National Library of Australia Staff Papers, 2001

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Resonating Voices: Australian Women Composers and Musicians in the Oral History Collection of the National Library of Australia

Jenny Gall


The oral history interviews with eminent women composers are valuable for a number of reasons. They reveal what or who inspired them to follow a musical career, who taught them and what they thought about the methods employed by their teacher; how they developed their compositional techniques, where they find inspiration to compose, what fires their imagination, how they proceed, where they compose and the tools they use, and of course, the gossip about their contemporaries. Their experiences are inspirational for both dedicated musicians and musicologists and for general researchers of all ages wishing to learn more about Australia’s cultural identity.

Interviews with Australian women composers held in the NLA are:Mirrie Hill, Margaret Sutherland, Peggy Glanville Hicks, Dulcie Holland, Miriam Hyde, Mary Mageau, Ros Bandt, Sarah de Jong, Cathie O’Sullivan , Eileen Joyce, Ruth Lee Martin, Helen Gifford, Moneta Eagles and Alec Brahe son of May Brahe, talking about his mother’s work.


I have selected a few excerpts from several of these interviews with open access conditions.

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