Women Composers Throughout History
Start writing a post

Women Composers Throughout History

Honoring history's forgotten

Women Composers Throughout History

For Women’s History Month, I’d thought I’d take a look at some of the female composers from the past. As a musician and composer myself, this is important to me not just for historical reasons, but I’d like to pay tribute to the women who paved the way, the women who time forgot, and the women who were forever overshadowed by men.

1 Hildegard von Bingen (1098-1179)

Hildegard von Bingen, a German abbess, composer, author, poet, mystic, pharmacist, was truly a jack of all trades. She was born to a noble family and was a student of the holy woman Blessed Jutta for 10 years. When Hildegard was 18, she became a Benedictine nun at the Monastery of Saint Disibodenberg. As a composer, she wrote over 80 pieces including what could be considered a “medieval opera”, a morality play called Ordo Virtutum. She never formally studied music and musical notation, yet she was able to become one of the most important Medieval composers. She also suffered from visions which caused her to see humans as “living sparks.” Her music is characterized by the use of perfect fourths and fifths with melodies soaring high above an octave.

2 Elisabeth Jacquet de la Guerre (1665-1729)

Born to a family of musicians, Elisabeth Jacquet de la Guerre was a prodigy harpsichordist. She played for King Louis XIV at the age of just five. He was so impressed that he became her patron, supporting her music. She is credited to have written one of the first collections of harpsichord music published in 1687. She is also the author of the first opera written by a woman to be put on in France (Céphale et Procris, 1694).

3 Maria Szymanowska (1789-1831)

Polish composer Maria Szymanowska was one of the first piano virtuosos of the 18th century. She toured throughout Europe, and eventually settled in St. Petersburg, Russia, where she composed for the Russian imperial court. She composed about 100 piano pieces, including miniatures, songs, etudes, and nocturnes. She also wrote some chamber works. Her style is what is known as stile brillant and Polish Sentimentalism. She had a widely known reputation as a performance artist, which led her to befriend some of the greatest composers and poets of the century such as Gioacchino Rossini, Johann Hummel, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, the latter was rumored to have been in love with her.

4. Clara Schumann (1819-1896)

Clara Schumann is considered to be one of the most distinguished pianists of the Romantic era. She was a child prodigy who was taught by her father, Friedrich. At the age of 11, Clara left for a concert tour of European cities. She married composer Robert Schumann, who was also a student of her father. At 14, she wrote her first piano concerto. She was one of the first pianists to play by memory for concerts. She was also the first to publically play works by Johannes Brahms. Her teaching spread her influence on music worldwide from England to Julliard.

While this is by no means a comprehensive list of women composers, these are some composers I feel have led the way in music.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

21 EDM Songs for a Non-EDM Listener

Ever wanted to check out EDM music, but didn't know where to start? Look no further! Start here.

21 EDM Songs for a Non-EDM Listener

If you have been following me for a long time, then you know I write about two main things: relateable articles and communication media based articles. Now, it is time for me to combine the two. For those of you that don't know, I am a radio DJ at IUP, and I DJ for a show called BPM (Beats Per Minute). It is an EDM, or electronic dance music, based show and I absolutely love it.

Keep Reading...Show less
Student Life

100 Reasons to Choose Happiness

Happy Moments to Brighten Your Day!

A man with a white beard and mustache wearing a hat

As any other person on this planet, it sometimes can be hard to find the good in things. However, as I have always tried my hardest to find happiness in any and every moment and just generally always try to find the best in every situation, I have realized that your own happiness is much more important than people often think. Finding the good in any situation can help you to find happiness in some of the simplest and unexpected places.

Keep Reading...Show less

6 Things Owning A Cat Has Taught Me

This one's for you, Spock.

6 Things Owning A Cat Has Taught Me
Liz Abere

Owning a pet can get difficult and expensive. Sometimes, their vet bills cost hundreds of dollars just for one visit. On top of that, pets also need food, a wee wee pad for a dog, a litter box with litter for a cat, toys, and treats. Besides having to spend hundreds of dollars on them, they provide a great companion and are almost always there when you need to talk to someone. For the past six years, I have been the proud owner of my purebred Bengal cat named Spock. Although he's only seven years and four months old, he's taught me so much. Here's a few of the things that he has taught me.

Keep Reading...Show less

Kinder Self - Eyes

You're Your Own Best Friend

Kinder Self - Eyes

It's fun to see all of the selfies on social media, they are everywhere. I see pictures with pouty lips, duck lips and pucker lips. I see smokey eyes, huge fake lashes and nicely done nose jobs, boob jobs and butt lifts. Women working out in spandex, tiny tops and flip flops. I see tight abs and firm butts, manicured nails and toes, up dos and flowing hair. "Wow", I think to myself," I could apply tons of make-up, spend an hour on my hair, pose all day and not look like that. Maybe I need a longer stick!"

Keep Reading...Show less

Rap Songs With A Deeper Meaning

Rap is more than the F-bomb and a beat. Read what artists like Fetty, Schoolboy Q, Drake, and 2Pac can teach you.

Rap artist delivers performance on stage
Photo by Chase Fade on Unsplash

On the surface, rap songs may carry a surface perception of negativity. However, exploring their lyrics reveals profound hidden depth.Despite occasional profanity, it's crucial to look beyond it. Rap transcends mere wordplay; these 25 song lyrics impart valuable life lessons, offering insights that extend beyond the conventional perception of rap music.

Keep Reading...Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments