Susan McClary, a musicologist, explores the relationship between human experience and music.
Examining the standard Western classical repertoire and contemporary classical genres of all kinds, McClary relates the creation of musical works to their social contexts and analyzes the semantic messages conveyed by the music. In her controversial book, Feminine Endings: Music, Gender, and Sexuality (1991), McClary investigated the cultural constructions of gender, sexuality, and the body in various musical repertories and established herself as an original, important thinker in the fields of musicology and music history. She also co-edited Music and Society: The Politics of Composition, Performance, and Reception (1987), and is the author of Georges Bizet: Carmen (1992), Conventional Wisdom: The Content of Musical Form (2001), and Modal Subjectivities: Self-Fashioning in the Italian Madrigal (2004), among other works.
McClary is a professor of musicology at the University of California, Los Angeles. She taught previously at the University of Minnesota (1977-91) and McGill University (1991-94).
McClary received a B.Mus. (1968) from Southern Illinois University, and an A.M. (1971) and Ph.D. (1976) from Harvard University.