Honoring Female Electronic Music Pioneers on International Women's Day

On International Women's Day, we honor the powerful female electronic music pioneers who are the foundation of our diverse sound communities. Below are thirteen of these icons and highlights of their cultural contributions.




Bebe Barron (1925-2008)
Composed the first electronic music score for a commercial film, Forbidden Planet in 1955.


Else Marie Pade (1924-2016)
WWII war prisoner, composed with oscillators in 1950s, used sound to recreate her time in Danish wartime resistance.



Daphne Oram (1925-2003)
Early tape manipulator, cofounded BBC Radiophonic Workshop, and created Oramics graphical sound synthesis technique.


Pauline Oliveros (1932-2016)
Early experimenter with tape music & synthesis, directed SF Tape Music Center, founded Deep Listening.


Delia Derbyshire (1937-2001)
Crafted synthesized sounds for films, art, and TV, including the iconic arrangement for the “Doctor Who” theme.


Alice Shields (1943-Present)
Technical instructor & associate director of the Columbia-Princeton Electronic Music Center from 1965-1982.

Eliane Radigue (1932-Present)
Master of Arp 2500, complex tape editing techniques, minimalism, and “infinitely discreet” music.

Micheline Coulombe Saint-Marcoux (1938-1985)
Canadian electroacoustic pioneer, 1st woman awarded the Prix d’Europe in composition (1967).

Ruth White (1925-Present)
Early electroacoustic experimentalist, owner of Moog #38, released standout synth album Flowers of Evil in 1969.

Wendy Carlos (1939-Present)
Early collaborator of Dr. Moog's, award winning film scorer, released ground-breaking album Switched-On Bach.

Suzanne Ciani (1946-Present)
First woman to work in the Buchla factory, master of Buchla modular, first solo female composer of a major Hollywood film.

Laurie Spiegel (1945-Present)
Developed algorithmic music composition software. One of her recordings was placed aboard the Voyager spacecraft.

Explore the sounds of these foundational composers with this playlist & honor their spirit by charting a new musical course of your own.

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