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Female composers

(15 Posts)
neepsntatties Thu 05-Apr-12 07:51:57

I was wondering if anyone knew any good female composers. I have to create a piece of theatre for a post grad course I am doing and I want to use just female artists for the music. I am finding it hard to find the right kind of stuff though I am sure it is out there. I am looking for music that is similar to Yann Tiersan, Hybrid or Biosphere. I had a look through the music threads on here, very good fun and lots of great stuff but I am really needing things without lyrics. Any suggestions?

As a side note I have been very frustrated at times on this search. I use We-7 to look for music a lot as I can type in the name of someone I like then listen to similar artists. All I get is men, track after track of men. It is making me very grumpy!

SweetTheSting Thu 05-Apr-12 15:59:13

Are you looking to use existing music or for someone to compose original music? Could you work with someone from a local music college?

If there is music with lyrics that you like, there might be instrumental versions available or you might be able to buy the score and get someone to play it for you?

Sorry if this isn't much help!

Theas18 Thu 05-Apr-12 16:03:33

Ethel Smythe!

Best ever female composer as a "package deal" Exciting music- the wreckers being the best known and a suffragette to boot!

TheSmallClanger Thu 05-Apr-12 16:56:48

Delia Derbyshire or Daphne Oram, pioneer electronic composers from the BBC Radiophonic Workshop.

Thea Musgrave's more contemplative works might also fit the bill.

TeiTetua Thu 05-Apr-12 17:03:22

Would any of Daphne Oram's electronic music be useful?

TheSmallClanger Thu 05-Apr-12 17:24:56

Anne Dudley is another composer - film scores and electronic soundscapes.

neepsntatties Thu 05-Apr-12 21:56:44

These are great! Thank you so much. This is actually very interesting as it is really introducing me to music I would never have found otherwise.

Lio Tue 10-Apr-12 13:38:22

Hi neeps, hope you're still checking this. I didn't know the three musicians/bands you suggested but have had a quick listen to two of them and I think you like quite trancey/minimal stuff.

Something not exactly in the same vein, but that might still appeal to you, is a composer I know. Here is a link where you can listen to some of her music:

You can hear her most recent piece, Chemistry, in full, written as a present to two friends getting married. I also thought 'Snow' sounded quite atmospheric (you'll hear it's not a choir, but you can imagine the soundscape a choir would produce).

Anyway, if you like the sound of it her contact email is on there. I imagine your budget is minimal, but it would be so exciting to commission your own piece.

Lio Tue 10-Apr-12 13:40:42

Just thought: Joanne Harris's music for the film Chocolat might appeal to you too.

Twibble Sat 13-Oct-12 16:21:41

Saariaho, Judith weir, Libby larsen are all good and very well respected in their field.

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Wed 17-Oct-12 15:13:22

Did you find a piece in the end, OP?

somebloke123 Wed 17-Oct-12 15:47:24

Don't usually venture onto this thread but:


Hildegard of Bingen

Nineteenth Century:

Fanny Mendelssohn/Hensel (sister of Felix Mendelsshon)

Clara Schumann (wife of Robert but substantial composer + major pianist and general musical figure in her own right)


Early 20th century

Tailleferre (sp?) she was the only female member of the French group called "Les Six" which included Poulenc and Milhaud

20th century avant garde (and quite forbidding)

Elizabeth Lutyens
Elizabeth Maconchy


Judith Weir (already mentioned I think)
Judith Bingham
Sally Bingham
Emily Howard

The above 6 are British.

Acouple of Russians (or ex-USSR states)

Ustvoltskaya (difficult, uncompromising)

(probably spelt the last 2 wrong)

You could probably find stuff on youtube on most of these which might help make a choice.

somebloke123 Wed 17-Oct-12 16:06:33


Among contemporary British composers, Emily Howard is particularly one to watch. I heard something of hers at the South Bank a couple of years ago. Sky and Water I think it was called.

somebloke123 Wed 17-Oct-12 16:19:14

PPS Sorry 2 posts above should say Sally Beamish.

MooncupGoddess Wed 17-Oct-12 16:24:30

Roxana Panufnik?

I heard an amazing premiere by a female composer at the Proms this year... will have to check out her name.

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