By Ruth A. Solie
Addressing Western and non-Western song, composers from Francesca Caccini to Charles Ives, and musical groups from twelfth-century priests to modern opera queens, those essays discover questions of gender and sexuality. Musicology and distinction brings jointly a few of the most up to date and so much difficult voices in musicology this day on a query of significance to all of the humanistic disciplines.
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Extra info for Musicology and Difference: Gender and Sexuality in Music Scholarship
Previous page page_36 next page > < previous page page_37 next page > Page 37 men and women she must first herself construct them out of the musical materials. In doing so she adopts the very stereotypes that she has deplored, underscoring them by contrast with the feminine character that she describes in music composed by women. That ascription adds to the confusion, because then it is no longer gender-labeling itself to which she objects, but the male-dominated, gendered scenarios that have filled European music since the Renaissance.
And, third, the mystical and mysterious categories of gender we encountered at the outset are replaced with what may be claimed to be demonstrable categories of gender difference, referred directly to immediate feelings and experiences of sexuality. But these new claims about gender in music force open again a Pandora's box of questions about musical aesthetics that used to be fiercely debated without resolution and about which there has been, in the mainstream of musicological activity, tacit agreement to let them lie.
D. , University of Washington, 1986. 49Musik und Rasse, p. 13. 50 But that is not to say that someone else would have made a better job of it. The problem is with the question itself, which deserves answers of such quality. Is it now to be a task of gender studies in music to reinforce the long-practiced role of gender duality in critical and historical discourse by developing a more explicit essentialism of gender? Does it speak better for the quality of gender characterizations if they are referred directly to the character of sexual feelings and experiences?