The gender wars

I once wrote on a forum that male composers tend to create epic music that gradually becomes louder and more intense until it reaches a climax, as a male orgasm translated into music. I expected to be kicked out, but surprisingly, my idea wasn't considered weird. No one was offended or hurt, and there was no need for a safe space. Perhaps there were too many Europeans and Canadians in the discussion. So, I'm trying again. And I wonder if this forum is going to *beep* the naughty word.

By the way, now I want to know what typical female writing would be like. I guess it could be melodious, sentimental, civilized, neat and somewhat conservative, but what will it resemble? An obsession with trivial matters like appearances?

You should know I wrote this with a big smile on my face. Still, it's an interesting subject.

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  • Modern female composers for the concert hall are a long way away from melodious and sentimental in the way I think you mean it. Listen to the likes of Saariaho or Unsuk Chin for some of the best of today's music written by a woman that holds its own and even betters music of many of their male contemporaries.

    • yes, I would say I don't know a lot of bombastic and vacuously epic scores written by women (though there may well be some) but otherwise I couldn't really tell the difference these days.


    • That's just because they think they need to be one of the boys to have success. It's peer pressure. In reality these women are very unhappy.

  • "male composers tend to create epic music that gradually becomes louder and more intense until it reaches a climax, as a male orgasm translated into music"

    Well, to get the discussion started, for better or worse. . . in what ways would this be any different from a musical representation of a female orgasm? 

    I would say as a broad statement to express my views on this, that if given a blind listen to musical works by unknown composers of mixed genders, none of us here would be able to identify the gender accurately or consistently among the works.

    • Visit VI-Control, the composition section. A lot of young men who write epic music with a climax, always supported by a choir, loud brass and heavy percussion. Based on a simple chord progression though. If you have a DAW, you don't really need a lot of knowledge laughing

    • That kind of music is not for me. I prefer fugues. 😉

      Also, some of the best climaxes I've heard involves using silence at the most tense moment. Big and loud isn't always the best solution to a musical climax.

      (In fact, just this week I wrote a big climax for my WIP fugue. After 2 days, I now hate it and will replace it with something more refined. One of the things I love about fugue writing: it forces you to confront very real musical issues without cheaping out with loud brass and percussion. You're forced to come up with an actual good solution.)

    • In my country the sky is wet. So is everything else by the way.

  • Orgasm?

    Isn't that obsessive playing of the organ?


    • LOL

  • None of the woman composers replied, just as I suspected. Sigh... we are so calm and modest. Women should have a male ego, that would make a lot of difference.

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