I went downtown yesterday to pick up a new book for a piano student of mine from The Leading Note. To my delight, I discovered a wealth of music by female composers for both flute and piano alike! Here’s what I bought:
At the Piano With Women Composers, ed. by Maurice Hinson. Published by Alfred Publishing Co. [Intermediate to Early Advanced Piano]
Barcarolle et Scherzo, by Berthe di Vito-Delvaux. Published by CeBeDeM. [Late Intermediate Flute]
As She Was, by Catherine McMichael. Published by Alry Publications Etc., Inc. [Intermediate Flute]
At the Piano With Women Composers features thirteen different women composers writing from the Classical era to the 20th Century. Some of them, we’ve met in my History Hunt series: Amy Beach, Teresa Carreño, Cécile Chaminade, Fanny Mendelssohn Hensel, and Clara Wieck Schumann. Others are still on my to-do list. I’m particularly excited to explore this collection, so my more advanced piano students had better watch out!
Previous posts in this series discovering music by underrepresented composers: (1) (2)
Hello, all! This week’s remix was a two-for-one deal, in that one of my students commented that she wasn’t fond of one of the Grade 4 RCM studies I had assigned her. Rather than give her one of the traditional choices, I thought that this would be a great opportunity to do a Representation Remix.
I chose Bohdana Filtz’s “An Ancient Tale” from an older Grade 6 RCM book–and discovered that since Filtz doesn’t have a Wikipedia page of her own, that makes her a prime candidate for a future History Hunt writeup (yes, I’ve still got those on the back burner!).
Here’s what Discogs.com has to say about her:
Bohdana Filtz (born 1932) is a Ukrainian composer and musicologist from Lviv. She has composed over 400 pieces including classical symphonic and piano music, liturgical choral arrangements, as well as children’s songs.
And here’s the piece! I’d recommend it for a Grade 4 RCM student; while the rhythms are overall straightforward, it does hit that high A toward the end of the piece.
flute-Filtz-An Ancient Tale-flute part – Flute solo.
flute-Filtz-An Ancient Tale – Flute part with piano accompaniment.
Incidentally, my computer isn’t displaying the MM in the PDF files; I suspect it’s an issue with importing from Finale. If someone could let me know if they can see the MM, that would be great. Thank you!
This week was fairly busy for me, and so I unfortunately didn’t have time to arrange anything new for my Representation Remixes series. However, yesterday, one of my young students helped me sort out a very simple duet for “Alexa’s Music Box” by Jean Coulthard. I want to stress how simple this duet is–I basically took the remaining notes from the piano arrangement and tweaked the octaves slightly–but simple’s better than nothing, right?
flute-Coulthard-Alexa’s Music Box-Optional duet – for (slightly more advanced) flute
Have a great weekend, everyone!
This week’s addition to my student library is a bit different than usual. One of my current students is a retired lady who’s taking piano lessons from me so she can play her favourite hymns. She brought in a copy of “Jesus Loves Me” from her hymnbook, but the print was so tiny that I was having trouble reading it. There was also no room for me to suggest fingering–a necessity for a SATB (soprano-alto-tenor-bass) arrangement!
So, students of my studio, you can now download a reasonably-sized version of “Jesus Loves Me,” complete with fingering instructions. Simply log into my website. Everyone else…well, why not consider joining my studio?
I’m back again this week with another arrangement to fill out the holes in the flute (and hopefully later piano) repertoire! This time, I took a look at Canadian composer Jean Coulthard‘s piano piece, “Alexa’s Music Box.” I found the piece in Music of Our Time, published by the Waterloo Music Company, Ltd.; it would be ideal for flute students playing at a Grade 1 RCM level.
flute-Coulthard-Alexa’s Music Box – Part for solo flute.
I’m looking into adding a very simple teacher duet part, also for flute, but I need to road test it with one of my flute students first. I’ll be sure to update the post if it turns out to be a worthwhile addition!
Over the past half of a year, I’ve been making a real effort to expand my music collection to reflect the composers I’ve featured in my History Hunt series (and hope to continue to feature when time and health permit!). It’s been a real challenge, though, especially with my flute music collection. There are real gaps–so much so that I recently had to apologise to one of my students for only giving her music by white men to play so far when neither of us fit that bill.
So I’ve started to do some very simple arrangements to fill in the gap a little. Normally, I keep my arrangements as a perk for members of my studio, but addressing the incredible imbalance in core flute repertoire is something I feel very strongly about. So, I’d like to make these arrangements generally available.
The first one I’ve completed is “Skipping Rope,” by Yelena Fabianovna Gnesina. It’s found in the Grade 5 Royal Conservatory of Music repertoire book; the arrangement should be suitable for flute students playing at a Grade 1/2 RCM level.
flute-Gnesina-Skipping Rope (Flute and Piano parts)
flute-Gnesina-Skipping Rope-flute part (Flute part alone)
I hope you all enjoy, and please feel free to send me feedback! I don’t arrange music as often as I should, and so I could do with some constructive criticism.
As I was preparing for a lesson this afternoon, I noted in some surprise that not only was the study I was going to be teaching by a female composer, but by a female composer I’d not heard of.
RCM Grade 5 Study #15, “Skipping Rope,” is by (Y)elena Fabianovna Gnesina. She doesn’t have her own Wikipedia page in English (yet!), but here’s what The Free Dictionary has to say about her:
Born May 18 (30), 1874, in Rostov-on-Don; died June 4, 1967, in Moscow. Soviet pianist and teacher. Honored Art Worker of the RSFSR (1935).
Gnesina graduated from the Moscow Conservatory in 1893 as a piano student of V. I. Safonov and devoted herself to teaching. She was a founder and director of Gnesin’s School of Music (from 1895) and Gnesin’s Music Pedagogic Institute (from 1944), where she worked as artistic supervisor and professor. As a teacher Gnesina developed the finest traditions of the Russian school of piano. Her students included the pianist L. N. Oborin and the composer A. I. Khachaturian. She was awarded two Orders of Lenin, two other orders, and various medals.
It looks as though I have some research to do!