A Posibility of l’Ecriture Feminine in Music: Examples from Serbia Cover Image

Mogućnost postojanja ženskog pisma u muzici: neki primeri iz Srbije
A Posibility of l’Ecriture Feminine in Music: Examples from Serbia

Author(s): Adriana Sabo
Subject(s): Gender Studies
Published by: Centar za ženske studije & Centar za studije roda i politike, Fakultet političkih nauka, Beograd
Keywords: l'écriture féminine in music; male writing; feminism; gender; universality; autonomy

Summary/Abstract: My goal in this paper is to explore the possibility of applying the concept of female writing to classical music. Namely, because many female composers are active in Serbia, the question of the existence of female musical writing is often raised among the experts and concert-goers. Starting from the idea that female writing is meant to help women free themselves from patriarchal values by transforming the traditional (male) language, and by writing through their body, I try to explore the ways in which music can do the same. By analyzing the Serbian music world and the ideologies that influence it - among the most powerful being the ideas of universality and autonomy of music - I map the context in which Serbian female composers create their music. Namely, governed by the modernistic ideas that the musical piece is an „autonomous universe”, governed by its own laws, and not connected to the society in which it exists, Serbian world of music is shown to be strongly influenced by the academic discourse, conservative, and focused on preserving traditional values. Thus, one can observe a strong need that both composers and music critiques have - to deny the importance of the body of the person who creates music, i.e. their gender, sexual preference, race, etc. In this sense, most composers claim that their gender does not influence their music, and most female artists insist that the fact that they are women is not in any way important for their work. The analyses of a number of musical pieces written by female composers is aimed at revealing some ways in which gender is treated in classical music, and at showing how musical canon can be subverted.

  • Issue Year: 2013
  • Issue No: 17
  • Page Range: 163-181
  • Page Count: 19
  • Language: Serbian