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The Composer    (from my imagination, based on research)

           Born in the thirteen hundreds, she wanted to be a composer, hearing beautiful polyphony in her head since she was a young child.  But, being one of 16 children, all of them - including her - were uneducated.  Instead she became the wife of a man who was also a serf.  On her wedding night, the lord of the manor exercised his droit du seigneur or jus primae noctis. The droit du seigneur was a law in some parts of Europe that allowed the lord to rape any woman who was born into a class subservient to him.  She died, as many women do, in childbirth at age 17, after her second child, who lived.

           Polyphony is the beautiful voices you hear, composed by Maddalena Casulana, the work of a woman who did become a composer in the 16th century.  Casulana said she wanted, “in the profession of music to show the world the vain error of men, that they alone have the gifts of intellect and artistry.  Such gifts are given to women, as well as men.”

 

                                 

                           The Drawing                                       The Mannequin


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