Clara Schumann - Essay Example In fact she has made a unique world of music which was unknown to the public till that time. The contributions of Clara Schumann to the world of music remain unique, especially when we consider the fact that most of the ancient musicians were from the dominant male community and females had many restrictions in the society during her life period. â€œIn an era when women, apart from singers, almost never performed in public or composed, Clara Schumann did bothâ€ (Clara Schumann (1819-1896)). This paper analyses the life and contributions of Clara Schumann and answer the question "Why did Clara Schumann have great success during a time when women had many restrictions in society?" As in the cases of other regions and countries, the conditions of German women in the nineteenth century were not so encouraging. German women forced to work hard for finding livelihood, especially poor women. German women forced to work in domestic services and in shops during this period and it was difficult for them to concentrate on recreational areas like music because of the over burden of looking after their family and the male dominance in the society. Historically, German women faced severe discrimination in the society mainly because of the Christian prejudice against women. They were excluded even from church participation in till the beginning of the nineteenth century. Â â€œAs late as 1700, women were not allowed to sing in churches.Â In the Middle Ages, women were still subordinate to men. They could not be active in the political life of the societyâ€ (Gordeeva). However, Clara Schumannâ€™s father was a brave person who had liberal views about social life. He never believed in traditions and customs even though he studied theology. He was a musician by profession and did everything needed to encourage his daughter Clara to learn music. However, Claraâ€™s father was cruel at times which forced her to concentrate fully on her profession and learn more and more topics in piano playing. Clara slowly gained popularity and started to mesmerize the audience with her immense talents on Piano. She was able to play piano from her memory which was a rare sight during that period. In 1830â€™s, she met several famous musicians of that time, including Ludwig van Beethoven, Franz Schubert, and Robert Schumann. The meeting with Robert Schumann made lot of changes in her life. â€œBy 1836, Clara had become completely infatuated with Robert Schumann and her fatherâ€™s concern over the suitability of the match was apparentâ€Â (Clara Schumann (1819-1896)). But her father was against this relationship. Robert Schumann was comparatively an unknown composer while Clara was already a famous and accomplished performer. â€œOn March 15, 1838, at the age of 18, she received the greatest honor Austria could bestow: She was named Royal and Imperial Chamber Virtuosa, even though she was a protestant, foreigner and a femaleâ€ (Reich, p.3). In other words, Claraâ€™s popularity and fame was not limited to the boundaries of Germany alone. She became world famous even at the age of 18 which forced her father to try and break her love affair with Robert Schumann. Claraâ€™s father tried to prevent Clara from meeting Schumann, but they strengthened their love affair through secret romantic letters. German laws during that period prevented a woman from marrying without her fatherâ€™s consent. The battle between Claraâ€™
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