Rosalind Appleby: Women of Note

Documenting Australia’s female creators of music

Jillian Graham


Women of Note: The Rise of Australian Women Composers
by Rosalind Appleby
Fremantle Press, $35 hb, 184 pp, 9781921888762


According to the summary on the inside of Women of Note’sattractive jacket, being a female composer in the twentieth century was a ‘dangerous game’ – strong words indeed, but not without justification. Rosalind Appleby notes her own initial surprise to discover how many women composers there actually were in Australia. My own experience while writing a PhD about four Australian composing mothers is consistent with this perception. I have lost count of the number of times I described my topic to polite questioners and, on explaining that it was about Australian women composers, was asked, ‘Are there any?’ Well, yes – in 2011 the Australian Music Centre recorded that twenty-five per cent of Australian composers are women.

Read the rest of this article by subscribing to ABR Online for as little as $10 a month, or subscribe to the print edition to receive access to ABR Online free of charge.

If you are a single issue subscriber you will need to upgrade your subscription to view back issues.

If you are already subscribed, click here to log in.

Jillian Graham

Jillian Graham

Jillian Graham holds a PhD from The University of Melbourne titled ‘Composing Biographies of Four Australian Women: Feminism, Motherhood and Music’. She runs her own freelance professional writing business, and works as a researcher for the Women’s Mental Health Program, Jean Hailes Research Unit, at the School of Public Health and Preventative Medicine, Monash University.

Published in March 2012 no. 339

Leave a comment

Please note that all comments must be approved by ABR and comply with our Terms & Conditions.

NB: If you are an ABR Online subscriber or contributor, you will need to login to ABR Online in order to post a comment. If you have forgotten your login details, or if you receive an error message when trying to submit your comment, please email your comment (and the name of the article to which it relates) to We will review your comment and, subject to approval, we will post it under your name.