Women in the History of Music Theory

Since (at least) Ptolemais of Cyrene, women have been actively involved in creating and transmitting music theory, often to a hitherto unacknowledged extent, and modern scholarship has only recently begun to explore these contributions. This portion of our website features current projects by historians of theory that seek to identify the historical and social conditions under which these activities took place, while also examining the ways in which music-theoretical work by women was received. In tandem with our AMS panel on “Women in the History of Music Theory” this November, we hope to encourage dialogue about how new historical methodologies and expanded definitions of music theory can aid in recovering and highlighting these contributions.

If you are working on a project that relates to the work or role of women in the history of theory, please consider writing a short piece for us! Alternately, if you have published this work elsewhere, please drop us a note and we will gladly share this information on our website.


September 1, 2018: SMT-V video article on “Anne Young’s Musical Games (1801): Music Theory, Gender, and Game Design,” by Carmel Raz