In Her Own Words: Conversations with Composers in the United States

In Her Own Words: Conversations with Composers in the United States

Hardback New Perspectives on Gender in Music

By (author) Jennifer Kelly

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  • Publisher: University of Illinois Press
  • Format: Hardback | 488 pages
  • Dimensions: 163mm x 236mm x 41mm | 726g
  • Publication date: 1 August 2013
  • Publication City/Country: Baltimore
  • ISBN 10: 0252037596
  • ISBN 13: 9780252037597
  • Illustrations note: 25 b&w photographs, discography

Product description

This collection of new interviews with twenty-five accomplished female composers substantially advances our knowledge of the work, experiences, compositional approaches, and musical intentions of a diverse group of creative individuals. With personal anecdotes and sometimes surprising intimacy and humour, these wide-ranging conversations represent the diversity of women composing music in the United States from the mid-twentieth century into the twenty-first. The composers work in a variety of genres including classical, jazz, multimedia, or collaborative forms for the stage, film, and video games. Their interviews illuminate questions about the status of women composers in America, the role of women in musical performance and education, the creative process and inspiration, the experiences and qualities that contemporary composers bring to their craft, and balancing creative and personal lives. Candidly sharing their experiences, advice, and views, these vibrant, thoughtful, and creative women open new perspectives on the prospects and possibilities of making music in a changing world.

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Author information

Jennifer Kelly is director of choral activities and assistant professor of music at Lafayette College, Pennsylvania, and the artistic director of the Concord Chamber Singers.

Review quote

"This collection of interviews with women composers presents an exquisite picture of the power and beauty of human creativity. Each woman speaks with an eloquence, a force, or a poetry that distinguishes her as a vibrant, compelling artist."--Kristina G. Boerger, associate professor of music and director of choral activities, Carroll University "If nothing else, this substantial compendium of interview with 25 women composters offers vital evidence of the sheer diversity of compositional activity - much of it, sadly, hidden from European ears - currently to be found in the United States. But these 'conversations' range across more than matters of technique, style and process. Instead, what emerges is a telling exploration of the role of women composing in the US across the last half-century and more, and a discussion of the status afforded them in a still largely androcentric industry... With a background in performance and academia, Jennifer Kelly brings an informed sensitibity to bear that prompts much revealing commentary by her individual subjects in an intelligently structured volume... it is an essential read." - Classical Music