Feminist Scholarship and the Field of Musicology: I

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Feminist Scholarship and the Field of Musicology: I1

In a study entitled Feminist Scholarship: Kindling in the Groves of Academe, five authors surveyed recent scholarship in the fields of anthropology, education, history, literature, and philosophy in what they termed the most conservative core of academic research—the publications in leading scholarly journals—in order to gauge the extent to which feminist scholarship had influenced disciplinary inquiry in those fields. Their central concern was the degree to which research on women had achieved a place in the mainstream of the disciplines where it had previously been absent. They posed two basic questions:

  1. Has the study of women become an accepted enterprise within the academy, so that it is now a recognizable component of disciplinary research?
  2. To what degree has the study of women become part of general scholarly inquiry, recognized as pertinent even to research that is not exclusively focused on women?2

While no such assessment of the influence of feminist scholarship has been undertaken in the field of musicology, a rapid survey of the publications in leading American musicological (and ethnomusicological) journals in the past three and a half years has turned up only around a dozen and a half studies about women, most of which do not treat sex or gender as a significant topic for investigation:

Stephen Banfield
"'Too Much of Albion'? Mrs. Coolidge and her British Connections," American Music 4 (1986): 59-88.
Matilda Gaume
"Ruth Crawford: A Promising Young Composer in New York, 1929-30," American Music 5 (1987): 74-84.
Ora Frishberg Saloman
"Margaret Fuller on Musical Life in Boston and New York, 1841-1846," American Music 6 (1988): 428-41.
Gila Flam
"Beracha Zefira—A Case Study of Acculturation in Israeli Song," Asian Music 17 (1986): 108-25.
Virginia Danielson
"The Qur'vol29id649n and the Qasvol29id649dah: Aspects of the Popularity of the Repertory Sung by Umm Kulthvol29id649m," Asian Music 19 (1987-88): 26-45.
Gloria R. Poedjosoedarmo
"A Phonetic Description of Voice Quality in Javanese Traditional Female Vocalists," Asian Music 19 (1987-88): 93-126.
Luvenia A. George
"Lucie E. Campbell: Baptist Composer and Educator," The Black Perspective in Music 15 (1987): 24-49.
Barbara Garvey Jackson
"Oratorios by Command of the Emperor: The Music of Camilla de Rossi," Current Musicology 42 (1986), 7-19.
Orin T. Hatton
"In the Tradition: Grass Dance Musical Style and Female Pow-wow Singers," Ethnomusicology 30 (1986): 197-222.
Peter Manuel
"The Evolution of Modern Thumrvol29id649," Ethnomusicology 30 (1986): 470-90.
Elaine Brody
"The Legacy of Ida Rubenstein: Mata Hari of the Ballets Russes," The Journal of Musicology 4 (1985-86): 491-504.
Richard Sherr
"The Membership of the Chapels of Louis XII and Anne de Bretagne in the Years Preceding their Deaths," The Journal of Musicology 6 (1988): 60-82.
Mark D. Nelson
"In Pursuit of Charles Seeger's Heterophonic Ideal: Three Palindromic Works by Ruth Crawford," The Musical Quarterly 72 (1986): 458-75.
Bruce Gustafson
"The Music of Madame Brillon: A Unified Manuscript Collection from Benjamin Franklin's Circle," Notes: Quarterly Journal of the Music Library Association 43 (1987): 522-43.
Mario Malinca Guzmán
"Dislates en la obra Teresa Carreño, de Marta Milinowski," Revista de Musica Latino Americana/Latin American Music Review 8 (1987): 185-215.
Guzmán
"Claudio Arrau evoca a Teresa Carreño," ibid., 216-29.
Anne Dhu Shapiro and Inés Talamantez
"The Mescalero Apache Girls' Puberty Ceremony: The Role of Music in Structuring Ritual Time," Yearbook for Traditional Music 18 (1986): 77-90.3

This is the case in spite of the likelihood that musicological journals, like the journals surveyed in Feminist Scholarship, would show a sustained, if modest, increase in the amount of research published about women and women's concerns over the last decade, if compared to the journals just prior to that.

My little survey has also revealed very few studies not focused primarily on women that nevertheless demonstrate the influence of feminist thought upon the author's methods and perspectives. One exception is David B. Coplan's "Musical Understanding: The Ethnoaesthetics of Migrant Workers' Poetic Song in Lesotho" (Ethnomusicology 32 [1988]: 337-68), in which the author discusses the reluctance of Basotho men to legitimate both women's poetic genres and their participation in genres assigned to men, in spite of the fact that women's songs have as much poetic quality, reflective commentary, and emotional impact as men's songs. Coplan also demonstrates his sensitivity to how the plight of women left behind in virtual serfdom, while their men go off to work as migrant laborers, influences their songs. Another exception is Lois al Fvol29id649rvol29id649qvol29id649's "Qur'vol29id649n Reciters in Competition in Kuala Lumpur" (Ethnomusicology 31 [1987]: 221-28), in which the author relates the difference in the variety of nationalities represented in men's and women's reciting competitions to the degree of societal acceptability of recitation by women in different regions of the Muslim world.

Two articles which exemplifiy research conducted along traditional lines which nevertheless demonstrate the authors' awareness of the relevance of a particular point to women are Carol J. Oja's "Cos Cob Press and the American Composer" (Notes: Quarterly Journal of the Music Library Association 45 [1988]: 227-52), which points out not only that the Cos Cob Press was founded and subsidized by a woman but also that most of the wealthy American benefactors of music in the 1920s were women; and H. Colin Slim's "An Iconographical Echo of the Unwritten Tradition in a Verdelot Madrigal" (Studi Musicali 17 [1988]: 33-54), which discusses the relevance of the inclusion of a madrigal partbook in an early sixteenth-century portrait of a lady to the question of whether women could read music.4

The still meager impact of feminist scholarship on the field of American musicology is due, at least in part, to the two strongest prongs in the traditional definition of the field, which have acted as disciplinary inhibitors to the dissemination of influence and method, as well as content, by feminist scholars. These prongs are:

  1. a strong focus on gathering information and amassing facts, and on presenting the texts of music and facts and figures about it rather than their interpretation,5 and
  2. scholarly and critical inquiry directed at a generally accepted body (or canon) of musical texts which are almost exclusively masculine in origin.

However inadvertent the neglect of women ensuing from these patterns of musicological research, the result has perpetuated the myth of female insignificance. The challenge of feminist scholarship thus involves no less than an adjustment and revision of the paradigms of the field, and of the basic methods and assumptions that have prevented a satisfactory inclusion of women as subjects for research in the first place.

As the authors of Feminist Scholarship point out, feminist scholarly perspectives call for change in the framework of scholarship generally, not merely the addition of a body of research about women. They do suggest, however, that the purviews of some fields are less suited to the incorporation of women than others; namely, those of philosophy and literature are less suited than those of anthropology, history, and education, since the scope of the former is not defined by lived social realities. To the extent that musical texts, rather than musical performance, are the focus of musicological scholarship, the scope of musicology is also not defined by lived social realities, and hence its purview, like those of philosophy and literature, is similarly less suited to the incorporation of women than those of the other three fields.

Because of this similarity, it may be useful to pursue the line of argument of Feminist Scholarship a little further. The authors state:

By far the largest category of articles in literature and philosophy . . . are those that admit no obvious place for mention of women or women's issues or for the use of feminist scholarship. That there should be some such topics is to be expected. . . . In literature, there is a range of topics—poetic conventions, relations among art forms, or certain themes of certain authors—which can be pursued without cognizance of feminist scholarship or mention of women.

However, the scant or perfunctory attention paid to women in general work in these fields leads one to speculate that it is something other than the type of areas these disciplines cover that is preventing greater dissemination of influence from feminist scholarly perspectives. In both fields it is common practice to frame a study as a commentary on a text, and this convention is highly exclusionary with regard to the feminist citations, issues, and critical perspectives that might be relevant. For example, a large number of articles from these philosophy journals are critical analyses which start from (or are even confined to) consideration of an important text. . . . If the purpose of an author is to analyze a particular theory, and if the theory itself does not include mention of women or related issues, it is difficult to insist on a shift of attention to women. Some similarity in the field of literature results from the practice of framing research as commentary on a single author. So many of these are male and so much feminist scholarship has dealt with female authors that a large body of scholarship is on subjects with no direct commentary to act as a precedent. Generally speaking, the convention of philosophers and literary critics—and perhaps others as well—of framing an analysis as a commentary on a "text" seems to be a disciplinary inhibitor to the dissemination of influence, method, or content from feminist scholars.6

Within musicological inquiry, however, if the investigation of musical performance were to be admitted to an important place alongside the study of musical texts, feminist perspectives and attention to women and women's concerns would immediately become more relevant. And if more than scant attention were paid to the interaction of music history with social history, as well as to the attempt to understand music as an aspect of and in relation to culture in the large—areas which have been virtually neglected within musicology—women would also become a more essential subject for study.7

Nevertheless, even within the realm of textual studies, few compositions by women composers have been identified as worthy of study; instead, they have been relegated to lesser status or total obscurity. We must ask why this is so and call into question the values that have allowed male works to dominate the musical canon. Yet, in spite of the importance of this matter, I prefer to leave it for others to grapple with.8 Instead, I should like to turn my attention to the studies about women in music that have been appearing in the last few years.

For in spite of the less than heartening current status of women's studies in musicological journals, Nancy Reich has noted a continuing and broadening interest in studies about women in music. This is reflected in more than a doubling of doctoral dissertations and master's theses about women in music in the last seven years and the rushing into print of a large number of bibliographies and other reference works (of varying levels of scholarship).9 Some broad historical studies, books and articles about individual women, interviews with living musicians, modern editions and recordings of music composed by women, and anthologies dealing with various aspects of women in music have also appeared.

Thus, this is an appropriate stage at which to review recent musicological scholarship about women and music. I shall begin by summarizing what this work has so far taught us, drawing particularly on studies I would regard as examples of feminist scholarship—that is, (1) scholarship with a primary focus on women that considers the influence of biological sex and socially constructed categories of gender on their activities and achievements, (2) scholarship that deals with women's artistic expression and the conditions that shape it, and (3) scholarship that deals with depictions of women and constructions of gender and gender relations in musical works.10 While I shall not limit my review to scholarship formulated within the traditional conceptualization of the field of musicology, my primary focus will be on work that deals with different aspects of music-making in the Western tradition. After summarizing what we have so far learned from this work, I shall go on to propose some further approaches through which the discipline of musicology might respond to the challenge of feminist thought.

HISTORICAL FORMULATIONS

First, we have learned that women have been active in music history in totally unanticipated numbers. We have uncovered women's traces in a wide range of activities, including composition and performance, teaching, music publishing, founding and supporting musical institutions, establishing and participating in female musical organizations, and so forth. We have observed them in both public and private realms, and we have discovered that they have contributed to music-making as both professional and amateur musicians as well as supporters and enablers of community musical life. We have recovered forgotten or dimly illuminated women musicians from oblivion and have brought forward some of their musical works, which we have occasionally discovered to be musically innovative, for re-creation and re-examination.

Second, we have been impressed with the discovery that the history of women in music has not been the same as the history of men, that sex has not just been an accidental and incidental aspect of a musician's make-up, but rather one of the most essential elements in determining an individual's access to music education, musical instruments, musical institutions, employment opportunities, and entire cultural spheres. Put another way, we have learned that women's (as well as men's) music-making has by and large been reflective of the social/sexual roles assigned them by the societies in which they lived. In relatively simple societies, as ethnomusicological studies have shown, there has often been a clear division of musical labor along sexual lines, while in more complex societies, the division of musical labor has been more elaborate, with musical sex roles being more muted and over-lapping. Still, we have observed a general pattern of gender-assigned musical activities and spheres that cuts across different cultures:

Women
Singing
Performing
Soft instruments
Supporting roles
Domestic
Amateur
Limited training
Secular
Men
Playing instruments
Composing
Loud instruments
Leading roles
Public
Professional
Higher education
Sacred

Of course, the opposition of these categories is artificial and needs to be qualified. For when viewed on a broad historical and geographical scale, men's activities and spheres have been much more comprehensive than those of women, and at one time or another they have to some degree embraced all of the above categories. Women's activities and spheres, too, have sometimes included those I have listed as men's, having been modified by such factors as the historical period and country or geographical region in which women lived; the family, class, and social group to which they belonged; and their age, marital status, race, religious affiliation, and ethnicity. However, women's crossing over into what have been defined as essentially men's realms has occurred on an altogether much smaller scale; hence, the dualism of the above list is not a meaningless abstraction.

Moreover, one further point we have discovered about the difference of women's history in music is that it has often been reflective of inter-gender relations. In many societies girls have engaged in music-making as a part of courtship traditions, and, as Ellen Koskoff points out, in societies where males were or are the main patrons of musical performances or where male-dominated political, religious and economic spheres call for young female performers, musical behaviors that heighten female sexuality are the norm.11

Third, we have realized that women's access to the full range of musical activities and spheres available in a given culture was limited by exclusionary techniques and various forms of social control. When new professions in music opened up, for example, women usually had different, and lesser, kinds of access to them than men had: one example is the development of orchestral playing in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. This limited access not only affected women's ability to secure paid employment in music, it also negatively influenced their compositional creativity, since the activity of composing was frequently closely linked to other professional opportunities in music.

Women were also kept off male turf through the development of ideologies that prescribed "correct" behavior based on sex. These ideologies were promulgated by

  1. prescriptive literature that told women which kinds of musical behavior were right or wrong for them to engage in;
  2. slurs cast on women who crossed over gender-ascribed boundaries of one type or another—for example, gossip and ridicule directed at women who liked to sing;12
  3. allegations of easy virtue made about women who chose a musical careerparticularly one associated with the theater; and
  4. descriptions of the female musician as the personification of sensual intoxication.13

Further, women's compositions were frequently reviewed in gender-biased ways; and overt discrimination, which composer Ethel Smyth attributed, at root, to the "sex antagonism" problem between men and women,14 was used against women who tried to enter male domains.

Fourth, we have come to understand that many women, probably most, complied with culturally imposed prescriptions and limitations of their musical activities. Indeed, some women internalized their culturally determined inferiority, and this led to self-deprecation, psychological barriers to creativity, and so forth. Along somewhat different lines, many women accepted the roles they were assigned as musical helpers: as Linda Whitesitt has pointed out, American women in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries organized music clubs that undertook nurturing the musical environment of their communities by organizing public concerts, providing educational opportunities for youth, and offering scholarships to local musicians. Women also served as patrons of composers and performing institutions, and they founded performance spaces and music festivals, etc. By stripping away the framework that views women's activities as important only in relation to the standards developed for men, scholars such as Whitesitt have begun to uncover the work of thousands of women on behalf of music-making.15

Still, while these women were creating their own agendas within the female "sphere," their roles as helpers and enablers were culturally assigned. Conversely, there were women who lived a life beyond the requirements of prescribed female destiny. Some of these women came to be considered by their societies as "almost above gender," as was Clara Schumann;16 others were praised for their "masculine" qualities.

Fifth, we have observed that no matter what kind of musical activities women have engaged in, and no matter how vital or distinguished those activities might be, a historical process of making those activities invisible has nevertheless been at work. Indeed, musicologists and critics have been accomplices in this process. In the Autumn 1987 issue of Contact, British composer Nicola LeFanu addressed this issue, along with other areas of gender bias in music:

I have searched in vain among recent books on 20th-century music for any acknowledgment of the strong tradition of women composers in this country. Even in the 1980s we are invisible. I tried Paul Griffiths' New Sounds, New Personalities: British Composers of the 1980s. This book is a set of interviews with twenty composers (who are, by the way, not so much British as white English). How was it that none of the twenty chosen were women? . . . Griffiths does not claim that these are a "top twenty," although it is inevitable that they will be seen as such; rather he says that he wished to include "as wide a variety of styles and personalities as possible." Why Maw rather than Musgrave? they are not dissimilar in stance. Why was Judith Weir not included when her contemporaries like Simon Bainbridge were? As far as women go, there is just one brief reference to [Elisabeth] Lutyens . . . and one reference to [Priaulx] Rainier. . . . If we assume that all this is prejudice on the part of Griffiths and Donald Mitchell, his publisher, I think we're in danger of missing the point. What I think they were doing was trying to reflect current taste accurately. The book is a fine example of how patriarchal values perpetuate themselves, but it also leads to the question: why are men composers more successful than women?17

Note that LeFanu does not accuse Griffiths of purposely rendering women invisible, but rather of omitting women because of the patriarchal culture's prior non-seeing of women. Yet this book, like many similar studies, contributes to the perpetuation of women's invisibility.

Through this process, the achievements of women of one generation have been largely lost as sources of empowerment for women in successive generations. Ruth Solie has written that "quick upon the heels of one's initial glee" at discovering women of unexpected prominence and achievement "comes the uncomfortable awareness that intentional acts of one sort or another have occurred to consign these women to historical limbo."18 To draw on an example from another discipline, Susan Friedman has demonstrated that after Elizabeth Barrett Browning's death, "the reduction of her richly complex and varied canon to one small volume of sonnets began in earnest until Barrett Browning became the stereotypic fragile poetess confined to her Victorian couch, embroidering verses of love for the real prince of poetry."19

FEMINIST CRITICISM

So far I have said nothing about women's musical language, or the musical language men use to construct images of women in their compositions. While feminist criticism has been a major preoccupation of scholars in the disciplines of literature and art, musicologists concerned with feminist issues have so far rarely addressed critical questions. As Susan McClary has pointed out, "the absence of a feminist critique in music is not necessarily owing, however, to an anti-woman bias. Until there exists some way of dealing with music in general as a social discourse, gender will remain a non-issue."20

Nevertheless, some recent ventures into feminist music criticism have made important strides forward. In a discussion of music from two of Monteverdi's music dramas—Orfeo and L'Incoronazione di Poppea—as a form of gender-encoding, McClary shows how the new genre emerged as one of the principal discourses within which gender and sexuality—which were emerging as central concerns in Western culture during the seventeenth century—were publicly delineated. At the same time, by probing below the surface of changes in the gender of rhetoric that took place between the earlier and later music dramas, rather than viewing the changes as straightforward evidence of female emancipation, McClary demonstrates that we need an extensive knowledge of the historical moment if we are to interpret gender constructions in opera.21

Ruth Solie, in a revisionary feminist critical reading of the Chamisso-Schumann song cycle, Frauenliebe und -leben, demonstrates the same need in relation to the song literature. She illustrates how the manner of presentation of these songs—in an intimate room in someone's home, by a woman who was unlikely to be a professional singer but, rather, someone personally known to her audience, and so on—gave social sanction to the songs' message. Furthermore, she shows us what an analysis of Frauenliebe as an impersonation of a woman by the voices of male culture, rather than as the reality of a woman's life, reveals to us. Her work is in line with that of feminist critics in other fields who have shown how male artists have appropriated woman as a semiotic object and made her represent their established order. Solie demonstrates how Schumann's use of motives, key areas, and the return of musical materials stresses the hero and abnegates the maiden, and how the work's cyclicity mythically stands for the feminine by stressing the endless repeatability of women's experience. Her approach differs markedly from the standard formalism, or autonomism, of musicology, which keeps the cultural context out of critical discourse; at the same time, it illustrates how a study of gender relations in a particular period and place can shed light on formal elements in music.22

A study by Austin Caswell of Ariane et Barbe Bleue, an opera by Paul Dukas based on a libretto by Maurice Maeterlinck, offers another approach to deconstructing a dramatic musical score through a gendered lens. Maeterlinck's plot presents a narrative in which the rescuer Ariadne, borrowed from Greek mythology, is super-imposed upon the legend of Bluebeard with its characterizations inverted so that Ariadne defeats Bluebeard and frees his previous wives. (In this version they have not been murdered but are, rather, imprisoned in a subterranean vault.) Tracing the literary and musical genesis of the work, Caswell examines the conscious and subconscious intent of both its authors in an attempt to discern whether or not the opera was feminist by authorial intent or not. Caswell concludes that while Maeterlinck—who was probably tossing off a piece to satisfy the predilections and professional ambitions of his mistress, Georgette Leblanc—can be seen as having written a parody of feminism, and Dukas an uplifting narrative of androgynous humanitarianism, contemporary minds find that Ariadne's stubborn sense of mission has a compelling resonance with present concerns, and they read it as a strong feminist political statement, the authors' apparent intentions notwithstanding. The work thus presents an interesting study in reception.23

Unlike the other authors cited here, Suzanne Cusick has turned her critical attention to the work of a female composer, Francesca Caccini. The questions Cusick asks about Caccini's La Liberazione di Ruggiero dall'isola d'Alcina stem from a feminist critical strategy called "gynocritics," which asks of the texts it examines, "What is the difference of women's writing?" That is, do women artists construct images of the human experience which differ significantly from the images constructed by men? If so, what strategies do they use to tell their different stories, and what are these different stories? Elaine Showalter, who invented the term "gynocritics," has classified it as one of two distinct modes of feminist literary criticism. The first mode is ideological; it is concerned with the feminist as reader, and it offers feminist readings of texts which consider the images and stereotypes of women in literature, the omissions and misconceptions about women in criticism, and woman-as-sign in semiotic systems. The studies by McClary, Solie, and Caswell discussed above are representative of this first mode of feminist criticism. The second mode of feminist literary criticism is the study of women as writers, or gynocritics; its subjects are the history, styles, themes, genres, and structures of writing by women; the psycho-dynamics of female creativity; the trajectory of the individual or collective female career; and the evolution and laws of a female literary tradition. Cusick's study is representative of this second mode.24

With a careful analysis that considers the gender of the patron of Francesca Caccini's La Liberazione—also a woman—and her particular concerns, Cusick demonstrates how the male librettist, presumably responding to the concerns of the patron and composer, shifted the focus of a familiar story to a woman-centered point of view, by placing greater emphasis on the women characters and presenting them as real human beings as well as active agents in the drama. Then, by extending and reinforcing the librettist's treatment of the story through specific use of tonality and motive, Caccini ensured that women would actually dominate the stage. Cusick believes that this has to be more than a coincidence with the fact that, of all the woman-centered works written for the same patron, only La Liberazione had a woman artist as part of its creative team.25

Like Cusick, scholars working in the field of contemporary American music are helping us begin to see how the content of women's music differs to some extent from that of men's music. This conclusion has been reached most frequently in studies of the lyrics of such genres as blues, country and western, gospel, various kinds of popular music, etc. While the differences that have been noticed would sometimes benefit from further analysis—for example, distinguishing between when lyrics serve as straightforward expressions of a woman's point of view and when we should see them as attempts by songwriters, both male and female, to project a particular idea of femininity—it has nevertheless been an important step to notice and compare the differences.26

Not surprisingly, nearly all feminist musical criticism has so far dealt with texted music. But in an analysis of gender construction in two works of the 1870s—Bizet's Carmen and Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 4, Susan McClary has taken on the challenge of dealing with this subject in instrumental music.27 Radically asserting that instrumental classical music, as well as texted music, constructs gender and that we must learn to deconstruct it if we are to develop feminist criticism, McClary states:

I will be arguing in this paper that classical music—no less than pop—is bound up with issues of gender construction and the channeling of desire. Like its popular counterpart, classical music represents a wide range of competing images and models of sexuality, some of which seem to reinscribe faithfully the patriarchal and homophobic norms of the cultures in which they originated, and some of which call those norms into question. If musicology took its subject matter as seriously as many pop critics take theirs, a central task would be explaining how mere pitches can be made to "represent" gender or to manipulate desire—as well as ascertaining just whose versions of gender or desire thereby get reproduced and transmitted.

. . . The strategy of relying only on texted music is always vulnerable to the charge that one is finally dealing only with words . . . and that music itself—in particular the "Absolute Music" of the classical symphonic repertory—remains essentially pure, ineffable, and emphatically not concerned with such mundane issues. Indeed, music theory classes rarely deal with texted music at all; or, if they do, they pointedly ignore the words or dramatic situations precisely because it is only in the absence of words that music can really be examined "on its own terms." I am especially concerned with deconstructing the Master Narrative of "Absolute Music," with removing that final fig leaf for open critical discussion, for I believe that it is this denial of meaning in the instrumental repertory that has systematically blocked any attempt at feminist or any other sort of socially grounded criticism.28

McClary acknowledges that the constructions of gender and sexuality, as well as representations of power struggles, emotional states, and other stories composers devise in their music are heavily mediated through the technical specificity of formal, harmonic, and orchestrational procedures. But she would have us pay close attention to questions of signification in music, rather than putting all our focus on technical procedures.

This concludes my rather cursory review of what we have learned from the studies of women and music that have so far been undertaken. Just as historian Gerda Lerner has pointed out that when "sex" is added as an analytical category, an entirely new dimension is added to history,29 feminist music critics have demonstrated that when gender is added as an analytical category in probing a given musical work, an entirely new dimension is added to our understanding of that work. In the same way, the other studies summarized above show that when gender is added as an analytical category in probing historical developments related to various aspects of music-making, an entirely new dimension is added to our understanding of those developments.

Still, feminist methods and perspectives are yet to make a substantial impact on the mainstream of American musicology. If we are to change the framework of that scholarship generally, instead of merely adding a body of research about women, we must not only continue work along the lines described above but also develop imaginative new research methodologies and derive broad new organizing ideas to inform our fact-finding. How so? Where are these ideas to come from? In the second part of this article, to appear in the next issue of College Music Symposium, I shall put forward suggestions for other kinds of investigation and analysis, many of which are based on ideas and approaches that have emerged in other fields of study—ideas and approaches that strike me as potentially powerful ones for organizing our study of women and music.


1An earlier version of this paper was read at the Annual Meeting of the American Musicological Society, Baltimore, November 1988. I wish to thank Suzanne Cusick, Linda Whitesitt, and Austin Caswell for their careful reading of an intermediate version of this paper and for making helpful suggestions for its clarification and improvement. Part II of this paper will appear in the next issue of College Music Symposium.

2Ellen Carol DuBois, Gail Paradise Kelly, Elizabeth Lapovsky Kennedy, Carolyn W. Korsmeyer, and Lillian S. Robinson, "Ten Years of Feminist Scholarship: The Response of the Disciplines," chap. 5 in Feminist Scholarship: Kindling in the Groves of Academe (Urbana, 1987), 157-94. The full extent of the questions these authors posed, and their methods for gathering data and analyzing and interpreting their findings, cannot be easily summarized here; however, let it be said that their work represents an exemplary approach to the subject.

3I have omitted from this list studies that include women only in connection with their romantic involvement with male musicians, and among the studies included there are some, such as those of Sherr and Shapiro/Talamantez, that have nothing to do with women as musicians. Some of the leading journals are unrepresented in this list altogether, although most have contained at least one article about women within the last five years. American Music and The Black Perspective in Music have also carried some interviews with or about women musicians.

4Although the latter appeared in an Italian journal, I have included it in my survey because it is a particularly good example of research conducted by an American musicologist along traditional lines which yet demonstrates a sensitivity to women's issues.

5For a discussion of this prong, see especially Joseph Kerman, Contemplating Music: Challenges to Musicology (Cambridge, Mass., 1985), 42-44.

6DuBois et al., Feminist Scholarship, 190-91.

7Regarding this neglect, see Kerman, Contemplating Music, 43.

8For two able attempts, see Marcia J. Citron, "Gender, Professionalism, and the Musical Canon," Journal of Musicology, forthcoming; and Elizabeth Wood, "Feminist Re-Thinking: Women, Music, and Women's Studies," paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Musicological Society, Baltimore, November 1988.

9Nancy B. Reich, "An Annotated Bibliography of Recent Writings on Women in Music," in CMS Report No.5: Women's Studies/Women's Status (Boulder, 1988), 3.

10By "constructions of gender and gender relations" I mean the musical means that have been developed for representing women and men as well as the relations between them.

11Ellen Koskoff, "An Introduction to Women, Music, and Culture," in Women and Music in Cross-Cultural Perspective, ed. Ellen Koskoff (Westport, Conn., 1987), 6.

12See Susan Auerbach, "From Singing to Lamenting: Women's Musical Role in a Greek Village," in Women and Music, ed. Koskoff, 28-29.

13For one example, see Linda Phyllis Austern, "'Sing Againe Siren': The Female Musician and Sexual Enchantment in Elizabethan Life and Literature," Renaissance Quarterly, forthcoming.

14Elizabeth Wood, "Women, Music, and Ethel Smyth: A Pathway in the Politics of Music," The Massachusetts Review 24 (1983): 132.

15Linda Whitesitt, "The Role of Women's Music Clubs in Shaping American Concert Life, 1870-1930," paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Musicological Society, Baltimore, November 1988; also forthcoming in The Musical Woman, vol. 3.

16Nancy B. Reich, Clara Schumann: The Artist and the Woman (Ithaca, N.Y., 1985), 177.

17Nicola LeFanu, "Master Musician: An Impregnable Taboo?" Contact 31 (1987), 6. I wish to thank David Lasocki for calling my attention to this article.

18Ruth A. Solie, review of Clara Schumann: The Artist and the Woman, by Nancy B. Reich, 19th Century Music 10 (1986): 75.

19Susan Stanford Friedman, "Gender and Genre Anxiety: Elizabeth Barrett Browning and H. D. as Epic Poets," Tulsa Studies in Women's Literature 5 (1986): 212.

20Susan McClary, "The Blasphemy of Talking Politics During Bach Year," in Music and Society: The Politics of Composition, Performance and Reception, ed. Richard Leppert and Susan McClary (Cambridge, 1987), 52-53.

21Susan McClary, "Constructions of Gender in Monteverdi's Dramatic Music," paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Musicological Society, Baltimore, November 1988; also forthcoming in the Cambridge Opera Journal, vol. 3.

22Ruth Solie, "The Gendered Self in Schumann's Frauenliebe Songs," paper presented at Music and the Verbal Arts: Interactions, Dartmouth College, May 1988; forthcoming in the proceedings of that conference. See also James McCalla, "Music and the Verbal Arts: Interactions," The Journal of Musicology 7 (1989): 138-39, on Solie's presentation.

23Caswell has produced two somewhat different versions of this study: "Ariane et Barbe Bleue: A Feminist Opera?" paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Musicological Society, Baltimore, November 1988; and "Maeterlinck's and Dukas' Ariane et Barbe Bleue: A Feminist Opera?" Studies in Romanticism 27 (1988): 203-20.

24The fullest exposition of gynocritics appears in Elaine Showalter, "Feminist Criticism in the Wilderness," in The New Feminist Criticism: Essays on Women, Literature, and Theory, ed. Elaine Showalter (New York, 1985), 243-70.

25Suzanne G. Cusick, "Francesca Caccini's La Liberazione di Ruggiero dall'isola d'Alcina (1625): A Feminist Misreading of Orlando Furioso?" paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Musicological Society, Baltimore, November 1988.

26With reference to the blues, see especially Daphne Duval Harrison, Black Pearls: Blues Queens of the 1920s (New Brunswick, N.J., 1988); and Hazel V. Carby, "It Jus Be's Dat Way Sometime: The Sexual Politics of Women's Blues," Radical America 20:4 (1986): 9-22.

27Susan McClary, "Sexual Politics in Classical Music," paper presented at Women and the Arts Symposium, University of Wisconsin-Madison, April 1987; also forthcoming in Alternative Musicologies, ed. John Shepherd.

28Ibid., 2-3.

29Gerda Lerner, Teaching Women's History (Washington, D.C., 1981), 27.

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