"Depraved Women on the English Restoration Stage" for Early Music America's Blog (forthcoming August 2020)

"Preface" to the scholarly critical edition of Maria Stuart by Amy Beach, co-authored with Liane Curtis and published by The Women's Philharmonic Advocacy

Current Projects

The Ugly Virtuosa

Women's arrival on the public stage as professional musicians in western Europe during the early modern period coincided with the birth of print journalism and sparked numerous social, legal, political, and religious debates. From those who decried their immorality to those who fetishized and even assaulted them, many early modern writers had strong opinions about the women who took the public stage. This interdisciplinary research and performance project examines the primary ways in which the pioneering women on the public stage were described in written commentary and caricatures as being "ugly." Although many acknowledged that female performers were quite talented, these same musically successful women were also often maliciously described as being morally depraved, physically unattractive, and/or persecuted for purported gender non-conformity. (site forthcoming)

Western music theory textbooks and score anthologies nearly always contain musical examples composed exclusively by the white men who have come to be regarded as canonical. Although these works are certainly worthy of study, they do not present a complete picture of the wealth of musical compositions written by composers whose voices have historically been suppressed. Many have justified this exclusion by arguing that women and people of color were prevented from the educational opportunities that would enable them to compose prior to the twentieth century. Yet this is simply not the case, as we have thousands of pages of surviving scores by composers from under-represented groups. This comprehensive database of musical examples is pedagogically geared towards the core undergraduate music theory curriculum and includes more than 300 examples of works by women, BIPOC, LGBT+, and composers from other under-represented groups. Concepts are organized from fundamentals through formal analysis, and examples illustrating concepts from early in the curriculum do not contain chromaticism or other concepts from later in the curriculum. Links to biographical information about each composer is also provided.


Redefining Resonance

Check out my blog for fascinating insights into rockstar women on the early modern stage in France, Germany, Italy, and England. Additionally, I have regular composer/piece features from 

© 2020 by Paula Maust