1st Edition

Uncovering Music of Early European Women (1250-1750)

Edited By Claire Fontijn Copyright 2020
    230 Pages 33 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    230 Pages 33 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Uncovering Music of Early European Women (1250 – 1750) brings together nine chapters that investigate aspects of female music-making and musical experience in the medieval and early modern periods. Part I, "Notes from the Underground," treats the spirituality of women in solitude and in community. Parts II and III, "Interlude" and "Music for Royal Rivals," respond to Joan Kelly’s famous feminist question and suggest that women of a certain stature did have a Renaissance. Part IV, "Serenissime Sirene," plays with the notion of the allure of music and its risks in Venice during the Baroque.

    The process of uncovering requires close listening to women’s creative endeavors in an ongoing effort to piece together equitably the terrain of early music. Contributors include: Cynthia J. Cyrus, Claire Fontijn, Catherine E. Gordon, Laura Jeppesen, Eva Kuhn, Anne MacNeil, Jason Stoessel, Elizabeth Randell Upton, and Laurence Wuidar.

    An invaluable book for college students and scholars interested in the social and cultural meanings of women in early music.

    Table of Contents

    List of Figures with Caption Texts

    List of Contributors




    Notes from the Underground

    Chapter 1. Secret Song and Music in the Visions of Hadewijch of Antwerp

    Laurence Wuidar

    Chapter 2. The Margin is the Message: The Changeable Mise-en-page as signal of Musicking in Nuns’ Liturgical Books in Late Medieval Freiburg im Breisgau

    Cynthia J. Cyrus

    Chapter 3. Uncovering the Musical Life of San Donato in Polverosa: Sister Maria Diacinta Paulsanti’s Processional

    Jason Stoessel

    Chapter 4. Shaping Female Identity and Agency through Seventeenth-Century French Sacred Songs

    Catherine E. Gordon



    Chapter 5. Aesthetics of Performance in the Renaissance: Lessons from Noblewomen

    Laura Jeppesen


    Music for Royal Rivals

    Chapter 6. Songs for Isabella d’Este

    Anne MacNeil

    Chapter 7. Lucrezia Borgia’s Voice

    Elizabeth Randell Upton



    Serenissime Sirene

    Chapter 8. Representations of Weeping in the Laments of Barbara Strozzi

    Claire Fontijn

    Chapter 9. A Delicate Cage: The Life and Times of Andriana della Tiorba

    Eva Kuhn


    Claire Fontijn (PhD, Duke University) is Phyllis Henderson Carey Professor of Music at Wellesley College. In 2007, she won the Nicolas Slonimsky Award for Classical Music Biography from ASCAP/Deems Taylor for her monograph Desperate Measures: The Life and Music of Antonia Padoani Bembo (2006; 2013). Together with Susan Parisi, she edited Fiori Musicali: Liber Amicorum Alexander Silbiger (2010). Her second monograph is titled The Vision of Music of Saint Hildegard’s Scivias—Synthesizing Image, Text, Notation, and Theory (2013). She has contributed chapters to books on topics ranging from the subjectivity of the Virgin Mary in music (Naomi J. Miller and Naomi Yavneh [eds.], Maternal Measures, 2000), to the chorales of Fanny Hensel and Felix Mendelssohn (Anselm Hartinger, Christoph Wolff, and Peter Wollny [eds.], "Zu groß, zu unerreichbar"—Bach-Rezeption im Zeitalter Mendelssohns und Schumanns, 2007), to opera (Francesco Luisi [ed.], Francesco Buti tra Roma e Parigi, 2009). Her work has been supported by the American Musicological Society, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation.