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The University of Southampton
MusicPart of Humanities

Hartley Residency - Prof. Philippe Canguilhem  Seminar

16 - 17 October 2018
Building 6, Room 1077 (Lecture Theatre A)

For more information regarding this seminar, please email Dr Amy Williamson at .

Event details

We are delighted to welcome Prof. Philippe Canguilhem for our first Hartley Residency of the 2018-2019 academic year. Prof. Canguilhem will be with us for 16-17 October.

Day 1: Tuesday 16 October 2018

11:00–12:30, Room 6/1077: Introductory seminar for postgraduates. Material that students should read in advance will be circulated on or shortly after 2nd October.

13:30–15:30: One-to-one meetings between Philippe Canguilhem and PhD/MMus students (appointments should be arranged through Amy Williamson, Location: 06/1099

16:00–17:30, Room 6/1077: Formal presentation: Philippe Canguilhem. Chair: Gawain Glenton

Title:  '"Usuall Musicke”: Singing upon the book in the Renaissance’
Abstract: My lecture considers the performative dimension of counterpoint as it was practiced within the choirs and chapels of many European churches in the 15th and 16th centuries. After discussing its status in the current literature, I would like to embark on a three-stage inquiry : firstly, I will give a quick overview of the non-musical documents that inform us about the circumstances of the teaching and performance of the chant sur le livre. I will turn in a second time towards the theoretical literature : how was it taught, according to which techniques ? Finally, I will briefly investigate a written out repertoire that has been mostly neglected so far : we have preserved a number of pieces that aim to imitate the sound and texture of contrapuntal improvisations, and studying this material allows us to get a more precise idea of how the contrappunto alla mente, as it was called in Italy, actually looked like when properly done.

17:30, Drinks reception in the Arlott Bar

18:30, Dinner at the Cowherds (if you would like to attend then please notify Amy Williamson,

Day 2: Wednesday 17 October 2018

10:00-13:00, One-to-one meetings between Philippe Canguilhem and PhD/MMus students (appointments should be arranged through Amy Williamson, Location: 06/1099

14:00-15:30, Room 6/1077: Formal Presentation: Katrina Faulds, Chair: David Gostick

Title: ‘Troubling Grace: Performing the Tambourine in Georgian Britain’.
Abstract: Around 1800, Britain saw a small explosion in the publication of music with accompaniment for tambourine, complicating existing gender and cultural narratives.  Publications by composers such as Clementi, Steibelt and Mazzinghi often took the form of waltzes and reductions of ballets; however, both were highly problematic genres for women. Additionally, instruments of the drum family were associated with masculine military topoi and performance, yet publishers emphasised the suitability of the tambourine for women and instruction manuals clearly yoke tambourine performance with taste, elegance and “the most graceful attitudes”.  Although Henry Farmer and Sam Girling separately situated tambourine music within female domesticity, recognising its postural, visual and choreographic nature, little attempt has yet been made to understand how its performance intersected with contemporary ideals of grace. 

This paper explores how elite women’s engagement with tambourine music tapped into and jostled against a specific corporeal aesthetic vocabulary and material culture around grace. Bodily grace was epitomised by ease, elegance and “delicacy of attitude and motion”, drawing heavily on notions of antiquity.  Yet despite the emphasis on grace in tambourine instruction, its performance required vigour, theatricality and noise, the antithesis of demure grace.  The tambourine’s incorporation into the fabric of elite houses, from vases, commodes, figurines and musical trophies through to portraiture, contains clear parallels to depictions of women playing tambourines in musical publications.  The recurring portrayal of women with tambourines as bacchantes, and the merchandising of Emma Hamilton’s body and instrument, points towards a narrative that sanitises or nullifies associations with intoxication, violence and voyeurism. In addition to evoking classical mythology, the tambourine was also coupled with diverse ethnicities and representations of class, from French street musicians, ‘oriental’ janissary music, and black instrumentalists in militia bands, to female ballet dancers and the innocence of childhood play.  Women’s performance on the tambourine, therefore, needs to be understood within the context of this complex cultural background. Grace became a pivotal tool through which such music-making was both endorsed and promulgated, connecting it to a broader discourse around material acquisition, and sidestepping uncomfortable gender and social juxtapositions.

16:00-17:30, Room 6/1077: Closing roundtable: ‘The Social History of Instruments’; Panellists: Philippe Canguilhem, Katrina Faulds, Valeria De Lucca and Maria Da Gloria Leitao Venceslau Chair: Peter Falconer

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