Title: De eunuch en de stotteraar Ongepaste, ongezonde en onnatuurlijke mannenstemmen in West-Europa rond 1900
Authors: Hoegaerts, Josephine
Issue Date: 2014
Publisher: Verloren
Series Title: Rythmus: Jaarboek voor Fin de Siècle studies vol:3
Host Document: Onnoemelijke dingen Over taboe en verbod in het fin de siècle pages:95-112
Abstract: When castrati disappeared from the operatic stage, they were replaced by heroic tenors and fatherly basses,
who came to represent masculinity in its different guises. However, the high, penetrating sound of
the erstwhile virtuosos continued to inspire fascination and debate. In this article, I examine medical
and artistic discourses on several male voices that came to be considered weak or effeminate in the nineteenth
century. Comparing representations of castratos, theories on the falsetto register and narratives
on the social meaning of stammering allows for an exploration of the outer edges of the normal,
healthy male voice as its sound was imagined at the end of the nineteenth century. Both on the (operatic)
stage and in daily life, the chest voice and its rough sound gained terrain as the practice of cultivation
lost its legitimacy and its association with gentlemanly refinement. The norm, by the start of the
twentieth century, was no longer the carefully tuned voice, but rather a voice modulated to sound natural
and unaffected.
ISBN: 978-90-8704-474-9
Publication status: published
KU Leuven publication type: IHb
Appears in Collections:Modernity & Society 1800-2000, Leuven

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