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Ebook Information

In Her Own Words

Conversations with Composers in the United States

Women's voices on musical composition, creativity, and gender

This collection of new interviews with twenty-five accomplished female composers substantially advances our knowledge of the work, experiences, compositional approaches, and musical intentions of a diverse group of creative individuals. With personal anecdotes and sometimes surprising intimacy and humor, these wide-ranging conversations represent the diversity of women composing music in the United States from the mid-twentieth century into the twenty-first. The composers work in a variety of genres including classical, jazz, multimedia, or collaborative forms for the stage, film, and video games. Their interviews illuminate questions about the status of women composers in America, the role of women in musical performance and education, the creative process and inspiration, the experiences and qualities that contemporary composers bring to their craft, and balancing creative and personal lives. Candidly sharing their experiences, advice, and views, these vibrant, thoughtful, and creative women open new perspectives on the prospects and possibilities of making music in a changing world.


"A telling exploration of the role of women composing in the US across the last half-century and more, and a discussion of the status afforded them in a still largely androcentric industry. Jennifer Kelly brings an informed sensibility to bear that prompts much revealing commentary by her individual subjects in an intelligently structured volume ... it is an essential read."--Classical Music

"The depth and breadth of Jennifer Kelly's impressive project is matched by the intellectual power, spirituality, dedication, and sheer honesty of the interviewees. Moreover, it serves as an indispensable resource for scholarly research and for university-level gender studies and women in music classes."--Journal of the International Alliance for Women in Music

"This book significantly advances knowledge of female composers and their works. . . . Kelly demystifies the individual creativity of composers whose works reflect compositional commonalities and differences within contemporary art music. Recommended."--Choice

"This collection of interviews with women composers presents an exquisite picture of the power and beauty of human creativity. Each woman speaks with an eloquence, a force, or a poetry that distinguishes her as a vibrant, compelling artist."--Kristina G. Boerger, associate professor of music and director of choral activities, Carroll University

Publication of this book was supported by a grant from the Henry and Edna Binkele Classical Music Fund.


Jennifer Kelly is the director of choral activities and an associate professor of music at Lafayette College, Pennsylvania, and the artistic director of the Concord Chamber Singers.

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(773) 702-7000 (International)

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