Well, how do I put this subtly? No.
I vaguely recall reading something about this theory a couple years ago. Although it got laughed at, it seems to have raised its head once again.
At least according to the article, the only “proof” that Anna Magdalena Bach, a known copiest and musically intelligent herself, is that (get this) some of Bach’s manuscripts appear in her hand and at certain points she seems to have fiddled with them a bit.
Iron. Clad. Case.
But of course, in the world of modern academics, which thrives on adolescent-level emotion, sensationalism and identity-driven politicks, inconveniences such as the need for objectivity and lack of proof simply get tossed aside.
Then there is the “impact” of this supposed revelation:
[Sally] Beamish [a British composer who will be presenting a documentary on this “discovery” in the near future] said the theory raised important questions about female composers, and had huge implications that could “transform” the confidence of young women hoping to make it today.
“What I found fascinating is the questions it raises about the assumptions we make: that music is always written by one person and all the great masters were male by definition,” she said.
I simply cannot conceive how wretched it must be to have a mind that occupies itself with such hobgoblins. Is Mizz Beamish really so insecure that she can’t contemplate the transcendence of musick by, for example, Bach and Mozart without worrying about such “assumptions”? Can she not appreciate said musick for what it is in itself without raising such questions?
Cor lumme, stone the crows.
And as for “huge implications”, as regular friends of the decanter will know, teh Middle Gel is a young woman who has very real aspirations to “make it” in the musick business some day. I can promise Mizz Beamish that teh gel has no need of such half-penny sociological twaddle in order to achieve the confidence that she has. Instead, she’s got to where she is through talent, dedication and hard work.