Feminine Endings: Music, Gender, and Sexuality by Susan Mcclary

By Susan Mcclary

While it used to be initially released in 1991, female Endings was once instantly arguable for its unparalleled intermingling of cultural feedback and musical reviews, an process that got here to be referred to as "the New Musicology." via case experiences of works starting from the canonical-operas via Monteverdi and Bizet-to the contemporary-the functionality artwork of Diamanda Gal?s and well known songs via Madonna-Susan McClary specializes in the methods track produces photos of gender, hope, excitement, and the physique, and explores the gender-based metaphors that flow in discourse approximately track. The now vintage paintings encompasses a new creation that discusses the severe reception it got and the debates it has encouraged. "A significant ebook . . . [McClary's] fulfillment borders at the miraculous." Village Voice "McClary writes with a racy, full of life, and regularly enjoyable variety. . . . What she has to claim in particular in regards to the tune and the textual content is sharp, actual, and telling; she hears what occurs musically with strange sensitivity." long island overview of Books Susan McClary, professor of musicology on the college of California, l. a., makes a speciality of the cultural feedback of track, either the ecu canon and modern renowned genres. Her newest publication is traditional knowledge: The content material of Musical shape (2000).

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43 Accordingly, ethnographers regularly analyze the musical institutions and procedures of non-Western or folk communities in terms of social organization. But much less work is available that asks ethnographic questions of Western art music. 44 To do so demands two very different kinds of work: analytical and historical. On the one hand, the techniques and codes through which music produces meaning have to be reconstructed. Because the music theories available at present are designed to maintain the illusion that music is formally self-contained, very little exists in Anglo-American musicology to facilitate such a project.

In the various essays I have written —feminist or otherwise —I have made use of whatever helped me to make sense of the composition at hand. Thus I have no sense of loyalty to any particular orthodox position. To be sure, my various theoretical acquisitions invite me to make connections that would not be available to those who refuse categorically to look beyond the literal details of the musical notation. But my focus is invariably on the music itself— or, to be more precise, on the music as it operates within human contexts.

38 Although Williams claims that what he is talking about is "more than a metaphor," the best way of grounding what he is addressing is philosopher Mark Johnson's recent epistemological work on metaphor. Johnson argues convincingly that metaphors are not mere figures of speech (which seems to be how Williams construes the word), but rather are the fundamental means through which we as embodied beings orient ourselves with respect to the world and thereby structure our discourses and our cognition.

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