MUSC1351 Women in Music

6 points
(see Timetable)

If this unit does not have an online alternative, then students who are presently unable to enter Western Australia and whose studies would be delayed by an inability to complete this unit, should contact the unit coordinator (details given on this page) to ascertain, on an individual case-by-case basis, if alternate arrangements can be made to support their study in this unit.

Semester 2UWA (Perth)Face to face Predominantly face-to-face. On campus attendance required to complete this unit. May have accompanying resources online.
Details for undergraduate courses
  • Level 1 option in the Gender Studies major sequence
  • Level 1 elective
Women have played significant roles in all aspects of music throughout history. This unit explores women's musical activities in a wide variety of roles including composer, performer, patron, teacher, critic, and musical object and symbol. Students study gender ideologies in various historical times, geographic locations, and culturally diverse contexts, and examine their effect on the ways in which women have been able to participate in music. Study also takes into account how related constructions of identity (such as class, ethnicity and race) intersect with issues of gender and sexuality. Topics covered are drawn from different musical genres, historical periods and places, for example: representations of women in nineteenth-century opera; African American Blues Queens of the 1920s; the role of women in the anti-apartheid protest movement; and female performers in Chinese courts.
Students are able to (1) identify important women in music history and articulate their significance; (2) identify places and contexts in which women have traditionally been musically active; (3) demonstrate understanding of social, cultural and political constructions of gender and their impact on the roles women played in music; (4) describe women's experiences and accomplishments in a variety of musical roles in several musical genres; and (5) discuss a number of compositions by women composers.
Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) participation and tests; (2) concert review projects; and (3) assignments. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Supplementary assessment is not available in this unit except in the case of a bachelor's pass degree student who has obtained a mark of 45 to 49 overall and is currently enrolled in this unit, and it is the only remaining unit that the student must pass in order to complete their course.
Unit Coordinator(s)
Dr Cecilia Sun
Contact hours
seminars: 2 hours per week
No formal music training is necessary for this unit.
  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
  • All students are responsible for identifying when they need assistance to improve their academic learning, research, English language and numeracy skills; seeking out the services and resources available to help them; and applying what they learn. Students are encouraged to register for free online support through GETSmart; to help themselves to the extensive range of resources on UWA's STUDYSmarter website; and to participate in WRITESmart and (ma+hs)Smart drop-ins and workshops.
  • Unit readings, including any essential textbooks, are listed in the unit outline for each unit, one week prior the commencement of study. The unit outline will be available via the LMS and the UWA Handbook one week prior the commencement of study. Reading lists and essential textbooks are subject to change each semester. Information on essential textbooks will also be made available on the Essential Textbooks. This website is updated regularly in the lead up to semester so content may change. It is recommended that students purchase essential textbooks for convenience due to the frequency with which they will be required during the unit. A limited number of textbooks will be made available from the Library in print and will also be made available online wherever possible. Essential textbooks can be purchased from the commercial vendors to secure the best deal. The Student Guild can provide assistance on where to purchase books if required. Books can be purchased second hand at the Guild Secondhand bookshop (second floor, Guild Village), which is located on campus.