Today is International Women’s Day, and it seemed appropriate to bring you music from one of the earliest known female composers whose music has survived, Kassiani, or Cassia of Constantinople. She was born around 810 CE and died before 865 CE.
Kassiani founded a convent and became its abbess. There she wrote music and poetry. Her music is still sung in the Orthodox Church.
About fifty of her hymns have come down to us and 789 verses that are not liturgical, mainly epigrams.
Here is an arrangement of the Hymn of Kassiani, sung in English. It is hauntingly beautiful. You can find the score here.
Would you like to read more about female composers throughout history? Here are some earlier posts you may enjoy:
Christine de Pizan in The Music of Agincourt
Image attribution: Music note with feminist symbol (ankh), C. Gallant.