Musical Women: A Subject Worthy of Study

Date

2021-04-30

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Abstract

High school and college students in MUSI-1306 music appreciation courses study many composers and compositions. Of those composers, music appreciation textbooks typically briefly mention a few women composers, most notably Fanny Mendelssohn Hensel and Clara Schumann. Most music courses focus on the master composers comprised of men. This lack of representation of women composers in music appreciation textbooks creates the illusion that there have not been many women performers or composers. Many women engaged in these musical activities. While many female musicians only performed or composed for family and friends, many others performed publicly and regularly published their works. Music appreciation curricula should convey a more diverse population of composers by integrating the study of compositions written by women to achieve the learning objectives for the course. There are similar objectives used throughout MUSI-1306 college-level music appreciation courses across the state of Texas. In these classes, students learn to identify musical works and elements in a variety of styles, analyze the elements and structure of music using appropriate terminology, and critically evaluate the influence of social, political, technological, or cultural ideas on music. Educators should offer a more diverse compilation of works that would include women composers. Compositions written by women can fulfill the overall objectives in a music course just as well as using works written by men.

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Women Composers

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