Great Women Rulers of Music
12" Wooden Ruler made in U.S.A. of American-grown basswood.
Including composers and conductors, instrumentalists and vocalists, this ruler celebrates the contribution made by women to Western classical music.
The list is fascinating. Hildegard of Bingen (1098-1179) was a Benedictine abbess, writer, poet, and composer who lived in 12th-century Germany. In our day, no monophonic music, meaning music consisting of a melody without accompanying harmony, is more often recorded than hers.
One of the best-known musicians on our ruler is Elisabeth-Claude Jacquet de la Guerre (1665-1729), who composed for harpsichord (she was an outstanding player), but who also wrote violin sonatas and vocal music. Jenny Lind (1820-1887), an opera singer known as “The Swedish Nightingale”, came to America in 1850 at the invitation of P.T. Barnum, and donated all her proceeds from the tour to charities. (Barnum on the other hand made a handsome profit.) The first symphony ever to be composed and published by an American woman, the “Gaelic” Symphony of 1896, was written by Amy Marcy Cheney Beach (1867-1944). There are two African-Americans on our list: Florence Price (1887-1953) and Marian Anderson (1897-1993).
Our ruler features female musicians from Greece, Germany, Cuba, France, Mexico, Sweden, Brazil, England, Italy, Australia, The United States, Austria, Spain, New Zealand and Japan. The dates listed on this ruler are the years of each individual’s birth and death, if known, or simply birth date, if still alive.
The “head” image is of Maria Callas (1923-1977), born in New York City to Greek immigrant parents, who became known as “La Divina”. Our illustration is inspired by a photograph taken of her in 1957 by English photographer Sir Cecil Beaton (1904-1980).
If you like this ruler, you might also be interested in Rulers of Music, Great Women Rulers of Literature, Great Women Rulers of Art, Great Women Rulers of Science, or Great Women Rulers of Tech.