Why We Dont Have Famous Female Composer In History ?

Posted by: Batuhan

Why We Dont Have Famous Female Composer In History ? - 02/18/10 11:40 AM

Like Beethoven, Hummel, Paganini, Schubert, Berlioz, Strauss, Mendelssohn, Chopin, Czerny, Liszt, Alkan, Wagner, Schumann, Brahms, Bizet, Tchaikovsky, Grieg, Debussy, Sibelius,Scriabin
Rachmaninoff, Mahler, Ravel, Haydn, Mozart, Bach

all of them are male what is the explanation of this ?
Posted by: Phlebas

Re: Why We Dont Have Famous Female Composer In History ? - 02/18/10 11:45 AM

Read about society during the time of Beethoven, Hummel, Paganini, Schubert, Berlioz, Strauss, Mendelssohn, Chopin, Czerny, Liszt, Alkan, Wagner, Schumann, Brahms, Bizet, Tchaikovsky, Grieg, Debussy, Sibelius,Scriabin
Rachmaninoff, Mahler, Ravel, Haydn, Mozart, Bach....

You'll find your answer there.
Posted by: Batuhan

Re: Why We Dont Have Famous Female Composer In History ? - 02/18/10 11:48 AM

Originally Posted By: Phlebas
Read about society during the time of Beethoven, Hummel, Paganini, Schubert, Berlioz, Strauss, Mendelssohn, Chopin, Czerny, Liszt, Alkan, Wagner, Schumann, Brahms, Bizet, Tchaikovsky, Grieg, Debussy, Sibelius,Scriabin
Rachmaninoff, Mahler, Ravel, Haydn, Mozart, Bach....

You'll find your answer there.


I ask ''Famous'' female Composer read the title carefully. And i dont talk about society i talk about history.
Posted by: Frozenicicles

Re: Why We Dont Have Famous Female Composer In History ? - 02/18/10 11:49 AM

Because historically, education was preferentially given to boys and women had to go under pseudonyms to get anything published. I believe that Mendelssohn had some of his sister's music published under his name. Clara Schumann is quite a well-known composer. If you go back even further, there's Hildegard of Bingen. I'm sure others can provide more examples as well.
Posted by: Less Rubato

Re: Why We Dont Have Famous Female Composer In History ? - 02/18/10 11:49 AM

Clara Schumann is the only name I can think of but certainly not famous like the others.
Posted by: Less Rubato

Re: Why We Dont Have Famous Female Composer In History ? - 02/18/10 11:52 AM

Originally Posted By: Frozenicicles
Because historically, education is preferentially given to boys and women had to go under pseudonyms to get anything published. I believe that Mendelssohn had some of his sister's music published under his name. Clara Schumann is quite a well-known composer. If you go back even further, there's Hildegard of Bingen. I'm sure others can provide more examples as well.


Looks like we both thought of Clara at the same time smile
Posted by: John_B

Re: Why We Dont Have Famous Female Composer In History ? - 02/18/10 11:55 AM

There was also Fanny Mendelssohn.
Posted by: beet31425

Re: Why We Dont Have Famous Female Composer In History ? - 02/18/10 11:56 AM

Here is another way of framing the question:

Why are there many famous female authors, from Jane Austen to Virginia Woolf, but almost no famous female composers?


-Jason
Posted by: Nikolas

Re: Why We Dont Have Famous Female Composer In History ? - 02/18/10 11:57 AM

Batuhan: The reason is social, not historical, or at least historically social! laugh What did you expect as a reply? That women are not as capable as men in composing? If this is so, it simply isn't true.

I love the works of Gubaidulina, Tansy Davies and many othes... In fact: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_female_composers_by_birth_year

Now, the why they are not as famous... try checking how many females are famous throuhout history and you'll probably also end up in a social reason rather than anything else. EDIT: Indeed writting... sorry about that.
Posted by: Frozenicicles

Re: Why We Dont Have Famous Female Composer In History ? - 02/18/10 12:01 PM

Originally Posted By: Nikolas
That women are not as capable as men in composing? If this is so, it simply isn't true.

Darn right. Writing was a much more suitable task for a woman than being a professional musician. Performing meant that you had to be in the public eye. Fanny Mendelssohn's father told her that "music will perhaps become his [i.e. Felix's] profession, while for you it can and must be only an ornament." And who knows - perhaps women did compose music privately but it never got performed unless they had male relatives in the business, like Fanny and Clara. Don't forget that history has been written by men.
Posted by: Mr_Lion

Re: Why We Dont Have Famous Female Composer In History ? - 02/18/10 12:04 PM

Well what I'll say may be controversial but it also holds a shred of truth.

Scientifically speaking, there are more male geniuses (based on I.Q.) than female (there are also more mentally-challenged men). Males tend to fall on either side of the I.Q. bell curve, so there are less men with average I.Q. than women, but also more men with very high I.Q. Obviously, I.Q. doesn't measure creativity or musical flair, but it is a general indicator of intelligence and when have you known a stupid composer? There aren't many.

As for the "women in society" argument, well yes, during the time of Mozart/Bach/Beethoven/Schubert etc. the education of women left a lot to be desired. But I don't think that same argument can be carried forth to the time of Rachmaninoff/Ravel etc. Women were educated in music then, and obviously are to the present day, but yet the vast majority of contemporary composers that I can think of (film composers, new age etc.) are men.

Maybe we're just better at this one particular aspect of human life? After all, we are very different and there are things that women tend to be better at than men.
Posted by: Frozenicicles

Re: Why We Dont Have Famous Female Composer In History ? - 02/18/10 12:10 PM

Read this thread and maybe you'll understand.

I'm not super-feminist here - the role of women as mothers is crucial in human society and sometimes they need to (and should) compromise their careers to take care of children. But I believe it's incorrect to infer that it's due to lack of intelligence.
Posted by: Phlebas

Re: Why We Dont Have Famous Female Composer In History ? - 02/18/10 12:10 PM

Originally Posted By: Batuhan
Originally Posted By: Phlebas
Read about society during the time of Beethoven, Hummel, Paganini, Schubert, Berlioz, Strauss, Mendelssohn, Chopin, Czerny, Liszt, Alkan, Wagner, Schumann, Brahms, Bizet, Tchaikovsky, Grieg, Debussy, Sibelius,Scriabin
Rachmaninoff, Mahler, Ravel, Haydn, Mozart, Bach....

You'll find your answer there.


I ask ''Famous'' female Composer read the title carefully. And i dont talk about society i talk about history.


I read your post. Read up on society during the times the composers you listed lived. You'll find your answer there.

Sorry, for the snarkiness, but your question is a bit naive.
Posted by: Nikolas

Re: Why We Dont Have Famous Female Composer In History ? - 02/18/10 12:12 PM

Originally Posted By: Mr_Lion
Well what I'll say may be controversial but it also holds a shred of truth.

Scientifically speaking, there are more male geniuses (based on I.Q.) than female (there are also more mentally-challenged men). Males tend to fall on either side of the I.Q. bell curve, so there are less men with average I.Q. than women, but also more men with very high I.Q. Obviously, I.Q. doesn't measure creativity or musical flair, but it is a general indicator of intelligence and when have you known a stupid composer? There aren't many.
Can you share some 'scientific' proof over that? Cause I honestly find not a single shread of truth in the above!

More over, there was a thread about 'talent overater' and another book in teachers forum. You should go check it out and get an idea that talent could be given later in life, rather than born with. Similary the same applied with IQ...

Quote:
As for the "women in society" argument, well yes, during the time of Mozart/Bach/Beethoven/Schubert etc. the education of women left a lot to be desired. But I don't think that same argument can be carried forth to the time of Rachmaninoff/Ravel etc. Women were educated in music then, and obviously are to the present day, but yet the vast majority of contemporary composers that I can think of (film composers, new age etc.) are men.
When... did women start to vote? I do think much later than Ravel's (general) time. More over if I recall correctly the (2nd) feminist movement was around the 60s, right? (first was around the time of Virginia Woolf, incidently, already mentioned here).

Quote:
Maybe we're just better at this one particular aspect of human life? After all, we are very different and there are things that women tend to be better at than men.

Take out the word 'better' and leave the word 'different' and we're fine!

Take it from a guy who's feeding his kids, taking them to showers, putting them to sleep, taking them out to walks, etc, while his wife works (more steadily, as an architect, while her husband is a freelance composer). I tend to think that I'm doing a damn fine job raising my kids, which normally should be a 'female chore'... laugh (Not to mention the pride I take from this and the enjoyement).

Nope we are not the same, but I judge differences on a few physical aspects (when talking about athletics for example), but mainly personality, intelligence, etc. And NOT the sex!
Posted by: Pogorelich.

Re: Why We Dont Have Famous Female Composer In History ? - 02/18/10 12:20 PM

We suck?
Posted by: Mr_Lion

Re: Why We Dont Have Famous Female Composer In History ? - 02/18/10 12:20 PM

Originally Posted By: Nikolas
Can you share some 'scientific' proof over that? Cause I honestly find not a single shread of truth in the above!


Yes - there have been numerous studies showing that there are twice as many men falling on the 'extremes' as women. Here's an example of one study conducted by numerous doctors at top universities:

Deary, I.J.; Irwing, P.; Der, G; Bates, T.C. (2005). "Brother–sister differences in the g factor in intelligence: Analysis of full, opposite-sex siblings from the NLSY1979". Intelligence 35:451-456.

Quote:
When... did women start to vote? I do think much later than Ravel's (general) time. More over if I recall correctly the (2nd) feminist movement was around the 60s, right? (first was around the time of Virginia Woolf, incidently, already mentioned here).


What about modern day female composers? The vast majority of film/contemporary composers that I know are men.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to put them down! Not by any means, I'm not sexist I'm just scientific. I'm not trying to offend anyone.
Posted by: Pogorelich.

Re: Why We Dont Have Famous Female Composer In History ? - 02/18/10 12:26 PM

Yeah... you think the 'world' isn't sexist anymore? Come on.
Posted by: John_B

Re: Why We Dont Have Famous Female Composer In History ? - 02/18/10 12:26 PM

Originally Posted By: Nikolas
I love the works of Gubaidulina...


+1

Did you go to any of the concerts in the Barbican/BBC Gubaidulina weekend a few years ago? I recorded much of it when it was broadcast. (I also recorded her St John Passion from the Proms performance in 2002 with Gergiev and the Kirov Orch.)
Posted by: Less Rubato

Re: Why We Dont Have Famous Female Composer In History ? - 02/18/10 12:33 PM

So true. Angelina. Substitute any other minority into this discussion and suddenly it becomes too hot to handle.
Posted by: -Frycek

Re: Why We Dont Have Famous Female Composer In History ? - 02/18/10 12:36 PM

A. Nonymous was a woman - Her only instrument, her voice, her compostions hummed over soup, danced with the broom, crooned over babies, and keened over the dead.
Posted by: Nikolas

Re: Why We Dont Have Famous Female Composer In History ? - 02/18/10 12:46 PM

Mr. Lion: So the... idea of historically, etc, is gone and you are now refering to contemporary and film composers? I actually know a few female composers in the media. It could very well be that the motherhood could potentially be an issue for a famous career, I can't tell.

BTW, can we put down numbers on how many Greek composers are famous? In all 10 millions of people, the percentage is far from even decent. It's awful. I guess this must mean that Greeks are also different than the rest of the world as far as I intelligence is concerned, right? :P
Posted by: RealPlayer

Re: Why We Dont Have Famous Female Composer In History ? - 02/18/10 12:56 PM

Originally Posted By: Nikolas
BTW, can we put down numbers on how many Greek composers are famous? In all 10 millions of people, the percentage is far from even decent. It's awful.


Well, Xenakis makes up for the low numbers. thumb
Posted by: Nikolas

Re: Why We Dont Have Famous Female Composer In History ? - 02/18/10 12:58 PM

LMAO!

There's also me! Bouahahahahahaha! (honestly a joke! I promise, I swear).

A couple of names very worth of mentioning ,since I'm at it are:
Yanni Christou
and
Theodor Antoniou

Both are stunning, resemble nothing of the rest of us Greeks! laugh In all very worthy composers! Really!
Posted by: Phlebas

Re: Why We Dont Have Famous Female Composer In History ? - 02/18/10 12:59 PM

Originally Posted By: RealPlayer
Originally Posted By: Nikolas
BTW, can we put down numbers on how many Greek composers are famous? In all 10 millions of people, the percentage is far from even decent. It's awful.


Well, Xenakis makes up for the low numbers. thumb


I think he said "famous." laugh
Posted by: BruceD

Re: Why We Dont Have Famous Female Composer In History ? - 02/18/10 01:02 PM

Originally Posted By: beet31425
Here is another way of framing the question:

Why are there many famous female authors, from Jane Austen to Virginia Woolf, but almost no famous female composers?
-Jason


And here's a slightly off-topic take on this question. So many of the greatest female characters in novels are women, but the authors are men :

Flaubert : Madame Bovary
Tolstoy : Anna Karenina
Richardson : Pamela
Alexandre Dumas : La Dame aux Camelias
Daniel Defoe : Moll Flanders
Nathaniel Hawthorne : The Scarlet Letter
Henry James : Daisy Miller

While no one denies the place in literature of such heroines as Elizabeth Barrett, (Jane Austen) and Jane Eyre, (Charlotte Bronte), are there any great literary male heroes created by women authors? Is Heathcliffe (Wuthering Heights) a viable candidate. Which others?

Why, in literary history, have men writen so successfully about women, but women seem not to have been as successful in writing about men?

Has this changed in more modern times?

Regards,
Posted by: Steve Chandler

Re: Why We Dont Have Famous Female Composer In History ? - 02/18/10 01:20 PM

Originally Posted By: Mr_Lion

What about modern day female composers? The vast majority of film/contemporary composers that I know are men.

Is film composing the only composing that's being done these days? Jennifer Higdon and Joan Tower (both Pulitzer Prize winning composers) might disagree.

Does anyone else find it disturbing that Piano World has seen two threads recently that have focused on prejudicial notions of superiority based on sex or race?
Posted by: Frozenicicles

Re: Why We Dont Have Famous Female Composer In History ? - 02/18/10 02:13 PM

Originally Posted By: BruceD
Originally Posted By: beet31425
Here is another way of framing the question:

Why are there many famous female authors, from Jane Austen to Virginia Woolf, but almost no famous female composers?
-Jason


And here's a slightly off-topic take on this question. So many of the greatest female characters in novels are women, but the authors are men :

Flaubert : Madame Bovary
Tolstoy : Anna Karenina
Richardson : Pamela
Alexandre Dumas : La Dame aux Camelias
Daniel Defoe : Moll Flanders
Nathaniel Hawthorne : The Scarlet Letter
Henry James : Daisy Miller

While no one denies the place in literature of such heroines as Elizabeth Barrett, (Jane Austen) and Jane Eyre, (Charlotte Bronte), are there any great literary male heroes created by women authors? Is Heathcliffe (Wuthering Heights) a viable candidate. Which others?

Why, in literary history, have men writen so successfully about women, but women seem not to have been as successful in writing about men?

Has this changed in more modern times?

Regards,


Two words: Harry Potter. smile
I think that Mr. Darcy and Mr. Rochester were very successful characters also. In what way were they not?
Posted by: LimeFriday

Re: Why We Dont Have Famous Female Composer In History ? - 02/18/10 03:19 PM

Quote:
there have been numerous studies showing that there are twice as many men falling on the 'extremes' as women. Here's an example of one study conducted by numerous doctors at top universities


If you also read the scientific studies on IQ tests you'll find plenty of evidence to show that these are flawed and do not accurately represent intelligence, genius or otherwise.

Most intelligence tests and studies were written and designed by men - originally to test men. Bias and skewed results abound!
Posted by: cardguy

Re: Why We Dont Have Famous Female Composer In History ? - 02/18/10 03:29 PM

These are dangerous waters, and I consider myself a feminist, but I don't I like the politically correct tenor of the discussion. There does actually seem to be a scarcity of women composers, even if you factor in all the societal stuff. The operative word is "seem" as obviously I can't prove it.

But would it be so horrible if it turned out there was something in the male brain that makes it more likely they'll be better at composing music? I can't cite them, but I do believe reading that there are studies indicating men are better at mechanical thinking, including spacial relations than women. I'm also almost certain there are studies that support the idea there are differences in the way men and women process language.

My point is, there are difference between the male and female brain. This isn't bad, or sexist in and of itself. it simply is.

So go ahead all you p.c.'ers. Savage me if you must. I can take it :>)
Posted by: Kreisler

Re: Why We Dont Have Famous Female Composer In History ? - 02/18/10 03:32 PM

Originally Posted By: Mr_Lion
What about modern day female composers? The vast majority of film/contemporary composers that I know are men.


A majority perhaps, but there certainly are women deservedly at the top of the field:

Rachel Portman (film)
Jennifer Higdon, Chen Yi (concert music)
Posted by: -Frycek

Re: Why We Dont Have Famous Female Composer In History ? - 02/18/10 03:37 PM

Originally Posted By: Frozenicicles
Originally Posted By: BruceD
Originally Posted By: beet31425
Here is another way of framing the question:

Why are there many famous female authors, from Jane Austen to Virginia Woolf, but almost no famous female composers?
-Jason


And here's a slightly off-topic take on this question. So many of the greatest female characters in novels are women, but the authors are men :

Flaubert : Madame Bovary
Tolstoy : Anna Karenina
Richardson : Pamela
Alexandre Dumas : La Dame aux Camelias
Daniel Defoe : Moll Flanders
Nathaniel Hawthorne : The Scarlet Letter
Henry James : Daisy Miller

While no one denies the place in literature of such heroines as Elizabeth Barrett, (Jane Austen) and Jane Eyre, (Charlotte Bronte), are there any great literary male heroes created by women authors? Is Heathcliffe (Wuthering Heights) a viable candidate. Which others?

Why, in literary history, have men writen so successfully about women, but women seem not to have been as successful in writing about men?

Has this changed in more modern times?

Regards,


Two words: Harry Potter. smile
I think that Mr. Darcy and Mr. Rochester were very successful characters also. In what way were they not?

Dorthy Sayers /Lord Peter Wimsey
Beatrix Potter/ Peter Rabbit
George Eliott/ Silas Marner
Margaret Mitchell/ Rhett Butler
Diana Galbadon/Jamie Fraser
Ann Rice/ Lestat
Dorothy Dunnett/Francis Crawford
Mary Shelly/Dr Victor Frankenstein and friend
Harper Lee /Atticus Finch
Posted by: ChopinAddict

Re: Why We Dont Have Famous Female Composer In History ? - 02/18/10 04:43 PM

Originally Posted By: Phlebas
Read about society during the time of Beethoven, Hummel, Paganini, Schubert, Berlioz, Strauss, Mendelssohn, Chopin, Czerny, Liszt, Alkan, Wagner, Schumann, Brahms, Bizet, Tchaikovsky, Grieg, Debussy, Sibelius,Scriabin
Rachmaninoff, Mahler, Ravel, Haydn, Mozart, Bach....

You'll find your answer there.


thumb
Posted by: cardguy

Re: Why We Dont Have Famous Female Composer In History ? - 02/18/10 04:43 PM

Originally Posted By: -Frycek
Originally Posted By: Frozenicicles
Originally Posted By: BruceD
Originally Posted By: beet31425
Here is another way of framing the question:

Why are there many famous female authors, from Jane Austen to Virginia Woolf, but almost no famous female composers?
-Jason


And here's a slightly off-topic take on this question. So many of the greatest female characters in novels are women, but the authors are men :

Flaubert : Madame Bovary
Tolstoy : Anna Karenina
Richardson : Pamela
Alexandre Dumas : La Dame aux Camelias
Daniel Defoe : Moll Flanders
Nathaniel Hawthorne : The Scarlet Letter
Henry James : Daisy Miller

While no one denies the place in literature of such heroines as Elizabeth Barrett, (Jane Austen) and Jane Eyre, (Charlotte Bronte), are there any great literary male heroes created by women authors? Is Heathcliffe (Wuthering Heights) a viable candidate. Which others?

Why, in literary history, have men writen so successfully about women, but women seem not to have been as successful in writing about men?

Has this changed in more modern times?

Regards,


Two words: Harry Potter. smile
I think that Mr. Darcy and Mr. Rochester were very successful characters also. In what way were they not?

Dorthy Sayers /Lord Peter Wimsey
Beatrix Potter/ Peter Rabbit
George Eliott/ Silas Marner
Margaret Mitchell/ Rhett Butler
Diana Galbadon/Jamie Fraser
Ann Rice/ Lestat
Dorothy Dunnett/Francis Crawford
Mary Shelly/Dr Victor Frankenstein and friend
Harper Lee /Atticus Finch


I'd say in general that the most memorable characters from fiction are women, independently of who's doing the writing. I'm going to venture to say that they're easier to write about with a certain heroic depth. Moreover, the truly interesting fictional male characters seem to have an unmistakeable feminine dimension. Jude Fawley, perhaps Humbert Humbert, Raskolnikov,Holden Caulfield, Gatsby..

Of course there are many more...
Posted by: BruceD

Re: Why We Dont Have Famous Female Composer In History ? - 02/18/10 04:44 PM

Thanks for the input, folks.

If pressed, however, I could not put Harry Potter,[1] Peter Rabbit, Peter Wimsey, or Vampire Lestat on the same plane as such female characters as Emma Bovary, Anna Karenina, Manon Lescaut and Marguerite Gauthier as far as depth of character and character analysis are concerned.

As for the others such as Rhett Butler, Mr. Darcy and Mr. Rochester, while pivotal to the action of the plots in which they are set, each was not the central character, - that being a woman in each case - and I was looking for male heroes of novels written by women.

However, not to derail this further, I'll let everyone else get back to the topic at hand.

[1] Hence, the smiley face, perhaps?

Regards,
Posted by: ChopinAddict

Re: Why We Dont Have Famous Female Composer In History ? - 02/18/10 04:45 PM

Originally Posted By: Frozenicicles
Because historically, education was preferentially given to boys and women had to go under pseudonyms to get anything published. I believe that Mendelssohn had some of his sister's music published under his name. Clara Schumann is quite a well-known composer. If you go back even further, there's Hildegard of Bingen. I'm sure others can provide more examples as well.


I just bought Clara Schumann's Kadenzen yesterday.

About pseudonyms... George Eliot (although not a composer) was a woman for example. She had to publish under a male's name to get published at all....
Posted by: cardguy

Re: Why We Dont Have Famous Female Composer In History ? - 02/18/10 04:49 PM

Originally Posted By: BruceD
Thanks for the input, folks.

If pressed, however, I could not put Harry Potter,[1] Peter Rabbit, Peter Wimsey, or Vampire Lestat on the same plane as such female characters as Emma Bovary, Anna Karenina, Manon Lescaut and Marguerite Gauthier as far as depth of character and character analysis are concerned.

As for the others such as Rhett Butler, Mr. Darcy and Mr. Rochester, while pivotal to the action of the plots in which they are set, each was not the central character, - that being a woman in each case - and I was looking for male heroes of novels written by women.

However, not to derail this further, I'll let everyone else get back to the topic at hand.

[1] Hence, the smiley face, perhaps?

Regards,


Maybe check out my response just above yours if you missed it? Nothing great, but I think there's more food for thought along the lines you introduce..
Posted by: BruceD

Re: Why We Dont Have Famous Female Composer In History ? - 02/18/10 04:49 PM

Originally Posted By: cardguy
[...]
I'd say in general that the most memorable characters from fiction are women, independently of who's doing the writing. I'm going to venture to say that they're easier to write about with a certain heroic depth.


Good point! Thanks for that.

Regards,
Posted by: ChopinAddict

Re: Why We Dont Have Famous Female Composer In History ? - 02/18/10 04:58 PM

Gina Losasso wrote this article ...
I know her, I am in one of her societies, she is very smart and a chess champion...
Posted by: -Frycek

Re: Why We Dont Have Famous Female Composer In History ? - 02/18/10 05:15 PM

Originally Posted By: BruceD
Thanks for the input, folks.

If pressed, however, I could not put Harry Potter,[1] Peter Rabbit, Peter Wimsey, or Vampire Lestat on the same plane as such female characters as Emma Bovary, Anna Karenina, Manon Lescaut and Marguerite Gauthier as far as depth of character and character analysis are concerned.

As for the others such as Rhett Butler, Mr. Darcy and Mr. Rochester, while pivotal to the action of the plots in which they are set, each was not the central character, - that being a woman in each case - and I was looking for male heroes of novels written by women.

However, not to derail this further, I'll let everyone else get back to the topic at hand.

[1] Hence, the smiley face, perhaps?

Regards,


No, my dear Bruce, but they're a good deal more entertaining (with the possible exception of Peter Rabbit) from the feminine point of view. wink I would think the inclusion of Peter Rabbit might've tipped you off that my tongue was somewhere in the general vicinity of my cheek.
Posted by: Elissa Milne

Re: Why We Dont Have Famous Female Composer In History ? - 02/18/10 05:46 PM

Well, let's go from the other angle: why are there so many famous male German composers?

And did you know that Vivaldi was almost unheard of before vinyl records became commonplace? And that Mozart was hardly played for some decades in the first half of the 20th century?

There is some interesting study regarding the career structure of composers, and that could provide a certain insight, but reading the way the discussion is going it seems to be that the question was intended to be: why was there not a famous 19th century female composer?

Here in Australia some of the most famous and commissioned composers are women - but at the moment there is a big debate going on regarding why one of the leading theatre companies very rarely employs female directors or stages plays by female playwrights. Getting the job in the first place is an important part of how you get to be famous.... Meantime, there are no shortage of famous artists who are female.
Posted by: Elissa Milne

Re: Why We Dont Have Famous Female Composer In History ? - 02/18/10 05:46 PM

Also, famous and most-played are not necessarily synonymous....
Posted by: ChopinAddict

Re: Why We Dont Have Famous Female Composer In History ? - 02/18/10 06:06 PM

This is from the Wikipedia about the Vienna Philharmonic:

Acceptance of women

Although the orchestra is widely acknowledged as one of the world's finest, in the 1990s it came in for some criticism by feminist groups because until 1997 it did not allow women to become full members of the orchestra (although some women performed with the orchestra, they were not full members). In 1997 the first woman, harpist Anna Lelkes, became a member after having performed with the orchestra as a "non-member" for over twenty years. After Lelkes' retirement, another woman harpist Charlotte Balzereit eventually replaced her as the orchestra's only female member at the time.[8] Currently, the orchestra has three female members: Ursula Plaichinger (viola), the first non-harpist female member[9], Isabelle Ballot Caillieret (first violin)[10], and Balzereit.[11] Four other women, Albena Danailova, Daniela Ivanova, Olesya Kurylak, and Ursula Wex are confirmed members of the Vienna State Opera orchestra, but do "not yet belong to the association of the Vienna Philharmonic."[12]

The first woman to conduct the orchestra was Australian conductor Simone Young in January 2005.

The traditional attitude of the orchestra was expressed by Paul Fürst in the 1987 documentary A Woman Is a Risky Bet: Six Orchestra Conductors directed by Christina Olofson:

"There is no ban on women musicians playing here but the Vienna Philharmonic is by tradition an all-male orchestra. Our profession makes family life extremely difficult, so for a woman it’s almost impossible. There are so many orchestras with women members so why shouldn’t there be – for how long I don’t know – an orchestra with no women in it … A woman shouldn’t play like a man but like a woman, but an all-male orchestra is bound to have a special tone." [13]

In addition there were claims that the orchestra in the past had not accepted members who were visibly members of ethnic minorities.[citation needed] In 2001 a violinist who was half-Asian became a member.[14]

Some people[who?] associated with the organisation have been criticised for saying that it is important to maintain the ethnic uniformity of the orchestra (i.e., white Europeans) in order to maintain high playing standards.[citation needed]

In 1970 Otto Strasser, the former chairman of the Vienna Philharmonic, wrote in his memoirs:

"I hold it incorrect that today the applicants play behind a screen; an arrangement that was brought in after the Second World War in order to assure objective judgments. I continuously fought against it, especially after I became Chairman of the Philharmonic, because I am convinced that to the artist also belongs the person, that one must not only hear, but also see, in order to judge him in his entire personality. [...] Even a grotesque situation that played itself out after my retirement was not able to change the situation. An applicant qualified himself as the best, and as the screen was raised, there stood a Japanese before the stunned jury. He was, however, not engaged, because his face did not fit with the ‘Pizzicato-Polka’ of the New Year's Concert."[14]

The first flautist in the Vienna Philharmonic said in a radio interview broadcast in 1996:

"From the beginning we have spoken of the special Viennese qualities, of the way music is made here. The way we make music here is not only a technical ability, but also something that has a lot to do with the soul. The soul does not let itself be separated from the cultural roots that we have here in central Europe. And it also doesn't allow itself to be separated from gender. So if one thinks that the world should function by quota regulations, then it is naturally irritating that we are a group of white skinned male musicians, that perform exclusively the music of white skinned male composers. It is a racist and sexist irritation. I believe one must put it that way. If one establishes superficial egalitarianism, one will lose something very significant. Therefore, I am convinced that it is worthwhile to accept this racist and sexist irritation, because something produced by a superficial understanding of human rights would not have the same standards."[15]

In 2003, an orchestra member said in a magazine interview:

"Three women are already too many. By the time we have twenty percent, the orchestra will be ruined. We have made a big mistake, and will bitterly regret it."[16]

mad
Posted by: John_B

Re: Why We Dont Have Famous Female Composer In History ? - 02/18/10 06:13 PM

Interestingly, when the VPO is on tour to London there are usually a lot more women playing (though still no where near the numbers in equivalent orchestras).
Posted by: Mary-Rose

Re: Why We Dont Have Famous Female Composer In History ? - 02/18/10 06:25 PM

Originally Posted By: BruceD


As for the others such as Rhett Butler, Mr. Darcy and Mr. Rochester, while pivotal to the action of the plots in which they are set, each was not the central character, - that being a woman in each case - and I was looking for male heroes of novels written by women.



Off the top of my head, what about:

Adam Bede, Silas Marner, Daniel Deronda and others from George Eliot's pen? Aphra Behn's 'Orinooko'; Mary Shelley's 'Perkin Warbeck'; 'Orlando' and 'Jacob's Room' by Virinia Woolf; 'Cheri' by Collette etc etc.

To go back to the original question, I suggest y'all read an excellent book called 'The Weaker Vessel' by Antonia Fraser, who details the incalculable effect childbearing had on women right until the mid-C20th when at last contraception became widely available.

Women composers who have emerged since then have still to be evaluated. One of my favourites is Judith Weir, who has written some absolutely gorgeous operas.
Posted by: Kreisler

Re: Why We Dont Have Famous Female Composer In History ? - 02/18/10 06:57 PM

By the way, does anybody else find it odd that Hummel and Alkan made the OP's list of famous composers, and that no Italian opera composers are included (Monteverdi, Rossini, Verdi, Puccini.)
Posted by: beet31425

Re: Why We Dont Have Famous Female Composer In History ? - 02/18/10 07:21 PM

Originally Posted By: Kreisler
By the way, does anybody else find it odd that Hummel and Alkan made the OP's list of famous composers, and that no Italian opera composers are included (Monteverdi, Rossini, Verdi, Puccini.)


Well, this is a piano forum. Even though the topic didn't specify piano composers, and even though Mahler and Wagner were in the list, this still could have influenced the list's formulation.


-Jason
Posted by: cast12

Re: Why We Dont Have Famous Female Composer In History ? - 02/18/10 07:31 PM

Does anyone here actually think that if women in the 1700's and 1800's had the same rights as men, there would have been female composers comparable to Bach, Beethoven, and Mozart?

I'm doubtful. There's ample evidence that men are significantly better at math and spacial reasoning than are women. Since these abilities are strongly tied to music, I think it's safe to say that men are, on average, more musically talented than women. It's also worth noting that men tend to focus intensely on a few issues for years at a time, while women tend to multitask, so I doubt that many women would have had the drive of such composers as Liszt and Bach.
Posted by: gooddog

Re: Why We Dont Have Famous Female Composer In History ? - 02/18/10 07:55 PM

It is overwhelming to think about all the music, art, science, medicine and literature that was created and lost because people did not have the resources or freedom to bring them into the light. Don't limit your thinking to just European women. Great works were also created by the poor, the middle classes and people of varying religions, nationalities and races and sadly most of it has been lost. The art, music and literature that did survive did so primarly because a few were fortunate enough to find wealthy patrons.

It is staggering to think about what has been lost from the civilizations of China, Arabia, Egypt, India and Africa. Think about the destruction of the Library at Alexandria!

We can bemoan the past or we can rejoice in what we have. Hopefully, the future will nurture the fruits of all.
Posted by: Seabelle

Re: Why We Dont Have Famous Female Composer In History ? - 02/18/10 08:17 PM

Originally Posted By: Nikolas
BTW, can we put down numbers on how many Greek composers are famous? In all 10 millions of people, the percentage is far from even decent. It's awful. I guess this must mean that Greeks are also different than the rest of the world as far as I intelligence is concerned, right? :P


Perhaps not, but modern music as we know it probably wouldn't exist without the Pythagoreans. Furthermore, bring forth the Tsitsanis! I wonder if you could write piano arrangements of bouzouki music...

As far as female composers are concerned, I'm not sure I find that IQ argument very convincing. Marilyn vos Savant probably has a far higher IQ (by 21st Century standards) that say... Bach, who would have been educated to a very modest standard by both our standards and contemporary standards of those living in more affluent areas such as The Dutch Republic.

I also don't think statistics are of much benefit to this discussion, considering it's about fame, rather than quality. Rhianna is probably more famous than Chopin, even. What do you make of that?
Posted by: Kreisler

Re: Why We Dont Have Famous Female Composer In History ? - 02/18/10 08:23 PM

Here's an excellent Greek composer. (Well, okay, he's from Cyprus, but it's close!)

http://www.tsitsaros.com/
Posted by: cardguy

Re: Why We Dont Have Famous Female Composer In History ? - 02/18/10 09:39 PM

Originally Posted By: gooddog
It is overwhelming to think about all the music, art, science, medicine and literature that was created and lost because people did not have the resources or freedom to bring them into the light. Don't limit your thinking to just European women. Great works were also created by the poor, the middle classes and people of varying religions, nationalities and races and sadly most of it has been lost. The art, music and literature that did survive did so primarly because a few were fortunate enough to find wealthy patrons.

It is staggering to think about what has been lost from the civilizations of China, Arabia, Egypt, India and Africa. Think about the destruction of the Library at Alexandria!

We can bemoan the past or we can rejoice in what we have. Hopefully, the future will nurture the fruits of all.


Deborah,

This is all nicely expressed. To take it a step further, doubtless there will come a time when much of what we possess today will be gone. We tend to think of Mozart and Beethoven et al as eternal, but all things pass from this earth.
Posted by: Frozenicicles

Re: Why We Dont Have Famous Female Composer In History ? - 02/18/10 10:03 PM

Originally Posted By: cast12
Does anyone here actually think that if women in the 1700's and 1800's had the same rights as men, there would have been female composers comparable to Bach, Beethoven, and Mozart?

I'm doubtful. There's ample evidence that men are significantly better at math and spacial reasoning than are women. Since these abilities are strongly tied to music, I think it's safe to say that men are, on average, more musically talented than women. It's also worth noting that men tend to focus intensely on a few issues for years at a time, while women tend to multitask, so I doubt that many women would have had the drive of such composers as Liszt and Bach.

Too bad that drive isn't doing the guys today any good, eh? http://www.macleans.ca/education/universities/article.jsp?content=20070920_142820_8780

Deborah, I agree with you 100%. Our task should be to change the prejudices that still inhibit women today (and which are still present, if you've read this thread) rather than to speculate about the past.
Posted by: 1RC

Re: Why We Dont Have Famous Female Composer In History ? - 02/18/10 10:07 PM

I sometimes wonder how much women inspire the work that the men do. I've been exploring poetry lately, and a lot of these poems were directly inspired by some lady who the poet fancied... Beethoven seemed to dedicate a lot of his works to women. There's one girl I know, who doesn't like classical music and would probably think it pretty strange, but the idea of playing for her can fuel my practice for days. (Freud must have some bizarre theory for this sort of thing)
Posted by: gooddog

Re: Why We Dont Have Famous Female Composer In History ? - 02/18/10 10:21 PM

Originally Posted By: cast12
Does anyone here actually think that if women in the 1700's and 1800's had the same rights as men, there would have been female composers comparable to Bach, Beethoven, and Mozart?

I'm doubtful. There's ample evidence that men are significantly better at math and spacial reasoning than are women. Since these abilities are strongly tied to music, I think it's safe to say that men are, on average, more musically talented than women. It's also worth noting that men tend to focus intensely on a few issues for years at a time, while women tend to multitask, so I doubt that many women would have had the drive of such composers as Liszt and Bach.


Posted by: eweiss

Re: Why We Dont Have Famous Female Composer In History ? - 02/18/10 10:31 PM

Originally Posted By: cast12
Does anyone here actually think that if women in the 1700's and 1800's had the same rights as men, there would have been female composers comparable to Bach, Beethoven, and Mozart?

I'm doubtful. There's ample evidence that men are significantly better at math and spacial reasoning than are women. Since these abilities are strongly tied to music, I think it's safe to say that men are, on average, more musically talented than women. It's also worth noting that men tend to focus intensely on a few issues for years at a time, while women tend to multitask, so I doubt that many women would have had the drive of such composers as Liszt and Bach.

Why We Dont Have Famous Female Composer In History? That's why.
Posted by: Elissa Milne

Re: Why We Dont Have Famous Female Composer In History ? - 02/18/10 10:35 PM

Originally Posted By: cast12
Does anyone here actually think that if women in the 1700's and 1800's had the same rights as men, there would have been female composers comparable to Bach, Beethoven, and Mozart?

I'm doubtful. There's ample evidence that men are significantly better at math and spacial reasoning than are women. Since these abilities are strongly tied to music, I think it's safe to say that men are, on average, more musically talented than women. It's also worth noting that men tend to focus intensely on a few issues for years at a time, while women tend to multitask, so I doubt that many women would have had the drive of such composers as Liszt and Bach.


I actually think that women write music that is just as fantastic as the music written by men.

And I'm fascinated by the idea that high IQ is correlative with musical creativity: anecdotally I can think of examples that support the pro and the con of that argument.... But if musical creativity and high IQ are not proven to be causally linked then what is the point of raising IQ as an issue in this discussion?

btw, in Australia girls have been outperforming boys in the high school leaving exams for some number of years..... not sure how that anecdote fits into the scheme of things?
Posted by: RonaldSteinway

Re: Why We Dont Have Famous Female Composer In History ? - 02/18/10 11:03 PM

Originally Posted By: Elissa Milne
[quote=cast12]

btw, in Australia girls have been outperforming boys in the high school leaving exams for some number of years..... not sure how that anecdote fits into the scheme of things?


I believe you that in general girls will outperform boys in high school exam.Boys, in general, are not as serious and diligent as girls when come to study, but when we compare diligent boys to diligent girls, the statistic will be different. Boys will out perform girls.

Now the same in writing music, top composers are men as we have witnessed for centuries. Basically, when comes to the highest level of any activities, men ,in general, will out perform women.
Posted by: gooddog

Re: Why We Dont Have Famous Female Composer In History ? - 02/18/10 11:07 PM

Originally Posted By: RonaldSteinway
Originally Posted By: Elissa Milne
[quote=cast12]

btw, in Australia girls have been outperforming boys in the high school leaving exams for some number of years..... not sure how that anecdote fits into the scheme of things?


I believe you that in general girls will outperform boys in high school exam.Boys, in general, are not as serious and diligent as girls when come to study, but when we compare diligent boys to diligent girls, the statistic will be different. Boys will out perform girls.

Now the same in writing music, top composers are men as we have witnessed for centuries. Basically, when comes to the highest level of any activities, men ,in general, will out perform women.

Oink. Oink. Now is one of those(many)times I miss Steven's acerbic wit.
Posted by: Frozenicicles

Re: Why We Dont Have Famous Female Composer In History ? - 02/18/10 11:09 PM

Originally Posted By: RonaldSteinway
Now the same in writing music, top composers are men as we have witnessed for centuries. Basically, when comes to the highest level of any activities, men ,in general, will out perform women.

Wow. I now understand why some people are driven to extreme feminism. Now, imagine looking your own mother in the eyes and telling her that.
Posted by: Elissa Milne

Re: Why We Dont Have Famous Female Composer In History ? - 02/18/10 11:41 PM

Originally Posted By: RonaldSteinway
Originally Posted By: Elissa Milne
[quote=cast12]

btw, in Australia girls have been outperforming boys in the high school leaving exams for some number of years..... not sure how that anecdote fits into the scheme of things?


I believe you that in general girls will outperform boys in high school exam.Boys, in general, are not as serious and diligent as girls when come to study, but when we compare diligent boys to diligent girls, the statistic will be different. Boys will out perform girls.

Now the same in writing music, top composers are men as we have witnessed for centuries. Basically, when comes to the highest level of any activities, men ,in general, will out perform women.



Ah, no, the diligent girls outperform the diligent boys. The girls are topping the classes, there are more of them in the top cohort, any which way you look at it girls are performing stronger than their numbers would justify - and there have been some inquiries into the education of boys to find out what's going wrong with the kids with the Y chromosome.

Meantime, let's just clarify: you are saying that the achievements of females should be discounted because they are naturally more diligent?

lmao
Posted by: cast12

Re: Why We Dont Have Famous Female Composer In History ? - 02/18/10 11:59 PM

Originally Posted By: Elissa Milne
Originally Posted By: RonaldSteinway
Originally Posted By: Elissa Milne
[quote=cast12]

btw, in Australia girls have been outperforming boys in the high school leaving exams for some number of years..... not sure how that anecdote fits into the scheme of things?


I believe you that in general girls will outperform boys in high school exam.Boys, in general, are not as serious and diligent as girls when come to study, but when we compare diligent boys to diligent girls, the statistic will be different. Boys will out perform girls.

Now the same in writing music, top composers are men as we have witnessed for centuries. Basically, when comes to the highest level of any activities, men ,in general, will out perform women.



Ah, no, the diligent girls outperform the diligent boys. The girls are topping the classes, there are more of them in the top cohort, any which way you look at it girls are performing stronger than their numbers would justify - and there have been some inquiries into the education of boys to find out what's going wrong with the kids with the Y chromosome.

Meantime, let's just clarify: you are saying that the achievements of females should be discounted because they are naturally more diligent?

lmao


You're missing the point: at the highest levels of talent and achievement for almost any activity, there are far more men than women. Take the SAT as an example. Men score slightly higher on the verbal section and significantly higher on the math section than do women. However, at the very top of the distribution, there are far more men than women (even though fewer men than women take the test). Moreover, the higher the score level, the higher the gender discrepancy.

The SAT obviously doesn't measure musically ability, but the point remains: at the upper echelons of any activity, men significantly outnumber women.
Posted by: ChopinAddict

Re: Why We Dont Have Famous Female Composer In History ? - 02/19/10 12:00 AM

Originally Posted By: gooddog
Originally Posted By: RonaldSteinway
Originally Posted By: Elissa Milne
[quote=cast12]

btw, in Australia girls have been outperforming boys in the high school leaving exams for some number of years..... not sure how that anecdote fits into the scheme of things?


I believe you that in general girls will outperform boys in high school exam.Boys, in general, are not as serious and diligent as girls when come to study, but when we compare diligent boys to diligent girls, the statistic will be different. Boys will out perform girls.

Now the same in writing music, top composers are men as we have witnessed for centuries. Basically, when comes to the highest level of any activities, men ,in general, will out perform women.

Oink. Oink. Now is one of those(many)times I miss Steven's acerbic wit.


I agree with Deborah! I miss SV's comments too.
RS, you made my day.


I posted the link above, but here is the full article:

Gender Differences


by Gina Lynne LoSasso, PhD

Men are smarter than women

False: We all know this one's patently false, so let's bury
it straight away. The fact is that the gals are every bit
as smart as the guys are, and if the truth be told, the
average guy would be quite reluctant to trade the
intelligence and wisdom of the women in his life for
increased cognitive interaction with other men.

The varied intelligences and sensibilities of the sexes
complement each other. This is due to the blending of basic
similarities and the unique perspective that emerges when a
human being develops into a gendered individual.

Women score lower on IQ tests

False: While the average scores on standardized IQ tests for
males (as a group) tend to be slightly higher than for
females, the difference is negligible. IQ tests are
designed to minimize bias in order to be able to make
sensible comparisons between individuals within a larger
population. For that reason, items that are biased against
a particular group - a group distinguished, for example, by
gender or race - are eliminated.

More boys are assessed as mentally retarded than girls

True: While male and female IQ test performance is
statistically equivalent on average, the male and female
score distributions are quite different. There are more men
scoring at both the upper and lower extremes of the normal
distribution curve. This reflects a greater variability of
scores within the male population and results in a
preponderance of males at both tails of the bell curve.

But for the smaller size of female brains, male and female
brains are the same

False: While female brains are slightly smaller than male
brains, the difference is negligible. There are other
structural differences between the male and female brain
that may play greater roles in accounting for differences in
cognitive functioning. These differences include neuronal
density, number of synapses, lateralization and localization
of functioning, and the relative sizes of the lobes,
hemispheres, and corpus callosum.

Hormones exert a significant effect on cognition

True: Not only do hormones exert a profound influence on
emotional behavior, but there is strong evidence of the
relationship between hormone levels and cognitive
functioning. This includes support for a curvilinear
relationship between testosterone levels and spatial
ability, and a linear relationship between estrogen levels
and verbal skills. This effect is profound enough in some
females to diminish the left field advantage, or cause a
shift to right field superiority, when female hormone levels
fall to a minimum during the premenstrual phase.

Additionally, healthy young males given an injection of
female hormones not only showed reduced practice effects on
a spatial task, but significant increases in verbal fluency.

If we gave girl babies more "boy's toys" they'd develop the
same skills as boys

False: The truth is that babies are fed similar fare in the
toy department, with the possible exception of color-coding.
Pink mobiles and rattles work just as well to exercise
spatial and motor coordination as blue ones. However,
certain behavioral factors, such as attitudes and
expectations, can affect a child's intellectual performance.
Whether these factors are internal and self-imposed or
external, like the expectations of parents, teachers and
peers, they act to limit or enhance cognitive ability and
performance regardless of sex.

Homosexual men tend to score in a pattern similar to females
on IQ tests

True: From the limited studies that have been undertaken on
this topic, findings suggest that homosexual men tend to
have patterns of cognitive performance more similar to those
of women than to those of heterosexual men.

Women who are masculine in appearance and personality
usually exhibit a pattern of cognitive ability more similar
to males than to females

True: This is a well-known effect relating to hormonal
influences. To add to the complexity of the situation,
left-handed individuals tend to possess a pattern of
cognitive strengths and weaknesses more similar to
right-handed individuals of the opposite sex! li

Most historical geniuses have been male

True::But while historical figures of genius have typically
been male, there are very strong social, political and
cultural factors that determine who goes down in our history
books...and indeed, what goes down in history, period. The
fact that women's achievements have been routinely
underrepresented in classroom texts is a matter of record.

For a look at some truly marvelous contributions from women
of genius and spirit, visit:

(the link doesn't work any more... frown )

Men are better at arithmetic than women

False: Women excel in skills involving basic arithmetical
calculation. As a group, their performance is superior to
that of men.

In discussions of individual differences, it is important to
note that there is typically a substantial overlap of male
and female score distributions in a particular skill even
when there is a statistically significant inter-gender
difference in that skill. So generalizations are of
limited predictive value on an individual level; when all
you know about a person is gender, it is impossible to
meaningfully speculate about his or her cognitive abilities.

Men have better spatial skills than women

True: This is particularly true regarding tasks that require
mental rotation, a right hemisphere task. This finding is
robust and consistent. However, it does not follow that men
are stronger in right hemisphere functioning in general.
For example, women are distinctly better at recognizing
facial expressions, and some studies show that women have
superior ability to distinguish melodic sound patterns.
Since these too are right hemisphere tasks, it would be
incorrect to say that either gender is better at right
hemisphere tasks. It would be more correct to say that each
gender excels in different kinds of right-hemisphere tasks.

Women have greater focus and are able to stick with a task
longer

False: The opposite is true. This appears to be primarily
related to testosterone levels. Automatization, or
perseverance while engaging in behaviors that do not require
excessive physical or mental exertion (like standing guard
or working on an assembly line), is also related to
testosterone levels.

Women have better verbal skills than men

True::The greatest female advantage appears with respect to
measures of general verbal ability, anagrams, and quality of
speech production. The advantage increases with the
introduction of a memory or learning component that raises
task complexity.

Males have faster processing speed

False: Women consistently outperform men on tests of
psychomotor speed and accuracy based on visual stimuli. The
difference is very pronounced in young children. While the
female advantage persists into adulthood, it gradually
becomes less prominent.

Men are better mathematicians

True: Although the gap has narrowed with the equalization of
opportunity between genders, there is a persistent male
advantage in mathematical performance (at least as it stands
today). This is particularly true in the more advanced
realms of theoretical mathematics and physics.

The differences in ability between the sexes comes down to
genetics

False: There are many factors that contribute to observed
inter-gender differences in cognitive ability. These
include, but are not limited to, biological, environmental,
psychological, hormonal, and socio-cultural factors.

Roles, opportunities, attitudes and expectations have an
extremely significant effect on the development of skills
and talents. These factors are all the more significant
because, in our roles as teachers, parents, peers and
self-actualizing beings, we can modify and control them in
order to maximize the actualization of human potential.

Disclaimer: Contrary studies may exist. The author has
done her best to present some of the most robust,
consistent, and up-to-date findings on these issues.


Posted by: Elissa Milne

Re: Why We Dont Have Famous Female Composer In History ? - 02/19/10 12:18 AM

Originally Posted By: cast12
Originally Posted By: Elissa Milne
Originally Posted By: RonaldSteinway
Originally Posted By: Elissa Milne
[quote=cast12]

btw, in Australia girls have been outperforming boys in the high school leaving exams for some number of years..... not sure how that anecdote fits into the scheme of things?


I believe you that in general girls will outperform boys in high school exam.Boys, in general, are not as serious and diligent as girls when come to study, but when we compare diligent boys to diligent girls, the statistic will be different. Boys will out perform girls.

Now the same in writing music, top composers are men as we have witnessed for centuries. Basically, when comes to the highest level of any activities, men ,in general, will out perform women.



Ah, no, the diligent girls outperform the diligent boys. The girls are topping the classes, there are more of them in the top cohort, any which way you look at it girls are performing stronger than their numbers would justify - and there have been some inquiries into the education of boys to find out what's going wrong with the kids with the Y chromosome.

Meantime, let's just clarify: you are saying that the achievements of females should be discounted because they are naturally more diligent?

lmao


You're missing the point: at the highest levels of talent and achievement for almost any activity, there are far more men than women. Take the SAT as an example. Men score slightly higher on the verbal section and significantly higher on the math section than do women. However, at the very top of the distribution, there are far more men than women (even though fewer men than women take the test). Moreover, the higher the score level, the higher the gender discrepancy.

The SAT obviously doesn't measure musically ability, but the point remains: at the upper echelons of any activity, men significantly outnumber women.


No I am not missing your point - I am disagreeing with your point. In Australia males do NOT do better in the equivalent of SAT scores, so here you have a large population sample which disproves this global statement you've made about what men and women do achieve.

Now, leaving that aside, let's assume your assertion "men significantly outnumber women in the upper echelons of any activity" is correct: this in itself does not discredit the suggestions that have been put forward about why there are not so many famous female composers (societal pressures and expectations, reduced opportunities, higher female mortality, etc.).
Posted by: RonaldSteinway

Re: Why We Dont Have Famous Female Composer In History ? - 02/19/10 12:24 AM

Originally Posted By: Elissa Milne
Ah, no, the diligent girls outperform the diligent boys. The girls are topping the classes, there are more of them in the top cohort, any which way you look at it girls are performing stronger than their numbers would justify - and there have been some inquiries into the education of boys to find out what's going wrong with the kids with the Y chromosome.

Meantime, let's just clarify: you are saying that the achievements of females should be discounted because they are naturally more diligent?

lmao


Here let me clear. To achieve something you need two things: 1. talent and 2. persistancy.
Most boys are lacking the second variable, however, are stronger in talent. Yet, girls are extremely more diligent and patient to practice to achieve the goals.

Now, when variable 2 is eliminated because top tier players have variable two, only variable one that will differentiate the result. In general, males will win regardless whether the activities are manly or non manly activities. Let's get some examples:

Let's start with female activities that men are better (note: the comparison is between the highest performance,not the average performance)

1. Cutting hair
2. Cooking
3. Making pastries
4. Making dress
5. Making bread
6. Flower arragement
7. home decoration
8. etc etc

Now, male activities

1. all activities, I cannot think any activities that majority women are better.

The only activities that men are not good is doing house chores....Men are totally not talented when come to cleaning house, feeding kids, doing laundries, washing dishes, vacuming, remembering birthday, etc. Women are by far much more talented in these activities. In order for men to perform at woman level, they must practice hard. Women do these activities very naturally.
Posted by: RonaldSteinway

Re: Why We Dont Have Famous Female Composer In History ? - 02/19/10 12:34 AM

We are not talking about mid level performance....We are talking the highest performance level.

The OP asked why there has not been a famous female composer. The reason is that female just are unable to attain that level. Again, we are talking at the highest level of achievement. Otherwise, there should have been many females attaining that level. It is only writing notes on a piece of paper, no physical requirement to write music...It is totally brain power.

I just do not understand why people are so defensive about this kind of thing. Every race, gender, etc has its strengths and weaknesses.
Posted by: AnotherSchmoe

Re: Why We Dont Have Famous Female Composer In History ? - 02/19/10 12:35 AM

Originally Posted By: Kreisler
Here's an excellent Greek composer. (Well, okay, he's from Cyprus, but it's close!)

http://www.tsitsaros.com/


While not so much piano related, Vangelis is another great Greek composer. More into synth type stuff but did great work on Chariots of Fire, Blade Runner etc.
Posted by: Achillies

Re: Why We Dont Have Famous Female Composer In History ? - 02/19/10 12:37 AM

The aptitude for abstract thinking:



There have been no women of genius and very few of considerable talent in chess, mathematics and musical composition and any other pursuit for which a high level aptitude for abstract reasoning is a necessary condition( while there have been many women of genius in literature and the performing arts, areas which have the least requirement for abstract reasoning)!



If M. Curie seems an exception there is a strong case that her contrbutions were experimental(empirical) not theoretical. That does not diminish her contributions but is consistant with the premise of the discussion here. And if you wish to argue that she was a theoretician then she is the exception that proves the rule.



A greater male aptitude for abstract reasoning has been identified in a wide range of cognitive tests and has been observed so often through out recorded history that we have the stereotype that 'men are more logical than women' and that a certain type of rigorous abstract thinking represents 'thinking like a man'. Just like tests and historical observation lead us to say that ‘women are more perceptive, intuitive and discerning of how people feel and what they might be thinking'



These measured observations and stereotypes measure and reflect male superiority in an aptitude that is a necessary condition for genius in mathematics and related areas and a great advantage for even the lesser ability that is necessary for the usual professional work in these areas, i.e., an applied mathematician vs a theoretical mathematician.



These measurements and observations are sufficient to explain why all those MOST gifted with this aptitude, i.e., abstract reasoning, are males. There is very strong logical and physiological evidence that male superiority in the aptitude for abstract reasoning is rooted in physiology (testosterone and its effect on the architecture of the brain)!

In test scores, the male advantage is most pronounced in the most abstract items. Historically, too, it is most pronounced in the most abstract domains of accomplishment.

In the humanities, the most abstract field is philosophy—and no woman has been a significant original thinker in any of the world’s great philosophical traditions. In the sciences, the most abstract field is mathematics, where the number of great women mathematicians is approximately two (Emmy Noether definitely, Sonya Kovalevskaya maybe). In the other hard sciences, the contributions of great women scientists have usually been empirical rather than theoretical, with leading cases in point being Henrietta Leavitt, Dorothy Hodgkin, Lise Meitner, Irene Joliot-Curie, and Marie Curie herself.

In the arts, literature is the least abstract and by far the most rooted in human interaction; visual art incorporates a greater admixture of the abstract; musical composition is the most abstract of all the arts, using neither words nor images. The role of women has varied accordingly. Women have been represented among great writers virtually from the beginning of literature, in East Asia and South Asia as well as in the West. Women have produced a smaller number of important visual artists, and none that is clearly in the first rank. No female composer is even close to the first rank. Social restrictions undoubtedly damped down women’s contributions in all of the arts, but the pattern of accomplishment that did break through is strikingly consistent with what we know about the respective strengths of male and female cognitive repertoires. Women have their own cognitive advantages over men, many of them involving verbal fluency and interpersonal skills.
Posted by: BruceD

Re: Why We Dont Have Famous Female Composer In History ? - 02/19/10 12:40 AM

Originally Posted By: RonaldSteinway
[...]
I just do not understand why people are so defensive about this kind of thing. Every race, gender, etc has its strengths and weaknesses.


Yes, and there are also racists, feminists and male chauvinists ... When that line is crossed, the targeted ones get justifiably defensive.

Regards,
Posted by: RealPlayer

Re: Why We Dont Have Famous Female Composer In History ? - 02/19/10 12:41 AM

Now I remember why I'm so reluctant to open any PW thread on women composers. They generally go downhill fast.
Posted by: Kreisler

Re: Why We Dont Have Famous Female Composer In History ? - 02/19/10 01:02 AM

Something I find interesting is that it seems to be a lot easier for women to break into the top ranks as performers than as composers. Whereas we're having difficulty coming up with well-known present day female composers, the list of female performers is relatively long and includes two of the greatest artists of our century - Alicia de Larrocha and Martha Argerich.

And on violin, the current roster of top artists may actually have more women than men:

Hillary Hahn, Midori, Laura St. John, Leila Josefowicz, Sarah Chang, Kyung-Wha Chung, Nadja Solerno-Sonnenberg, and Anne Sophie Mutter.

And arguably the most famous cellist in history was female - Jacqueline du Pre. (Well, she's at least in the top 5.)
Posted by: Elissa Milne

Re: Why We Dont Have Famous Female Composer In History ? - 02/19/10 01:12 AM

Originally Posted By: RonaldSteinway
We are not talking about mid level performance....We are talking the highest performance level.

The OP asked why there has not been a famous female composer. The reason is that female just are unable to attain that level. Again, we are talking at the highest level of achievement. Otherwise, there should have been many females attaining that level. It is only writing notes on a piece of paper, no physical requirement to write music...It is totally brain power.

I just do not understand why people are so defensive about this kind of thing. Every race, gender, etc has its strengths and weaknesses.


continuing to lmao

Honestly, it boggles the mind to think there are people who actually believe this. If this is the view you hold you will surely find ways to justify it.
Posted by: argerichfan

Re: Why We Dont Have Famous Female Composer In History ? - 02/19/10 01:17 AM

Originally Posted By: Kreisler

And arguably the most famous cellist in history was female - Jacqueline du Pre. (Well, she's at least in the top 5.)

More famous for being famous. Her EMI Elgar concerto notwithstanding (with Barbirolli), she tended to be awfully inconsistent, even as a young lass. I consider Fournier, Casals and Rostropovich far greater cellists. Your piano and violin examples, are, however, spot on.

But in violin, the guys, at least, have the divine Joshua Bell.
Posted by: Achillies

Re: Why We Dont Have Famous Female Composer In History ? - 02/19/10 01:26 AM

the issue is COMPOSERS not PERFORMERS!

the ability to create(compose) music is as i said the most abstract art, the ability to perform someting that someone else has already envisoned is like reading a novel someone else has written. I can read and maybe even act in a play by Shakespheare but could never come up with the profound insight into the human condition that he did.
Posted by: beet31425

Re: Why We Dont Have Famous Female Composer In History ? - 02/19/10 01:40 AM

Originally Posted By: RonaldSteinway
We are not talking about mid level performance....We are talking the highest performance level.

The OP asked why there has not been a famous female composer. The reason is that female just are unable to attain that level. Again, we are talking at the highest level of achievement. Otherwise, there should have been many females attaining that level. It is only writing notes on a piece of paper, no physical requirement to write music...It is totally brain power.

I just do not understand why people are so defensive about this kind of thing. Every race, gender, etc has its strengths and weaknesses.


Let me pose my framing again, this time to you directly, RonaldSteinway.

If what you say is true, why are there many female authors "at the highest level of achievement"? George Elliot, Virginia Woolf, Doris Lessing, A. S. Byatt, etc. I purposely do not list "romantic period piece" authors, like Jane Austen, just to prevent the counter-argument that famous woman authors simply write period romances. (A counter-argument I do not believe.) The list goes on: Gertrude Stein, Margaret Atwood, Alice Munro. For sheer intellectual brilliance and literary genius, these woman are at the very top of the game.

This is why I think the lack of woman composers is due to a subtle societal influence.

So: I think your claim is nonsense, and offer this argument as a proof. Dispute the point (although your popularity rating can't be very stable right now) or hold your peace.

-Jason
Posted by: argerichfan

Re: Why We Dont Have Famous Female Composer In History ? - 02/19/10 01:41 AM

Originally Posted By: Achillies
the issue is COMPOSERS not PERFORMERS!

Well of course you make a good point.

I follow composers for the Anglican Communion closely, and I can tell you that there are a number of very fine females writing music for the Church. I've admired many of their compositions (particularly Judith Bingham), but none have so far crossed over to repertory status as, say, Patrick Gowers with his anthem Viri Galilaei.
Posted by: Nikolas

Re: Why We Dont Have Famous Female Composer In History ? - 02/19/10 01:43 AM

I find it interesting that in almost every page of the thread a Greek (ok, Cypriot) composer comes up! laugh LOL! (And YAY at the same time).

Now, I would attempt to argue with Ronald, but I fear that I will be accused of becoming a male composer, because... I couldn't make it as a female one! :D:D:D

RealPlayer: What did you expect from a thread with a subject "Why there are no women composers". The first page was enough for me to understand this thread was doomed to inflamatory posts and ideas... frown
Posted by: Frozenicicles

Re: Why We Dont Have Famous Female Composer In History ? - 02/19/10 01:51 AM

Originally Posted By: Nikolas
Now, I would attempt to argue with Ronald, but I fear that I will be accused of becoming a male composer, because... I couldn't make it as a female one! :D:D:D

There there, Nikolas - never say never! I wonder why you're interested in this topic at all, Ronald? I thought that composers are only musician wannabes. In that case, I'd expect that women would excel in composition... Or maybe we're so sadly deficient that even being a good wannabe is out of the question. frown
Posted by: cast12

Re: Why We Dont Have Famous Female Composer In History ? - 02/19/10 02:24 AM

Originally Posted By: beet31425


Let me pose my framing again, this time to you directly, RonaldSteinway.

If what you say is true, why are there many female authors "at the highest level of achievement"? George Elliot, Virginia Woolf, Doris Lessing, A. S. Byatt, etc. I purposely do not list "romantic period piece" authors, like Jane Austen, just to prevent the counter-argument that famous woman authors simply write period romances. (A counter-argument I do not believe.) The list goes on: Gertrude Stein, Margaret Atwood, Alice Munro. For sheer intellectual brilliance and literary genius, these woman are at the very top of the game.

This is why I think the lack of woman composers is due to a subtle societal influence.

So: I think your claim is nonsense, and offer this argument as a proof. Dispute the point (although your popularity rating can't be very stable right now) or hold your peace.

-Jason



As many posters in this thread have pointed out, gender differences are far less pronounced in verbal ability than in mathematician and spacial reasoning ability. Thus, it's unsurprising that there have been many great female authors in history. But still, the greatest authors in history have been overwhelming men.

I'm not denying that social factors prevented many women from composing during the peak of classical music. I'm just pointing out that even if women had been able to compose more easily during the 1700's and 1800's, we still wouldn't have a female Chopin or Brahms, let alone Bach or Beethoven
Posted by: wr

Re: Why We Dont Have Famous Female Composer In History ? - 02/19/10 02:51 AM

Originally Posted By: Nikolas

Now, I would attempt to argue with Ronald, but I fear that I will be accused of becoming a male composer, because... I couldn't make it as a female one!



You mean you think that having a sex change would also take away your compositional ability? smirk
Posted by: pno

Re: Why We Dont Have Famous Female Composer In History ? - 02/19/10 03:07 AM

Originally Posted By: Frozenicicles
Originally Posted By: RonaldSteinway
Now the same in writing music, top composers are men as we have witnessed for centuries. Basically, when comes to the highest level of any activities, men ,in general, will out perform women.

Wow. I now understand why some people are driven to extreme feminism. Now, imagine looking your own mother in the eyes and telling her that.


Actually, it's my mom who first told me that guys perform better even in the domains that are traditionally considered female activities, and I totally agree with her.

One exception: bearing children. No man can do it better than woman. That's for sure!

Political correctness can blind and sometimes does. One needs to prove oneself by doing, not by activism.
Posted by: Elene

Re: Why We Dont Have Famous Female Composer In History ? - 02/19/10 03:19 AM

A sad, sad thread. People at PW are relatively educated, yet there is so much prejudice and ignorance.

And HELLOOO, there have been a number of female composers in history whose names we still know today-- i.e., they are famous. Some, but not all, have been mentioned here.

"Actually, it's my mom who first told me that guys perform better even in the domains that are traditionally considered female activities, and I totally agree with her."

I'd love to know your mom's qualifications and her evidence for making this statement. You haven't presented any. However, I won't be returning to this thread to read any more-- it's far too depressing.

Elene
(I'm not a composer, but my DAUGHTER is.)
Posted by: wr

Re: Why We Dont Have Famous Female Composer In History ? - 02/19/10 03:23 AM

Originally Posted By: cast12

I'm not denying that social factors prevented many women from composing during the peak of classical music. I'm just pointing out that even if women had been able to compose more easily during the 1700's and 1800's, we still wouldn't have a female Chopin or Brahms, let alone Bach or Beethoven


What you are "just pointing out" is something about yourself, I'm afraid, and nothing at all about whether we would have "great" women composers had all external factors been equal with to those affecting men.
Posted by: wr

Re: Why We Dont Have Famous Female Composer In History ? - 02/19/10 03:31 AM

Originally Posted By: pno

Actually, it's my mom who first told me that guys perform better even in the domains that are traditionally considered female activities, and I totally agree with her.



So you mom's poor self esteem is a source of your problem with perspective. I'm starting to get the picture...
Posted by: LimeFriday

Re: Why We Dont Have Famous Female Composer In History ? - 02/19/10 03:32 AM

Originally Posted By: RonaldSteinway


Let's start with female activities that men are better (note: the comparison is between the highest performance,not the average performance)

1. Cutting hair
2. Cooking
3. Making pastries
4. Making dress
5. Making bread
6. Flower arragement
7. home decoration
8. etc etc

Now, male activities

1. all activities, I cannot think any activities that majority women are better.

The only activities that men are not good is doing house chores....Men are totally not talented when come to cleaning house, feeding kids, doing laundries, washing dishes, vacuming, remembering birthday, etc. Women are by far much more talented in these activities. In order for men to perform at woman level, they must practice hard. Women do these activities very naturally.


I would love to give you the benefit of the doubt and believe that you wrote this tongue in cheek... but I fear you truly believe in this outrageous, dated load of ****.

And you wonder why more women have not risen to the top in various spheres... not only do woman have to have the talent, determination and persistence to achieve... we have to battle beliefs and attitudes such as this.

Posted by: wr

Re: Why We Dont Have Famous Female Composer In History ? - 02/19/10 03:45 AM

Originally Posted By: LimeFriday
Quote:
there have been numerous studies showing that there are twice as many men falling on the 'extremes' as women. Here's an example of one study conducted by numerous doctors at top universities


If you also read the scientific studies on IQ tests you'll find plenty of evidence to show that these are flawed and do not accurately represent intelligence, genius or otherwise.

Most intelligence tests and studies were written and designed by men - originally to test men. Bias and skewed results abound!


Not only all that, but what they really measure is the ability to take tests. There is not even real agreement as to what "intelligence" even is, much less a method of testing it.

And no, I am not saying that because I tested poorly and want to make excuses for it. But it is blindingly obvious to me that doing well on IQ and aptitude tests is not a measure of anything worth calling intelligence.
Posted by: wr

Re: Why We Dont Have Famous Female Composer In History ? - 02/19/10 03:48 AM

Originally Posted By: cardguy
These are dangerous waters, and I consider myself a feminist, but I don't I like the politically correct tenor of the discussion. There does actually seem to be a scarcity of women composers, even if you factor in all the societal stuff. The operative word is "seem" as obviously I can't prove it.

But would it be so horrible if it turned out there was something in the male brain that makes it more likely they'll be better at composing music? I can't cite them, but I do believe reading that there are studies indicating men are better at mechanical thinking, including spacial relations than women. I'm also almost certain there are studies that support the idea there are differences in the way men and women process language.

My point is, there are difference between the male and female brain. This isn't bad, or sexist in and of itself. it simply is.

So go ahead all you p.c.'ers. Savage me if you must. I can take it :>)


Since you more or less announced that anyone who might disagree with you is merely being politically correct, what's the point?
Posted by: wr

Re: Why We Dont Have Famous Female Composer In History ? - 02/19/10 04:01 AM

Originally Posted By: Seabelle

As far as female composers are concerned, I'm not sure I find that IQ argument very convincing. Marilyn vos Savant probably has a far higher IQ (by 21st Century standards) that say... Bach, who would have been educated to a very modest standard by both our standards and contemporary standards of those living in more affluent areas such as The Dutch Republic.



There is very little evidence that, taken as a group, famous male composers had especially high IQs. In fact, some seemed to have problems with being rational at all!! Plenty of them didn't seem make their way in the world very effectively, and more or less stumbled through life in not particularly intelligent ways.

And on the math issue, I've read that Beethoven was quite poor at it (which possibly accounts for some weird metronome indications). He never even learned how to multiply, and if, for example, he wanted to know what 8 X 4 was, he would arrive at the answer by a series of additions, like this: "Eight and eight are sixteen; sixteen and eight are twenty-four; and twenty-four and eight is thirty-two".

Posted by: pno

Re: Why We Dont Have Famous Female Composer In History ? - 02/19/10 04:07 AM

Originally Posted By: LimeFriday
...And you wonder why more women have not risen to the top in various spheres... not only do woman have to have the talent, determination and persistence to achieve... we have to battle beliefs and attitudes such as this.



I think the feminist movement has spent way too much time and effort "battling beliefs and attitudes". Don't you think if those activists spent their time composing, they would have gotten better results?
Posted by: Nikolas

Re: Why We Dont Have Famous Female Composer In History ? - 02/19/10 04:12 AM

You know...

There was a discussion on talent. I mentioned I don't REALLY believe in it, in the sense of a gift from parents, or God, prior to birth. There is a thread about that in the teachers forum.

So, if talent is not exactly there, and is overated (there's a couple of books about that), then why should genre be any different? We are all born with equal abilities, but unfortunately unequal opportunities still, and are altered in the process of our lives.

This thread is a solid indication that social reasons are STILL keeping women out of certain job aspects! If you consider the beliefs of certain members here... Yes, Elene, it's sad but also brings out the truth in the most unimpressive way: It's us (humans) that make things happen and noone else!

(By all means, I'm not supporting that male and female are absolutely the same. We have differences, but I find no reason to choose between a male and a female...)
Posted by: wr

Re: Why We Dont Have Famous Female Composer In History ? - 02/19/10 04:20 AM

Originally Posted By: cast12

You're missing the point: at the highest levels of talent and achievement for almost any activity, there are far more men than women.


If measuring talent and achievement in making posts reflecting less than average intelligence in PW threads regarding women composers, I would have to agree: the men are winning, hands down. Well done, guys.
Posted by: stores

Re: Why We Dont Have Famous Female Composer In History ? - 02/19/10 04:22 AM

Originally Posted By: cast12


I'm just pointing out that even if women had been able to compose more easily during the 1700's and 1800's, we still wouldn't have a female Chopin or Brahms, let alone Bach or Beethoven


Why not?
Posted by: stores

Re: Why We Dont Have Famous Female Composer In History ? - 02/19/10 04:25 AM

Originally Posted By: RonaldSteinway

The OP asked why there has not been a famous female composer. The reason is that female just are unable to attain that level.


Why aren't they?
Posted by: ChopinAddict

Re: Why We Dont Have Famous Female Composer In History ? - 02/19/10 04:31 AM

Women Composers.... smile
Posted by: wr

Re: Why We Dont Have Famous Female Composer In History ? - 02/19/10 04:32 AM

Originally Posted By: pno
Originally Posted By: LimeFriday
...And you wonder why more women have not risen to the top in various spheres... not only do woman have to have the talent, determination and persistence to achieve... we have to battle beliefs and attitudes such as this.



I think the feminist movement has spent way too much time and effort "battling beliefs and attitudes". Don't you think if those activists spent their time composing, they would have gotten better results?


Judging from this thread, they have quite a lot of time yet to spend on the battle.

But there are plenty of women composers today who aren't directly part of that battle, and as a matter of fact, yes, they are often getting quite good results, and performances. But of course, that gets to a whole other problem today, which is that so many music lovers aren't interested in new music, regardless of the composer's genital status.
Posted by: pno

Re: Why We Dont Have Famous Female Composer In History ? - 02/19/10 04:34 AM

Originally Posted By: wr
Originally Posted By: pno

Actually, it's my mom who first told me that guys perform better even in the domains that are traditionally considered female activities, and I totally agree with her.



So you mom's poor self esteem is a source of your problem with perspective. I'm starting to get the picture...



wr, news to you: you cannot change people's perspective by having a big ego. Having a big ego does not make you great. You are great because you demonstrate you can do it, not because you have a big ego. Does it make sense?

There is NO reason to believe that female are dumber than men. But they usually choose to have a different focus, be it on family, or children.

There is NO reason to believe that women cannot be great composers, (or pianists, chefs, tailors, filmmakers, conductors, philosophers, scientists, etc). But they need to do it first.

Until that time, the fact remains that there are many more great male composers than female ones.

Get the picture?
Posted by: ChopinAddict

Re: Why We Dont Have Famous Female Composer In History ? - 02/19/10 04:35 AM

Originally Posted By: ChopinAddict


And The Norton/Grove Dictionary of Women Composers
Posted by: pno

Re: Why We Dont Have Famous Female Composer In History ? - 02/19/10 04:49 AM

Originally Posted By: wr
Originally Posted By: pno
Originally Posted By: LimeFriday
...And you wonder why more women have not risen to the top in various spheres... not only do woman have to have the talent, determination and persistence to achieve... we have to battle beliefs and attitudes such as this.



I think the feminist movement has spent way too much time and effort "battling beliefs and attitudes". Don't you think if those activists spent their time composing, they would have gotten better results?


Judging from this thread, they have quite a lot of time yet to spend on the battle.

But there are plenty of women composers today who aren't directly part of that battle, and as a matter of fact, yes, they are often getting quite good results, and performances. But of course, that gets to a whole other problem today, which is that so many music lovers aren't interested in new music, regardless of the composer's genital status.



Kudos to these women composers. We need more of them! They are the ones who genuinely help changing the "prejudice".

Less feminist activists, more female composers. Prove it by doing it.
Posted by: wr

Re: Why We Dont Have Famous Female Composer In History ? - 02/19/10 05:08 AM

Originally Posted By: ChopinAddict


That's an interesting list, but not complete. For example, it doesn't include a couple of notable women composers who have had major operas premiered in the last few years: Unsuk Chin and Olga Neuwirth.
Posted by: wr

Re: Why We Dont Have Famous Female Composer In History ? - 02/19/10 05:19 AM

Originally Posted By: pno
Originally Posted By: wr
Originally Posted By: pno

Actually, it's my mom who first told me that guys perform better even in the domains that are traditionally considered female activities, and I totally agree with her.



So you mom's poor self esteem is a source of your problem with perspective. I'm starting to get the picture...



wr, news to you: you cannot change people's perspective by having a big ego. Having a big ego does not make you great. You are great because you demonstrate you can do it, not because you have a big ego. Does it make sense?



As a reply to what was posted, no, it doesn't make sense.

Quote:


There is NO reason to believe that female are dumber than men. But they usually choose to have a different focus, be it on family, or children.

There is NO reason to believe that women cannot be great composers, (or pianists, chefs, tailors, filmmakers, conductors, philosophers, scientists, etc). But they need to do it first.

Until that time, the fact remains that there are many more great male composers than female ones.

Get the picture?


Get what picture? Doing it first requires an environment in which that would be possible, and historically, there's a lot of evidence it wasn't possible. The thread is about why it didn't happen, and not so much the current or future situation in which conditions might (or for other reasons, might not) be more favorable. That quote from Fanny Mendelssohn's dad should be enough to convince anyone. And word was, Fanny was actually even more talented a composer than brother Felix, before she was squelched.
Posted by: Elissa Milne

Re: Why We Dont Have Famous Female Composer In History ? - 02/19/10 05:21 AM

Nothing needs to be proven - this is a thread asking "WHY?" - pretty much everyone agrees it's been a bloke's game in the European western art music tradition.... (and probably quite a few other traditions also, but certainly not all of them)......
Posted by: keystring

Re: Why We Dont Have Famous Female Composer In History ? - 02/19/10 05:35 AM

Hildegard von Bingen. Would she have been able to compose or even get the education if she had not been a nun?

It should also be noted that creating an artistic work, or performing brilliantly is one thing. Getting that artistic work shown or read or published, and then out to the public - ditto for performance - is another. There is a business end of it, and willing partners who will help make it happen. That's where society comes in. And that may include access to education and training.

Posted by: GustavoF

Re: Why We Dont Have Famous Female Composer In History ? - 02/19/10 08:47 AM

I wonder why are there more men Pope than women. Maybe men are better than women at religious stuff...

I find that, if not correctly position, a question can lead to any kind of silly conclusions, delusions, discussions etc... Even if the original question could make sense under a certain light.

And I am happy to see that there are at least a few answers that really make sense and try to build/explain something, keep up the good work.
Posted by: Batuhan

Re: Why We Dont Have Famous Female Composer In History ? - 02/19/10 09:19 AM

Originally Posted By: ChopinAddict


they are not famous frown
Posted by: Kreisler

Re: Why We Dont Have Famous Female Composer In History ? - 02/19/10 09:55 AM

And that's a different problem, isn't it?

There are many excellent female composers who have written a great deal in the last hundred years, yet their works remain relatively unknown. In the last few years, I've performed music by Dring, Decruck, van Appledorn and Zaimont, and I regularly use music by Telfer, Rahbee, and Louie in my teaching.

One thing I've noticed is that it often takes some leadership and strong teachers to get things moving. The RCM syllabus in Canada has been very proactive about promoting the music of Canadian composers, and it's really helped bring the music of Canadian women to light.

I wish teachers here in the states were a little more proactive about modern music. A lot of teachers still think Bartok is modern and Muczynski is cutting edge.
Posted by: RonaldSteinway

Re: Why We Dont Have Famous Female Composer In History ? - 02/19/10 10:54 AM

Let's not discuss something in the past (different conditions). Let's talk something far more smaller scale such as song writing, arranging, conducting, etc. For the last 50 years, it seems that men have dominated the top positions, such as John Williams, Ennio Morricone, Marvin Hamlsich, etc, etc.

Have there been a big name female arrangers, conductors, song writers, etc, etc. I cannot think one.

Don't women have the same freedom to sit and write a 2 ot 3 min songs? Women have exactly the same opportunities. But they still do not produce music at the same level as men. What is missing in this equition?
Posted by: Nikolas

Re: Why We Dont Have Famous Female Composer In History ? - 02/19/10 11:20 AM

Originally Posted By: RonaldSteinway
Don't women have the same freedom to sit and write a 2 ot 3 min songs? Women have exactly the same opportunities. But they still do not produce music at the same level as men. What is missing in this equition?
No, on both bolds, sadly. And I said earlier this thread is a proof of that!

BTW:

Lady Gaga,
St. Vincent
Badi Assad

to name a few successful creators in the pop industry.
Posted by: Kreisler

Re: Why We Dont Have Famous Female Composer In History ? - 02/19/10 11:34 AM

Originally Posted By: RonaldSteinway
Have there been a big name female arrangers, conductors, song writers, etc, etc. I cannot think one.


As for singer-songwriters:

Dolly Parton
Joan Baez
Petula Clark
Joni Mitchell
Loretta Lynn
Madonna

And many of the women associated with Lilith Fair.
Posted by: RonaldSteinway

Re: Why We Dont Have Famous Female Composer In History ? - 02/19/10 11:39 AM

Originally Posted By: Nikolas
Originally Posted By: RonaldSteinway
Don't women have the same freedom to sit and write a 2 ot 3 min songs? Women have exactly the same opportunities. But they still do not produce music at the same level as men. What is missing in this equition?
No, on both bolds, sadly. And I said earlier this thread is a proof of that!

BTW:

Lady Gaga,
St. Vincent
Badi Assad

to name a few successful creators in the pop industry.


Could you please elaborate what prevents women from having freedom to write pop songs. It is not like a 40 min complex music. It is only melody and chords.

What kinds of things that prevent women from having the same opportunty as men? Women can promote her work or performance abilty via Youtube. For example Valentina Litsissa. She promoted herself via Youtube.

These days, women can become a CEO, so I do not believe women do not have the same opportunity, especially writing songs. If the songs are good, people will listen and buy, regardless the artist female or male.

Posted by: RonaldSteinway

Re: Why We Dont Have Famous Female Composer In History ? - 02/19/10 11:48 AM

Originally Posted By: Kreisler
Originally Posted By: RonaldSteinway
Have there been a big name female arrangers, conductors, song writers, etc, etc. I cannot think one.


As for singer-songwriters:

Dolly Parton
Joan Baez
Petula Clark
Joni Mitchell
Loretta Lynn
Madonna

And many of the women associated with Lilith Fair.


That Island in the Stream song was not written by Dolly Parton. It was by Bee Gees.
Posted by: Nikolas

Re: Why We Dont Have Famous Female Composer In History ? - 02/19/10 11:53 AM

Originally Posted By: RonaldSteinway
Could you please elaborate what prevents women from having freedom to write pop songs. It is not like a 40 min complex music. It is only melody and chords.
The mentality of various people (including members in here and in this thread), perhaps?

And to think that me and Kreisler both provided names of VERY successful female creators! Are you sure you got that?

Quote:
What kinds of things that prevent women from having the same opportunty as men? Women can promote her work or performance abilty via Youtube. For example Valentina Litsissa. She promoted herself via Youtube.
Social reasons and the mentality of various people (including members in here and in this thread), perhaps?

Quote:
These days, women can become a CEO, so I do not believe women do not have the same opportunity, especially writing songs. If the songs are good, people will listen and buy, regardless the artist female or male.
Considering that you actually believe that women cannot be successful as composers, what else is left to say? You simply cannot accept this as a possibility, right?

I mean what is it that you don't get? You don't accept the fact that women can be as good as men in composing. This alone creates the problem: Your reception of what women can do is heavily biased!
Posted by: Frozenicicles

Re: Why We Dont Have Famous Female Composer In History ? - 02/19/10 11:54 AM

Originally Posted By: RonaldSteinway
Let's not discuss something in the past (different conditions).

What were the different conditions? It was only posted so you could make fun of another poster for his profession?
I just want to clarify your argument:
1) In this thread you said that as a general rule, composers aren't real musicians because they only started doing so as a result of lack of talent at performing.
2) Here, you're saying that female performers (such as Valentina Lisitsa) are able to freely market themselves so find just as much success as men. Yet you fault them for not doing the same with composition.

I can only conclude from your two statements that there are fewer famous female composers because fewer failed at making it as performers than men. Or did you have a different train of thought? Please enlighten us. If you're only saying these things to be deliberately argumentative and belittle others, then maybe it's time we started to ignore your posts so that the discussion can be more constructive.
Posted by: gooddog

Re: Why We Dont Have Famous Female Composer In History ? - 02/19/10 11:57 AM

If RS wants to know why more women didn't compose he only needs to look at recent history. The lastest wave of the Women's Liberation Movement is only 50 years old. It is still in its infancy, as evidenced by the reactionary, chauvinistic comments in this thread. Women in western culture are still fighting for equal opportunities. Sadly, there are still many cultures where women are completely oppressed.

Ronald, you want to hear what kinds of things prevent women from succeeding?? Here are some of my experiences: In my 20's I was denied access to adacemic scholarships in a male dominated field because I was female. I remember being told by the high school guidance counselor: "You don't want to take physics. There are only boys in that class and you wouldn't be comfortable there." I remember being told I had to sweetly provide coffee for my boss' visitors even though this was way out of the purview of my job and my desk was completely on the other side of the building. There were men much closer. I remember asking why I was assigned to demonstrate something at an electronics convention in another city when I did not have the skills. I was told point blank that it was because I had big breasts. This was not that long ago.

Women have been and still are being denied opportunities and education. Saying there are fewer famous women composers because they lack potential is small minded and ignores the fact that women were denied education and opportunities. It will take time for women to take their rightful place beside men in all fields. There are fewer famous composers because society denied them the ability to step forward. (I suspect many men deny women's potential out of fear they will be surpassed. Women are not looking for dominance. We just want equality.)
Posted by: Horowitzian

Re: Why We Dont Have Famous Female Composer In History ? - 02/19/10 12:03 PM

Whoosh!

WHAT AN AWESOME THREAD!!!!!!!!!
Posted by: argerichfan

Re: Why We Dont Have Famous Female Composer In History ? - 02/19/10 12:04 PM

Originally Posted By: RonaldSteinway
Originally Posted By: Kreisler
Originally Posted By: RonaldSteinway
Have there been a big name female arrangers, conductors, song writers, etc, etc. I cannot think one.


As for singer-songwriters:

Dolly Parton
Joan Baez
Petula Clark
Joni Mitchell
Loretta Lynn
Madonna

And many of the women associated with Lilith Fair.


That Island in the Stream song was not written by Dolly Parton. It was by Bee Gees.

And most of Petula's big hits were written by Tony Hatch.
Posted by: RonaldSteinway

Re: Why We Dont Have Famous Female Composer In History ? - 02/19/10 12:41 PM

Originally Posted By: gooddog
If RS wants to know why more women didn't compose he only needs to look at recent history. The lastest wave of the Women's Liberation Movement is only 50 years old. It is still in its infancy, as evidenced by the reactionary, chauvinistic comments in this thread. Women in western culture are still fighting for equal opportunities. Sadly, there are still many cultures where women are completely oppressed.

Ronald, you want to hear what kinds of things prevent women from succeeding?? Here are some of my experiences: In my 20's I was denied access to adacemic scholarships in a male dominated field because I was female. I remember being told by the high school guidance counselor: "You don't want to take physics. There are only boys in that class and you wouldn't be comfortable there." I remember being told I had to sweetly provide coffee for my boss' visitors even though this was way out of the perview of my job and my desk was completely on the other side of the building. There were men much closer. I remember asking why I was assigned to demonstrate something at an electronic convention when I did not have the skills. I was told point blank that it was because I had big breasts. This was not that long ago.

Women have been and still are being denied opportunities and education. Saying there are fewer famous women composers because they lack potential is small minded and ignores the fact that women were denied education and opportunities. It will take time for women to take their rightful place beside men in all fields. There are fewer famous composers because society denied them the ability to step forward. (I suspect many men deny women's potential out of fear they will be surpassed. Women on not looking for dominance. We just want equality.)


I agree with what you say about education, work etc.
However, it is just writing music. The products will speak by itself, there are place to advertize. In the corporate world the situations are different. The majority needs to like you as a person in order for them to hire you.

Music is different, if you perform well, you will win the competition. I do not see the analogy between academia, corporate world and writing music or playing music. Again the products speak.
Posted by: gooddog

Re: Why We Dont Have Famous Female Composer In History ? - 02/19/10 12:47 PM

A corporate atmosphere is representative of the atmosphere in all of society. You can pretend that the musical world stands outside of prejudice but it doesn't. You can't advertize if you husband holds the purse strings or refuses to let you publish. If you were not married society assumed there was something wrong with you. If you were a performer, it was assumed you were a prostitute. Imagine having the talent but being forced to damage your reputation or hide behind your husband's trousers (or change your name to a male one.)

As you say, "let the products speak": One of the reasons women are now taking their rightful places in world class orchestras is because auditions are conducted behind a screen!
Posted by: stores

Re: Why We Dont Have Famous Female Composer In History ? - 02/19/10 01:19 PM

Originally Posted By: stores
Originally Posted By: RonaldSteinway

The OP asked why there has not been a famous female composer. The reason is that female just are unable to attain that level.


Why aren't they?


I guess I'll ask again. Please tell me WHY Ron.
Posted by: stores

Re: Why We Dont Have Famous Female Composer In History ? - 02/19/10 01:20 PM

Originally Posted By: stores
Originally Posted By: cast12


I'm just pointing out that even if women had been able to compose more easily during the 1700's and 1800's, we still wouldn't have a female Chopin or Brahms, let alone Bach or Beethoven


Why not?


Asking once again...please tell me WHY.
Posted by: RonaldSteinway

Re: Why We Dont Have Famous Female Composer In History ? - 02/19/10 01:28 PM

Originally Posted By: gooddog
A corporate atmosphere is representative of the atmosphere in all of society. You can pretend that the musical world stands outside of prejudice but it doesn't. You can't advertize if you husband holds the purse strings or refuses to let you publish. If you were not married society assumed there was something wrong with you. If you were a performer, it was assumed you were a prostitute. Imagine having the talent but being forced to damage your reputation or hide behind your husband's trousers (or change your name to a male one.)

As you say, "let the products speak": One of the reasons women are now taking their rightful places in world class orchestras is because auditions are conducted behind a screen!


There are many things in our life that functions very similar to corp life. My sister is a professor at a medical school in Southern Calif, she told me that it is very difficult for a white female to become a faculty there, but it is easier for Asian female. The reasons is that white females are hard to control them. It is better to have Asian female faculties (easy to be controlled). The hardest is for Asian male to be faculty member of this medical school.

I agree with audition. The physical look and charisma of the artist are one of the major consideration. If they (the men) do not like you, how great your performance, you will not be hired.

Composing is totally different. Society does not pay attention to the composers, as long as the music sounds good, they buy. I do not know who Michael Buble was, I heard his music first and like it. I careless whether the composer male or female. I am not convinced about your argument stating that women have many restrictions in music composing industry.

Again product speaks louder than the creator.




Posted by: daro

Re: Why We Dont Have Famous Female Composer In History ? - 02/19/10 01:29 PM

Originally Posted By: RonaldSteinway
Let's not discuss something in the past (different conditions). Let's talk something far more smaller scale such as song writing, arranging, conducting, etc. For the last 50 years, it seems that men have dominated the top positions, such as John Williams, Ennio Morricone, Marvin Hamlsich, etc, etc.

Have there been a big name female arrangers, conductors, song writers, etc, etc. I cannot think one.

Don't women have the same freedom to sit and write a 2 ot 3 min songs? Women have exactly the same opportunities. But they still do not produce music at the same level as men. What is missing in this equition?


Diane Warren is probably the most successful songwriter in the world alive right now, with over 80 Top 10 hits, and a career that very few men in history have ever even come close to matching.

Anyway, I hope you realize that with every post, you're providing the women's rights movement with evidence that men have absolutely no intelligence at all.

Thinking about it a little more, I would add Linda Perry to the list of songwriters with numerous smash hits in the last 10 years, and above and beyond even these, I'd add Carole Kaye, who composed and performed the bass lines on just about every single hit of the '60's and '70's.
Posted by: RonaldSteinway

Re: Why We Dont Have Famous Female Composer In History ? - 02/19/10 01:51 PM

Originally Posted By: daro
Originally Posted By: RonaldSteinway
Let's not discuss something in the past (different conditions). Let's talk something far more smaller scale such as song writing, arranging, conducting, etc. For the last 50 years, it seems that men have dominated the top positions, such as John Williams, Ennio Morricone, Marvin Hamlsich, etc, etc.

Have there been a big name female arrangers, conductors, song writers, etc, etc. I cannot think one.

Don't women have the same freedom to sit and write a 2 ot 3 min songs? Women have exactly the same opportunities. But they still do not produce music at the same level as men. What is missing in this equition?


Diane Warren is probably the most successful songwriter in the world alive right now, with over 80 Top 10 hits, and a career that very few men in history have ever even come close to matching.

Anyway, I hope you realize that with every post, you're providing the women's rights movement with evidence that men have absolutely no intelligence at all.



Ok, I now know that there is a great a female song writer among thousands of men. So what a big deal, she is just an aberration.
You proved my point that there is no restriction, the good ones will come to the surface. Apparently, there are not many....
Posted by: Theowne

Re: Why We Dont Have Famous Female Composer In History ? - 02/19/10 01:54 PM

Wait a minute.

Ron, first you said in another thread that those who are bad at performing go into composing.

And now you're saying that there are no female composers because composing requires greater skill?

I'm lost.
Posted by: Nikolas

Re: Why We Dont Have Famous Female Composer In History ? - 02/19/10 02:03 PM

Originally Posted By: RonaldSteinway
Ok, I now know that there is a great a female song writer among thousands of men. So what a big deal, she is just an aberration.
You proved my point that there is no restriction, the good ones will come to the surface. Apparently, there are not many....
Hmmm...

Here's a different take on the same issue:

The fact that (at least) 1 famous song writter exists (while we have mentioned many more, but hey... feel free to ignore what you wish), means that:
a. Female CAN indeed compose as well as males.
but
b. They cannot procceed due to social reasons and male stubborness!
Posted by: Nikolas

Re: Why We Dont Have Famous Female Composer In History ? - 02/19/10 02:04 PM

On second thought I think that the following is much a better course of action:


Don't feed the troll
Posted by: gooddog

Re: Why We Dont Have Famous Female Composer In History ? - 02/19/10 02:16 PM

It is clear from Steinway's posts that he accepts heresay as evidence and speaks from what appears to be a cultural norm for the backward society where he lives. (Asian females are easier to control than white females?) Go back to your cave.

TROLL, Troll, troll, troll. I'm done.
Posted by: stores

Re: Why We Dont Have Famous Female Composer In History ? - 02/19/10 02:44 PM

Ronald, may I ask what you do for a living? Will you respond to THIS query (since you, apparently, won't answer my last), or are you afraid of entering into a conversation/debate with someone of superior intelligence (call it conceit, if you must, but, I think you've rather demonstrated, quite well, that the evolutionary process has not fully extended itself to all).
Posted by: BB Player

Re: Why We Dont Have Famous Female Composer In History ? - 02/19/10 03:30 PM

This thread has long since stopped having any semblance of rationality and is quickly losing its grip on the original topic. Closed.