Music and the Southern Belle: From Accomplished Lady to by Candace Bailey

By Candace Bailey

Candace Bailey’s exploration of the intertwining worlds of track and gender indicates how younger southern ladies driven the limits of respectability to go away their specified mark on a patriarchal society. earlier than 1861, a strictly outlined code of habit allowed a southern girl to spot herself as a “lady” via her accomplishments in track, drawing, and writing, between different elements. track permeated the lives of southern girls, they usually discovered applicable participation via guide at domestic and at girl education associations. A belle’s basic venue used to be the parlor, the place she may possibly reveal her usefulness within the family circle by means of delivering convenience and helping increase social gatherings via her musical performances, usually by way of taking part in the piano or making a song. The southern girl played in public simply at the rarest of events, even though she may well attend public performances by means of girls. a particularly gifted girl who composed song for a broader viewers may accomplish that anonymously in order that her acceptance may stay unsullied.

The tumultuous Civil struggle years supplied a chance for southern ladies to examine and try out new how one can make themselves helpful to the wider, public society. whereas carrying on with their household duties and taking over new ones, younger ladies additionally confirmed the limits of propriety in numerous methods. In a vast holiday with the previous, musical women started giving public performances to elevate cash for the conflict attempt, a few ladies released patriotic accomplice track lower than their very own names, assisting their reason and claiming public possession for his or her creations. Bailey explores those women’s lives and analyzes their tune. via their flow from inner most to public functionality and booklet, southern girls not just accelerated ideas of social acceptability but additionally received a valued experience of purpose.

Music and the Southern Belle locations those amazing girls of their social context, supplying compelling perception into southern tradition and the difficult ties among a lady’s id and the area of track. Augmented through incisive research of musical compositions and colourful profiles of composers, this quantity is the 1st of its variety, making it a vital learn for devotees of Civil battle and southern background, gender reports, and tune.   


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Extra resources for Music and the Southern Belle: From Accomplished Lady to Confederate Composer

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Roughly ten years later, Gibson’s vocal book (she also had a piano collection) begins with Italian opera pieces. Gibson lived in Fort Smith, Arkansas—far removed from the busy musical world of New Orleans or Charleston—but she acquired the latest pieces in both of her music books. As in Stedman’s collection, many works are connected with famous singers (see appendix, table 3). Several works by composers whose last name is Glover appear in Mary Gibson’s collection. The Glover family was an English one, with several composers among its members.

T H E BE L L E OF T H E OPER A Before proceeding to discussions of how young southern women experienced music, consideration of Joseph Chandler’s article “The Belle of the Opera, Essays upon a Woman’s Accomplishment, Her Character and Her Mission” will assist to define further the importance of music in the education of a young lady. A lengthy essay on womanly accomplishment and its usefulness, “The Belle of the Opera” takes as its point of reference a beautiful young woman at the opera, whose pictorial likeness precedes the article.

Well for my part,” says Mrs.  . “I don’t see what farmers’ wives have to do with them there sort of things. ”28 Clearly, women of this lower station do not know the rewards of being musically accomplished. Miss Bitterly later specifically derides Maria as an accomplished lady, but not in her presence. In fact, the village women who criticize Maria have never even met her. This excerpt vividly shows the lines between those who are socially and culturally adept and those who are inferior. The Dawsons, in keeping their piano under trying economic circumstances, retained their elegance and thereby to a degree their social place.

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