|dc.description.abstract||Within and outside the classical music world, female composers are often overlooked, their music underperformed. In recent years, pieces written by female composers accounted for only 1.8% of music performed by the twenty-two largest American orchestras. In the times that Haydn, Beethoven, and Mozart were composing, however, women were also learning music?Mozart had a sister who studied alongside him, for example?but none reached the same level of compositional success. In A Room of One?s Own, Virginia Woolf hypothesized reasons why women were similarly overlooked in literature by imagining that Shakespeare had an equally talented sister who never reached the same level of success. But we do not have to guess what happened with Mozart?s sister: she stopped performing on harpsichord once she reached a marriageable age.
Through writing three historical fiction pieces about female composers?Clara Schumann (1819?1896), Florence Price (1887?1953), and one fictional woman set in present-day?I hoped to investigate the factors that have contributed to their secondary role and, through a creative medium, provide readers with an in-depth look into what female composers have and continue to experience. The title of my project, Hearing the Others, comes from my desire to bring attention to the music of female composers through telling their stories, which have the capacity to be more impactful than statistics by depicting daily routines.
With the dearth of women recognized amongst the ?great? composers, some automatically assume that the disparity is a result of a lack of talent or interest among women. However, through these stories, I want to present that there are specific circumstances and environments that lead to ?greatness? that women were often kept from.||