Dr. Diane Touliatos

Event Date: 
Thursday, November 8, 2007 - 14:30

"The Earliest Women in Music" Although women’s involvement in music and the arts was not generally acknowledged until the early 1980s, women have always been involved in music and arts from the earliest of times. This lecture, based on Prof. Touliatos’ original research, will focus on the earliest known women composers in history that happen to originate during the epochs of Ancient Greece and Medieval Byzantium. Some of these women were known and celebrated during their time but later forgotten. A historical, visual, and musical legacy was presented of these women (over twenty in number) and their important, innovative contributions to music. Their historical legacy will show the evolution of these women composers with an emphasis being devoted to the presentation of the works (music examples provided) by Sappho from Antiquity and Kassia from the early ninth century A.C.E., the latter being the earliest woman composer for whom there is preserved music. Dr. Diane Touliatos is the Director of The Center for the Humanities and a Professor of Musicology at the University of Missouri -St. Louis. She is the author of A Descriptive Catalogue of the Music Collection of the National Library of Greece (Ashgate, 2007). The National Library of Greece (Ethnike Bibliothike tes Ellados) is one of the richest depositories of Byzantine musical manuscripts and is surpassed by its holdings in Greece only by the multitude of manuscripts found in the monasteries of Mount Athos. In spite of being such a rich archive, the National Library has never published a catalog of its musical manuscripts - not all of which are Byzantine or Greek, but also encompass Turkey, the Balkans, Italy, Cyprus, and parts of Western Europe. The purpose of this catalog is to recover or, in some instances, to present for the first time the repertory of the musical sources of the library.