Thursday, April 12, 2007

Masculine Music vs. Feminine Music

A few weeks ago I was watching the video recording of an astonishing piano concert by Friedrich Gulda, Chick Corea, and Nicolas Economou (it was broadcasted on TV and was recorded from the TV). When Gulda was playing Bach's Air (a nice surprise in an improvisational concert), my housemate Shining, in the other room, heard that and asked me who the beautiful lady pianist was. I laughed hard and showed her the bald Gulda.

After that, I went on to watch Hiromi Uehara's piano concert at Singawa Aqua Stadium Stellar Ball. Then Shining walked by again when Hiromi was pounding on the piano with her fist and arm. Realizing the dramatic shock she must have been in, I couldn't help but laugh harder.

Does music has gender? Obviously the question implies a lot of sterotypical assumption:

First, the gender-quality association: beauty implies feminity.

Second, the music-performer assocation: a beautiful melody is probably produced by a beautiful person.

In our scenario here,a beautiful Bach Air then implies feminine qualities (ironically Bach was a man) which is probably played by a beautiful lady.

My gender equality friends would be more interested in breaking the above stereotype. I, as a composer, am actually more interested in what music is considered beautiful.

* Conservative repertoire in 'classical' concerts

* Listeners' ears unopened

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