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The 'Essentially' Feminine - a Mapping through Artistic Practice of the Feminine Territory Offered in Early-Modern Music

The ”essentially” feminine – a mapping through artistic practice of the feminine territory offered by Early Modern music
This is a project that highlights the socio-cultural ideas which surrounds the notion of “femininity” in Early Modern Love Songs in order to unveil power structures today.

The musical material consists of English Lute Songs printed in London 1597-1622. In so called love songs a male persona bemoans his fate and in turn pleads and accuses a female addressee. The songs create a matrix where it is impossible for the woman to be friendly, scared, sad or simply uninterested. All she can do, in the male’s narrative, is to love or hate. These strategies construct a map of the escalation from a natural sorrow to a criminal behaviour. The male persona goes from being a rejected lover, to express threats of suicide and/or violence.

In the project Early Modern music will be re-composed for soloists and ensemble. Public performances in Sweden and England will serve as mediators of the challenges and provocations that emerge.
Gender Theory will be used to examine how gender is constructed in Early Modern music.

A language-technological examination of the lyrics will complete the project with statistics on how women are pictured.
The rhetoric of the Lute Songs is compared to text messages sent to women exposed to stalking and with interviews with women who have escaped abusive relations.

Project leader: Katarina A Karlsson
Contributing external researchers: PhD Joel Speerstra, Prof. Christopher Wilson, Prof. Gunilla Gårdfeldt, PhD Ulf Axberg
Contributing external advicors and musical performers: Gender historians PhD Hanna Markusson Winqvist and PhD Audur Magnusdottir, composer Ida Lundén, Vocal Quartet Vox, Baroque Orchestra Karlsson Barock
Project duration: 2015–2017
Funding: the Swedish Research Council

Contact Information

Katarina Karlsson

PO Box 200, 405 30 Gothenburg, Sweden

Visiting Address:
Vera Sandbergs Allé 8, rum 3148B

+46 31 786 4084

Page Manager: Felicia Bigot Klinteberg|Last update: 5/4/2016

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