Talk:Rebecca Clarke (composer)

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Featured article Rebecca Clarke (composer) is a featured article; it (or a previous version of it) has been identified as one of the best articles produced by the Wikipedia community. Even so, if you can update or improve it, please do so.
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Score at University library[edit]

Since my university library (the University of Oklahoma) has a score for Morpheus, I can only assume it's been published. A search of the library's database shows the publisher as Oxford University Press, 2002. I have edited the article accordingly. This is a great piece by the way, for those who haven't heard it. -- Bobhobbit 05:50, 30 Apr 2005 (UTC)


This article demonstrates a quiet, steady POV. It seems to presume that it knows what was going on inside Clarke's head without quoting her for reference, suggests that she was only interesting when she was composing music, and ignores her family life (which was clearly important to her) to such an extent that one cannot discover when her husband died (answer: 1967).

A strong claim such as "Clarke's views on the social role of women were incompatible with any ambition to compose music in the larger forms" needs references, not to mention clarification. +sj + 06:09, 10 May 2005 (UTC)

Where is the evidence that her view of sex roles stopped her composing? There are hundreds of possible reasons? Without references, the assigning of this as the reason without reference seems to be polemical. Avalon 21:46, 27 August 2005 (UTC)

There are several papers on the Rebecca Clarke Society page that substantiate this, if you look at the refs; I guess I didn't footnote that particular statement, but I'll try to dig it up. Mindspillage (spill yours?) 22:05, 27 August 2005 (UTC)

Works in print[edit]

As many works have gone out of print and are now coming back in, it makes sense to list their [re]performance dates too. Also, claims such as "the Society has pushed forward recording and scholarship of her work, including several world premiere performances and recordings of unpublished material as well as numerous journal publications" need to be heavily referenced. +sj + 06:09, 10 May 2005 (UTC)


I was annoyed that this had become featured without reaching consensus, or responding to objections such as those noted above, and was about to list it on WP:FARC, but I respect mindspillage a great deal, and spent half an hour browsing other Clarke resources online. There's some *great* material out there! No reason that this article shouldn't be brilliant and detailed. A complete discography, more information about her family and Foundation, etc. are all available... +sj +

Addressed partially on the FAC page—I wouldn't have featured it yet myself without consensus, but it wasn't my call—and still chipping away at the objections. Mindspillage (spill yours?) 19:03, 11 May 2005 (UTC)
I was annoyed, but it looks great now. Thanks for all your hard work. I separated her life into early and later life, to clarify the break between her bouts of musical productivity and her married life. It might also be helpful to describe more of her touring and performance work in the 'life' section, since it isn't until one gets down to the Music section that one discovers her prolific output during her performing years. Also changed a bunch of wording; if you were partial to the previous flow of the article, check the latest diff. +sj + 18:48, 27 May 2005 (UTC)


It was a little embarrassing to see a featured article where the subject was referred to about half the time as "Clark" and the other half as "Clarke". I'm going to go fix this, but it seems to me that those who nominate/select/etc. FA's ought to maybe take a quick run-through of proofreading before it goes up. MCB 06:05, 27 August 2005 (UTC)

It was properly proofread when it was featured, and, indeed, until a few hours ago; someone introduced these as a test edit or vandalism, and whoever reverted didn't go back far enough. The drawbacks of attracting attention on the front page. :-/ Mindspillage (spill yours?) 06:15, 27 August 2005 (UTC)
Aha. My usual rule is "never ascribe to vandalism what can adequately explained by negligence", but I guess in this case it's the opposite! Thanks. MCB 06:19, 27 August 2005 (UTC)

Viola Sonata as part of repertoire[edit]

The article mentions that "The Sonata remains a part of standard repertoire for the viola to this day", but I'm not so sure it has been, as the word "remains" implies, ever since its composition, part of the viola repertoire. From what I can gather, only recently has it been performed more often as a standard viola piece. Is that right? (talk) 10:26, 16 July 2009 (UTC)

Piano Trio[edit]

Is the Piano Trio for violin, viola and piano, which is mentioned in the list of compositions, the piece called Dumka? Or is it the Piano Trio mentioned under "Early Life"? It seems so, but over the course of the article, the name "Piano Trio" gives the impression of a violin-cello-piano trio, rather than a trio with a viola, and the videos in YouTube claiming to be Clarke's Piano Trio include the cello rather than the viola. What is the original setting then? It seems confusing to me. (talk) 10:21, 16 July 2009 (UTC)

RCS formation?[edit]

The latest RCS newsletter states that the society was founded in 1999 rather than Sept. 2000 (before the Brandeis event) -- Mindspillage, do you have details or further info on this? Otherwise I can call Liane and ask. (I bought her Renaissance facsimiles last year...) Thanks! -- Myke Cuthbert (talk) 22:40, 19 July 2009 (UTC)

editing the title Rebecca Helferich Clarke[edit]

How one could get "Helferich" out of the title? The title doesn't come up in the edit frame. Clarke signed a few early pieces of music "Rebecca Helferich Clarke" but she also signed a few "Rebecca Thacher Clarke" -- Helferich was not a name she really used and it's quite misleading to have it there so prominently. It is not used this way in any other published source. Thank you, Liane Curtis Clarkesociety (talk) 00:50, 14 September 2009 (UTC)

You can't edit the title, but you can move it to a new title. Changing it to Rebecca Clarke (composer) as you suggested on my talk page sounds reasonable. Can you explain the origins of 'Helferich' and 'Thacher'? SJ+ 22:28, 5 February 2011 (UTC)
I have trouble imagining what would make this move controversial, so on the basis of Liane Curtis's comments I think I am going to be bold and do it. Anyone who objects can yell at me later (and bring the smelling salts, because I will pass out from shock).Kat Walsh (spill your mind?) 04:18, 16 February 2011 (UTC)

Referencing improvement needed[edit]

This article could use some referencing improvements. There are places that would be helped by having additions of cites, to satisfy verifiability for the reader. If not objected to by significant contributors to the article, I would be willing to identify some of these deficient locations in the article with {{fact}} tags. However, it might be best to address in the form of WP:FAR, and give the article a more thorough overall review. -- Cirt (talk) 18:50, 17 October 2010 (UTC)

Indeed re Rebecca Helferich Clarke?[edit]

In regards the above, re Helferich and Thacher: have been cc'd correspondence from (claiming to be from, I should say, but I have no reason to doubt) a descendent (niece) of the composer correcting her name (and genealogy) and giving the composer's name as Rebecca Thacher Clarke (after her paternal grandmother who was a Thacher before she married a Clarke; her mother was Agnes Helferich before marrying Joseph Clarke. She was not however middle-named after her mother.) Schissel | Sound the Note! 20:09, 20 June 2012 (UTC)

One of the most important British interwar composers?[edit]

I was puzzled by the claim that a composer who wrote little and published less, in an era that boasted Vaughan Williams, Bliss, Bax, Walton, Howells and Ireland (can we include Boughton, Bowen, Moeran, Alwyn etc?), was "described by Curtis as one of the most important British composers in the period between World War I and World War II". I checked the reference, and she wasn't. Curtis said that "she has been identified as among the most important British composers of the interwar years." Identified by whom? The reference to Curtis is not a reference to either a verifiable fact or an authoritative opinion, including an opinion offered by Curtis as her own (that it is Curtis's view is implied but not stated). The reference is to a piece of hearsay that is itself unreferenced, and the the reference here is misleadingly misrepresented as a reference to something more definite.

If the assertion of Clarke's importance is to stand, at least some piece of evidence, even if it is only an attribution of an opinion, is needed. Wyresider (talk) 22:33, 7 October 2015 (UTC)

I agree that that claim sounds a little overblown and needs to be attributed better. MacDonald, in a very sympathetic article, called her

...another significant British figure from the inter-war years who wrote with impressive technical command, individual expression, and a refreshingly international outlook.

which is a much weaker claim. I'll look a little more when I have time; if nothing better is forthcoming, the claim should be toned down. FourViolas (talk) 22:57, 7 October 2015 (UTC)

The claim seems more plausible if restricted to women, so I plan to do that. Marlindale (talk) 00:36, 7 May 2016 (UTC)


I'm puzzled that this topic is mentioned. (About Ethel Smyth it's even in the Lead.) Can someone explain why it's notable? Marlindale (talk) 00:48, 7 May 2016 (UTC)

Its inclusion in the lead of the Smyth article I would suggest bringing up at that talk page. But as for mentioning the topic at all, why not? Nikkimaria (talk) 04:05, 7 May 2016 (UTC)
Thank you, I already had brought it up on the Ethel Smyth Talk page. I'm sorry, but how is "why not" an answer? Why not include any detail about a person or topic? The WP article Cremation indicates that since 1908 it was required for remains to be interred in Westminster Abbey, and so, I suppose, not unusual elsewhere. Marlindale (talk) 17:09, 7 May 2016 (UTC)
The disposition of the body (whether by burial or cremation) is mentioned in hundreds of biographical articles on Wikipedia, so if you think that shouldn't happen, I'd suggest raising the issue in a broader forum like the Village Pump. Nikkimaria (talk) 17:18, 7 May 2016 (UTC)
Hundreds of bio articles? Not in any of the bios of composers or music performers that I recall until the two I mentioned. Well, if you say so. Maybe this is more likely to be mentioned for UK women than for men or non-UK women? Anyhow I won't edit this article on the topic. Marlindale (talk) 22:39, 7 May 2016 (UTC)
I don't have statistical breakdowns, but the disposition of the body is mentioned in the articles on Mozart, Bach, Beethoven, Handel, Holst, Elgar, Vaughan Williams, Britten, Nadia and Lili Boulanger, Alma and Gustav Mahler... Nikkimaria (talk) 02:01, 8 May 2016 (UTC)
I looked at a few of those articles. Giving the place such as a cemetery or church of interment doesn't determine whether there was cremation or not? Before a certain date, one would assume there was not? I wrote/edited parts of the Death section of the Bach article. His remains were moved once or twice after burial, and my impression was that he was not cremated. It wasn't an issue that would have occurred to me for him. Marlindale (talk) 03:08, 8 May 2016 (UTC)
I see that Holst and Vaughan Williams were cremated. That's good enough, I won't pursue the topic further, except maybe for Smyth having it in the Lead. Marlindale (talk) 03:34, 8 May 2016 (UTC)

"Subscription required" problems[edit]

A bot recently brought to light that the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, cited ten times, and Grove Music Online, cited six times, each require subscriptions. So they won't be accessible to the many readers who don't have subscriptions. At least some of the cites can be replaced by cites of the 1996 Liane Curtis article in the Musical Times which is already cited and quite accessible, and there are other possible accessible sources. I'll be working from time to time on finding accessible citations. Marlindale (talk) 23:04, 7 May 2016 (UTC)

Per WP:PAYWALL, accessibility of sources is not a reason for their removal. ODNB and Grove are high-quality reliable sources for musician/composer biographies. Sources requiring subscriptions aren't "problems". Nikkimaria (talk) 01:42, 8 May 2016 (UTC)
For the same information, it seems clear to me a reliable source without a paywall is preferable to one with a paywall. I don't propose to remove any paywall source, still less the information found from it, unless it can be so replaced. Or maybe I would just add the non-paywall source along with the paywall source. Marlindale (talk) 03:22, 8 May 2016 (UTC)

Hidden comments[edit]

The problem with hidden comments along the lines of "Don't add an infobox because a WikiProject doesn't like them" is that it has a chilling effect on editors who don't understand that Wikiprojects have no standing to demand that an infobox may not be added. The decision on having an infobox or not is a matter for consensus on each article, and that is policy. If there has already been a discussion on a particular article, and a consensus reached not to have an infobox, then it is helpful to have an html comment drawing the editor's attention to that (possibly archived) discussion, and I'd be very much in favour of maintaining such notes. That is, however, not the situation here, as I can find no previous discussion of an infobox on this article. It is not acceptable to have a note which effectively prevents any consensus from being discussed, as if the matter were already settled by fiat of a single editor or Wikiproject. We build this encyclopedia by allowing people to edit, not forbidding it for no good reason. --RexxS (talk) 19:30, 30 July 2016 (UTC)

First we were told that failure to have a hidden comment made it hard for editors to know not to add an infobox. Now you say that the hidden comment has a "chilling effect." The fact is that you just want to have a pile of code at the top of every article containing redundant infobox information, even in these arts biographies, usually riddled with errors and always emphasizing unimportant factoids at the expense key information. -- Ssilvers (talk) 19:51, 30 July 2016 (UTC)