Musical Herstory

For centuries, the writers of musical textbooks (and the programmers of musical institutions) excluded women who composed.

Women have been writing and performing music for as long as men have; so how come we don’t know about very many women composers? In this class we’ll explore the socio-historical reasons behind the absence of women from textbooks while exploring their music and their lives.

With stories such as appealing to the vanity of Louis XIV in order to publish their music, or conducting from a prison cell with a toothbrush, the Herstory of Music shows the bravery and tenacity of women finding ways to create music in a world dominated by men. And the Herstory does not just live in the past – it is being made today by living and breathing women. How much has really changed?

Élisabeth-Claude Jacquet de la Guerre

The SSO is proud to present Saskatoon composer Kendra Harder in this six week course exploring the Herstory you need to know.

Classes take place Thursday’s at 7pm (Saskatchewan time) – each class is 60 minutes.

The first class takes place on September 17th, and will be available on video to those who aren’t able to attend the class live on Zoom.

Click to Register Now


How does it work?

Before the first class, you’ll receive an email that gives you access to the 6 weeks of scheduled Zoom classes.

If you can’t participate in the live Zoom class, you’ll have access to the video of the class on our YouTube channel

Week One – History of Feminist Musicology

Composers in focus – Élisabeth-Claude Jacquet de la Guerre and Marianna Martines

Week Two – The Education and Socialization of Women

Composers in focus – Fanny Hensel Mendelssohn and Clara Schumann

Week Three – The Suffrage Movement and Difficulties of Being a Female Musician or Musician of Colour in the 20thCentury

Composers in focus – Dame Ethel Smyth and Florence Beatrice Price

Week Four – Living Composers – The Advancement of Music Technology and the Avant-Garde

Composers in focus – Kaija Saariaho and Sofia Gubaidulina

Week Five – Living Composers – Composers in the Neighbourhood

Canadian composers in focus – Alexina Louie and Cris Derksen

Week Six – Living Composers – Music as a Living and Interacting Entity. Plus – what else do composers do besides write music?

Composers in focus – Kaley Lane Eaton and Niloufar Nourbakhsh