Female Composers, Conductors, Performers: Musiciennes of Interwar France, 1919-1939: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Female Composers, Conductors, Performers: Musiciennes of Interwar France, 1919-1939

1st Edition

By Laura Hamer


218 pages

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pub: 2018-05-23
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Drawing upon extensive archival research, interview material, and musical analysis, Female Composers, Conductors, Performers: Musiciennes of Interwar France, 1919–1939 presents an innovative study of women working as professional musicians in France between the two World Wars. Hamer positions the activities, achievements, and reception of women composers, conductors, and performers against a contemporary socio-political climate that was largely hostile to female professionalism. The musical styles and techniques of Marguerite Canal, Jeanne Leleu, Germaine Tailleferre, Yvonne Desportes, Elsa Barraine, and Claude Arrieu are discussed with reference to significant works dating from the interwar period. Hamer highlights the activities of Jane Evrard and her Orchestre féminin de Paris as well as the reception of the Orchestra of the Union des Femmes Professeurs et Compositeurs de Musique, a contemporary pro-suffrage organisation that was dedicated to defending the collective interests of musiciennes and campaigning for their employment rights. Beyond women composers and conductors, Hamer also sheds light on female performers and their contribution to the interwar early music revival.

Table of Contents

List of Music Examples

Preface and Acknowledgements

List of Abbreviations

Part 1: The Contested Boundaries of Interwar musiciennes

Chapter 1: Conservative Politics and Domestic Ideals: The Social Position of musiciennes in Interwar France

Chapter 2: The Challenge of Professional musiciennes: The Education, Career Opportunities, and Reception of Women Musicians

Part 2: Women as Composers

Chapter 3: Early Female Winners of the Prix de Rome: Marguerite Canal and Jeanne Leleu

Chapter 4: In Les Six: The Case of Germaine Tailleferre

Chapter 5: Paul Dukas’s Female Composition Students: Elsa Barraine, Yvonne Desportes, and Claude Arrieu

Part 3: Women as Performers

Chapter 6: Women Conductors and All-Woman Orchestras

Chapter 7: On the Concert Platform: Women as Perfomers




About the Author

Laura Hamer is Associate Professor of Music at Liverpool Hope University. She is interested in women in music, nineteenth- and earlier twentieth-century music, and criticism and reception studies. She is the editor of The Cambridge Companion to Women in Music since 1900 (forthcoming).

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
MUSIC / General