An empowering story; “Mozart Girl”… Emek Yurdakul’s article…

An empowering story;  “Mozart Girl”… Emek Yurdakul’s article…

I usually choose books by the first few pages rather than the back covers. Someone said, “Isn’t it so cruel?” he said. He was reading the first fifty pages. I think the first page is enough. If you don’t have the language, you leave it as you already have it. When you turn the page, you see if the style appeals to you or if it is something you want to read right now.

Here is the cover art of Müjde Başkale and the cover design of Gökçe Alper, I would have read Mozart Girl, even if I hadn’t thought of writing about it. While conveying a ton of information, not giving any information makes us feel that the author is immersed in the story.

It is no longer a voice-over, it tells by seeing and throws you in the middle of the story in the first sentence. Text; Under the editorship of Nihal Ünver, with the efforts of Edip Sönmez in the translation, it reaches us in an indelible way.


Nannerl and Wolfi, two brothers of musical genius, live in Salzburg with their dog Bimberl and their mother and father. Book; Centering on their family trip to Europe in the eighteenth century to give concerts and be known, Nannerl tells from his inner world how art / music feels:

“The notes were flying from under his fingers like purple butterflies released from his cage. The second segment was slower; like tired horses, or the sound of Wolfi’s footsteps slowly making an eighth around the trees. The third part was a quick dance, and Nannerl thought of the puppet dolls bouncing in the Salzburg town square on Saturday afternoon.”

We feel Nannerl’s connection with music, his inseparability from his body like a limb, every time he meets with music. It is the merit of a writer who dances with words and whose inner world is colored by art, to convey to the reader what music feels like with descriptions.


Sopherl writes on this journey, embodying the “opposite character” of what happens when people with music in them can’t get it out. Nannerl and Sopherl’s encounters are set in stone when, together with Mozart, they receive an invitation from the Elector Prince of Bavaria to play in front of courtiers.

While struggling with all the disadvantages of being a “girl”, Nannerl also tries to cope with the disappointment of not being able to play because there was no time left for her on the night of the invitation.

The fact that the Elector Prince does not forget Nannerl he used to listen to and invites him again gives hope to his music again. So maybe the prince seeing this little girl is a developed empathy muscle along with what he saw in his sister.

He not only introduces Prince Nannerl to Sopherl, but also asks him to find her and help her when he goes to Paris. Because while Sopherl was talented like her brother the prince, a woman who closed her violin in her box twenty-five years ago after her husband did not like her playing “so many” instruments and forbade the violin:

“After closing the box for the last time, it’s as if my own voice, my smile, everything I love to do is trapped inside the box along with the violin… Ever since he died, I’ve thought a lot about opening it again. But I didn’t think I had the courage… But you and your beautiful music helped me to play again, to speak.”


Every issue that the Mozart Girl tries to deal with and struggles to deal with, either with a memory or someone’s reaction, is compatible with the sets that gender draws for women and girls.

Starting from the first page, Barbara Nickel clearly shows the reader on which theme this girl will describe her music:

“Nannerl, looking at the lucky ring from his birthday cake, tried to organize the image of his wish and imagined a man dressed in a red jacket and shiny black shoes walking after him through the rooms of the castle… For some reason, this man (-his-) dream of becoming the most famous composer in the world did not fit. Nannerl (after playing his composition) would rather do the curtsy alone.”

This girl, who had an amazing talent for music, had just turned twelve. She also loved her sister five years younger than herself, but in an age where the talents of girls were valued within their feminine grace and brought in to be suitable wife for the “husband”, being the sister of the child prodigy reinforced her invisibility, which created a constant conflict in her inner world.

“He loved to listen to Wolfi playing the violin. He wanted to steal too, but his father hadn’t taught him. He had asked his father why. ‘You’re a lucky girl to learn to play the keyboard and sing. You should be grateful for that. You don’t need a violin or an organ; these are only required if you are going to work as a music director in a palace or church. These are men’s jobs… your job is to find a husband!’

His father sometimes spoke illogically. Maybe she might want a husband someday, but why should that prevent her from learning the violin today? It would be much easier to write music for an instrument that he can play. But he was not supposed to compose anyway.”


The issues in The Mozart Girl continue to change shape, and we have become adept at pretending they don’t exist. Some of us have to, some of us want a little peace, some of us want to be “normal”…

18th century and 21st century… Still talented, knowledgeable, educated, foresighted, prudent, resourceful, etc. At least one feature of women scares men. And since the solution of the issue will necessitate major changes, the method of moving away from the point where it will be resolved is used, by considering it on an individual basis in order to avoid the politics of the issue.

The Mozart Girl is one of the examples that proves that gender is a sociological problem, not a psychological one. As readings of history proliferate and are passed on in this way for new generations, “Why do great artists/thinkers/writers etc. male?” I hope we get rid of the question.

When I finished the book, I learned that I was reading the story of a woman who inspired her life. I thought a fictional universe was grounded in historical reality. On the contrary, the book contains a few fictions on Nannerl’s true story. The author explained everything in detail at the end of the book with bibliographies.

Still, he composed the symphony he dreamed of at the age of twelve. She struggled against all the obstacles of gender. Is it the result? Before you, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, whom we all know, and his older sister Maria Anna Walburga Ignatia Mozart, or Nannerl for short, whom most of us do not know…

Mozart Girl / Barbara Nickel / Translated by Edip Sönmez / Ayrıntı Genç / 192 p. / 9+ / 2022.

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