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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000165.txt from 1996/01

From: Helen Emerson <helen.emerson@-----.NZ>
Subj: Re: Women Comp. for Clarinet
Date: Mon, 8 Jan 1996 21:48:42 -0500

>Hi Jean!
> Just a quick note- it seems that all the women composers are from
>our period in time. How come there were no women composers in the past and
>the distant past? Might be a good thread to investigate in your project.
>Fred (

Now we're talking!! :-)
Actually, that would be an enormous area of research to get into - the=
issues of women composers pre 20th century. If you were interested in this=
Jean, I would suggest looking at a couple of books on the history of women=
in music. Some general books:
Bowers, Jane and Judith Tick, eds. "Women Making Music: the western art=
tradition, 1150 - 1950" (Macmillan, 1986)

Pendle, Karen. "Women and Music" (Indiana Uni press, sorry, can't remember=
the date!)

Both these books should be easily available your library - and could point=
you in the direction of some more detailed references.

I would suggest that unless the (pre 20th century) female composer could=
play the clarinet, she would have few or no opportunities to know anything=
about the instrument.(and thus be in a position to write for it) Women were=
not able to study at the Conservatoriums/ Universities etc until the mid=
19th century - and therefore not able to study instrumentation/performance=
etc. And wind instruments were definitly *not* suitable for ladies to=
learn!! Even in the 1930s the British Women's Symphony had to conceed to=
having male woodwind performers!
The bulk of the music written by women composers for clarinet will come from=
the 20th century then, because of a) the growing acceptability of women=
composers b) the increased opportunities for women to study music and gain=
performances of their works in the professional world.
(there's a lot more to this topic, but that's a brief answer!!)

Here's a question - does anyone on the list know 'the history' of female=
clarinet performers? Who/when were the first female clarinet soloists?=20


* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
* Helen Emerson *
* Department of Music *
* University of Otago *
* New Zealand *
* *
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

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