Spinning Songs and Sibling Harmonies: A Conversation on Mozart and the Mediation of Childhood

Mon, Mar 7, 2022
3:00 pm EST - 4:30 pm EST

Alyson McLamore will lead a conversation and audience Q&A with Adeline Mueller about her new book, Mozart and the Mediation of Childhood (University of Chicago Press, 2021). In a tour of several of the more unusual musical artifacts from the book — such as a spinning-school contrafactum of “Se vuol ballare” from Figaro, and some surprising literary contexts for Mozart’s Lieder for children and music for keyboard four hands — Mueller and McLamore will discuss the nascent children’s music industry in Mozart’s Europe. They will consider how music for, by, and about children changed in the wake of Mozart’s emergence as a juvenile composer in 1764, and how his persona was marshalled for children’s welfare and labor initiatives, as well as broader ideologies of pedagogy, gender, morality, and familial intimacy in the decades around 1800.


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Adeline Mueller is Assistant Professor of Music at Mount Holyoke College. Her book Mozart and the Mediation of Childhood (University of Chicago Press, 2021) examines Mozart’s role in the social and cultural reevaluation of childhood during the Austrian Enlightenment. She has published articles on Mozart, opera, and Lieder in Eighteenth-Century Music, Opera Quarterly, and Frontiers in Communication, and has contributed chapters to such edited volumes as Mozart in Context (Cambridge University Press, 2019), Wagner and Cinema (Indiana University Press, 2010), and The Cambridge Companion to The Magic Flute (forthcoming, 2022). Her research interests include music and childhood, marginalized composers in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Europe, early musical ethnography, and silent film music.

Professor Alyson McLamore, named a Distinguished Teacher at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, wears two scholarly hats: her thesis on Andrew Lloyd Webber led to her textbook Musical Theater: An Appreciation (Routledge) and articles in Broadway: An Encyclopedia of Theater and American Culture and Music Observed: Studies in Memory of William C. Holmes. Her Fulbright-supported dissertation on eighteenth-century London concert life has generated studies of Charles Jr. and Samuel Wesley and other British prodigies, an overture by a Saxon princess, and the national identity within British “sea” music. She also has crafted the music curricula for several competition years of the U.S. Academic Decathlon, and co-edited Musica Franca: Essays in Honor of Frank A. D’Accone.

Additional Reading

 Mueller, “Roses Strewn Upon the Path: Rehearsing Familial Devotion in Late Eighteenth-Century German Songs for Parents and Children,” in Frontiers in Communication (Research Topic: “Songs and Signs: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Cultural Transmission and Inheritance in Human and Nonhuman Animals”) (2021), https://doi.org/10.3389/fcomm.2021.705142

McLamore, “Mozart in the Middle: London’s ‘Musical Children’,” Newsletter of the Mozart Society of America 23/1 (2019): 5-9, https://www.mozartsocietyofamerica.org/wp-content/uploads/newsletters/MSA-SPRING-19.pdf

Mueller, “Youth, Captivity and Virtue in the Eighteenth-Century Kindertruppen,” Eighteenth-Century Music 10/1 (2013): 65-91, https://doi.org/10.1017/S147857061200036X 

Mueller, guest editor and contributor, “After Die Zauberflöte” (special issue), Opera Quarterly 28/1-2 (2012), including article “Who Were the Drei Knaben?”: 88-103, https://academic.oup.com/oq/issue/28/1-2