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Six Easy Ways to Immediately Address Racial and Gender Diversity in Your Music History Classroom

This is a great article from Musicology Now, written by Kira Thurman and Kristen Turnera, which lists ideas and practices that can be implemented in courses that immediately address the topic of racial and gender diversity in the classroom. Check out the mention of Music Theory Examples by Women in #2 – Consider the Concept vs. the Composer:

2. Consider the concept vs. the composer. When considering the course units you plan to teach, figure out if the topic of the day is absolutely about a composer and his musical contributions, or if the theme for that unit is about a concept — sonata form, da capo arias, nineteenth-century art song, ostinato bass, impressionism, etc. If it’s the latter, you might be simply using a composer as a vehicle to explain that idea. If the concept is actually the important topic, then consider if a musical work by a woman or a person of color would be an equally good choice as an example. In the past, Kristen used to assign several compositions by Monteverdi to show the development of the Italian repertoire, but now she includes a madrigal by Barbara Strozzi. More focused survey courses, such as classes that cover one period or one country, could provide many opportunities to switch out canonic composers for music from a marginalized community. For instance, in an American music course, you could use one of Florence Price’s pieces to explore mid-century nationalism rather than (or in addition to) music by Aaron Copland. The website Music Theory Examples by Women provides scores, music, and recordings by women composers for all the basic musical forms and other fundamental music theory concepts. Anthologies of music by women or people of color are immensely helpful in providing illustrations that you could easily incorporate into your classes.”

Full article can be read here.