Women’s Music for the Screen: Diverse Narratives in Sound shines a long-overdue light on the works and lives of female-identifying screen composers. Bringing together composer profiles, exclusive interview excerpts, and industry case studies, this volume showcases their achievements and reflects on the systemic gender biases women have faced in an industry that has long excluded them. Across 16 essays, an international array of contributors present a wealth of research data, biographical content, and musical analysis of film, television, and video game scores to understand how the industry excludes women, the consequences of these deficits, and why such inequities persist – and to document women’s rich contributions to screen music in diverse styles and genres.
The chapters amplify the voices of women composers including Bebe Barron, Delia Derbyshire, Wendy Carlos, Anne Dudley, Rachel Portman, Hildur Guðnadóttir, Mica Levi, Winifred Phillips, and more. From the mid-twentieth century to the present, and from classic Hollywood scores to pioneering electronic music, these are the stories and achievements of the women who have managed to forge successful careers in a male-dominated arena. Suitable for researchers, educators, and students alike, Women’s Music for the Screen urges the screen music industry to consider these sounds and stories in a way it hasn’t before: as voices that more accurately reflect the world we all share.
Table of Contents
Introduction: ‘We need to hear your voices’ (Felicity Wilcox) / Chapter 1: Waiting for a break: Barriers to career progression in a man’s industry (Catherine Strong and Fabian Cannizzo) / Chapter 2: A universal mind: The film music of Bebe Barron (Reba A. Wissner) / Chapter 3: Delia Derbyshire: An examination of selected film and television scores (Louis Niebur) / Chapter 4: Wendy Carlos: Switched-on film scoring (James Deaville) / Chapter 5: Hidden in the mainstream: Shirley Walker’s musical contributions to feature films and animated television series (Philip Hayward and Matt Hill) / Chapter 6: Lolita Ritmanis: Heritage and Hollywood (Jessica Getman) / Chapter 7: Laura Karpman: Compositional direction and purpose (Charles MacInnes) / Chapter 8: Anne Dudley: The art of music and diegesis (Paul Hegarty) / Chapter 9: Rachel Portman: Midscale magic and Hollywood storytelling (Lindsay Coleman) / Chapter 10: Lisa Gerrard: Songs from the heart (Felicity Wilcox) / Chapter 11: The film scores of Mica Levi: Femininity in flux (Caitríona Walsh) / Chapter 12: Ascendancy: The rise and recognition of Hildur Guðnadóttir as a screen composer (Philip Hayward and Matt Hill) / Chapter 13: Winifred Phillips: Emotional resonance and social eloquence (Iain Hart) / Chapter 14: Heroines unsung: The (mostly) untold story of female Japanese game music composers (Melanie Fritsch) / Chapter 15: Composing women of Australian television (Felicity Wilcox)
Felicity Wilcox is a Senior Lecturer in Music and Sound Design at the University of Technology Sydney.