popular music, urban folk and jazz. The volume offers a substantial and innovative appraisal of the role of the female voice from the perspective of twentieth-century performance practices, the centrality of female singers’ experimentations and extended vocal techniques along with the process of the ‘subjectivisation’ of the voice.

    Part 1 The ‘Voice’ and the Voices: Definitions, Iconologies, Myths and Practices

    1. Vocalising honey

    Adriana Cavarero

    2. Writing the female voice from Debussy to Boulez

    Julian Johnson

    3. Eurydice’s Voice in Contemporary Opera

    Michal Grover-Friedlander

    4. Maria Callas and the Achievement of an Operatic Vocal Subjectivity

    Marco Beghelli

    5. How Female is the Voice? Conceptualisations and Practices

    Michela Garda

    Part 2 The grain of the voices, Experimentation and Technology

    6. Love, Race and Resistance: the Fugitive Voice of Nina Simone

    Martha Feldman

    7. Black Sonic Refusal

    Jayna Brown

    8. The Voice that Gives Voice: Female Folk-Revival Singers around 1968

    Serena Facci

    9. Women’s Voices in Cairo, Egypt, at the Turn of the Twentieth Century

    Virginia Danielson

    10. ‘Hear what I Feel’: Joan La Barbara, the 1970s and the ‘Extended Voice’

    Veniero Rizzardi

    11. Remediating the Female Voice in Extremis(m): The Human Voice (1966)

    Pamela Karantonis


    Serena Facci is Associate Professor of Ethnomusicology and Popular Music Studies at the University of Rome 'Tor Vergata'. Her fieldwork and research projects include traditional and popular music in Italy and in Central-East Africa, and intercultural music making in educational and religious contexts.

    Michela Garda has a philosophical and musicological background. She teaches Musical Aesthetics and Sociology of Music at the Department of Musicology and Cultural Heritage, University of Pavia.