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Musiciennes : Women musicians in France during the interwar years, 1919-1939

Hamer, Laura Ann 2009. Musiciennes : Women musicians in France during the interwar years, 1919-1939. PhD Thesis, Cardiff University.

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The musical life of interwar France (1919-39) has fascinated many writers however, the part played by women musicians has been much neglected. This thesis seeks to rectify this situation by presenting a study of the activities and reception of the musiciennes of interwar France. The thesis is divided into three parts: part one provides a contextual framework within which to situate the pursuits of women musicians by considering both their contemporary social position and the gender- specific conditions which affect the lives, careers, and reception of musiciennes. Part two focuses on conductors and composers. Jane Evrard and her Orchestre fminin de Paris are discussed within the context of the contemporaneous development of the all- woman orchestra and rise of the first professional female conductors. The career of Germaine Tailleferre is considered as a case study of one of the most high-profile women composers. Her activities are placed against a backdrop of the wider contributions of compositrices, including Armande de Polignac, Marguerite Canal, Jeanne Leleu, Elsa Barraine, Yvonne Desportes, Claude Arrieu, Claire Delbos- Messiaen, and Marcelle de Manziarly, and the female candidates of the interwar Prix de Rome competition. Part three examines women such as Marguerite Long, Nadia Boulanger, and Wanda Landowska as performers and pedagogues, the reactions of contemporary critics, and discusses the subsequent reception of the musiciennes. A number of complex reasons are suggested to explain the current obscurity of many of the women, including the paradigm shift in French musical aesthetics after World War Two which tended to favour the Total Serialism propagated by Boulez, the concomitant decline of the professional all-women orchestras, and the commercial disadvantages which affect the promotion of women's music. By offering a reassessment of the musiciennes of interwar France this thesis poses a case for their full inclusion within the mainstream music history dedicated to this period.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Status: Unpublished
Schools: Music
ISBN: 9781303189401
Funders: School of Music, Cardiff University
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 March 2016
Last Modified: 19 Mar 2016 23:33

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