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Topic: Where are the female composers?

  1. #1

    Where are the female composers?

    Where are they? Very few here and I think it's an important topic. Developers, what does your market research suggest about females and sample buying? I anticipate a lot of humor to follw but I hope not too much. It's something I've wondered about for some time. Thanks, men!

  2. #2

    Re: Where are the female composers?

    For the longest time I thought Graeme Revell was a female composer...I guess I didn't realize that Graeme is a male name!

    Really the only female composer whose work I know is Laura Karpman, she's very good but not exactly a household name.

    I know there are a couple of girls who are getting a name for themselves out in the videogame music world, but for the most part this is largely a boys club.

    Either way, I don't know how sample developers would market their products differently if they were going after women.

    Also, I don't recall ever being asked what gender I was when I bought a sample library, with a name like mine sometimes it's hard to tell. So I'm not sure if sample distributors would necessarily have a good idea of the gender of their customers.
    Music Composition for Feature Films, Television and Interactive Entertainment

  3. #3

    Re: Where are the female composers?

    Thanks Midphase. I don't mean to suggest woman should be marketed to differently. I do know that in any market research, gender is a basic and important piece of info. My question to developers is this, Since the talent is there and there is no shortage of females in the industry(paricularly pop ) and orchestras are clearly a place for women, what do you or anyone here think is the reason for so few female composers. Yeah, it's male dominated but I just wonder why? Besides, there HAS to be a few that we can attract to this forum and listen to some of their music.I dont mean juts pros either- hobbyists-whatever.
    Maybe it's because they know how to express themselves already through talking.: )

  4. #4

    Re: Where are the female composers?

    My friend always joked to me about..... since men always *try* (if not too hard hehe) to be sophisticated, intellectual, knowledgeable, etc, they all go to the "thinking" side of art, that is, composers, directors, designers...

    While women always *try* to be glamourous, flamboyant, in the spotlight, they all go to the "performing" side of art, singers, musicians, actresses....

    It sounds logical to me indeed! And yes it's very obvious in orchestras, and they are always more female pop stars than male.

    So if this reasoning is really true, it's not hard to find out what's the best marketing strategies for both genders!
    Dell Precision T3500 (Xeon W3520, 12GB RAM) / Windows 7 x64 / Sonar 8 / VE Pro / WIVI 2.3 / Kontakt 4 / G-Player 1.2

  5. #5
    Senior Member newmewzikboy's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    San Francisco Bay Area

    Re: Where are the female composers?

    You guys are kidding me, right?

    Chen-Yi is a goddess of composition

    Ellen Taafe Zwilich, Shulamit Ran,


  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2001

    Smile Re: Where are the female composers?

    I know a lot of female composers in the choral world. However, I know only a few in commercial music bussiness (my mentor is one of a few).

    Statistically, the computer bussiness has less famale, and the sample world itself is essentially computer bussiness.
    Kentaro Sato (Ken-P)

  7. #7

    Re: Where are the female composers?

    ::Raising her hand::

    As pointed out by others on this thread there are an increasing number of female composers of prominence in the concert music world. If there are less in film scoring I'd say it's because it's taking music composition (male dominated field) and throwing in a lot of computers and gear (generally considered a "guy thing") and finally combining it with an industry that requires fairly aggressive self-marketing (something females tend to be socialized against) and a job that takes 100 hour weeks fairly regularly (not so compatible with family life).

    But I do know several female film/TV composers... other than myself... ;-) Even out here in Boston where there are very few commercial composers to begin with.

    There are also, of course, Rachel Portman and Wendy Carlos (yes, I know she was once Walter). They're both at the top of our craft.


  8. #8

    Re: Where are the female composers?

    hey Alison! Great to hear from you. I think that technology will, very soon, make computers a lot more transparent. That is to say, turn it on and make music. I know that the music is there and I'm waiting for that level playing field to happen, ya know? Maybe you can encourage some of your friends to come here and post some music or just generally get involved with this forum. Kevin PS>Just saw "The 40 year Old Virgin" last night."(so great) so the gender issue now has a fresh take.

  9. #9

    Re: Where are the female composers?

    Anne Dudley (former Art of Noise member) and Rachel Portman are the only female composer I know that work in hollywood.
    Wendy Carlos is more notorious for other things.

    So yeah, it's a rarity but I also it's growing and more women and more women are coming a board. I don't think it has to do with technology, there are more women everyday gaining their interest in technology and using computers daily, it's not just a "guy thing", now every kid either boy or girl is using a computer. I also think that music and sample technology will bring music to more and more people and thus to more women.

  10. #10

    Re: Where are the female composers?

    Here's an older thread on the topic:


    BTW, Lisa Gerrard also composes in Hollywood, and contributed to Gladiator.


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