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Music 301/501 Women in Music A Few 20th Century Composers 20th Century Avant Garde: Ruth Crawford Seeger (1901-1953) Born in Ohio; very conservative upbringing Arm problems steered her into composing Made many important contacts in Chicago, e.g. Henry Cowell, that led to immersion in both avant garde and folk music, styles which dominated her compositions Studied with Charles Seeger (her future husband) confirmed dissonant, serial trends in her work Received a Guggenheim in 1930; first woman and one of only five up to 1945 Earlier works very avant garde serialized sets (Schoenberg), sound mass (Varèse), clusters, intense dissonance From Late 30’s on, most works based on folk songs; interest arose from study of Cowell’s ideas Example of earlier style: Violin Sonata (1926) Rebecca Clark (1886-1979) English born (Harrow) into a musical family Studied violin from age 8, later concentrated on viola and became touring soloist Began composing songs age 17 Studied composition at Royal College of Music from age 21 One of the first women members of a professional orchestra in London Won composition contests in Europe and America, e.g. for Viola Sonata, 1919 Some works published under male pseudonym Anthony Trent. She admitted publishers paid more attention to those than some of the works under her name Compositions included songs and chamber music Her music is “English” in the use of folk songs and modal harmony Example: Trio for Violin, Cello, and Piano (1921) Ellen Taafe Zwilich (b. 1939 in Miami) Non-musical but supportive family; played piano, violin, trumpet Educated at Florida State; further study after graduation in NYC (Ivan Galamian) Free-lanced in NYC as violinist, but always wanted to be a composer; by early 20’s she had heard many of her works (also unusual) Received doctorate in Composition from Juilliard (first woman to receive this degree) in 1975; teachers were Elliott Carter and Roger Sessions Music usually categorized as “neo-romantic,” using large genres and resources in large sound sweeps, but developed further beyond harmony of romantics Her success is probably as high as almost any other living composer, man or woman Example: Einsame Nacht (“Lonely Night”): songs 3 and 4 Text by Hermann Hesse, existentialist; translations Jezic p. 178 Example: Symphony No. 1 (originally Three Movements for Orchestra), 1982 The composition that won her the Pulitzer Prize in 1983 Great exploitation of range of colors in orchestra First 15 bars of 1st movement serve as basis for the entire work, emphasizing the interval of the third.