Ask Clara … a digital platform to introduce hundreds of forgotten musical compositions across generations


From Francesca Caccini in the seventeenth century to young literature today … A digital platform that counts the artworks of more than 700 composers to introduce female artists has always been denied the appreciation they deserve in the interest of their male counterparts.
The platform was called “Ask Clara”, referring to Clara Schuman, the creative pianist, composer and wife of the famous author Robert Schuman.

This database was launched in June at the initiative of a team led by Claire Baudin, director of the “Prezense Feminin” (Female Touches) festival devoted to musical literature from the past and the present.

And she says, “We have been taught since childhood the idea that musical genius is the creation of great male authors always, without ever questioning the outcome of the literature.”

This digital platform is funded by the Association of Authors, Composers and Music Producers (Sassim), and it has counted at least 4,662 works from the signature of 770 authors from 60 nationalities, from 1618 to 2020.

The site plans to include 4,000 additional works in the fall, among them pieces by Heidegaard von Bingen (1098-1179) who is a saint in the Catholic Church and one of the first known works.Searches are performed on the platform by entering the name of the author, the title of the desired work, the instrument, the country or the era.

The platform also includes a large number of literature from English-speaking countries, “and it is much more advanced in this area,” according to Bodan.

And this digital platform could be accomplished thanks to the hard work that started in 2006, according to Bodan, who confirms that this was not done to “ride a prevailing wave” at present.

“It is not intended to rewrite history, but to enrich the” musical “library,” Budan said. “These works should not be illuminated simply because they are signed by women and to satisfy our conscience, but because they have real artistic value.”


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