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Women Making Music: The Western Art Tradition, 1150-1950

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"Do look after my music!" Irene Wienawska Polowski exclaimed before her death in 1932. And from the urgency of that sentiment the authors here have taken their cue to reveal and "look after" the previously neglected contributions of women throughout the history of Western art music.   The first work of its kind, Women Making Music presents biographies of outstanding perfor "Do look after my music!" Irene Wienawska Polowski exclaimed before her death in 1932. And from the urgency of that sentiment the authors here have taken their cue to reveal and "look after" the previously neglected contributions of women throughout the history of Western art music.   The first work of its kind, Women Making Music presents biographies of outstanding performers and composers, as well as analyses of women musicians as a class, and provides examples of music from all periods including medieval chant, Renaissance song, Baroque opera, German lieder, and twentieth-century composition. Unlike most standard historical surveys, the book not only sheds light upon the musical achievements of women, it also illuminates the historical contexts that shaped and defined those achievements.  


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"Do look after my music!" Irene Wienawska Polowski exclaimed before her death in 1932. And from the urgency of that sentiment the authors here have taken their cue to reveal and "look after" the previously neglected contributions of women throughout the history of Western art music.   The first work of its kind, Women Making Music presents biographies of outstanding perfor "Do look after my music!" Irene Wienawska Polowski exclaimed before her death in 1932. And from the urgency of that sentiment the authors here have taken their cue to reveal and "look after" the previously neglected contributions of women throughout the history of Western art music.   The first work of its kind, Women Making Music presents biographies of outstanding performers and composers, as well as analyses of women musicians as a class, and provides examples of music from all periods including medieval chant, Renaissance song, Baroque opera, German lieder, and twentieth-century composition. Unlike most standard historical surveys, the book not only sheds light upon the musical achievements of women, it also illuminates the historical contexts that shaped and defined those achievements.  

37 review for Women Making Music: The Western Art Tradition, 1150-1950

  1. 5 out of 5

    Jenny (Reading Envy)

    A great overview of the topic, focusing in on specific musicians, composers, and performers in order to exhibit the general feelings of the time. The research was meticulous and I enjoyed the references to etiquette guides and general writings on women, because it gave a good context to the subject. I read this along with Women in Music by Neuls-Bates, which had additional primary source material. They really supplement each other.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Carol

    This book was a little more like a compilation in that each chapter was written by a different author, but the book still held together as a coherent whole. It covers a lot of ground, and had a lot of illuminating information, most of which was unfamiliar to me. I particularly liked the chapters on specific women, all of whom were also composers. The ones on Clara Schumann and Ruth Crawford Seeger were especially interesting in the way they highlighted women who had been successful as composers This book was a little more like a compilation in that each chapter was written by a different author, but the book still held together as a coherent whole. It covers a lot of ground, and had a lot of illuminating information, most of which was unfamiliar to me. I particularly liked the chapters on specific women, all of whom were also composers. The ones on Clara Schumann and Ruth Crawford Seeger were especially interesting in the way they highlighted women who had been successful as composers while having rich and rewarding personal lives. Other highlights were the chapters on medieval and renaissance women because they are so invisible in most general histories of music. The one thing that I took away from this book was that despite the severe limitations on their lives, obstacles due to sexism, and invisibility to history, women have always engaged in significant musical activity. The major issues regarding women in music are those of gaining respect and attention in a patriarchal society and access to professional status and opportunity.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Jo

    Not enough here to hold my attention from beginning to end, but I am enjoying the later stuff. I also find it interesting on how opportunities for women were limited and the women who managed to side step these restrictions (usually a lot of help and support from kinfolk). Nobles in the earlier periods also aided many careers by adding women on the payroll as ladies in waiting as opposed to paid (gasp) musicians. Loved the segment on Clara Schummann but she's just a super fascinating person. I d Not enough here to hold my attention from beginning to end, but I am enjoying the later stuff. I also find it interesting on how opportunities for women were limited and the women who managed to side step these restrictions (usually a lot of help and support from kinfolk). Nobles in the earlier periods also aided many careers by adding women on the payroll as ladies in waiting as opposed to paid (gasp) musicians. Loved the segment on Clara Schummann but she's just a super fascinating person. I don't think there is anything on Nadia and Lili Boulanger in this book which I believe is a tremendous oversight. Not only did she compose, but she trained many of the great composers of the next generation. Maybe it is due to her life extending beyond the year the book claims to contain - but Lili died early in the 20th century. May add more to the review if I actually read more of the book - but as with a lot of non-fiction, historical works you can jump around with ease to the time periods of interest.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Nicholas Barrett

  5. 5 out of 5

    Zoeschamehorn

  6. 5 out of 5

    Karen Nava-flores

  7. 5 out of 5

    Emily

  8. 5 out of 5

    Tyler

  9. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

  10. 4 out of 5

    Matthew

  11. 5 out of 5

    Heather

  12. 5 out of 5

    Christina

  13. 5 out of 5

    Anna

  14. 5 out of 5

    Nicole Deshazer

  15. 4 out of 5

    Harriet M.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Boogie

  17. 5 out of 5

    Rhiannon

  18. 5 out of 5

    Hannah Kolarik

  19. 5 out of 5

    Ring Lo

    good

  20. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

  21. 4 out of 5

    Cool

  22. 4 out of 5

    Suzanne

  23. 5 out of 5

    Llewellyn

  24. 5 out of 5

    Megan

  25. 5 out of 5

    Audrey

  26. 4 out of 5

    Natalie

  27. 4 out of 5

    Kendra

  28. 4 out of 5

    Wikimedia Italia

  29. 5 out of 5

    J. Nelson

  30. 4 out of 5

    Hande Küçükebe

  31. 5 out of 5

    Burcu Özgür

  32. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca

  33. 4 out of 5

    Dinesia Subhan

  34. 5 out of 5

    Mimollka

  35. 4 out of 5

    Emma Barnaby

  36. 5 out of 5

    Liliana

  37. 4 out of 5

    Faith Sweeney

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