Session Title

Rethinking Narratives about Women's Musical Lives: German Sources, 950–1450

Sponsoring Organization(s)

Special Session

Organizer Name

Lauren Joiner

Organizer Affiliation

Univ. of Oregon

Presider Name

Alison Beach

Presider Affiliation

Ohio State Univ.

Paper Title 1

Hirsau in Paris: Parisian Chant in Women's Musical Manuscripts of the Hirsau Reform

Presenter 1 Name

Lauren Joiner

Paper Title 2

Why Did the Cantrix Need a Computus?

Presenter 2 Name

Alison Altstatt

Presenter 2 Affiliation

Univ. of Northern Iowa

Paper Title 3

(Song)Book Culture and the German Cantrix in the Early Middle Ages

Presenter 3 Name

Lori Kruckenberg

Presenter 3 Affiliation

Univ. of Oregon

Start Date

9-5-2013 10:00 AM

Session Location

Schneider 1265

Description

Recently historical narratives concerning women's cultural and artistic lives in the medieval period have been reevaluated. New research endeavors have examined the participation of women in the creation of the culture they consumed. Scholars like Alison Beach, Cynthia Cyrus, and Susan Marti have studied scribal activities and libraries in women's convents, while others like Julie Hotchin, Constant Mews, and Eva Schlotheuber have discussed how historical and cultural contexts might have affected monastic women's intellectual lives. Despite this robust body of research, the general narrative concerning women's roles in the creation of music and musical objects has largely remained static. This panel will focus upon new methodologies and narratives concerning women's musical lives in the medieval period through the lens of German-speaking monastic contexts. Each of these three papers will focus on how specific primary sources might help to inform the broader historical narrative about the participation of women in the creation and propagation of music in the medieval period. Lauren Joiner's paper,"Hirsau in Paris: Parisian Chant in Women's Musical Manuscripts of the Hirsau Reform," will explore women's musical manuscripts of the Hirsau reform and their connection with Parisian chant traditions. Joiner will argue that the repertoire in women's manuscripts of the Hirsau reform is often markedly different from that found in musical manuscripts in male houses due to the former's inclusion of Parisian chant. Alison Altstatt’s paper, "Why did the Cantrix need a Computus?," will examine the role of cantrix as keeper of the liturgical calendar. Through an examination of the Preetz computus, Altstatt will argue that although nuns needed male clerics to administer the sacraments, the cantrix was in charge of liturgical planning. Lori Kruckenberg's paper, "(Song)Book Culture and the German Cantrix in the Early Middle Ages," will explore four examples of women musicians in the early Middle Ages and their desire to sing chant, expressed in part by their quest to have and create liturgical songbooks. Kruckenberg will present the story of Hadwig of Swabia and her fierce desire for musical knowledge; the rich troping practice pursued by the nuns of Kaufungen; annual sanctioning of cantrices in the cathedral of Metz; and the centrality of liturgical song insisted upon by Gisela and her fellow conventuals of the cloister Rulle. Through this panel we hope to add to, and encourage, the interdisciplinary discourse concerning the historical narrative about women's musical lives.

Lauren Joiner

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May 9th, 10:00 AM

Rethinking Narratives about Women's Musical Lives: German Sources, 950–1450

Schneider 1265

Recently historical narratives concerning women's cultural and artistic lives in the medieval period have been reevaluated. New research endeavors have examined the participation of women in the creation of the culture they consumed. Scholars like Alison Beach, Cynthia Cyrus, and Susan Marti have studied scribal activities and libraries in women's convents, while others like Julie Hotchin, Constant Mews, and Eva Schlotheuber have discussed how historical and cultural contexts might have affected monastic women's intellectual lives. Despite this robust body of research, the general narrative concerning women's roles in the creation of music and musical objects has largely remained static. This panel will focus upon new methodologies and narratives concerning women's musical lives in the medieval period through the lens of German-speaking monastic contexts. Each of these three papers will focus on how specific primary sources might help to inform the broader historical narrative about the participation of women in the creation and propagation of music in the medieval period. Lauren Joiner's paper,"Hirsau in Paris: Parisian Chant in Women's Musical Manuscripts of the Hirsau Reform," will explore women's musical manuscripts of the Hirsau reform and their connection with Parisian chant traditions. Joiner will argue that the repertoire in women's manuscripts of the Hirsau reform is often markedly different from that found in musical manuscripts in male houses due to the former's inclusion of Parisian chant. Alison Altstatt’s paper, "Why did the Cantrix need a Computus?," will examine the role of cantrix as keeper of the liturgical calendar. Through an examination of the Preetz computus, Altstatt will argue that although nuns needed male clerics to administer the sacraments, the cantrix was in charge of liturgical planning. Lori Kruckenberg's paper, "(Song)Book Culture and the German Cantrix in the Early Middle Ages," will explore four examples of women musicians in the early Middle Ages and their desire to sing chant, expressed in part by their quest to have and create liturgical songbooks. Kruckenberg will present the story of Hadwig of Swabia and her fierce desire for musical knowledge; the rich troping practice pursued by the nuns of Kaufungen; annual sanctioning of cantrices in the cathedral of Metz; and the centrality of liturgical song insisted upon by Gisela and her fellow conventuals of the cloister Rulle. Through this panel we hope to add to, and encourage, the interdisciplinary discourse concerning the historical narrative about women's musical lives.

Lauren Joiner