Music, Race, and Gender in Early Music Programs

Concert Programs

The following two programs represent two examples for the ways the students in the class approached the final task of developing a concert program with works and composers that have been marginalized.

Program I

Alexandra Dreher (M.A.R. religion and music, ‘21) has focused on female composers by selecting pieces that thematize “silence” both as a limitation to religious expression but also as a devotional practice.

Kassia (c.810-before 867)                                       

Christina martys

I en polles amarties

Hildegard von Bingen (1098-1179)                      

Ave Maria, O Auctrix Vite

Lucrezia Orsina Vizzana (1590-1662)                   

Ave Stella matutina

Isabella Leonarda (1620-1704)                              

Ave Regina Coelorum

Caterina Assandra (1590-approx. 1618)             

Salve Regina

Chiara Margarita Cozzolani (1602-1676)            

O Maria, tu dulcis

Ave Maria

Ave mater dilectissima

Rosa Giacinta Badalla (1660-1710)                      



Program II

One of the pieces discussed in class was Jean-Philippe Rameau’s opera Les Indes Galantes (1735) as an example for racial stereotyping and cultural appropriation in the late baroque. Guitarist Maryam Hajialigol (M.M. guitar, ‘21) critically responded to Rameau’s influential piece by juxtaposing transcriptions of movements from the 18th century piece with works by composers who in fact represented the different musical traditions that are being “imagined” by Rameau. The musical responses here range from the early 19th century to the 21st century:


Jean-Philippe Rameau (1683-1764)          

Excerpt from Le turc généreux / Les Indes Galantes

Hammamizade Ismail Dede Efendi (1778-1846)   Gulnihal (arranged for two guitars)


Jean Philippe Rameau    

Excerpt from Les incas du Pérou / Les Indes Galantes

Ignacio Quispe (ca. 1700)    

A senores los de buen gusto (arranged for two guitars)



Jean Philippe Rameau    

Excerpt from Les Fleurs / Les Indes Galantes

Golfam Khayam (contemporary)               

Night Triptych


North America

Jean Philippe Rameau    

Excerpt from Les Sauvages / Les Indes Galantes

Raven Chacon (1977)     

Solo for Guitar (2006)