Clementi and the woman at the piano: Virtuosity and the market for music in eighteenth-century London maps the social, musical, and gendered implications of technically difficult keyboard music and helps to underline important changes in Enlightenment culture and keyboard practice. Previously actively discouraged from practicing or improving their skills due to the restrictive ideologies in place, Clementi’s music increasingly affords female pianists a new kind of musical expression.
This book is the first to explore how Clementi’s difficult music radically altered the performative behaviour of an entire generation of female pianists.
This book presents a wholly new angle on an important transition in musical culture and contributes significantly to research in the work-concept, virtuosity, gender studies, and material culture.
Clementi and the woman at the piano has an accompanying website offering Open Access additional resources including audio recordings and information about featured musical instruments.
“If you’re a pianist, you’ve probably played him. If you’re the parent of an aspiring pianist, you’ve probably heard him. If you’ve ever waited on a telephone line to be connected, you’ve probably experienced him as background music. He is arguably one of the most played and popular composers for the piano ever: Muzio Clementi. But it is only his Progressive Sonatinas (Op. 36, 1797) that have remained in the repertoire, choice pieces for beginners and “heard” widely as hold music on the telephone.”
Table of Contents :
List of Musical Examples
List of Tables
List of Figures
Chapter 1: Clementi and the Enlightenment
Chapter 2: Mozart’s Insult and the Irritations of Virtuosity
Chapter 3: Keyboard Performance and Gender in Late Eighteenth-Century London
Chapter 4: Clementi’s “Black Joke”
Chapter 5: Male Theoria and Female Praxis
Chapter 6: Clementi in the Marketplace and the Conservatoire
Conclusion: Clementi’s Coin
Appendix: Ideological differences regarding keyboard practicing/music education in 36 conduct books and treatises, 1741-1838
Erin Helyard has been acclaimed as an inspiring conductor, a virtuosic and expressive performer of the harpsichord and fortepiano, and as a lucid scholar who is passionate about promoting discourse between musicology and performance. He is Artistic Director of the award-winning Pinchgut Opera in Sydney, Australia.
The Oxford University Studies in the Enlightenment series, previously known as SVEC (Studies on Voltaire and the Eighteenth Century), has published over 500 peer-reviewed scholarly volumes since 1955 as part of the Voltaire Foundation at the University of Oxford. International in focus, Oxford University Studies in the Enlightenment volumes cover wide-ranging aspects of the eighteenth century and the Enlightenment, from gender studies to political theory, and from economics to visual arts and music, and are published in English or French.