Sovereign Feminine: Music and Gender in Eighteenth-Century Germany

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9780520273849: Sovereign Feminine: Music and Gender in Eighteenth-Century Germany

In the German states in the late eighteenth century, women flourished as musical performers and composers, their achievements measuring the progress of culture and society from barbarism to civilization. Female excellence, and related feminocentric values, were celebrated by forward-looking critics who argued for music as a fine art, a component of modern, polite, and commercial culture, rather than a symbol of institutional power. In the eyes of such critics, femininity—a newly emerging and primarily bourgeois ideal—linked women and music under the valorized signs of refinement, sensibility, virtue, patriotism, luxury, and, above all, beauty. This moment in musical history was eclipsed in the first decades of the nineteenth century, and ultimately erased from the music-historical record, by now familiar developments: the formation of musical canons, a musical history based on technical progress, the idea of masterworks, authorial autonomy, the musical sublime, and aggressively essentializing ideas about the relationship between sex, gender and art. In Sovereign Feminine, Matthew Head restores this earlier musical history and explores the role that women played in the development of classical music.

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From the Inside Flap:

"In Sovereign Feminine, Matthew Head presents a compelling model for how to consider the music authored by women. In doing so, he brings to light aspects of eighteenth-century music, ideology, and aesthetics that have been neglected by musicology's excessive emphasis on the Big Five: Bach, Handel, Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven. An important book that takes gender studies in musicology to the next stage." Susan McClary, author of Feminine Endings: Music, Gender, and Sexuality

This subtle and empathetic exploration of German musical culture [brings] to life a world of feminine idealization where to compose, to write or to perform as a woman is to offer potential models of civilizing behavior. With refreshing honesty about his own changing attitudes, Head ably navigates the tightrope of this transitional era. His collection of finely-judged analyses will cause many a reader to reconsider assumptions of feminist scholarship.” Katharine Ellis, Stanley Hugh Badock Professor of Music, University of Bristol, UK

Through its exploration of woman’s role as the civilized and civilizing center of late 18th-century German music culture, this important book provokes and rewards in equal measure. Ranging from influential women composers to young ladies at the keyboard, this subtle and brilliant study argues for the positive status of the feminine, challenging narratives of female exclusion with the radiant concept of female sovereignty.” Annette Richards, author of The Free Fantasia and the Musical Picturesque

About the Author:

Matthew Head is a Reader in Music at King’s College London. He is the author of Orientalism, Masquerade, and Mozart’s Turkish Music (2000).

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Book Description University of California Press, United States, 2013. Hardback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. In the German states in the late eighteenth century, women flourished as musical performers and composers, their achievements measuring the progress of culture and society from barbarism to civilization. Female excellence, and related feminocentric values, were celebrated by forward-looking critics who argued for music as a fine art, a component of modern, polite, and commercial culture, rather than a symbol of institutional power. In the eyes of such critics, femininity - a newly emerging and primarily bourgeois ideal - linked women and music under the valorized signs of refinement, sensibility, virtue, patriotism, luxury, and, above all, beauty. This moment in musical history was eclipsed in the first decades of the nineteenth century, and ultimately erased from the music-historical record, by now familiar developments: the formation of musical canons, a musical history based on technical progress, the idea of masterworks, authorial autonomy, the musical sublime, and aggressively essentializing ideas about the relationship between sex, gender and art. In Sovereign Feminine, Matthew Head restores this earlier musical history and explores the role that women played in the development of classical music. Bookseller Inventory # AAU9780520273849

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Book Description University of California Press, United States, 2013. Hardback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. In the German states in the late eighteenth century, women flourished as musical performers and composers, their achievements measuring the progress of culture and society from barbarism to civilization. Female excellence, and related feminocentric values, were celebrated by forward-looking critics who argued for music as a fine art, a component of modern, polite, and commercial culture, rather than a symbol of institutional power. In the eyes of such critics, femininity - a newly emerging and primarily bourgeois ideal - linked women and music under the valorized signs of refinement, sensibility, virtue, patriotism, luxury, and, above all, beauty. This moment in musical history was eclipsed in the first decades of the nineteenth century, and ultimately erased from the music-historical record, by now familiar developments: the formation of musical canons, a musical history based on technical progress, the idea of masterworks, authorial autonomy, the musical sublime, and aggressively essentializing ideas about the relationship between sex, gender and art. In Sovereign Feminine, Matthew Head restores this earlier musical history and explores the role that women played in the development of classical music. Bookseller Inventory # AAU9780520273849

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Book Description University of California Press, 2013. Book Condition: New. In the German states in the late eighteenth century, women flourished as musical performers and composers, their achievements measuring the progress of culture and society from barbarism to civilization. This title restores this earlier musical history and explores the role that women played in the development of classical music. Num Pages: 350 pages, 14 b/w photographs, 8 tables, 49 music examples. BIC Classification: 1DFG; 3JF; AVGC4; JFSJ1. Category: (P) Professional & Vocational. Dimension: 235 x 151 x 32. Weight in Grams: 604. . 2013. Hardcover. . . . . . Bookseller Inventory # V9780520273849

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Book Description University of California Press. Book Condition: New. In the German states in the late eighteenth century, women flourished as musical performers and composers, their achievements measuring the progress of culture and society from barbarism to civilization. This title restores this earlier musical history and explores the role that women played in the development of classical music. Num Pages: 350 pages, 14 b/w photographs, 8 tables, 49 music examples. BIC Classification: 1DFG; 3JF; AVGC4; JFSJ1. Category: (P) Professional & Vocational. Dimension: 235 x 151 x 32. Weight in Grams: 604. . 2013. Hardcover. . . . . Books ship from the US and Ireland. Bookseller Inventory # V9780520273849

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