An online forum devoted to art songs by underrepresented composers whose music has been marginalized.

Our Composers


Josephine Lang

Josephine Lang was a prolific composer of songs. She was born into a deeply musical family—her father was a violinist and her mother (who first taught her piano) was an opera singer—and she showed a talent for composition at a very young age. Felix Mendelssohn gave her lessons in harmony


Rebecca Clarke

Rebecca Clarke was one of most distinguished and gifted British composers in the first half of the 20th century. Born to an American father and a German mother, she learned the violin at a young age, later switching to viola at the suggestion of the composer Charles Villiers Stanford, with

United States

Mary Turner Salter

Born in Peoria, Illinois, Mary Turner Salter went to high school just across the Mississippi River in Burlington, Iowa, before moving east to study music at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston. She was a gifted mezzo-soprano and pianist, and she sang professionally in Boston and New York

United States

Connie Converse

Connie Converse was one of the first singer-songwriters, but she toiled in obscurity, and her music didn’t become widely known until the first decade of this century. She recorded a small number of songs in the 1950s (in her small Greenwich village studio and in the home of an animator


Elise Schmezer

Elise Schmezer was a singer, pianist, and composer who published about forty songs between 1848 and 1856. Little is known about her life. She was born around 1810—where she was born, however, isn’t clear—and she grew up in Graz, Austria. Her father taught trumpet, French horn, and trombone at a

United States

Undine Smith Moore

Undine Smith Moore was a composer and educator who left a lasting impact on twentieth-century music. For over forty years she taught music theory, piano, and organ at Virginia State College (later Virginia State University), mentoring many students who went on to become celebrated musicians and composers, including jazz pianist


Video Recordings

The music by these composers has not been recorded very often, in some cases not at all. This is why one of the purposes of the ASA is to offer quality video recordings of this overlooked repertoire.

Did You Know?

Look out for the question mark icons on this website to find out the little-known but fascinating facts about our composers.

Fanny Hensel’s op. 1 (a collection of six songs) was published in the summer of 1846, less than a year before she died of a stroke at the age of 41.


Marie Vespermann appeared in public concerts as young as age nine and began composing songs at age twelve.


Marie Franz composed a stirring setting of Goethe’s poem “Meine Ruh ist hin,” which is even more turbulent than Franz Schubert’s immortal 1814 setting of the same text — “Gretchen am Spinnrade.”


Mary Wurm was a gifted piano teacher. In 1914, she published a collection of music designed for the teaching of preschool-age children, The ABCs of Music (Das ABC der Musik).

ASA Creator

Stephen Rodgers is the Edmund A. Cykler Chair in Music and Professor of Music Theory and Musicianship at the University of Oregon, where he has been teaching since 2005. Rodgers’s research focuses on the relationship between music and poetry in art songs from the nineteenth century to the present day, especially art songs by underrepresented composers.

Verse & Music

Join Stephen as he explores how composers transform words into songs in his podcast Resounding Verse.