Celebrating LGBTQ+ Composers on the British Music Collection

In partnership with the LGBTQ+ Music Study Group, we're launching a programme of interventions and activities to mark LGBT+ History Month, 

Today the British Music Collection, in partnership with the LGBTQ+ Music Study Group is launching a programme of interventions and activities to mark LGBT+ History Month, a month-long celebration of lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, nonbinary and queer lives, culture, history and activism. 

Our aim is to increase the number of LGBTQ+ identifying composers and music-creators represented and celebrated within the collection, and to make this online space a safe, more diverse and relevant place to discover new music.

This activity is an important first step for Sound and Music and follows a number of successful campaigns to highlight the historical and ongoing issues, challenges and inequalities that composers and music-creators face in the new music sector and beyond. Through campaigning and advocacy, we have begun to see some progress on issues that surround equality, diversity and inclusion, a conversation which has become far more prominent in music and wider culture in recent years - and although this had led to some positive changes, there is still much to do! As a key national resource and platform for British music history, addressing the underrepresentation of LGBTQ+ voices across the British Music Collection is a priority for Sound and Music. 

This year’s campaign, co-curated with the LGBTQ+ Music Study Group, will both highlight the significant impact that LGBTQ+ figures have had in shaping music history and amplify and celebrate living LGBTQ+ composers, music-creators and sound artists working currently across a range of backgrounds, styles and genres.  

We hope you will join us in this essential celebration. 

You can find out more below about how you can get involved:

LGBTQ+ History Month takes place between: 1 – 28 February 2021  

Have a question? Please do contact us at: thecollection@soundandmusic.org 


 Paid opportunity for LGBTQ+ Composers  

One of the ways we hope to amplify and celebrate living LGBTQ+ composers, music-creators and sound artists is through a paid, open opportunity for LGBTQ+ composers to create new works as part of a new series celebrating LGBTQ+ histories, sounds and stories. 

The brief for this project will be intentionally open and isn’t tied to any specific themes, as we want to support LGBTQ+ composers to make the works they wish and feel need to be heard by audiences on the British Music Collection.  

Find out more here

Later in the year, we will also be inviting pitches for editorial content that respond to the works created through this opportunity and which may also speak more broadly to both emerging and historical issues on sexuality, gender and queerness in new music.  

Watch this space and sign up here for updates 

Online edit-a-thon  

Got a laptop? Free on 22nd February, from 5-7pm? Interested in LGBTQ+ composers? Fancy rewriting music history? 

Join Sound and Music and the LGBTQ+ Music Study Group for an online edit-a-thon where we will edit and add content about LGBTQ+ composers to the British Music Collection’s online platform.  

Driven by self-directed research in a friendly, small group environment, this edit-a-thon is aimed at students, academics and researchers – but is open to anyone who would like to get involved. 

Find out more here

Creating your composer profiles  

We are also pleased to announce some longer-term structural changes to the British Music Collection platform.  

As an exciting and diverse online space for UK-based composers to create profiles that represent themselves and their works, composers will now be able to self-identify as LGBTQ+.  

With the collection used extensively by programmers and researchers, as well as new music fans alike, our aim is that the British Music Collection becomes a useful resource for anyone looking to discover LGBTQ+ composers and their works, whether that be for a concert programme, research, or just for pleasure!  

This new function will be entirely optional, and our hope is that this will be the first in a number of developments that will improve the space for all users, whilst challenging the limitations of the collection’s inherited and existing structure.   

We want the British Music Collection to be a safe and inclusive digital space which is open to all, and allows for greater representation, celebration and recognition of LGBTQ+ composers in the UK.  

The LGBTQ+ Music Study Group said: “We are thrilled to work with the British Music Collection to highlight the work of LGBTQ+ composers & musicians, as well as make explicit the connections between musicology in academia and music as a living, breathing force outside the academy. We hope you'll join us in this celebration of both past and present-day LGBTQ+ music!” 

About the LGBTQ+ Music Study Group  

The LGBTQ+ Music Study Group is an active researcher network. Aspiring toward a queer politics informed by feminist and decolonizing efforts, the Study Group provides a space for cultivating and developing cutting edge academic, political and social work.  

We seek to advance academic and public understanding of music in relation to gender, sexuality, queer theory and feminism, and nurture queer scholarship in music studies addressing a broad range of concerns in dialogue with feminist, postcolonial and critical race studies.  

You can get in touch with the LGBTQ+ Music Study Group via their social channels: 

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