August 2010

Romantic music and the rights of women

August 27, 2010 07:57

Recently I was playing through a Clementi Sonatina on the piano and I started to wonder about music education in the era Clementi lived. At that point on history, during the Romantic age, music was just one of the many assets a young girl of high-class needed to have in order to be called accomplished. As I let my fingers fly over the piano I was suddenly struck with an overwhelming feeling that the music I was playing was so polite. It was a light sonatina, nothing more. There was no underlying emotion, no passion, no grandeur.

Suddenly I stopped playing. I just couldn´t play anymore of that sonatina. I kept on thinking about the high-class girls of the Romantic age that learned music like this for nothing more but the sake of being accomplished and showing off. They probably never got the chance of really exploring music, feeling the passion and emotion that true music brings. They probably never got the chance of playing the passionate works of Beethoven, Haydn, Bach, Handel and so many others. They were subjected to playing light and simple sonatinas and works that were just one side, compositions that offer no surprise or expressing of emotion. Letting them play passionate and grand work would have been considered improper. It wouldn´t have been "good" for them to play such music.

It made me in a way angry that music was used as a tool to keep girls proper, polite and virtuous. I felt sorry for those girls that never got to experience true music, instead just flat-surfaced boring tunes. They may never have experienced the chance of just letting their fingers fly over the keys and playing whatever tune they felt like playing, experiencing fully the emotion and passion of pieces.

I feel sorry for those girls, I truly do. I am sincerely glad that women have reached so far now in gaining their rights. I am so happy that I can explore music to my own enjoyment, not be kept down by it.

And I am glad for music most of all


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