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passions of musical women


Cover design: Beverly Simmons, ffortissimo Design

Roots of the women-in-music advocacy movement go back to the nineteenth century with the efforts of Amy Beach, Fanny Mendelssohn, Clara Schumann, and others, who believed that women deserved equal opportunities to prove themselves as performers and composers. 


Significant strides have been made in ending discrimination against women, yet women composers’ works are still not programmed in representative numbers by orchestras, opera companies, and chamber music series. Current economic difficulties may signal a retrenchment of gains for women and minorities. This book provides a basis for strategies that can fortify the movement and help achieve goals not yet realized.

What are the passions of musical women?  Simply stated, women in music passionately want to be heard, to be performed, and to be known.

They want to spread the word about the history of accomplishments of women musicians and they desire to be taken seriously and to have to quality of their work recognized.

This book was published by Jaygayle Music Books in 2009 and is available for $14.95 through this website or Amazon Books. 241 pages, with illustrations, bibliography, and appendices.


“This provocative and informative book tells the story of an exciting, productive time in women’s music, with fairness, honesty, and courage. This is potent stuff: the trials and tribulations, the good times and the bad, the politics and the promises.” - Lucille Field Goodman, soprano, educator, author


“Serious, sometimes funny, sometimes sad, this book is full of personal, pertinent anecdotes about events and interesting people and provides informative reading about such an important aspect of music history, always unfairly neglected in music history books written by men. This book offers an inspiring account of Jeannie Pool’s realization of a vision, against so many odds and obstacles.” - Ruth Schonthal, composer and pianist

“In 1980, Jeannie Pool’s lecture, ‘Up from the Footnotes,’ about historical and contemporary women composers, opened my eyes and changed the course of my career.  My graduate work at the University of Southern California, heavy with music history studies, had included not a single lecture on a woman composer. Dr. Pool’s burning desire to bring together the creative women who were working in isolation—musicologists, performers, theorists, publishers, educators, and especially composers—was contagious. Through fourteen International Congresses on Women in Music I came to realize that promoting the work of just one woman musician can best be accomplished by promoting the contributions of all women in music.” - Deon Nielsen Price, composer, pianist, author, former President, International Alliance for Women in Music

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