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Lost voices: women and music at the time of the Catholic Monarchs

AutorMazuela-Anguita, Ascensión
Palabras claveWomen
Women's invisibility
Catholic Monarchs
Iberian peninsula
Fecha de publicación2016
EditorBrill Academic Publishers
CitaciónA Companion to Music in the Age of the Catholic Monarchs (14) : 549-578 (2016)
ResumenThe "phenomenon of women's invisibility" or the systematic omission of women from historical accounts, inevitably results in the search for scattered traces in documentary records of women's position in history and their cultural status. This phenomenon of lost women's voices is pertinent to the history of music at the time of the Catholic Monarchs. Most of the studies of music in the early modern Iberian world have focused on important institutions -such as the royal court, noble houses and cathedrals- as well as on composers, musical genres and written music. The application of categories such as 'composer' and 'musical work' to the study of early modern music would inevitably lead to women's musical activities being overlooked. In the period in question, the teaching of music was based on oral and memorized practices, and the boundaries between performance and composit ion were far from clear. Given both the problem of women's professional status in a period when women were usually classified according to their condition in relation to men as girls, maiclens, wives, widows or nuns, and the moral restrictions imposed on women, sources and methodologies other than those employed in a creation-centred musicology are required to study the role played by women in musical life during this period. Women do not remain completely invisible or 'silent' in written records, but rather are indirectly reflected.
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