Thesis

Performance as an end to collective trauma

Despite the advancements in feminist musicology that began in the early 1970s, the classical music community is still rife with gender discrimination. This can be clearly observed in the ratio of works performed by men and women composers today, and in the curriculum of academic institutions preparing new generations of artists for professional employment. This thesis will examine the ways in which historical practices of gender valuation impact performance programs in the modern era, and establish the status quo within the field of classical music as one that perpetuates physical and psychological trauma amongst composers, performers, and audiences. This paper will utilize performance as the critical platform capable of driving the field of classical music toward trauma resolution, making way for the synthesis of new social paradigms. An analysis of musicological archives, theories of embodied cognition and gender difference in music perception, and theories of trauma formation and resolution will inform the findings of this paper.

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