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aa 24 ETHEL SMYTH ‘But the socond excuse is the supreme effort—as fine an instance of solemn pretentious humbug, in other words cant, as Ihave ever come across Tis in aancretats of “Unity of Style” we are told, tat the women have been shown the door! ow will anyone bind a wet towel round his head (yes, his head, for only & rman can expound the deeper workings of the male mind) and tll us whal on maa ahs theans? What, pray, is “unity of style” inthis sense? When Joachim nd Lady Hallé played the Double Concerto in the very town whence issues this precious pronouncement, did the fathers and wxeles ofthe members of thes Poccnmitiee band in ther resignation? Did Bach tur in his grave with Hraror although it is his own fault for not mentioning the ex question in his vores Do the soprani and alt interfere wit the “unity of se" in a chorus? Does the English Quartet, that is led by Miss Hayward, lack it? Nal You ean talk of unity of style between static things, such as Ttalian violins, von of a poem, houses i a stret, bank clerks, priests, ete, but notin the ete of afd force. Sex will not give it to forty men of different talent, temper cae ct abit, digestions and schools; that isthe conductor’ office. And two fret clase artists of different sexes who respond subtly to his intention can more traily be welded by him into the “unity” he wants than fst-ate and fourth- rate male ‘Buta truce to poking about in the unsavoury dust-heap of mans disingen com ceatone for doing an uly action. Let us rather see what that ation Teads to. ‘Apart From the more spiritual element which I now women wil BUD, performers, tothe making of music, their admission on equal tems swith men eorvur orchestras has another aspect. As I am never weary of pointing OM teahesta playing is the finest taining a young composer can have, and the Cheapest, The whole of musical literature passes across your dests You at Tearing form and instrumentation automatically; and even though much of jour time be spent in what must be the hateful work of giving lessons, you ove aac st ofthe wave of music, where strong breezes refresh your spit and keep it buoyant Finally, to svind up with « consideration ofa practical order, once you af namnber of a well-knexen orchestra, you are entitled to ask good fees for private lessons. “AT this was hitherto denied to woman; no wonder the saered flame that Innued in her bosom throughout her student years too often flickered out, | seaiways anantained that until we are inthe rough and eumble of musi! Iva mney are, there eannot possibly be many women composers worth talking tout, Competition, envionment, and the sort of chance yu get all round, are Totalont what sunshine and the less poetical activities of the gardener are 10 # Haasan a word, the general level of human circumstance determines what sre one particulasy gifted being can be expected to attain, and if you have “T Recycle So ids": Do Women Compose Differently? M5 to hurl yourself upwards from the se neh ca-level you may become a Tenerife, but ullying and cowardice, meani _bilsingand co mess and jealousy, are not pretty qu Loner nse tn that cntenpt woe or hae ens prew th fom unig vein ny spe och ty ve themsehes fit? Meanie, as fishing tone, a po Young intelectual are busy sheng roca eun ee ing paper over the paucity of female stars of the frst magnitude, the equality of their chances ‘with men eae) ofthe Best magnitude, 2 5 Eva Rieger Thepatcipation of " ef women in profesional msi e inthe second ha of he wet conuy an hs ened sce, including performance, composton, scholars pone The cook 1as been achieved, however, 7 era bes only with considerable st ed sie al Soieecar enema bt active professional participation by women sim Aisi iach aul opatiniy ral thers have maine hs ne eae oe slabs omen bing ge aero ar sctondhgand wring eee ae -ssentialist, position is represented in this ik identifies and discusses characteristics she finds typical of much music com d i a sti f us “T Recycle Sounds”: Do Women Compose Differently? (1992) . in ome tpt ee up fone decided to study ethnological differene sadhng pee roa nein vatous geographical ples, but when one su “a ences in music by people of opposed sex, musicologist get ‘exe fal of the fn th Inertia eof Woe Compaen, pest et shed version the ig mat th dears peer? TM ry 25 EVA RIEGER extremely touchy. Yet sociologists teach us that gender is one of the most {Important determinants of human behavior. In our Western culture men and ‘women have had different cultural fields assigned to them, and this tradition prevails in our thoughts and emotions, Pedagogical research has shown that gies prefer different musical instruments than boys, their musical preferences Giffer, and a German research project on children’s drawings revealed that boys tnostly draw instrumentalists standing on their own, whereas gils show them playing in a group. Yet the question whether women compose differently than yin has been posed mainly by the feminist scene up to now: Tt is usually tssumed that the musical style and development is something confined solely to aesthetic issues and has nothing to do with gender. When discussing the subject of women aesthetics, someone is bound to pro- test and say “oh, but I know a male composer who composes exactly that way” on ‘I know a female composer who composes exactly opposite.” This level of argument leads nowhere, as itis confined to personal experience. Yet my assumptions are also based on listening experience. Should I therefore bury the subject? 1 admit that itis well-nigh impossible to prove my points they remain hypothetical. Yet if we on the other hand wanted to come to scientii- tally proven results we would have to study hundreds of pieces of music by fomen and just as many by men, We would have to take their age, their nation ality their opinions, their development just as much into account as their sex Such a research project would need enormous personal and financial resonrees, and even then we would not really come to fixed results. Neverthe- jess, Tam aware that one day such research will have to be undertaken in order to put the subject on a more reliable level. This paper serves only to spark a discussion on the subject. Tam not determined to prove by all means that women compose different. “That would be ideological. [am just taking the before-mentioned assumption seriously that sex role is one of the most important determinants of human behavior In consequence it seems to me sensible to ask whether gender infhr- ences music, especially since other disciplines ike the visual arts film andl liter- ature have been posing these questions for years. “Although we must distinguish between the theoretical constructions of male and female, as can be found in ideologies and which have led to a distorted pleture of women, and the real differences, I believe that the real differences Pihich are based on different biological, socal, psychological and aesthetic riences of women and men in patriarchal culture, are to an extent influ- ‘oed by the theoretical constructions of fomale. By suggesting that women hhave adopted certain traits because oftheir roles, 1 do not intend to push them ack to the confinement of the past. However, the more I realize that women ‘cannot rid themselves of their traditions by a sheer act of will-power (our past {s too much a part of our present), the question arses as to whether they should not redefine some of these traditions and derive strength from them, instead of ignoring or condemning them. ED'S “T Recycle Sounds": Do Women Compose Differently? 147 In the pest women acquiesced n acquiesced to the malo-defining music erations were bored into the msctne tion, whi rested fog Instance Cl Scan sealing digpergngy of hes ayn muse Taste agree vith Eline Shoal, who in her book Feminist Crim nthe Wider ness maaan that a woman’ culture existed in the past. I doubt whether we cas find an independent counter uadton, but thee ae sigs that orn the pst Ind Aileen spr to mas, an at some mand between wornen composers ext we compare Clr Sehtmann plano vara tons e by Robert Schumann with the variations of Johannes Brahma the same theme, we fd tat wieress Clara Schunasis ae closely connected with the orignal theme, Brains eetes vrellnigh now piece of work, He departs from the original theme and tums te etal Bra msi. Tsems to me tpl for a woman ofthe nineteenth century that Clara Schuman yas thinking more of Rober than of hen. will always define Brahms’ variations as the more valuable, becagse ny ow esthetic racy the imcratve eff ranked highest of ah woud be ridiculous to mln tht all women compose sina spi se. Women composers cannot be judged all on the ipch ey differ by age, national, talent, places of residence, state of matey, experience, ete. Also of muse ranging fom america dopa and aude ition up fo the search for spcfely feral meds f expression ant fd when ig copy wenn ese tury T have very often found what seem tome remarlable silanes, ot jst sted them woul be abitar-—but have tempi fo oe them back peste il tot conditions and facts. I shall state and discus ich T find typical fora great deal of music written by 2. Many women ha we a special ability t aximum sina of material aso of resrited aesthetcn mou outa jough women have composed in all forms and genres, ran piano Blees fo the tras and the symphony, they epee See {uy confined mainly to prdor musi on acount oftheir oc tats. (Ts of course led to the wel-knowm preuie that women vere unable o large fos.) They are sled in wating msi which ean be erformed eal = spain in writing muse or ov sake "his tradition pre- is songs piano and chamber musie predominate in musi writen omen 1 difeut to judge whether women ae struggling ih gue burden of whether their abit to make the most of limited circumstances can kobe a speci alent which linked to their soil character. The ig of compere Falne Overs, Anes Lacod, Ane Cis ia 4 Barbara and others to intensify the acto listening by limiting the matertal scatter tensify the act of listening by limiting the material Many have a special preference for Funct “May ference for functional music. ‘Women were also allotted to the ficlds of church eatcia, insane because in Oe 48 25 EVA RIECER tional purposes and musie for amateurs. This has to do with the jobs women could get in the nineteenth century; the main field open for them was the so- called “social mothering,” meaning jobs as teachers, governesses and nurses. Even today a large amount of music written by women is functional music, and once more we must ask whether women prefer this branch because they are particularly skilled, or because they have not rid themselves of the con- straints of tradition. Whatever the reason may be, women have written excel- Tent functional music. German composers like Ema Woll and Felicitas Kukuck are known for the high quality of their church and pedagogic music. '3, Communication is of primary concern to them. ‘Awhile ago the German feminist magazine EMMA organized a competition for female journalists. The jury announced later: “When women write, they don't ramble. They have a message to transmit.” This attitude can often be found in many women composers. They often compose music that alludes to something or someone; they lke to tell stories. They write music that can be played, performed, and understood and the contact to the audience is of pri nary concem to many of them. Sofia Gubaidulina has for instance written hhardly any musie without a title, a text, a ritual or some kind of instrumental “action.” “The traditional view of the male gender role in Western societies emphasizes power, strength, aggressiveness, competitiveness and logic, while the female Tole involves nurturing, cooperativeness and emotion, The role of women as ‘mothers has taught them to harmonize conflicts, to negotiate in family prob- Toms, to unite instead of separate, This has consequences for their artistic out- put. For instance, they often have the performers in mind while composing, prefer to talk to the instrumentalists beforehand and get acquainted with their ‘way of handling their instruments, and this influences them when composing, 4, Women composers are more interested in constituent substance than in compulsive innovation. ‘The male desire for narcissistic self-celebration is frequently missing in ‘women, so that they do not feel the impulse to ereate sensations with hitherto ‘unheard-of music, Many male composers seem to have their careers foremost jn mind when composing, They aspire to become famous, and their music is often a novelty which aims at publicity, possible notoriety. It is quite possible that women might one day imitate men's burning desire for becoming famous, but for women today it has not the same importance, This has to do with the tradition of the nineteenth century when no jobs were offered them and they composed for their own pleasure (amateur status vs. professional status). This is why they do not find the eraze for novelty and uniqueness as important as tnen, and it may explain why composers like Louise Farrene, Louisa Adolpha Le Beau or Emilie Mayer in the nineteenth century, or Ethel Smyth, Grazyna Bacewicz and others in the twentieth century did not crave to develop a new language but rather leaned back on tradition. I am certainly not suggesting that women have difficulties in creating novelties, but rather that they do not find “Recycle Sounds”; Do Women Compose Differently? 149 it important to be novel just for novelty’s sake. for novelty’ sake. They stress the content mo than the aspect of material development. The German ¢ ca ‘oon oe Hildegard Westerlamp uses background musi from the radio as materi and 1e says of herself: “I recycle sounds.” omaha 5. They often strive to overcome binary contrasts Myriam Marbe firmly believes there is no such thing as but rather that ies melt into each other We often Gnd woren compen zeformer atemptingto combine various raitons, 2s for nstance Ushio Tor. ikai or Jin Him Kim who integrates into her work elements that she has as lated rom radon Korean music. Eliane Radgue converted to "Tibetan uuddhism and writes musi ina semi-eligious style which is intended tos dove the Istener. This aptitude to tr back nstead fst ahead conte seen as a more eyelie preference, contrary to the dynamic sta i secs neo uy to the dy traight-forward line 6. The aspect of “Canzheitlichkeit” [the qualit : wheitlc 1e quality of being complete] means that they wish to combine various Bld of art but ao ths whale of hese ing, body and soul, Mankind (or Womankind) and Nature ‘This probably has to do with women's preference to combine rather than to tea apart, which gun canbe attributed to women’ roe in society for many centuries. Women musicians like the Japanese Ushio Torikai or Mer Monk often include other ats such as theatre, dance and performonce eats ima They es it adequate to expres theses by tang Fgent ofthe versity surrounding them and moulding these fragments into a unit ‘The wish to combine musi and the visual ass also strong In the USA Per formance Art has been developed mainly by women. Women composers oft expres the wih oe at Inrmony with mature. The Amer aoa singer Candace Natvig has studied birds singing and tres to prove that musi of ld societies i inflaenced by the sounds ofmature, Pe “nate 7. They relate closely to their own bodies and the human voice. acon ae physely sonprodutive, whereas the erative powers of women ie experienced in their own bodies. They did not experience the rigid ho line between body and spit asd men. The cetera eer a a home slo led to thir composing innumerable songs inthe nineteenth eet s tradition has led toa close relationship of the woman composer with the human voice, and especialy to the female vole. This voice tradition is = ave today. Contemporary composers ike Meredith Monk, Pane Oliveros uurie Anderson, Connie Beckley and others trod new ground with their voice experiments, Joan LaBarbera is renowned for her exploration of veal tech gue inspired by msi trations throughout the worl, She has developed a vocabulary of ne techniques ncading muiphonis, cca rething and Sometimes these points unite in 0 ser, asf me composer, as for instance in the ease of Oliveros or Guballa, Paine Overs wool not be mentioned te onl or ter striving to tatensify the emperience of listening. in abolish the near ara

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