Feminist Scholarship and the Field of Musicology: II

October 1, 1990

In Part I of this article (which appeared in College Music Symposium 29 [1989], 81-92), I assessed the impact of feminist methods and perspectives on the field of American musicology and summarized what we have learned from the various studies about women and music that have appeared in recent years. Here, I want to propose some other kinds of ideas we might consider, questions we might ask, and investigations and analyses we might undertake in order to further extend our knowledge about the relationship between gender and music-making. For if feminist scholarship is to make a substantial impact on the field of musicology, instead of merely adding a body of research about women, we need to develop imaginative new research methodologies and derive broad new organizing ideas to inform our fact-finding. We must seek to adjust and revise the basic methods and assumptions of the field that have prevented a satisfactory inclusion of women as subjects for research in the first place.

More About Feminist Criticism

Although some of the most recent work on which I reported in Part I was conducted from a feminist critical perspective, feminist music criticism is only in its beginning stages, and much more work remains to be done.1 Until many more dramatic musical works written by members of both sexes are analyzed with specific reference to how they portray gender and gender relations, and how this relates to the gender of their dramatists and composers, we shall remain ignorant about significant aspects of this entire genre of music. Because of this, I should go so far as to say that no dramatic musical work should be analyzed without reference to the ways in which it constructs gender.

Since we have only begun to scratch the surface in probing women's musical works, we particularly need to turn our critical attention to them. It is especially important, given our present lack of knowledge about the subject, to consider the question of the difference of women's musical writing. That is, we need to move beyond the formalism of traditional musicological analysis and to investigate, among other things, what is different about the styles, themes, genres, and structures of musical compositions written by women. Of course, this is a difficult and demanding task. As Elaine Showalter asks with reference to women's literature:

Is difference a matter of style? Genre? Experience? Or is it produced by the reading process, as some textual critics would maintain? [Patricia] Spacks calls the difference of women's writing a "delicate divergency," testifying to the subtle and elusive nature of the feminine practice of writing. Yet the delicate divergency of the woman's text challenges us to respond with equal delicacy and precision to the small but crucial deviations, the cumulative weightings of experience and exclusion, that have marked the history of women's writing.2

Acknowledging that there are important differences between women as writers, and that class, race, nationality, and history are literary determinants as significant as gender, Showalter argues, nonetheless, that women's culture forms a collective experience within the cultural whole, an experience that binds women writers to each other over time and space.

Showalter discusses four models of difference that theories of women's writing make use of: biological, linguistic, psychoanalytic, and cultural. Each is an effort to define and differentiate the qualities of the woman writer and the woman's text, and each might be considered in our attempt to define and differentiate the qualities of the woman composer and the woman's musical text. I would tend to agree with Showalter, however, that to explain historical change, ethnic difference, or the shaping force of generic and economic factors, we must move beyond the first three models to the more flexible and comprehensive model of women's culture, which would incorporate ideas about women's body, language, and psyche, but interpret them in relation to the social contexts in which they occur.

Art historians have also addressed the issue of women's difference. Here we might be guided by Linda Nochlin, who has warned us that in the visual arts, "there are no particular stylistic features associated with the work of women artists," although "it is also clear that in specific historical situations women artists have been encouraged to turn to certain areas of activity more than others." She has also cautioned that in the face of the enormous range and variety of paintings by women, it would be futile, if not impossible, to talk of a "women's style" or a "feminine sensibility." Still, she declares:

Yet to discard obviously mystificatory, essentialist theories about women's "natural" directions in art is by no means to affirm that the fact of being a woman is completely irrelevant to artistic creation. That would be tantamount to declaring that art exists in a vacuum instead of in the complex social, historical, psychological, and political matrix within which it is actually produced. The fact that a given artist happens to be a woman rather than a man counts for something: it is a more or less significant variable in the creation of a work of art, much like being an American, being poor, or being born in 1900.3

In spite of the difficulty and delicacy of the task, we stand to learn something from addressing the issue of the difference of women's music, as long as we are extremely careful to locate our work within a specific social context and historical situation. Judith Tick has proposed that the historical appreciation and evaluation of music by early American composers must take the sex of the composer into account. Her assertion arises from the observation that music composed by women grew out of its own distinctive social and aesthetic context, not opposed to the mainstream, but not entirely congruent with it either.4 Gisela Ecker has called attention to many features in women's art which originated in disadvantages but when turned upside down were transformed into creative instruments; one of these is the integration of what she calls "kitchen table discourse" into writing.5 Susan Friedman has written about two women poets who embraced an historically man's genre—the epic poem—and explored the unwritten gender codes of genre and the different process by which each poet feminized epic convention.6 We may miss important aspects of the woman's voice in music if we do not look for the difference of women's work in this area of expressive culture. Moreover, what we learn from uncovering the difference of women's music within a particular time and place can heighten our awareness of what women's position in that society was, and it can shed light on our general understanding of gender construction, gender ideology, and social control for that era.7

In addition, we should make a point of looking at feminist music—that is, music not simply made by women, but music made in order to make an ideological point about women, to bring society to a consciousness of women's condition, and to speak directly to and for women. Here, as elsewhere, we should embrace such music in whatever shade of the musical spectrum it appears, be it popular, new age, electronic, traditional, classical, or whatever. I believe we owe it to the composers and performers doing this kind of work to pay attention to what they are saying and to call it to the attention of a wider public. For as Arlene Raven and other feminist art critics suggest, the sociocultural relevance of artists who are involved with creating feminist art may count for more than the energy and intelligence other artists put into the search for a new stylistic signature.8 Let us also turn our critical attention to music at the other end of the ideological spectrum—misogynistic work which attacks women or presents them in an unfavorable light. Examples have been especially noted in rock music.9 This deserves to be exposed for what it is, if we care enough about women to be concerned about its effects on them.

Since music is a performance art, we should also turn our critical attention to representations of gender by performers. Questions that might be asked include: How do gender concepts affect the packaging of both male and female musicians? How do female performers respond to the exploitation of female sexuality by the consumerism of the entertainment industry? Do they allow themselves to be exploited in a passive way, or do they take control over their own images, the songs they sing, the types of vocal timbres they use, etc.? How do the different personae adopted by women singers reflect the many ways of being female in a given society?

Other Directions for Research

Where else should we go from here? To begin, we simply need many more fact-finding studies about women in music history as well as about contemporary musical women. A multitude of women's stories need to be investigated, told, and recognized, and the biographical data accumulated in them should then be subjected to various modes of analysis. Of what sort? In an essay review of the three-volume biographical dictionary Notable American Women, historian Anne Firor Scott proposes that historians interested in quantification could use the material in the dictionary for an experiment in collective biography, by looking at information about birth and death, family and marriage, children, social origins and inherited economic position, place of residence, education, wealth, occupation, religion, and career choice. Questions about changes in women's roles over time, and the relationship of those changes to other changes going on in society, should be possible to ask and answer. More speculative questions might include whether women were often innovative in middle life (responding to a different biological clock than men), whether versatility was more common among outstanding women than among their male counterparts, whether notable women were as likely as notable men to have notable children, and how many women shared the apparent passion to make themselves invisible.10 All of these questions would be fruitful ones to ask about women in music, were sufficient data available.

A wealth of data would also make it possible for us to search for the sources of strength that have encouraged women to undertake various kinds of musical activities, frequently in the face of adversity. We could perhaps determine when those sources of strength lay more in family connections, when in educational or professional opportunities, when in relationships within the female world, and so forth, or learn what sort of mix of circumstances was the most favorable. Among other things, we should be alert to the influence of economic opportunity on women's achievements: let us not forget Virginia Woolf's point that "the extreme activity of mind which showed itself in the later eighteenth century among women—the talking, and the meeting, the writing of essays on Shakespeare, the translating of the classics—was founded on the solid fact that women could make money by writing."11

These ideas are but a few of the many that could shape our studies of women and music. While many approaches are possible, it is important that we not be content with merely collecting data; we must also search for broad organizing ideas to inform and order our fact-finding. But where are these organizing ideas to come from? In her book The Female World, sociologist Jessie Bernard suggests that in our study of women, we are not anywhere near the stage where refinement of concepts and perfection of techniques are as important as fresh new ideas and insights.12 Thus, we must be bold. We must not be content merely to work within paradigms and methods already operative in our field. We must seek to derive a new set of propositions by abstracting and comparing features observable in a variety of sources.

Implicit in these suggestions is the importance of giving a generous frame of reference, indeed, of being interdisciplinary in our approach. Thus, let me now turn to other fields of study and discuss some ideas and methods that have emerged in them that strike me as being potentially powerful ones for organizing our study of women and music.*

First, anthropology. Anthropology, of course, has been one of the chief forces behind our understanding that gender is a cultural construct. But anthropologists also teach us that events are unique actualizations of a general phenomenon, or contingent realizations of the cultural pattern. If we are to understand how a musical event—let's say one involving women's music-making—realizes a pattern in any given culture, we must learn as much as we can about the cultural patterns so that we can probe the symbolic or meaningful scheme which the particular event actualizes or realizes.

Anthropologists also instruct us that performance genres do not merely reflect a given social system or realize a cultural pattern. Rather, the relationship between them is reciprocal and reflexive, in the sense that a performance is often a critique, direct or veiled, of the social life out of which it grows. The contrivers (or creators) of performances, whether they are recognized as "individual authors" or are representatives of a collective tradition, hold up "magic mirrors" which reflect that which cannot be recognized in the continuous flow of daily experience. Performances may also be active agencies of change, representing the eye by which culture sees itself and the drawing board on which creative actors sketch out what they believe to be more apt or interesting "designs for living."13

Along these lines, ethnomusicologist Ellen Koskoff suggests that musical performance provides one of the best contexts for observing and understanding the gender structure of any society. While some performances confirm and maintain established social/sexual arrangements rather directly, and others seem to protest, yet maintain, the sexual order, still other performances challenge and threaten the established order.14 As students of musical performance genres, it behooves us to understand how the specific genres we study work in this regard, and to do that we need to look at all aspects of a genre, not just its verbal and musical texts. We must consider the time and place of performance, the behavior of the performers, their demeanor, the clothing and make-up they wear, the vocal timbre they use, and so forth. We must embrace the performance as a whole, not merely the blueprint from which the performance is constructed.

Second, ethnomusicology. So far, I have blurred the lines between musicology, as it is customarily conceptualized, and ethnomusicology, because I believe that these are but two branches of one larger field—the study of music in all its varied manifestations. Yet it would be wrong to imply that musicologists bring to their work the same methods and theoretical frameworks ethnomusicologists bring to theirs. Thus, to give ethnomusicology its proper due, I must treat it here as a separate discipline.

A discussion by J.H. Kwabena Nketia of the various approaches ethnomusicologists take in searching for a meaningful application of the concept of culture to the study of music seems to me to be particularly useful from the present point of view. Nketia favors what he labels the "cultural factor approach," which focuses on a musical culture as the primary unit of investigation. For Nketia, this focus permits, even encourages, the broadest possible probing of music-making, since a musical culture is shaped not only by ideas generated within its own sphere (such as musical structure and style), but also by the response of music makers to their wider environment—to technology and industry, political and social tendencies, the intellectual and philosophical climate, etc. The wider environment would, of course, also include gender relations, although Nketia does not mention this specifically. Among other matters, Nketia suggests that scholars investigating a particular musical culture should consider ways of making music that are characteristic of various individuals and performing groups, the range of resources to which these ways of music-making are applied, and the basis of evaluation used to rate or value different musical categories and repertory cultivated in a given society.15 All of these would appear to be valuable approaches to learning more about women's music-making and the cultural evaluation of their music-making.

Another ethnomusicological approach of particular relevance is suggested by the work of Alan Lomax, who has pointed to cross-cultural correlations between certain aspects of a society's predominant musical style and its intergender relations, namely 1) the correlation of a nasalized tone and tense manner of vocal production with strict sexual sanctions against feminine premarital intercourse, and 2) the correlation of vocal polyphony with female domination of food production in subsistence economies.16 While there have been many challenges to Lomax's hypotheses linking song style and culture on a worldwide basis, Edwin Erickson has reported, on the basis of a reanalysis of Lomax's data, that these two hypotheses receive support. In both cases, these effects are independent of regional effects.17

Another cross-cultural approach has been taken by Dennison Nash, who has outlined the uniformities and diversity of the composer's role in various cultures. Nash has concluded that since men monopolize the composition of music in some societies, while women do so in others, and only in a few exceptional cases are both men and women selected to be composers, native composing talent is not sex-linked. Rather, the general tendency towards a division of labor in this regard is due to social selection.18 Both Lomax's and Nash's hypotheses might well be further tested on the basis of new data, and other aspects of musical style and music-making might be surveyed in a similar fashion. From the point of view of making cross-cultural comparisons, however, one stumbling block is that for the vast majority of cultures it is as yet an incomplete task to systematically describe women's musical practices in order to compare and contrast them with those of men.19

Third, sociology. Here, I'd like to draw mainly on certain aspects of Jessie Bernard's wide-ranging study, The Female World. Bernard tells us that we all live in single sex worlds, and that the female world differs in place, occupation, and culture from the male world. The institutions and labor market in which women participate are not the same as those in which men participate. Because of different rules governing marriage for each sex, the marriage experience for women differs from that for men. And so on. There are few positions of power in the female world. Positions of power in the male world are so avidly sought by men that allowing women to enter the competition is negatively sanctioned by all the big guns. The male world is not only exclusionary vis-à-vis the female world but also, in varying degrees, positively hostile to it. Male misogyny is expressed in numerous ways, including verbal putdowns, insults, and disparaging remarks. Furthermore, women are not socialized for success in the male world.20

For women's music-making, the implications of the different institutions and labor market in which women participate, as well as the exclusionary and misogynistic techniques used to discourage women from competing in the male world, should be fruitful to pursue. Indeed, a dissertation by Carol Ann Feather on women band directors in higher education bears out the relevance of these sociological formulations for the study of women in music. In addition to differentials between women and men in the areas of salary, rank, prestige of the employing institution, and number of contact hours per week, Feather reports that women band directors were openly discouraged from entering the field, administrators were reluctant to hire women, male colleagues expressed skepticism of women's abilities, and women perceived that men felt women band directors were a threat to their power or position.21

Bernard's discussion of the culture of the female world should also be useful for us. Bernard distinguishes between "female culture," that part of the culture of the female world that is created by and for women themselves, and the broader "culture of the female world," which includes products created by men. In the latter, a considerable part of the cultural diet consumed by women in what they see, hear, and read portrays them mostly as they look to men, in a male context, and in situations of interest to men. (Moreover, in some parts of their cultural diet, women are not portrayed at all.) Bernard's conceptualizations make me curious about how, for example, women respond internally to Romantic operas in which female characters are typically abandoned, scorned, murdered, or driven to suicide by men,22 or how they are affected by hearing Beethoven's rendering of Schiller's "Alle Menschen werden Brüder" conducted by a man and played by a predominantly male orchestra.

Fourth, history. It is probably the field of women's history to which feminist musicology currently owes its biggest debt. It is women's historians (that is, historians who have written about women) who initially taught us that women were not solely the objects of the influences shaping their world but that they also contributed to creating the past. They taught us to recognize the duality of women's position in society—that women were "subordinate yet central, victimized yet active." Through concepts such as these, we learned to look not only for how women's opportunities in music were restricted, and how and why women accepted the subordinate and frequently invisible roles assigned them by society, but also how they created their own institutions and charted their own course within male-dominated ones.

Moreover, women's historians showed us that women were present and active at every moment and in every aspect of the past, and that the inclusion of women's lives has the power to alter the larger historical picture in significant ways.23 As we have pursued our investigations into women in music, we have been struck by the fact that women were present and active in many moments and aspects of the musical past of which we were formerly totally ignorant. And we have discovered that the inclusion of women's lives alters our picture even of the present historical moment. To give but one example, the exclusively male picture of British composition in the 1980s painted in Paul Griffith's New Sounds, New Personalities (see pp. 87-88 in Part 1 of this article), is significantly altered by Nicola LeFanu's estimation that about fifteen percent of the composers now working in England are women.24

In considering what more we can learn from women's historians, I should like to focus in some detail on one particular study—a dissertation by Deborah Symonds—in order to illustrate an approach to the study of women's music-making which musicologists could well afford to emulate.25 Symonds uses Scots women's ballads, an oral literature collected and disseminated in print during the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, as the starting point in examining the re-forming of women's lives that marked the inroads of a new market economy. Sung and transmitted primarily among women, the ballads focus on failed courtships, where premarital pregnancy leads to illegitimacy and infanticide, broken contracts, and death.

Court records of infanticide trials in Scotland yield a supporting picture of female agricultural servants, pregnant under the promise of marriage, whose suitors cannot or will not marry them. Thus, the ballads reflect the lives of women living in late eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century Scotland. As they were collected and published, however, they were edited and read as part of an emerging sentimental literature about women. As a new market economy displaced an agriculture based on numerous small tenancies, the ballads, along with novels depicting traditional life, became popular with the new middle class as an authority for elements of bourgeois womanhood. While the ballads' tough heroines—like Mary Hamilton—provided models of female strength and perseverance, the celebration of their strength belied the truth that women facing infanticide found themselves in most cases bitterly and unwillingly alone, outside both the bonds and protection of small communities and their families.

Symonds's approach is one that should well interest feminist musicologists, for it suggests multiple means of studying a musical tradition which was dominated by women. (Scots ballads were sung and transmitted by more women than men and seem to have been largely composed by women as well.) A further benefit for the musicologist of this kind of study is an understanding of how an oral song tradition may hint at women's capacity for musical creativity in cultures where few women had a professional identity.

Fifth, folklore. Like historians, folklorists have examined women's traditional repertories in ways musicologists can learn from. Here again, I'd like to draw on one particular study in some detail in order to illustrate some perspectives that musicologists might adapt to their own use. In a dissertation that focuses on the verbal art of a Newfoundland woman, Mary Caul,26 Deborah Kodish investigates the concept of singer in an Atlantic Northeast society and what that means. At the full flowering of the tradition with which Kodish is concerned, a person who was publicly defined as a singer was typically a man who was a specialist, who expected to sing solo and uninterrupted, with the full attention of an audience, on occasions usually marked by festivity. While women knew many of the songs sung by such singers, they typically sang them for themselves, against the background of other noise, while doing other tasks, in an unauthoritative voice, and on nonfestive occasions. While men usually sang in their leisure time—and they had more purely leisure time—for women, singing was entangled in their work and frequently interrupted, at that. Thus, singing generally appears to have been a more generalized, less specialized, activity for women than it was for men.

Kodish also looks at the kinds of value which songs had for men and women. While men frequently manipulated songs and singing ability as a strategic resource with great exchange value, women did not actively trade songs in the market. Yet they did not set aside or dismiss songs they had learned in their youth to replace them with songs in a newer style. Thus, they probably kept songs for their intrinsic worth—that is, the ability of a song to provide aesthetic correlatives organically suited to their spiritual and emotional constitution, in a way other expressive forms could not.

While by her community's standards, Mrs. Caul was no singer, she nevertheless was a fine singer, had a sizeable repertory of traditional songs, and had sung for herself all of her life. Whatever the cultural title of singer meant, it certainly had little to do with knowledge of song texts themselves. Instead, it was apparently defined by the other dimensions of song performance. Thus, much of the contextual evidence suggests that the expressive traditions of women and men occurred under different conditions.

Taking a cue from folklorists, we might investigate how contextual evidence can shed light on who is considered a composer, say, in present-day England, to return once again to Nicola LeFanu's discussion of the invisibility of contemporary women composers there. Is it possible that LeFanu and her female colleagues are not truly considered composers by their society because, at least in part, their compositions are performed at different times and places than those of their male contemporaries, considering that women have found it extremely difficult to get their works performed by the leading performance groups and in the more prestigious places?

We might also investigate such questions as where else women tend to make music in less differentiated times than men, and where else they are more apt to be generalists than specialists as musicians. Where else might men be more apt to manipulate their music for its exchange value, and women, to use music for its intrinsic value? These are some of the questions we have not yet begun to ask of our subjects that an adapted folkloric approach might teach us to ask.

Sixth, language studies. A recent volume, Language, Gender, and Sex in Comparative Perspective, examines both cultural and biological sources of gender differences in language. In it, a number of studies demonstrate that men and women often control not only different forms of discourse, but also often carry out the same forms differently through different choices of language form.27 These gender differences are shown to be socially organized: while there are differences between the ways males and females process language in the brain, these do not suggest any differences in linguistic competence or language use.

In one of the essays in this volume,28 Joel Sherzer surveys the types of relationships that exist between men's and women's speech around the world, and he proposes a typology consisting of seven types of differences. Three seem particularly suggestive for music: 1) differences in style, 2) differences in verbal genres and speaking roles, and 3) differences in patterns of speaking which cut across and relate particular speech events and verbal genres. Sherzer estimates that 1) differences in men's and women's speech are probably universal, even though in modern urban, industrial societies like our own, the differences involve statistically significant grammatical variations rather than separate verbal genres and patterns of speaking, and 2) these differences are evaluated by members of the society as symbolic reflections of what men and women are like. Thus, to the degree that a society stigmatizes women, women's linguistic behavior, together with other communicative behavior, will be read as indicative of their place in society, an overt mark of their nonnormal and nonnormative status.

In some detail, Sherzer also examines and compares the verbal genres, speaking roles, and patterns of speaking that most appropriately categorize men's and women's speech differences for the Kuna Indians of Panama and the Araucanian Indians of Chile and Argentina. For the Kuna, men's ritual, formal, and public speech is more diversified and complex than women's, and men have more access to and control of political authority through such speaking practices. Women, likewise, also have ritual, formal, and public speaking roles. These are always positively valued by men and women alike, and provide women with a certain access to and significant involvement in Kuna political life and power. In addition, women perform verbal genres that are unique to them—lullabies and tuneful weeping, and these are respected and heeded.

The Kuna contrast sharply with the Araucanians. Among the latter there are five major leadership roles restricted to men for which speaking ability is the defining characteristic. There is but one significant ritual role which is held by women and which involves a special form of speech—that of the machi "shaman." There is but one other major women's verbal genre—a tuneful lament in which women metaphorically protest their misfortunes and distress. With the significant exception of these two genres, then, the ideal Araucanian woman is taciturn, while the ideal Araucanian man is a talker. Sherzer concludes, "Araucanian speaking roles and patterns of speaking, then, are both symbolic reflections and concrete manifestations of the very inferior positions of women within Araucanian social organization and the negative attitudes toward women's behavior that seem to prevail in this society."29

I have referred to Scherzer's discussion at some length because I think there is much for us to consider. To draw an analogy to music, can we perceive differences between women's and men's musical genres and roles, patterns of singing, and differences in style in the societies we study? If so, how do these differences both reflect and contribute to the marks of difference between men and women? How do the differences between men's and women's musical roles and forms of musical speech contribute to the relative power, control, and status of men and women? Finally, if as scholars we find that we devalue women's musical genres and patterns of musical discourse where these appear to be somewhat differentiated from men's, how does this reflect the norms, values, and power relationships of our own society, rather than result from an "objective" evaluation?

The above disciplines do not, of course, exhaust the list of those from which feminist musicologists can learn. Others would include at least education, psychology, the biology and psychology of music, the sociology of music and art, and psychoanalysis. From education, for example, we could seek to learn how educational systems influence the pattern of women's educational attainments and achievements in music, and how schools support hierarchical gender systems both through the formal curriculum (as, for example, through different social messages imparted in textbooks) and the "hidden" curriculum (such as staffing patterns and authority structures).30

From psychology, we could seek to discover whether sex-related differences in cognitive functioning affect women's and men's acquisition and use of musical skills differently, and also whether sound, as well as other environmental stimuli, have, at the most basic level, a different "meaning" for women than for men.31 The biology and psychology of music could also shed light on sex differences and similarities in musical ability, as well as explore just how fundamental self-expression through music is to everyone in the human species.32

The sociology of art could instruct us in such matters as the importance of institutions in creating and enabling artists, the social conditions that create myths about women as nonartists, and the social organization of artistic production which has excluded women from participation.33 Psychoanalysis could illuminate the mechanisms through which individual women become engraved with the conventions of sex and gender, the process through which they internalize or come to reject cultural norms, and how specific aspects of their personality development and ego formation cause them to behave in certain ways.34

The disciplines discussed at greater length above, however, are the ones that have sparked my imagination the most strongly. They seem to propose bold organizing ideas for new kinds of work, and to promise fresh ideas and significant insights if we respond to their challenge. By modeling our approaches on them, we can perhaps best hope to transform the methods and assumptions of our own discipline that have prevented a satisfactory inclusion of women as subjects for research in the first place. If in so doing, we trespass beyond the limits of our disciplinary competence, so be it! For if we are to study seriously the interrelationship of gender and music-making, we must follow wherever various behaviors, activities, and issues lead us.

1Since this article was completed, several new studies along these lines were presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Musicological Society, Oakland, November 1990, including Rufus Hallmark's "Schumann's Frauenbild: An Essay in Comparative Stylistic Analysis," Jeffrey Kallberg's "Genre and Gender: The Nocturne and Women's History," Karen Pegley's "Musical Characterizations of Women in Lulu: A Feminist Deconstruction," and Susan McClary's "Making a Difference in Music: The Relevance of Sexuality to Compositions by Laurie Anderson and Schubert." McClary has also published "This Is Not a Story My People Tell: Musical Time and Space According to Laurie Anderson," in Discourse: Theoretical Studies in Media and Culture 12 (1989-90), 104-28. Other studies concerned with gender and sexuality in music are scheduled to appear in a forthcoming collection edited by Ruth Solie, Musicology and Difference, to be published by the University of California Press.

2Elaine Showalter, "Feminist Criticism in the Wilderness," in The New Feminist Criticism: Essays on Women, Literature, and Theory, ed. Elaine Showalter (New York: Pantheon Books, 1985), 249. Not all literary critics concerned with women's writing would agree with Showalter's basic premise that we should look for differences between women's and men's writing.

3Ann Sutherland Harris and Linda Nochlin, Women Artists: 1550-1950 (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1978), 58-59 and 64.

4Judith Tick, American Women Composers before 1870 (Ann Arbor: UMI Research Press, 1983), 3-4.

5Gisela Ecker, Introduction, Feminist Aesthetics, trans. Harriet Anderson (Boston: Beacon Press, 1986), 17.

6Susan Stanford Friedman, "Gender and Genre Anxiety: Elizabeth Barrett Browning and H.D. as Epic Poets," Tulsa Studies in Women's Literature 5 (1986), 203-28.

7I wish to thank Suzanne Cusick for emphasizing this latter point.

8Donald Kuspit, Editor's Preface, in Arlene Raven, Crossing Over: Feminism and Art of Social Concern (Ann Arbor: UMI Research Press, 1988), xiv. Lest this point get lost elsewhere, let me add here that we should also look at how women have supported and are now supporting various kinds of feminist, or simply women's, music-making by organizing concerts and making and distributing recordings of women's music, etc. I wish to thank Linda Whitesitt for reminding me of this point.

9A few of the many sources touching on this subject are Ruth Scovill, "Women's Music," in Women's Culture: The Women's Renaissance of the Seventies, ed. Gayle Kimball (Metuchen, N.J.: Scarecrow Press, 1981), 148-62; Cynthia Marion Lont, "Between Rock and a Hard Place: A Model of Subcultural Persistence and Women's Music" (Ph.D. diss., University of Iowa, 1984), 86-87; Virginia W. Cooper, "Women in Popular Music: A Quantitative Analysis of Feminine Images Over Time," Sex Roles 13 (1985), 499-506; and Dean Abt, "Music Video: Impact of the Visual Dimension," in Popular Music and Communication, ed. James Lull (Newbury Park, Calif.: Sage Publications, 1987), 96-111.

10Anne Firor Scott, "Making the Invisible Woman Visible: An Essay Review," in Making the Invisible Woman Visible (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1984), 155-56.

11Virginia Woolf, A Room of One's Own (New York: Harcourt, Brace and Company, 1929), 112.

12Jessie Bernard, The Female World (New York: The Free Press, 1981), 31.

13Victor Turner, "Images and Reflections: Ritual, Drama, Carnival, Film, and Spectacle in Cultural Performance," in The Anthropology of Performance (New York: PAJ Publications, 1986), 21-24.

14Ellen Koskoff, "An Introduction to Women, Music, and Culture," in Women and Music in Cross-Cultural Perspective, ed. Ellen Koskoff (Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1987), 10-14.

15J.H. Kwabena Nketia, "The Juncture of the Social and the Musical: The Methodology of Cultural Analysis," World of Music 23:2 (1981), 28-32.

16See especially Alan Lomax, Folk Song Style and Culture (Washington, D.C.: American Association for the Advancement of Science, 1968), viii, 167-68, and 194.

17Edwin E. Erickson, "Tradition and Evolution in Song Style: A Reanalysis of Cantometric Data," Behavior Science Research 11 (1976), 303.

18Dennison Nash, "The Role of the Composer (Part I)," Ethnomusicology 5 (1961), 82-83.

19On this lack, see Bruno Nettl, "Vive la Différence," in The Study of Ethnomusicology (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1983), 334-36. The situation has improved somewhat since Nettl made this observation.

20Bernard, The Female World, 1, 11-12, etc.

21Carol Ann Feather, "Women Band Directors in Higher Education" (Ph.D. diss., University of Mississippi, 1980).

22For a study of opera as a cultural institution that thrives on the negative representation of women, see Catherine Clément, Opera, or the Undoing of Women, trans. Betsy Wing (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1988).

23For these concepts, see especially Ellen Carol DuBois, Gail Paradise Kelly, Elizabeth Lapovsky Kennedy, Carolyn W. Korsmeyer, and Lillian S. Robinson, Feminist Scholarship: Kindling in the Groves of Academe (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1987), 48-50.

24Nicola LeFanu, "Master Musician: An Impregnable Taboo?," Contact 31 (Autumn 1987), 4.

25Deborah Ann Symonds, "The Re-forming of Women's Work and Culture: Scotland 1750-1830" (Ph.D. diss., State University of New York at Binghamton, 1985).

26Deborah Gail Kodish, "'Never Had a Word Between Us': Pattern in the Verbal Art of a Newfoundland Woman" (Ph.D. diss., University of Texas, 1981).

27Susan U. Philips, Susan Steele, and Christine Tanz, eds., Language, Gender, and Sex in Comparative Perspective (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1987).

28Joel Sherzer, "A Diversity of Voices: Men's and Women's Speech in Ethnographic Perspective," in Philips, Steele, and Tanz, Language, Gender, and Sex, 95-120.

29Ibid., 101.

30For these questions directed to another cultural context, see Gail Paradise Kelly, "Failures of Androcentric Studies of Women's Education in the Third World," in For Alma Mater: Theory and Practice in Feminist Scholarship, ed. Paula A. Treichler, Cheris Kramarae, and Beth Stafford (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1985), 292-306. Roberta Lamb, in "Including Women Composers in Music Curricula: Development of Creative Strategies for the General Music Class, Grades 5-8" (Ed.D. diss., Columbia University Teachers' College, 1987), has focused specifically on the field of music education at the precollege level and has concluded that it has demonstrated little concern for the inclusion of music by women in the curriculum, or issues of sex equity, and that "there has not been any nonsexist curricular development in music education" at that level (pp. 46-47). Lamb also writes about the need to study gender interactions within music classrooms, such as whether music teachers respond differentially to students on the basis of gender or whether specific types of music classes, groups, or musical activities are gender dominant and why (pp. 106-7).

31On sex-related differences in cognitive functioning in general, see Michele Andrisin Wittig and Anne C. Petersen, eds., Sex-Related Differences in Cognitive Functioning: Developmental Issues (New York: Academic Press, 1979).

32For a review of research focused on sex differences in musical ability, see Rosamund Shuter-Dyson, "Unisex or 'Vive la différence'? Research on Sex Differences of Relevance to Musical Abilities," Council for Research in Music Education Bulletin 59 (1979), 102-6. Differences are also reported in Rosamund Shuter-Dyson and Clive Gabriel, The Psychology of Musical Ability, 2d rev. ed. (London: Methuen, 1981), 74-75, 90-92, 140-42, 191-93, and 213. For a general introduction to the biological aspects of music making, see Andrew Stiller, "Toward a Biology of Music," Opus 3:5 (August 1987), 12-15; and W. Jay Dowling and Dane L. Harwood, Music Cognition (Orlando, Fla.: Academic Press, Inc., 1986), 235-38. On universal musical competence, see also John Blacking, "Towards a Theory of Musical Competence," in Man: Anthropological Essays Presented to O.F. Raum, ed. E.J. DeJager (Cape Town: C. Struik, 1971), 19-34; and Blacking, How Musical Is Man? (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1973).

33One excellent general source on the sociology of art which deals with women's participation in and exclusion from artistic production is Janet Wolff, The Social Production of Art (New York: St. Martin's Press, 1981).

34Two essays which well illustrate the psychoanalytic approach are Anna Burton, "Robert Schumann and Clara Wieck: A Creative Partnership," Music & Letters 69 (1988), 211-28; and Burton, "A Psychoanalyst's View of Clara Schumann," in Psychoanalytic Explorations in Music, ed. Stuart Feder, Richard L. Karmel, and George H. Pollock (Madison, Conn.: International Universities Press, 1990), 97-113.

*[Editor's Note: The author has incorporated terms peculiar to the disciplines of the various authors cited. This is an attempt on her part to represent their ideas and hypotheses as closely as possible without actually quoting them. It is her hope that such terms, if not self-explanatory, appear in enough of a context that their meaning can be inferred.]

2817 Last modified on October 23, 2018