[Smt-talk] Female theorists in history

donnadoyle donnadoyle at att.net
Sun Oct 16 06:10:18 PDT 2011

This prompts my recall of a class discussion in Joel Lester's History  
of Theory course at the CUNY Graduate Center in the '90s: Music theory  
before the modern era required mastery of the Latin language--even  
educated noble women were limited to the vernacular. As for the 19th  
c., we know how C Schumann and F Mendelssohn fared. Even I only a few  
decades ago, while being the pride and joy of my HS math and Latin  
teachers, was castigated by my mother and female classmates for being  
"so smart" (and pulled out of Latin class by my mother before my  
senior year). I'm sure other gifted women have stories to tell. One  
early 20th c woman who did succeed at  "hard" thinking akin to music  
theory is Suzanne Langer, philosopher.

Best regards,
Donna Doyle
Queens College CUNY
Flushing, NY

Sent from my iPhone

On Oct 13, 2011, at 1:43 PM, John Snyder <JLSnyder at uh.edu> wrote:

> Dear Collective Wisdom,
> A student, looking for a paper topic, has inquired about the  
> possibility of writing
> on a female theorist (or several), in historical context. I know a  
> number of outstanding
> female theorists, but must admit that all of them are living, and  
> wouldn't make
> good subjects for the paper in question. Help, anyone?
> Best,
> John
> -- 
> John L. Snyder
> Professor of Music Theory and Musicology
> Moores School of Music
> University of Houston
> 713-743-3143
> JLSnyder at uh.edu
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