Gender, Professionalism and the Musical Canon Author(s): Marcia J. Citron Source: The Journal of Musicology, Vol. 8, No.

1 (Winter, 1990), pp. 102-117 Published by: University of California Press Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/763525 Accessed: 12/08/2010 21:06
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Gender, Professionalism and the Musical Canon*
MARCIA J. CITRON

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n the field of literature the concept of the canon functions as a basic tool in defining the scope of the discipline. Works admitted to this prestigious group command deep respect and form the literary core perpetuated in English curricula. They become source material for critical discourse and set exclusionary standards for works whose quality and thematic content do not meet certain disciplinary criteria. As evidenced by the session "Musicology and Its Canons" at the 1987 annual meeting of the American Musicological Society, our discipline has recently appropriated the term as a useful construct for self-analysis. For us "canon" is more or less equivalent with "standard repertoire." We can think of it as a loosely codified organism, broadly accepted, with some degree of flexibility on small exchanges or new members. It does, however, exhibit recalcitrant behavior on wholesale changes, for these reflect major shifts in aesthetic viewpoint that tend to evolve over a period of time. As in our correlate discipline the power wielded by the canon is enormous: its members are presumed best and thus most deserving of reiteration in performance, in scholarship, and in teaching. But even a cursory glance at these musical activities reveals that works by women are absent from the canon. One is hard-pressed to find them in concert programs and in the standard music histories and anthologies. With regard to anthologies, for example, the new edition of The Norton Anthologyof WesternMusic, issued in 1988, includes only one piece by a woman, a monophonic "canso" by the Countess of Dia, in its two-volume compendium of 163 works. In addition to the extremely low percentage, one is surprised to find no
Volume VIII * Number i * Winter 1990 The Journal of Musicology ? 1990 by the Regents of the University of California * This article is an expanded version of a paper presented in the session "Cultural and Aesthetic Issues" at the annual meeting of the American Musicological Society, November 1988, Baltimore.

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representation among recent periods of music, where women have been more visible. Another anthology, Leon Plantinga's RomanticMusic, from 1984, excludes any representation by women, although the accompanying textbook cites Corona Schroter as composer of the first setting of "Der Erlkonig," and later provides a brief discussion of Fanny Hensel and Clara Schumann. Both the third and fourth editions of The Norton Scores (1977, 1984), edited by Roger Kamien,

include one work by a woman, a movement from Ruth Crawford Seeger's String Quartet of 1931. Although one is glad to see some representation by women in most of these collections, still the very low
percentage is disappointing.'

Women's exclusion has played a role in creating what feminist literary critic Lillian Robinson has dubbed a "counter canon:" an alternative repertoire made up entirely of works by women.2 This is epitomized most directly in the recent Historical Anthologyof Music by Women, edited by James Briscoe.3 The first of its kind, this genderuniform collection owes its genesis and raison d'etre largely to the theory of compensatory history and the related notion of the "exception woman" and her accomplishments. Such a presentation functions as an important and necessary first stage in a discipline's serious exploration of its forgotten female figures. Musicology, in this regard, is still in its infancy compared to the field of literature, and to a lesser extent, the field of history.4
1 See also James Briscoe, "Integrating Music by Women into the Music History Sequence," College Music SymposiumXXV (1985), 21-27; and Diane Jezic and David Binder, "A Survey of College Music Textbooks: Benign Neglect of Women Composers," The Musical Woman, volume 2, ed. Judith Lang Zaimont, Catherine Overhauser, and Jane Gottlieb (Westport, Ct., 1987), 445-69. 2 "Treason Our Text: Feminist Challenges to the Literary Canon," Tulsa Studiesin LiteratureII (1983), 83-98. For an earlier essay on women's role in the literary Women's canon see Elaine Showalter, "Women and the Literary Curriculum," College English XXXII (1970-71), 855-62. 3 Published in 1987 by Indiana University Press; accompanying tapes are forthcoming. A companion volume, the first comprehensive history, is the forthcoming Womenand Music: A History,cooperatively written, and edited by Karin Pendle. Another resource is Diane Jezic's biographical overview of twenty-five composers, WomenComposers: The Lost TraditionFound (New York, 1988), with accompanying tapes. 4 One fundamental difference between the Briscoe anthology and traditional anthologies is the former's assumption of gender as a necessary condition for inclusion and as an essential analytic category for the prose introductions to each work. In traditional collections gender is not a stated necessary condition for inclusion nor a category for analysis, although the de facto result is the near or total exclusion of women. Gender thus functions as a non-issue. Such categorical non-existence generally occurs when the norms and values of the dominant culture, in this case male society, are assumed for all of society. A similar pattern pertains to the categories of class and race. See Joan W. Scott, "Gender: A Useful Category of Historical Analysis," AmericanHistorical Review XCI/5 (December 1986), 1053-75. Regarding compensatory history see Gerda Lerner, "Placing Women in History: A 1975 Perspective," in LiberatingWomen's

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Yet the ultimate goal is not separatism but integration into the mainstream of Western musical history. But at this juncture we have to wonder about the reasons for women's absence from the tradition as represented by the canon, an absence that denies validity, voice, and authority. This article will attempt to provide some answers by examining the complex web of factors involved in canon formation, and by demonstrating how certain gender-specific factors have worked to the detriment of women with regard to that process. Composers of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries will serve as examples. The study will also pose challenges towards the adoption of works by women into the canon. I First let us hone in more precisely on what we mean by canon. For there are several different canons, for example the canon of early music, of avant-garde music, of ethnomusicology. I am focusing mainly on the mainstream of Western art music as embodied in the teaching of music history. By and large, especially after 1725, this coincides with the canon of professional performing organizations. Canon formation is complex and embraces a wide swathe of factors that rest on a dual chronological base: conditions and attitudes prevalent at the time of composition and those in force at present. Let us trace briefly the etiquette on the early end. A composition first has to be written, then it has to be published in order to be circulated, at least after ca. 1780. It has to reach public consciousness by a first performance and then remain there through some regularity of performance. This is less likely to happen without some critical attention in print and a positive assessment at least sometime near the work's debut. Although these steps seem the most basic stages on the road to permanency and potential canonization, they actually take place well into the process. As we back up a few notches we confront gender-linked conditions and conventions that thwart women's chances for professional status, a requisite for potential canonic inclusion.
History, ed. Berenice A. Carroll (Urbana, 1976), 357-67. Another seminal study is Hilda Smith, "Feminism and the Methodology of Women's History," in the same collection, 368-84. The historical model of the "exception woman" is that only few women-the exceptions-have been able to escape the more typical path expected of women and overcome male-imposed obstacles and achieve success. These issues serve as backdrop to Ruth Solie's discussion of biography and gender in her review of Nancy Reich's Clara Schumann: The Artist and the Woman(Ithaca, 1985), in 19th-Century Music X/i (Summer 1986), 74-80.

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First, an aspiring composer must receive an adequate music education. Basic theoretical skills, particularly harmony, counterpoint, and orchestration, are critical. Women, however, faced a distinct disadvantage: regular and systematic denial of access to the full range of compositional training. I will illustrate with two examples. First is the French composer Cecile Chaminade (1857-1944). Both Felix Le Couppey, prominent professor at the Conservatoire, and Georges Bizet, a neighbor in Le Vesinet, recognized the young girl's creative talents, in the late 186os. Each urged that she study at the Conservatoire. But her father forbade it, basing patriarchal objections on normative codes for young women of their class. As a compromise Chaminade was permitted to study privately with Conservatoire professors. Her father feared she might fall prey to negative moral influences at a public institution, and like many a father Hippolyte Chaminade was attempting to protect his daughter. But as a result Cecile missed out on the full breadth of institutional education, which promotes group socialization, individual contacts, and exposure to other ideas as much as it sharpens musical skills. Perhaps one can attribute much of Chaminade's later isolation and stylistic conservatism to her isolated music education.5 The second case is Mabel Daniels (1878-1971), an aspiring American composer. A student at the Munich Conservatory around 1902, Daniels related how there had never been a female student in the score-reading class and how she elicited both curiosity and astonishment once admitted to it. She also detailed other institutional prohibitions: ... five years ago women were not allowed to study counterpointat the conservatory.In fact, anything more advancedthan elementary harmonywas debarred.The abilityof the feminine intellect to comprehend the intricaciesof a stretto, or cope with double counterpoint in the tenth, if not openly denied, was severely questioned. The counterpointclass is now open to women, although as yet comparativelyfew availthemselvesof the opportunity.Formerly,too, all the teachers in the conservatorywere men, but one finds today two women enrolled as professors among the forty on the list.6 From the vantage point of 1933 Ethel Smyth, the indomitable British composer and suffragette, offered the following summary ob5 This information is based on the unpublished biography of Chaminade written her niece, Antoinette Lorel, in family possession. See also the "Biography" chapter by of Citron, Cecile Chaminade:A Bio-Bibliography (Westport, Ct., 1988), pp. 3-32. 6 Daniels, An American Girl in Munich (Boston, 1905), pp. 39-44, as reprinted in Carol Neuls-Bates, Womenin Music: An Anthologyof SourceReadingsfrom the Middle Ages to the Present (New York, 1982), 219-22.

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servation: "there is not at this present moment one single middle-aged woman alive who has had the musical education that has fallen to men as a matter of course, without any effort on their part, ever since music was."7 The next step towards professionalism is publication. This boasts a poor record with regard to women: only a small percentage of their works have appeared in print. At first glance publication seems an open-and-shut situation, a decision based on merit and anticipated profit for the publisher. Yet certain factors of social organization and practices have impinged forcefully on the issue and rendered publication anything but quality- or economics-based. Before 1800 musical activity was organized around political and ecclesiastical units, and publication was subvented by patrons. These dignitaries were supporting the creative products of composers in their employ. The catch, however, is that women were institutionally excluded from such employment: both traditional conventions and formal proscriptions precluded such occupation and status. Thus the natural outlet for publication or manuscript circulation was closed to women. After 18oo, when music moved into the public domain and the demand for new pieces gradually yielded to the concept of repeating classics,8 publication was inextricably linked with the sustainability of a piece, that is, repeat performance. This held true particularly for pieces deploying large forces, which entail a significant outlay of money and become losing propositions unless performed regularly. An important component in procuring performances was regular access to the musical establishment, that heterogeneous corps of professionals consisting of other composers, and of performers, conductors, impresarios, and board members of major performing organizations. Women, in general, experienced enormous difficulty in forging those necessary contacts, largely through gender-specific conditions.9
7 From chapter 2 ("Women's Training Hitherto") of Smyth's Female Pipings in Eden (1933), as quoted in Neuls-Bates, p. 286. 8 J. Peter Burkholder has written on this salient but neglected aspect of music sociology. See his "Museum Pieces: The Historicist Mainstream in Music of the Last Hundred Years," Journal of Musicology 1/2 (Spring 1983), 115-34; and "Brahms and Music VIII/i (Summer 1984), 75-83. Twentieth-Century Classical Music," 19th-Century 9 Many of these difficulties were subtle. Ethel Smyth, in her typically forthright and common-sensical way, brought up two fundamental points. "To take the bull by the horns, the chief difficulty women musicians have to face is that in no walk of life do men like to see us come barging in on their preserves." Although casting this as a criticism, Smyth characterized the situation as natural and understandable. She felt the same towards her next point, which is that "innocent clannishness" among men has excluded women. "You can't get rid of the colleague element, nor deny that men are nearer to

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The case of Fanny Hensel (1805-47) serves as a useful illustration. A prolific and recognizably talented composer from youth, she was nonetheless purposely steered away from the world of musical contacts, on account of her sex, by her father.1o This course contrasted markedly with that of her brother Felix Mendelssohn. He entered his professional apprenticeship by making the pilgrimage to Goethe in Weimar, in 1821, and then going to Paris four years later to pass muster from Cherubini and taste musical life in its full expression. The rites of passage were completed when he began his grand tour in 1829 to England and to the Continent. His prolific correspondence discloses the significance of these trips for his budding career; they turned him into a professional and provided him the opportunity of access to major figures of all stripes in the field of music.ll Hensel was denied this opportunity. Thus no wonder that, ensconced in her private salon, she had practically no public performance of her works, not to mention repeat performances. Very few compositions were published.12 The Hensel/Mendelssohn dichotomy underscores another associated with repeat performances. gender-linked disadvantage Women were not hired as conductors and thus denied a natural outlet for performance of at least some of their works. Mendelssohn, in contrast, through his positions in Leipzig and Berlin, and guest appearances in England and elsewhere, had performing groups at his disposal, could revise his orchestral works through repeat performances, and thus perfect them for publication.l3 The performances

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other men than they can ever be to women" (FemalePipings in Eden [1933], as excerpted in Neuls-Bates, pp. 290-91). 'o See note 20 below. " The great majority of his letters to the family are located in the New York Public Library. No complete edition has yet appeared, but many key letters have been published, as in Rudolf Elvers's compilation of selected letters, MendelssohnBartholdy Briefe (Frankfurt am Main, 1984), and in Peter Sutermeister's edition of the Continental Tour, Eine Reise durch Deutschland,Italien und die Schweiz(Zurich, 1958). 12 See Citron, "Felix Mendelssohn's Influence on Fanny Mendelssohn Hensel as a Professional Composer," CurrentMusicologyXXXVII/XXXVIII (1984), 9-17; and the introductory essay "The Relationship Between Fanny and Felix" in Citron, Lettersof Fanny Hensel to Felix Mendelssohn(New York, 1987), xxxi-xliv. 13 The case of Brahms's No. 4 illustrates the advantages of performance Symphony prior to publication. It was issued in October 1886 only after numerous public performances from manuscript, from early November 1885 to at least mid May 1886. Brahms apparently used these performances as "Proben," both tests and rehearsals, to try out the piece and make revisions as needed prior to the permanent version. Another angle on the importance of performances is provided by Ethel Smyth, who observed that "until a work is performed, it is impossible even for the composer to form a true judgment on its merit" (Female Pipings in Eden, as excerpted in Neuls-Bates, pp. 28687).

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also ensured continued public exposure and thus potentialized the chances for becoming part of the canon. The fact that several women have felt compelled to conceal their femaleness and assume authorship under a neutral or masculine identity shows that gender prejudice has indeed been a very real issue, as in literature, where one encounters, for example, the male pseudonyms Georges Sand and George Eliot. The ruse promoted professional respect and creative authority as well as gender-neutral critical assessment. Clara Schumann, for instance, contributed Lieder to a joint collection with Robert; here, with both names affixed to the title page, one could not identify which songs were by Clara, which by Robert. Hensel had gone further towards concealment when she permitted her first published pieces to bear the authorship of her brother Felix.'4 Ethel Smyth herself signed her compositions with the neutral E. M. Smyth. In 1975 Edith Borroff related her own experience when an aspiring composer: After earning the degrees in compositionI found that performance and publicationof my music were inseparably linked with my sex: all worksthat I submittedwith my right name were rejected(allbut one unopened-and that with a letter saying that my work was "deserving of performance"yet not offering to perform it); conversely,the two that I submittedwith male pseudonym were accepted. When I gave up the subterfuge on principle, I virtually relinquished any chance for significant activity as a composer until the late 196os, when attitudesbegan to change.15 Critical reception is the next marker on the professional path. This, of course, assumes the fact of performance and usually publication as well. Unfortunately women have been subjected to genderlinked evaluation, placing them in a "separate but not equal" category that has widened the gulf between themselves and the homogeneous canon. William S. Newman was one of the first mainstream musicologists to isolate gender-linked criticism, in his discussion of female composers of sonatas in the nineteenth century:
37/12. See Reich, Clara Schumann, 248-49. Three each of Hensel's Lieder appeared in Felix's Opp. 8 and 9 (1827, 1830). For an overview of women's relationship to the Lied in the early nineteenth century see Citron, "Women and the Lied, 1775-1850," Women Making Music: The WesternArt Tradition, 1150-1950, ed. Jane Bowers & Judith Tick (Urbana, 1986), 224-48. Feminist explorations of writing and authorship in various disciplines appear in the anthology The FemaleAutograph,ed. Domna C. Stanton (Chicago, 1987). 15 "Women XV Composers: Reminiscence and History," CollegeMusic Symposium (1975), p. 27.
14 Clara and Robert's collection, aus F. Riickert's"Liebesfriihling," Zwolf Gedichte Op.

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Intentionallyor not, these women were put in a classof their own by the reviewers,who were invariablywell-meaningbut invariablycavalier, too, and who seldom completed a review without at least implying that the sonata was "surprisinglygood for a woman" and
showed "fine skill if not much inspiration."'6

But the analytical category has obtained for all types of pieces. It became entrenched around 1900, when women were attempting to crack the professional-composer enclave in greater numbers. The criticism set up a no-win standard that boiled down to "damned if you do, damned if you don't." Women composers were criticized as being true to their sex if their music exhibited supposedly feminine traits, yet derided as attempting to be masculine if their music embodied so-called virile traits. Judith Tick and others coined the term sexual aesthetics to describe this gender-based theory.l7 The compositions of Cecile Chaminade, for instance, were regularly deemed charming and graceful-aesthetically in accord with the sex of their creator-and often criticized for being too feminine. Yet on other occasions Chaminade was berated for stepping beyond acceptable limits, as in the following review, from 1889, of her Concertstiick, Op. 40, for piano and orchestra: [It is] a work that is strong and virile, too virile perhaps, and that is the reproach I would be tempted to address to it. For me, I almost regretted not having found further those qualitiesof grace and gentleness that reside in woman'snature, the secrets of which she possesses to such a degree.l8 The exclusionism at the heart of gender-linked criticism and of other deterrents to professionalism also lies at the center of a major assumption underlying the theory of canon formation: the large forms hold greater value than the small forms. Not only a long-held belief in music, the concept of a hierarchization of genre has been a staple of critical theory in allied fields as well. In painting, for instance, the portrait was considered inferior to the history painting or landscape. In literature the novel was subordinate to the essay or the
16 In chapter 3, "The Sonata in Romantic Society," in The Sonata Since Beethoven (Chapel Hill, 1969), p. 63. 17 For example in Tick's excellent essay, "Passed Away is the Piano Girl," in WomenMaking Music, p. 86. 18 . .. une oeuvre forte et virile, trop virile meme, et c'est le reproche queje serais tente de lui adresser. J'ai presque regrette, pour mon compte, de n'y point trouver davantage ce cachet de grace et de douceur qui rentre dans la nature de la femme et dont elle possede si bien tous les secrets" ("Quatorzieme Concert Populaire," Angers Revue, [late February] 1889).

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biography. In our field the strata became pronounced when music settled in the public arena and contemporary criticism assumed the qualitative distinctions as a given. Then, as the concept of a repertoire of masterpieces of the past gained legitimacy, the favored larger genres occupied the lion's share of the canon. And thus it has continued to the present. As intimated the larger genres were the public genres. By analogy the smaller forms were intended for more private performance. Gender emerged as a significant distinguishing factor, as women both literally and metaphorically inhabited the private sphere: the prescribed locus of their education, socialization, and fulfillment. Thus it was natural for women to be socialized into the smaller musical genres. By the end of the nineteenth century composing in small forms was deemed a decidedly lesser activity. Reviewers regularly made a gender/genre association and as a result invariably cast negative aspersions on pieces in smaller forms. The term "salon music" became virtually co-terminous with "woman's music." As such it implied amateurism and hence a lesser creative worth. Soon, regardless of quality, the very fact of genre predicted relegation to a lesser status: automatic trivialization. Such denigration rendered potential admittance into the canon well-nigh impossible. Since it was women who were mainly composing such works, their devaluation functioned as de facto exclusion from the canon. II Thus far we have discussed the obstacles facing women in attaining professionalism because of social realities of the musical machinery and because of two significant assumptions underlying musico-critical theory. All, however, are symptoms of a more basic reality: pervasive philosophical bias against women as creators. In the last few hundred years polemics on women's attributes and abilities have centered on the essentialism of women, that is, on her innate characteristics, by definition present in everyone of the sex. Whereas many manifestations of this line of argument have dwelled on the biological, in the case of composition they have usually emphasized some non-tangible quality of her persona as the source responsible for the particular flaw or weakness. In the late nineteenth century George Upton's seminal book Woman in Music both crystallized current thinking and served as a point of departure.19 Upton
19 Upton, Womanin Music (Chicago, 1892). It first came out in 1880 (Boston) and went through another edition in 1886, which apparently served as the basis of reprints, as in 1890 and 1892.

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articulated what he and others viewed as the paradox of woman's innate emotionalism co-existent with her inability to channel it effectively into creativity in music, that most emotional art form. Woman lacked the ability to control emotion with logic and reason, masculine attributes requisite for composition. Her importance lay instead in her role as helpmate, or muse, to successful male composers, and also as performer. Upton's theories offered yet another trope on antifeminist arguments resonant in eminent thinkers like Rousseau and Kant, as in the former's denial of literary creativity in women: Women, in general, don't like any art, are not well versed in any, and have no talentfor it. They can acquireknowledge... and all that can be acquiredthrough hard work. But that celestialfire that emblazens and ignites the soul, that quality of genius that consumes and devours, . . . those sublime ecstasies that reside in the depths of the

heart-these will alwaysbe lacking in the writingsof women.20

Echoed numerous times by succeeding generations, Upton's ideas exerted a powerful influence. The psychologist Grace Rubin-Rabson, for example, reiterated a similar essentialist position in 1973 in a debate in High Fidelityand Musical America.2 Some thirty-three years earlier Carl Seashore, noted writer on the psychology of music, had
published a variation on the standard essentialist theme.22 While

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women are not deficient in the basics of native ability, they do, however, possess "a fundamental urge ... to be beautiful, loved, and adored." This propensity propels them toward the ingrained "eternal

20 "Les femmes, en g6enral, n'aiment aucun art, ne se connoissent a aucun, et n'ont aucun genie. Elles peuvent acqu6rir de la science ... et tout ce qui s'acquiert a force de travail. Mais ce feu celeste qui echauffe et embrase l'ame, ce genie qui consume et d6vore, . . . ces transports sublimes qui portent leurs ravissemens jusqu'au fond des sur les coeurs, manqueront toujours aux 6crits des femmes, ..." (Lettrea M. d'Alembert spectacles[Amsterdam, 1758], p. 193n). Kant viewed woman as an aesthetic object of beauty and refined sensibility in whom erudition was inappropriate, in his Beobachtungen iber das Gefihl des Schinen und Erhabenen,published in 1764. My thanks to philosopher Carol Van Kirk for bringing this work to my attention. Kant's belief in woman's ornamental value was espoused by other Enlightenment figures, such as Moses Mendelssohn and his son Abraham, Felix and Fanny's father. Abraham, in fact, had admonished Fanny to remain true to her sex by limiting the extent of her learning and by utilizing her musical gifts for decorative enhancement rather than professional preparation (letters to Fanny of 16 July 1820 and 14 November 1828, in Sebastian Hensel, The MendelssohnFamily 1729-1847, tr. Carl Klingemann, 2 volumes, 2nd ed. [New York, 1882], volume i, pp. 82, 84). 21 "Why Haven't Women Become Great Composers?," XXIII/2 (February 1973), 46-53. Judith Rosen argued the case for women based primarily on their lack of access to the musical machinery. 22 Carl Seashore, "Why No Great Women Composers?," Music EducatorsJournal XXV/5 (March 1940), 21, 88. Reprinted in Neuls-Bates, 297-302.

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feminine" that is part of their nature. Furthermore, this female affinity contrasts with "the persistent male type:" in contemporary feminist parlance, binary opposition between female passiveness and male assertiveness. Incidentally, Seashore's anachronistic allusions to the eternal feminine, that idealizing yet deindividualizing nineteenthcentury ethos stemming from Goethe's Faust, indicate a conservative outlook. Such comments represent an aesthetic climate that has undermined women's creative achievements. Naturally no one utterance has had direct bearing on the canon. Nonetheless, against this backdrop of assumed belief, it is easy to see how women as a group have dropped out of sight and out of mind as even possibilities for serious study and performances. So here we stand today, with our genderuniform musical canon. Assuming we do not espouse the negative essentialist view towards woman as composers, we move to the next level of argument. We cannot change the events and attitudes of the past, and thus we cannot change the reality of its neglect and denigration of women's compositions and other professional efforts. The issue rests squarely on our shoulders. How do we deal with the situation? First, since music by women was submerged for a variety of reasons, we have to go beyond our basic impulse that assumes that if a piece has not survived it is automatically unworthy of consideration for serious performance and study. Second, in order to arrive at a just assessment of women's works, other factors must be taken into account: sociological, cultural, historical, economic, political. Utilization of these analytic categories can help us discover why a piece was not published, not performed, not included on major concert series, not recorded. For a few women composers in-depth research adequate to providing these answers has been done; but not for the vast majority. This lacuna presents a major challenge to the field of musicology. On a practical level it means that music by women is often hard to come by and thus that much more difficult to assess and incorporate into the teaching canon. On a more subtle level it means that preconceived notions along the lines of "If I don't know about it it's probably no good" have a greater chance of creeping into our subconscious and affecting our decision-making process, despite the best of intentions to the contrary. Third, and perhaps thorniest, we have to confront the issue of what criteria we are imposing when we consider a piece a member of the canon. If we immediately respond "excellence" we are mostly correct but not entirely. For example, when teaching music history, most of us seek a variety of ingredients to bake into our survey recipe,

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such as diversity of style, of genre, of provenance, of aesthetic sensibility. We might, for instance, be sure to include an example of a Liszt operatic fantasia for piano (e.g., based on Wagner's Tannhiuser, in the Plantinga anthology), not because it is a work of the first rank but because it is a major barometer of a changed aesthetic climate, involving a host of lead indicators embedded in the composer, the performer, the audience, and their interrelationship. We might also want to include a work that illuminates a particular socio/political phenomenon, such as a Smetana tone poem for nationalism. Here again we would be placing primacy of purpose over primacy of quality. In thinking about including works by women in the materials for a given course, we probably will be exchanging their works for more traditional ones: the number of cards in the canonic deck is usually finite. This naturally urges judicious selection on our part. I propose that in choosing women's works for inclusion the main goal is still excellence.23 First-rank compositions such as the mystical sequences of Hildegard of Bingen, the virtuosic cantatas of Barbara Strozzi, the rich harpsichord suites of Elisabeth Jacquet de la Guerre, and the splendid chamber music of Rebecca Clarke and Ruth Crawford Seeger make that task easy.24 But in attempting to include works whose quality does not stand up to, say, a Beethoven or a Bach, but might well match those of a Dvorak or a Stamitz, we have to reconsider very seriously the centrality of the criterion of excellence. As we have just seen, as things already stand, it is operative as first among many standards in the teaching canon. Subordinating it on occasion to some other compelling criterion, such as illumination of a telling social phenomenon, is eminently reasonable when done with intelligence and an overall sense of balance. It is in this context that works by women composers not of the stature of a Beethoven or Bach can make an important contribution to the canon. Pedagogically our presentation of women's works can run the gamut from the purely stylistic to the purely intellectual,25 although my guess is that most of us would choose something in the middle, the exact mix dependent on
23 As a subjective term, "excellence" carries some problematic aspects: notably, who decides, from what ideological viewpoint, the qualitative criteria. This issue is of great concern to feminists and will be explored later in a book-length expansion of this article. 24 There exist splendid recordings for all these composers. One can find a suggested list in Briscoe's Historical Anthology of Music by Women, in addition to musical scores of significant works. Unfortunately Strozzi is not included. But two recent collections of Strozzi cantatas, prepared by Ellen Rosand, are available: a facsimile edition issued by Garland (1986), and a reprint of I Sacri Musicali Affetti (1655) published by Da Capo (1987). 25 "Intellectual" embraces a wide variety of approaches, such as sociological, biographical, feminist, psychoanalytic, economic, political, or some combination.

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the goals of the course and the work's relationship with others of its era, genre, and function. For the last decade musicology has been moving inexorably towards a societal framework, a view advocated so eloquently by J. Peter Burkholder, Gary Tomlinson, and others. Women's activity in music has been vital and continual but for various reasons submerged and absent from present-day eyes. Certainly, if we believe that music viewed in its societal context is a prime goal, then we must retrieve that surprisingly large, rich body of music composed by women. Not doing so, if for no other reason, presents a false image of musicmaking in the past. It obscures the realities inherent in the long path from recognition of creative talent to recognition of professional status. It reinforces the inaccurate notion that there were no women composers and also renders it that much more difficult for women to emerge as creators in the future. Neglect also leaves buried some wonderful music that we would probably be delighted to incorporate into our ever-growing repository of music.

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114 the foregoing was presented at the Ameri_~114 ~When can Musicological Society meeting it elicited provocative commentary from Professor Don Randel, the scheduled respondent. He agreed with the basic thrust but felt the paper did not go far enough in suggesting the most fruitful framework for coming to grips with women creators and their works. In short he called for nothing less than the establishment of a critical and theoretical framework appropriate to doing feminist musicology. For musicology's values, categories, pioneers, leading practitioners, and most important, its epistemology about music itself have been male-defined. In order to carve out a meaningful framework for assessing women musicians one should not rely solely on traditional conceptual modes. They are inadequate and inappropriate. Randel's challenge is laudable and has been raised by others, for example Joseph Kerman and Richard Taruskin.26 It has already been
Music: Challengesto Musicology(Cambridge, Mass., 1985), p. 17, In Contemplating Kerman does not make a direct plea for "serious feminism" in musicology, but indirectly acts as its advocate as he laments its absence, along with post-structuralism and deconstruction, from musicological writing. See also Taruskin's review of The Musical Woman, volume 2, in Opus IV/2 (February 1988), p. 64. I am indebted to Professor Deborah Hayes for pointing out Taruskin's piece. An interesting response is made by feminist musicologist Susan McClary: "It is significant that the voices calling for a feminist criticism are those of well-established men. Women in musicology tend to read such appeals not as open encouragement but as taunts, as invitations to professional suicide" ("Foreword. The Undoing of Opera: Toward a Feminist Criticism of Music,"
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accepted in other, more established fields of feminist inquiry, such as literary criticism, sociology, and anthropology. But in this regard I would suggest that two structural characteristics of our traditionally conservative discipline pose additional challenges to the attainment of that desirable goal. The first factor concerns our graduate-school training. Unlike other disciplines, which can boast a long and continuous tradition of immersion in intellectual modes of discourse, musicological training in the United States has rested on a positivist (Germanic) base that focused almost exclusively on textual concerns and thereby excluded such discourse. Important systems such as Marxism, psychoanalysis, or structuralism were notably absent from musicological scholarship. Arguably, the most imaginative conceptual theorizing was in aesthetics, which is grounded in philosophy, and in ethnomusicology, rooted in anthropology. Happily, however, the situation is beginning to change. Music courses deploying interdisciplinary theoretical approaches, including semiotics, deconstruction, Marxism, and psychoanalytic theory, are sprouting up in PhD programs, and their seeds are fertilizing discourse throughout the profession, in the form of provocative papers, journal articles, and even books.27 As a result, many of us who were trained before this sweeping tide hit shore in the last eight years are undergoing a kind of revisionist phase as we reconceptualize our model of scholarly methodology; it is vastly different from the norms instilled in our graduate training. In this regard we can learn a great deal from our colleagues in other disciplines, whose training placed greater emphasis on intellectual discourse and reasoned argument. It is not merely a question of our becoming familiar with particular theories. It is rather a retuning of the scholarly mindset to embrace a style that is inquisitive and open, unafraid to question basic assumptions, even long-held disciplinary assumptions.
in Catherine Clement, Opera, or the Undoing of Women,trans. Betsy Wing [Minneapolis, 1988], p. ix). 27 One result has been truly feminist work. Among papers are several delivered in Baltimore in November 1988, including Linda Austern's on the English Renaissance, Suzanne Cusick's on Francesca Caccini's opera, and Susan McClary's on early seventeenth-century opera. Other conferences have included Susan McClary's paper, "Sexual Politics in Classical Music" (Wisconsin, April 1986), and Ruth Solie's presentation, "Whose Life? The Gendered Self in Schumann's FrauenliebeSongs" (Dartmouth, May 1988). Many of these papers will be published. Regarding books, several are in the forthcoming stage, such as the collection of essays edited by Susan Cook and Judy Tsou. At present, Clement's Opera,or the Undoing of Women,constitutes the first important full-length feminist critique. As McClary points out in her Foreword (p. x), it is interesting that this study was authored by a literary theorist, well grounded in anthropology, and not by a musicologist. Other imaginative interdisciplinary work has been done, among others, by musicologists Carolyn Abbate, Rose Rosengard Subotnik, and Gary Tomlinson.

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This mindset and style set the stage for a sustained immersion in broad intellectual life. And, as feminist literary critic Elaine Showalter has asserted, such broad immersion is a requisite for doing feminist work: Feministcriticismdiffers from other contemporaryschools of critical theory in not deriving its ... principles from a single authority figure or from a body of sacredtexts.... Linguistics,psychoanalysis, Marxism,and deconstructionhave all provided feminist criticaltheory with important analytical tools.28

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Budding musicologists now being exposed to such exciting conceptual systems in graduate school and in the profession at large will be much better equipped than previous generations to formulate the questions and grapple with the issues in embarking on a truly feminist musicology. But this better trained young scholar might then encounter the second disciplinary characteristic that has delayed the inception of feminist musicology: feminist scholarship is not a bonafide category of job specialization. Indeed, when one is seeking a job in musicology one usually responds to an advertisement for a given historical era, e.g., Medieval or nineteenth century. Rare is the call for a feminist specialization, although one's work might be able to fit into a standard period or else qualify if the job description is very general, such as "Specialization in Baroque through twentieth century." But as things stand, the job slot most suited to a feminist musicologist is probably one in an interdisciplinary women's studies program rather than in musicology. Perhaps this limited selection of categories is an example of what Randel has termed "the inherited male authority" of our field. In any case, the result is a double standard: we want to encourage feminist work on the one hand, and on the other we undercut its legitimacy by not granting it institutional validity. Thus, young scholars embarking on feminist musicology should be cognizant of their professional options. Their work will be warmly accepted in many quarters, especially by those doing similarly imaginative work in other facets of musicology, e.g. social history or reception theory. But the present job structure, which mirrors the values of musicological culture, especially in the academy, has some adjustments to make before harmonizing with the professed desire of many for a feminist musicology.
28 "The Feminist Critical Revolution," in The New Feminist Criticism:Essays on Women,Literature,and Theory,ed. Showalter (New York, 1985), p. 4.

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As time passes and we become more familiar with ideas and methodologies from other disciplines and their potential for informing our own work and the field as a whole, we can look forward to an ever narrowing intellectual gap between musicology and other disciplines. As is already occurring, there will come greater awareness of possibilities for specific, viable feminist methodologies for the study of music. For instance, one avenue of promise is the marriage of psychoanalysis and listener-response theory.29 Meanwhile more music by women will have been unveiled and investigated, and probably in an expanding array of intellectual frameworks. As a result we anticipate a significant enrichment of the content and values of the musical canon by the works of women: a reinstitution of validity, voice, and authority. Rice University
In his presentation, Don Randel drew attention to the potential in reader/ listener response theory and also quoted from the section "Reading as a Woman" in Jonathan Culler's On Deconstruction(Ithaca, 1982). See also the collection Gender and Reading: Essays on Readers, Texts, and Contexts,ed. Patrocinio P. Schweickart and Elizabeth A. Flynn (Baltimore, 1986). The attractiveness of psychoanalysis as a mode of analysis for women composers has been demonstrated by Dr. Anna Burton, psychoanalyst, in her thoughtful work on Clara and Robert Schumann. This includes her presentation at the November 1988 meeting of the AMS Committee on the Status of Women; her article "Robert Schumann and Clara Wieck: A Creative Partnership," Music and LettersLXIX/3 (July 1988), 321-34; her forthcoming essay, "The Childhood of Clara Schumann: A Psychoanalytic View," in PsychoanalyticStudies of Music and Musical Creativity,ed. Stuart Feder, Richard L. Karmel, and George H. Pollock (Madison, Conn.); and her major contribution to Nancy Reich's perceptive biography of Clara Schumann.
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