Towards a Twenty-First-Century Feminist Politics of Music opens up a new way of thinking about the absence of women's music. It does not aim to find 'a solution' in a liberal feminist sense, but to discover new potentialities, new possibilities for thought and action. Sally Macarthur encourages us, with the assistance of Deleuze, and feminist-Deleuzian work, to begin the important work of imagining what else might be possible, not in order to provide answers but to open up the as yet unknown. The power of thought - or what Deleuze calls the 'virtual' - opens up new possibilities. Macarthur suggests that the future for women's 'new' music is not tied to the predictable and known but to futures beyond the already-known. Previous research concludes that women's music is virtually absent from the concert hall, and yet fails to find a way of changing this situation. Macarthur finds that the flaw in the recommendations flowing from past research is that it envisages the future from the standpoint of the present, and it relies on a set of pre-determined goals. It thus replicates the present reality, so reinforcing rather than changing the status quo. Macarthur challenges this thinking, and argues that this repetitive way of thinking is stuck in the present, unable to move forward. Macarthur situates her argument in the context of current dominant neoliberal thought and practice. She argues that women have generally not thrived in the neoliberal model of the composer, which envisages the composer as an individual, autonomous creator and entrepreneur. Successful female composers must work with this dominant, modernist aesthetic and exploit the image of the neo-romantic, entrepreneurial creator. This book sets out in contrast to develop a new conception of subjectivity that sows the seeds of a twenty-first-century feminist politics of music.
This book is an important contribution to the philosophy of music. Whereas most books in this field focus on the creation and reproduction of music, Bruce Benson's concern is the phenomenology of music making as an activity. He offers the radical thesis that it is improvisation that is primary in the moment of music making. Succinct and lucid, the book brings together a wide range of musical examples from classical music, jazz, early music and other genres. It offers a rich tapestry incorporating both analytic and continental philosophy, musicology and performance-practice issues. It will be a provocative read for philosophers of art and musicologists and, because it eschews technicality, should appeal to general readers, especially those who perform.
Based on previously unpublished documents, Frank D'Accone sets the background for the musical efflorescence that occurred in Florence in the later 15th century and the emergence in the early 16th century of a new Florentine school of composers. Tracing the origins and development of musical chapels at the Cathedral and Baptistery, and the growth of musical establishments at several other churches such as the Santissima Annunziata, Santa Trinita and San Lorenzo, D'Accone examines the effect of Medici patronage, on the one hand, and the impact of Savonarola, on the other, and at the careers of individual composers such as Heinrich Isaac.