Get 20M+ Full-Text Papers For Less Than $1.50/day. Start a 14-Day Trial for You or Your Team.

Learn More →

“He was unable to set aside the effeminate, and so was forgotten”: Masculinity, Its Fears, and the Uses of Falsetto in the Early Nineteenth Century

“He was unable to set aside the effeminate, and so was forgotten”: Masculinity, Its Fears, and... The male falsetto enjoyed a brief period of acceptance, even adulation, as it was wielded by tenors such as John Braham and Giovanni Rubini in the first four decades of the nineteenth century. At the same time, the last castrati to tread the stage were winding down their careers, while in Germany and Austria female impersonators such as Karl Blumenfeld, who possessed highly cultivated falsetto voices, were achieving a kind of fame of their own. These three kinds of falsetto—the castrato voice was heard at this time as having the same two registers standard for all voices, falsetto and chest voice—were, to a degree probably startling to modern readers, considered analogous to one another. The decline of the ”legitimate” falsetto as an extension of the tenorial chest voice was concurrent with the phenomena of the disappearing castrati and the wildly over-the-top female impersonators—all of whom were both implicitly and explicitly compared to one another. Both the tenors and the falsettists bore an uncomfortable, even ridiculous, perceptual proximity to the epicene, effeminate, always/already maimed state of the castrato, under the regulation of an anxious version of the male gaze. This proximity played a large role in the rapid disappearance of the tenorial falsetto after 1840. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png 19th-Century Music University of California Press

“He was unable to set aside the effeminate, and so was forgotten”: Masculinity, Its Fears, and the Uses of Falsetto in the Early Nineteenth Century

19th-Century Music , Volume 43 (1): 21 – Jul 1, 2019

Loading next page...
 
/lp/university-of-california-press/he-was-unable-to-set-aside-the-effeminate-and-so-was-forgotten-3h8e0RXQbu
Publisher
University of California Press
Copyright
© 2019 by The Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved. Please direct all requests for permission to photocopy or reproduce article content through the University of California Press’s Reprints and Permissions web page, https://www.ucpress.edu/journals/reprints-permissions.
ISSN
0148-2076
eISSN
1533-8606
DOI
10.1525/ncm.2019.43.1.17
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The male falsetto enjoyed a brief period of acceptance, even adulation, as it was wielded by tenors such as John Braham and Giovanni Rubini in the first four decades of the nineteenth century. At the same time, the last castrati to tread the stage were winding down their careers, while in Germany and Austria female impersonators such as Karl Blumenfeld, who possessed highly cultivated falsetto voices, were achieving a kind of fame of their own. These three kinds of falsetto—the castrato voice was heard at this time as having the same two registers standard for all voices, falsetto and chest voice—were, to a degree probably startling to modern readers, considered analogous to one another. The decline of the ”legitimate” falsetto as an extension of the tenorial chest voice was concurrent with the phenomena of the disappearing castrati and the wildly over-the-top female impersonators—all of whom were both implicitly and explicitly compared to one another. Both the tenors and the falsettists bore an uncomfortable, even ridiculous, perceptual proximity to the epicene, effeminate, always/already maimed state of the castrato, under the regulation of an anxious version of the male gaze. This proximity played a large role in the rapid disappearance of the tenorial falsetto after 1840.

Journal

19th-Century MusicUniversity of California Press

Published: Jul 1, 2019

There are no references for this article.