Gender Roles Of The Nineteenth Century Essay

808 Words Oct 20th, 2016 4 Pages
The nineteenth century was a complicated time for women and music. Men imposed patriarchal gender roles onto the rules of music, inhibiting women from breaking into the field of music by forcing upon them a list of “do’s and don’ts.” If a woman follows all of these rules, she may be finally acknowledged by her male peers as an “accomplished woman.” One woman in particular who had been affected by these constraints on her creativity was Amy Beach, a musical prodigy. Despite Beach’s restrictions, she was able to both adhere to her societal roles of the time while also pushing past her limits, becoming much more than just an “accomplished woman.” So what exactly is an accomplished woman? This title seems to compliment women, but in nineteenth century society, it had a much different meaning. To become accomplished meant for a woman to follow a series of social rules constructed by males of the time. The goal of all this: to find a husband. Among these rules included guidelines on specific ways to talk and act, as well as outlining what hobbies were acceptable and unacceptable for a woman to be practicing in the eyes of her male peers. Accepted hobbies included painting, sewing, and most notably, music. Not any music was given the green light for women, however. String instruments were thought to be too much movement for a woman and the act of blowing into an instrument was deemed unladylike. All that was left was the piano. It did not require blowing, nor did it require…

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