A Modern Index of Early Female Musical Composers

Many of the outstanding musical compositions that exist today were created by women, and most of these talented women never received the recognition they deserved during their lifetimes. The earliest documented woman composer is Greek lyric poetess Sappho, who was born around 612 BC, but many historians consider German nun Hildegard of Bingen from the 12th century as the first female composer. Over the years, many other women also showed extraordinary musical gifts, and they had created memorable musical pieces that are highly celebrated today. These women include Clara Schumann, Fanny Mendelssohn, Louise Farrenc, Marianne Martinez, Vitezslava Kapralova, the Boulanger sisters, Cecile Chaminade, Dame Ethel Smyth, Amy Cheney Beach, Galina Ustvolskaya, and many others.