New PDF release: Musicology and Difference: Gender and Sexuality in Music

By Ruth A. Solie

Addressing Western and non-Western tune, composers from Francesca Caccini to Charles Ives, and musical groups from twelfth-century clergymen to modern opera queens, those essays discover questions of gender and sexuality. Musicology and distinction brings jointly many of the hottest and such a lot hard voices in musicology at the present time on a question of significance to all of the humanistic disciplines.

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They are also in agreement that the difference of style has something important to do with the origins of plainchant and its early history in the Middle Ages. And since plainchant is the earliest European music known to us, the questions raised by the difference we have observed open out to nothing less than questions about the origins and nature of European music. And the disagreements that take over at this pointdisagreements over how the style difference came about, how to characterize it, whether either version can be identified as original and the other somehow derivative, and just what all this can tell about the history as a wholeare argued out with a vigor that is worthy of the rank to which this subject has now been elevated.

This raises a question about where the gender coding that is criticized in such writing as McClary's originates, whether in the artistic tradition itself or in the writing of the critic. I shall return to the question further on.  .  . "34 This seems like a report made in outrage. But then McClary endorses the position herself, and all at once what promised to be a valuable piece of ideology-critique is derailed: As if the thrusting impulse characteristic of tonality and the aggression characteristic of first themes were not enough, Beethoven's symphonies add two other dimensions to the history of style: assaultive pelvic pounding (for instance in the last movement of the Fifth Symphony and in all but the "passive" third movement of the Ninth) and sexual violence.

38 These are Ives's assessments: Mozart, Mendelssohn, early Beethoven, Haydn, Tchaikovsky, Gounod, Massenet: all emasculated.  . " But Franck, D'Indy, and Elgar are praised for their wholesomeness, manliness, humility.  .  . " 38 "Charles Ives: Some Questions of Veracity," Journal of the American Musicological Society 40 (1987): 467. , pp. 452, 467, 453. An interesting coincidence: Ives makes an exception of one of McClary's exemplary masculine works, the Fifth Symphony, but on account of the philosophical character of the Fate Motive.

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