Between 1780 and 1850, women's voices were used and understood differently in British society and musical culture, according to this book.

During these decades

During these decades, patriarchal dominance, as other historians have argued, increasingly began to rest on a particular conception of the fundamentally different nature of male and female physiology and mind.

The book argues

This book argues that as a result, the female voice—which was seen as combining both physical and mental qualities—became crucial to upholding and subverting gendered power structures. The book makes the case that the sounds that women generated with their voices—as much as the words they said or sang—were seen by their contemporaries as aural signifiers of various forms of femininity.

As a result

Because of this, the ways in which women used their voices and how audiences responded to them, current disagreements over feminine values were both voiced and challenged.

More about the book

The first three chapters

The first three chapters of the book examine how class, religious, and national discourses influenced contemporary responses to various female vocal styles through an examination of conduct literature, letters, diaries, life-writing, and music criticism and reportage in newspapers and periodicals, which follows an introduction that outlines the book's theoretical frameworks and main arguments.

The women's voices

The use and significance of women's voices on the parts of both amateur and professional female singers are then thoroughly examined in two case studies to further the point. The book's primary topics are summarized in the epilogue, which also explores their ramifications for this era's gender history.

Variant 1

British Musical Cultures Studies

Clemson University Press

Musical Cultures

The new Studies in British Musical Cultures series, a collaboration between NABMSA and Clemson University Press covering the wide range of topics and viewpoints within British musical studies, is proudly sponsored by the North American British Music Studies Association. This series features contributions from experts in all areas of the study, whether the topic is medieval or modern, imperial or post-colonial, metropolitan or provincial, cultured or vernacular, stylistic analysis or social history. We enjoy working with authors from all around the world and showcasing their work in both monographs and essay collections.

British Theater Performers on the Verge of Breakout

Although there has always been a close relationship between the British and Hollywood, now is a great time for English entertainers: from Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, and Felicity Jones recreating the Star Wars world to Emilia Clarke and many other members of the Game of Thrones cast. These days, even Superman is a Brit. New English talents are currently emerging, and they can be seen performing in London's theaters including the Royal Court, the Donmar Warehouse, and the Young Vic. In fact, two of Broadway's most talked-about plays this season, American Psycho and A Streetcar Named Desire, both arrive following original runs in London. British theater is currently enjoying a moment, with world-class performances that span from the classic to the cutting edge. The performers, writers, directors, and designers who are destined for stardom are listed here.