Gendering the podium : the journeys of professional women conductors

Bartleet, Brydie-Leigh. (2004). Gendering the podium : the journeys of professional women conductors PhD Thesis, School of Music, The University of Queensland.

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Author Bartleet, Brydie-Leigh.
Thesis Title Gendering the podium : the journeys of professional women conductors
School, Centre or Institute School of Music
Institution The University of Queensland
Publication date 2004
Thesis type PhD Thesis
Supervisor Perry, Dr Simon
Total pages 328
Collection year 2005
Language eng
Subjects 410101 Music
750201 The performing arts (incl. music, theatre and dance)
Formatted abstract
Positioned on the margins of their male-dominated profession, women conductors' stories have customarily remained absent in the dominant discourses of this field. Due to their marginal status they have had to conform to the profession's rules and mould their behaviour to "blend in" with their male colleagues. This process of assimilation has often left their individual voices repressed and the specifically "womanly" parts of their lives concealed. This thesis brings together the stories of seventeen women conductors from across the globe to begin discussing what it means to be a woman in the conducting profession. By moving their narratives from the margins to the centre of this inquiry, the thesis takes a fresh look at the conducting profession and questions the ways in which it has customarily marginalised, undermined and alienated women conductors. In this re-examination of the conducting profession, the thesis also considers how women have successfully negotiated their way through these challenges to re-embody the role of conductor.

Positioned within the shifting paradigms of feminist musicology, the thesis embraces an interdisciplinary approach. It traces the history of the conducting profession and examines how its rituals have traditionally situated women conductors. It explores how these customs still linger in contemporary women conductors' interactions with management, musicians, audiences and the press. It looks at the ways in which women conductors' stories differ from the hegemonic "norm," and examines how these women balance notions of "real womanhood" with their demanding careers. It considers the potential that women have to redefine certain aspects of this traditionally masculine role. The thesis also explores the author's relationship to this research and draws on her experiences as a young woman conductor. By interweaving the women's words with an array of musicological, feminist and ethnographic theoretical frameworks the thesis creates a counter-hegemonic discourse that reclaims women conductors' minority status and celebrates the unique qualities they have to offer to the profession.
Keyword Women conductors (Music)
Women musicians.

Document type: Thesis
Collection: UQ Theses (RHD) - UQ staff and students only
Citation counts: Google Scholar Search Google Scholar
Created: Wed, 22 Sep 2010, 12:41:12 EST by Ms Christine Heslehurst on behalf of Social Sciences and Humanities Library Service