Gendering the Semitone, Sexing the Leading Tone: Fourteenth-Century Music Theory and the Directed Progression

@inproceedings{Leach2006GenderingTS,
  title={Gendering the Semitone, Sexing the Leading Tone: Fourteenth-Century Music Theory and the Directed Progression},
  author={Elizabeth Eva Leach},
  year={2006}
}
Johannes, the eleventh-century glossator of Guido of Arezzo, is the earliest of several theorists who indirectly associate the semitone with cross-dressing, using a Vergilian citation about Phrygian men. Taking this as a starting point, this paper explores the gendered nature of sub-tonal intervals. The femininity of the semitone is initially a theoretical commonplace drawn from Greek antiquity, but in the context of medieval antifeminism on the one hand and the new placement and tuning of… CONTINUE READING