Ask Clara: Meet the forgotten musicians


From Francesca Caccini in the seventeenth century to young literature today, a digital platform counts artworks of over 700 composers to introduce artists who have long been denied the appreciation they deserve in the interest of their male counterparts.The platform bears the name “Ask Clara”, referring to Clara Choman, a pianist, composer and wife of the famous author Robert Schuman.
This database was launched last June at the initiative of a team led by Claire Baudin, director of the “Priznes Feminin” festival, which is devoted to musical literature from the past and the present.
In a statement to Agence France-Presse, Bodan says that “from a young age, we do not hear any musical works signed by literature, or we get so few of these works that they are not stuck in the memory.” And she adds: “We were taught from 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 (SACIM), and it has counted at least 4,662 works from the signature of 770 authors from 60 nationalities, from 1618 to 2020. It also plans to include four thousand additional works in the fall, including pieces Heidegard von Bingen (1098-1179), a saint in the Catholic Church and one of the earliest known works.
Among the earliest published works on the site are: Francesca Caccini, Isabella Leonarda, Barbara Strotsi, and French Elisabeth Jacques de la Gare. The platform also includes a large number of literature from English-speaking countries, and it is “much more advanced in this field,” 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 for “riding a prevailing wave” at present.


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