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Wed Aug 19, 2015, 11:37 AM

Student demands female composers on A-level music syllabus

Student demands female composers on A-level music syllabus

Petition calls for Edexcel to change syllabus after student points out that it features 63 male composers and no female ones

clara schumann

fanny hensel mendelssohn

maria szymanowska

alexandra du bois

A student has launched an online campaign to ensure that women are represented on Edexcel’s A-level music syllabus, which currently features 63 male composers and no female ones. Seventeen-year-old Jessy McCabe noticed the lack of female representation on the exam board’s music syllabus after participating in a programme on gender inequality.
. . . . .

In response to an email from McCabe, the head of music wrote: “Given that female composers were not prominent in the western classical tradition (or others for that matter), there would be very few female composers that could be included.”

McCabe wrote on a change.org petition page that such assertions were simply untrue. “Only three days earlier (8 March 2015), BBC Radio 3 managed to do a whole day of programming of female composers to honour International Women’s Day,” she wrote. “Surely, if BBC Radio 3 can play music composed by women for a whole day, Edexcel could select at least one to be part of the syllabus alongside the likes of Holborne, Haydn and Howlin’ Wolf?”

She added: “This has got to change. How can we expect girls to aspire to be composers and musicians if they don’t have the opportunity to learn of any role models? How can we accept that the UK’s largest awarding body doesn’t adequately acknowledge the work of female musicians? Why are we limiting diversity in a subject which thrives on astounding breadth?”
Women composers deserve much better

. . . .


below is a link to an article about that bbc3 programme and some of the composers that were highlighted:


some excellent resources on women composers:


list of women composers by birth year:

celebrating women composers:


march of the women: discovering classical music's forgotten voices:

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Reply Student demands female composers on A-level music syllabus (Original post)
niyad Aug 2015 OP
Bernardo de La Paz Aug 2016 #1
niyad Aug 2016 #2

Response to niyad (Original post)

Mon Aug 22, 2016, 03:56 PM

1. Yesterday would not be too soon. . . . nt

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Response to Bernardo de La Paz (Reply #1)

Mon Aug 22, 2016, 06:32 PM

2. so very true.

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