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Public lectures

"I don't just play the piano ..." - Female composers in the 19th century

Even though women have played an important role as musicians and composers since antiquity, they have received little attention in music historiography. On the one hand, this was due to the fact that the church forbade them to sing and speak until the 18th century. The Pauline commandment "Mulier taceat ecclesia" (1 Corinthians 14.34) was invoked - women must remain silent in church.
Date

Di. 31.01.2023
Di. 13.12.2022

Time

18:15 - 19:45

Speaker

Dr. Hans-Georg Hofmann (Basel Symphony Orchestra)

Location

University of St.Gallen, Room A 23-102
Hauptgebäude
9000 St. Gallen
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Price

Kein Eintritt

Calendar

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Music history

Even though women have played an important role as musicians and composers since antiquity, they have received little attention in music historiography. One reason for this was that the church forbade them to sing and speak until the 18th century. The Pauline commandment "Mulier taceat ecclesia" (1 Corinthians 14.34) was invoked - women must remain silent in church. On the other hand, until the 20th century, the role of women within the family was the responsibility of household management and child rearing.

In recent years, in the course of the shifting axes of gender roles, there has also been a re-evaluation of the role of women within music. It is not only women composers who are receiving more and more attention in musical life. There are now festivals and composition competitions aimed solely at women, and musicological gender research that also deals intensively with women composers from the past. 

In the process, valuable rediscoveries of compositions have been made that are very worthwhile for the concert circuit. The six-part lecture aims to provide an overview of women composers from the Renaissance to the present day. In addition to well-known names such as Clara Schumann or Fanny Mendelssohn, lesser-known female composers such as Louise Farrenc or Emilie Mayer will also be introduced. We will discover rarities worth hearing and also try to answer the question of whether and why these female composers received less attention in their time than their male colleagues. 

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