TITLE: PLAYING BY EAR
GENRE: Women's Fiction
“Why have there been no great women composers? Perhaps a mysterious element in the nature of musical creativity runs counter to the nature of the feminine mind.”
—Aaron Copland, 20th-century American composer
If I could have dinner with any deceased person, the great Mr. Aaron Copland would be on the top of my list. After twenty minutes with me, I’d either convince him to retract the above statement or I’d give up music, move to the Amazon, and dye my hair jungle green so I could fit in with the trees and never be heard of again.
That threat alone should show him I can be just as “musically creative” (i.e. crazy) as the boys…I hope, anyway. I would not be happy if I really had to dye my hair green.
I’m no diehard feminist, but Copland’s statement rankles me because I, Katherine Ella Gracie, am a twenty-four-year-old female opera composer.
Sounds like a mouthful of an occupation, but while female and composer don’t go together (as Copland conveniently explained), female and opera composer repel each other like two mismatched magnets. The fact’s been somewhat of a pimple in my existence. Add that to being so young, and I’ve got the type of zit that would keep me from going downstairs to pick up my mail.