[Smt-talk] Female theorists in history

Karen Sunabacka ksunabacka at hotmail.com
Sun Oct 16 12:56:00 PDT 2011

I really must object to MW Morse's comments about how gender should not be a place to start for a Music Theory paper. It can be really difficult for young women to engage with Music Theory when it seems that there are no role models in the field, either past or present (and it is so much easier to find women contemporary theorists now).  From my experience at conferences there are so many different perspectives and ways to analyse music. Why can't a student start a project based on gender? Let the student do the research, that's what a University education is all about. I think this could be very interesting and who knows where it will lead? Exploring gender through music analysis was a major part of my Music Theory PhD dissertation.

The SMT has a Committee on the Status of Women. They has some resources on their website. That is probably a good place to start.

Karen Sunabacka, PhD
Assistant Professor of Music Theory and Composition
Providence University College
Otterburne, Manitoba

On 16 Oct 2011, at 14:44, Michael Morse wrote:

> Why would you accept a paper about a theorist solely based on their gender? The setup is especially egregious, as the student doesn't even know which theorist they want to discuss, nor what their ideas might be, only that the subject of a music theory paper should be based on the (to be determined) theorist's gender.  Isn't the conclusion already written? The theorist-to-be-named is a. brilliant of course and a right-on sister; b. deliberately neglected or obscure because of patriarchal oppression.
> Do you really want to collude in this self deformation?
> MW Morse
> Trent University
> Peterborough, Oshawa
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