Ancient Lesbian Music & Musicians

Sappho c 610-570 BCE. Greek.

Did you know that Sappho, the lesbian poet,  composed music as well as wrote poetry? Today, we would call her a singer-songwriter of love-songs, and she performed her lyric poetry publicly, accompanied by a lyre. Only one complete poem and a small number of fragments of her other poems remain, but none of her music has survived,  You can read more here. This has not stopped people from guessing  how her lyric poems may have sounded, and examples are here and a modern electronic interpretation is here.

Modern Lesbian Music & Musicians

Dame Ethyl Smith (1858-1944). English.

Smith was a leading female composer in the early 20th century. More information on her can be found here. A popular composition of hers among suffragists was  ‘March of the Women’ (1911), the anthem of the Women’s Social and Political Union, and is still performed today. See and hear an example by the Virago Symphonic Orchestra here. Smith has a place at Judy Chicago’s famous ‘Dinner Party’, on display at the Brooklyn Museum, and here is a link.

Contemporary Australian Lesbian Music & Musicians