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Women in musicfree

  • Judith Tick,
  • Margaret Ericson
  •  and Ellen Koskoff

Historical surveys of women in music have traditionally focussed on accounts of exceptional women as performers and composers. They are associated with the sizable literature on music as a traditional component of women's socialization and education. As a contemporary category of enquiry, the study of women in music is directly related to women's history, itself one of several scholarly research areas associated with the systematic study of gender. In this context, gender is treated as a socially constructed concept based on perceived differences between the sexes and a primary way of signifying relationships of power.

This article focusses on the collective experience of women within Western and non-Western musical traditions. For details of the lives and works of women musicians, see the articles on individual women.

I. Historiography

  • Judith Tick

Western classical music is an art that has unfolded within the hierarchies of gender that mark our civilization as a whole. On the social structure of patriarchy rests the premise of the woman musician as a category in itself. The category has served as a way of both denigrating women, and valuing them and highlighting their accomplishments. The benefit of focussing on gender as the primary historical variable is to produce a history where little existed before. The danger is that women's achievements are compared primarily with those of other women and unduly segregated from mainstream narratives.

The category of women in music has provenance in both women's history and in Western music. W.C. Printz's Historische Beschreibung der edelen Sing- und Kling-Kunst (1690), the first major German history of music, uses two virtually synonymous terms for women – ‘Frauenmusicantinnen’ and ‘Weiber Musicantinnen’ – to index figures from antiquity and the Old Testament (e.g. Sappho, Corinna, Lamia, Miriam). These examples served as sources of legitimacy for women's creativity for centuries. Their names appear not only in music dictionaries, but also within the more general literature known in women's history as the ‘catalogue’ tradition – the many books, essays and treatises from antiquity to the present where authors have written collectively about notable (and notorious) women, to express generalized views of the female sex and its achievements. A reference to Sappho, for example, appears in Boccaccio's De claris mulieribus (c1359) and in Christine de Pisan's Le Livre de la Cité des Dames (1405). In a French translation of Boccaccio (Des cleres et nobles femmes, c1470), Sappho is depicted with a harp, psaltery and organ, providing a rare illustration of a historical female musician. Miriam is celebrated in Bathsua Makin's Essay to Revive the Antient Education of Gentlewomen in Religion, Manners, Arts, and Tongues (1673).

In the 1700s, names of contemporary female musicians slowly made their way into music lexicography and history. Here professional opera singers far outnumbered women in any other category. Their visibility stands in sharp contrast to the haphazard historical treatment of female composers, few of whom appear in 18th-century musical dictionaries. Important precedents were set by the singular entry for Elisabeth Jacquet de la Guerre in Titon du Tillet's Le Parnasse François (1732) and by the addition of five more women in Walther's Musicalisches Lexicon (1732). Burney listed hosts of singers and two composers (Francesca Caccini and Barbara Strozzi). Calling ‘Jacquette’ de la Guerre ‘a female musician’, Hawkins also indexed categories for ‘singers, female’ and ‘women singing’, to comment on prohibitions in church and public performance. At the end of the century, more composers – around a dozen or so – appear in Gerber's Historisch-biographisches Lexikon der Tonkünstler (1790–92).

Subsequent patterns of inclusion for female musicians varied greatly in the 19th century. The four-volume revised edition (1812–14) of Gerber's dictionary doubled the number of entries, and more than 50 female composers are included in Fétis's Biographie universelle des musiciens et bibliographie générale de la musique (1835–44, 2/1860–65). Fetis's singular attention to repertory coincides with the emergence of a sufficiently large number of female composers to form a distinct critical category. In Germany, the term ‘Damenmusik’ (‘women's music’) is found as early as August 1811 in the Allgemeine musikalische Zeitung: it was used pejoratively to indicate a dilettante. In this case the anonymous critic admitted he approached a piano sonata by a female composer with ‘a feeling of dread’, only to find himself pleasantly surprised by (yet another) exception to the rule of ‘Damenmusik’. Far more charitable assessments grace the first known article on female composers, where its author, Maurice Bourges (J1847), linked his topic to the lively disputes over ‘l'emancipation de la femme’.

Despite the increase in numbers of women composing music in the 19th century, mainstream recognition in dictionaries and histories on the whole slowed rather than accelerated. Grove included only 29 female composers in his first Dictionary of Music and Musicians (1879–89). Within music history, female composers vanished from narratives of stylistic periods represented by great men. Ambros, for example, mentioned only one female composer (Caccini) in his Geschichte der Musik (1862–8). In his widely known Illustrierte Musikgeschichte (1880–85), translated into several languages and known in England and the USA as History of Music (1882–6), Emil Naumann wrote that ‘all creative work in music is well-known as being the exclusive work of men’. Such discrepancies and pronouncements point up the historical contingencies that affect the process of recognition.

Between 1870 and 1910 cultural feminism produced for the first time a literature to challenge the limits of such music history. The topic of ‘women in music’ was explored in various formats, among them dictionaries (Michaelis, C1888, is the earliest), celebratory essays about ‘women's work in music’, and polemics, where authors rebutted theories of biological determinism with sociological critiques of the effect of class and gender on musical creativity. Two important articles were associated explicitly with feminism. In the USA, the Association for the Advancement of Women sponsored Fanny Ritter's Woman as a Musician (1876), a work indebted to Margaret Fuller's Woman in the Nineteenth Century (1845). In Germany, Jessel's monograph Warum giebt es so wenige Componistinnen! was published in 1898 by the Frankfurt branch of the Allgemeine Deutsche Frauenverein.

Musicological scholarship between 1900 and 1940 witnessed an important new emphasis on a collective approach to women's history. Two pioneering generations of female musicologists, among them Marie Bobillier (publishing as Michel Brenet), Yvonne Rokseth and Kathi Meyer, produced studies of women's musical institutions such as the convent and the female choir, marshalling evidence from literature and iconography to support the social vitality of women's roles. Influenced by Meyer's work, Sophie Drinker expanded her research (F1948) beyond a particular institution or era, thus pioneering the historiography of women and music as a topic in its own right. However, the implications of such work had little impact on mainstream musicology until the end of the century.

In the 1970s the revival of feminism produced an explosion of activity in revisionist history and a new discipline initially named ‘women's studies’. Here much of the new scholarship has been advanced by female historians, who after 1970 received professional training in musicology in greater numbers than ever before in the USA. By 1980 academic courses in ‘women in music’ began to be taught in American universities; their subsequent proliferation in the USA and European countries, in addition to general interest, created a demand for scores and sound recordings. In the 1970s some recording companies, such as Leonarda (founded by Marnie Hall, 1977), began to specialize in historical and contemporary work by women. Furore Verlag, founded in 1986, was the first publishing house to concentrate on printing music by, and books about, women composers. In the 1980s some exceptional recordings of this new repertory, pioneered by outstanding performer-advocate soloists and ensembles, moved into the mainstream: the success of the group Sequentia (founded by Benjamin Bagby and Barbara Thornton), known particularly for their recordings of music by Hildegard of Bingen, is a case in point.

By 1990 women's history in music had developed within three interlocking categories – repertory, social process and ideology. In respect of the essential enterprise of investigating a neglected repertory, much music by women composers is still unexcavated. The comprehensive New Grove Dictionary of Women Composers (1994) contains over 900 entries. A second research trajectory has concentrated on social process, that is to say, the impact of gender on the diverse ways music is transmitted through a culture. This research focusses on restoring historical ‘agency’ to women and investigating the degree of their access to sophisticated modes of cultural production, notably within separatist institutions. One example is the current boom in research on convents. Other scholars have synthesized interdisciplinary evidence from diverse fields, such as archaeology, iconography and literary sources, to reconstruct unwritten traditions and performing practices where women played important roles. By implication such methods temper the exclusivity of notation-based style analysis and theory. Even now, however, the history of music as an accomplishment for the privileged (i.e. the highly educated, middle- or upper-class) woman has yet to be comprehensively described. Here one confronts ideology at every turn, that is, the prescriptive literature of musical socialization, education, aesthetics and theory. All these are influenced by the duality of gender and its social construction of ‘masculine’ and ‘feminine’. In this area Rieger (F1981), Citron and Solie (both F1993) have made pioneering contributions. Ideology links women's history with the history of sexual difference, research areas that overlap but are not identical. Here McClary (F1990) has led the way.

The process of integrating women's history into mainstream narrative texts, and into the methodology of historiography itself, remains a profoundly important challenge. Nevertheless, the study of gender in music from various perspectives and through diverse approaches is now more widely countenanced.

II. Western classical traditions in Europe and the USA

  • Judith Tick, assisted by Margaret Ericson

1. Antiquity to 500 ce.

Music played an integral role in the cultures of ancient Greece and Rome. It was performed at various public cultural events, such as religious rites, life-cycle rituals, plays, festivals and competitions. In private life, it provided diversion at home; in larger social settings, professional musicians entertained at banquets and symposia. Because music formed an important part of education in ancient Greece, a painting of a school scene was as likely to feature a lyre as it was a scroll. Our understanding of the extent and nature of women's participation in all these areas rests primarily on iconography, supplemented by archaeological evidence and anthropological interpretations.

Women's choruses played a highly visible role in festivals and rituals. One body of evidence comes from the imagery on 5th- and 6th-century bce Athenian vase paintings. Of some 100 surviving vase paintings depicting choruses, nearly 80 show choruses of girls or women. Even in Athens, where women led the most restrictive lives of any in the Greek city-states, they were nevertheless involved in nearly half of the city's 30 annual festivals. Such rituals, where choral dance and music merge, could involve specific poetic forms, among them epithalamia (choral wedding songs) and parthenia (virgins' songs).

Women's choruses also participated in musical festivals and competitions. From Sparta, the only city-state that granted women citizenship, comes an account of one such performance. Barker (G1990) described a 7th-century female chorus, who performed a partheneion by the poet-composer Alcman as part of a Delian festival, where the singers refer unambiguously (although the matter is much discussed) to a rival choir with whom they compete.

Athenian vase paintings also depict women in scenes that regularly include musical instruments – in interiors, where the aulos, kithara and lyre are common elements of the iconography of respectable womanhood, and at banquets and symposia, where the aulos and harp are played by hetairai (courtesans), who were often slaves. These social contexts for music-making by women provoked much comment from the Greek philosophers. Both Plato (in Protagoras) and Aristotle (in the Politics) differentiated respectable domestic female musicians from entertainer-musicians.

The relationship between a woman's public performance and outcast sexual status was to persist for many centuries – a taboo that belied a more complex reality. Some evidence from Hellenistic Greece suggests the possibility that professional women musicians could make an honourable career of performing in theatres and at festivals. In 86 bce one Polygnota, daughter of Socrates of Thebes, was paid 500 drachmas for her kithara-playing and singing at Delphi; and a 2nd–3rd century ce gravestone carries the inscription ‘Eutychousa and Nais, unfortunate; sisters, both musical, both eloquent, both trained to play the harp and the lyre, here the earth covers them gently, O stranger’ (Lefkowitz and Fant, G1982).

From Greek antiquity comes the legendary figure of the poet-singer Sappho of Lesbos, whose remarkable innovation of personal monody made her one of the most famous poets in Western culture. ‘Come, divine lyre, speak to me and find yourself a voice’, Sappho wrote, and a famous vase painting from around 460 bce depicts her holding a barbitos. After Sappho, female poet-musicians appear in the Greek world in every century.

From classical Greece also comes a legacy of beliefs linking musical aesthetics with sexual difference. Plato's comments on ethos and musical style included warnings to men that music could induce effeminacy and equally stern admonishments to women about sexual licentiousness. Hence his recommendation (in the Republic) for antidotes of noble and manly music for men and modest submissive songs for women. Men should also avoid excessive expressions of grief, such as ‘weak and feminine’ musical lamenting (Sultan, G1993).

Old Testament references describe women singing, playing instruments and dancing. Miriam's Victory Song at the Red Sea (which extols the defeat of the Egyptians) is the most influential portion of scripture: ‘Miriam the prophetess, Aaron's sister, took a timbrel in her hand, and all the women went out after her in dance with timbrels. And Miriam chanted for them, “Sing to the Lord, for He has triumphed gloriously; the horse and his rider He has thrown into the sea”’ (Exodus xv. 20–21). Of Miriam, so prominent in Handel's oratorio Israel in Egypt, Fanny Ritter wrote (F1876): ‘Who can say that her song of triumph was not her own composition?’.

Miriam's Victory Song has been at the centre of the recent explosion of Bible research by the first modern generation of female scholars and theologians. Among the Dead Sea Scrolls are fragments that give evidence of a longer song of Miriam. Was Miriam's Victory Song a distinctive women's genre, a drum-dance-song ensemble in which only women were the instrumentalists? Meyers (1993) took this position, supporting it with archaeological evidence of Syro-Palestinian terracotta figurines, typically found at excavation sites from the Second Iron Age (which corresponds roughly to the period of the First Temple and the Monarchic Period, 1000–540 bce). Many female figures hold hand drums, others lyres or double flutes. To Meyers such evidence suggests women's musical participation during a period when biblical references to female musicians diminished.

The participation of women in formal Jewish liturgy was another matter altogether. In the early Rabbinic period (c300–600 ce) Jewish scholars promulgated various prohibitions against kol isha (Hebrew: ‘voice of woman’). A phrase in 1 Samuel – ‘Listening to a woman's voice is sexual enticement’ – supported the separation of sexes during worship and prohibitions against female leadership in liturgy. Because female responses to psalms chanted by male voices were permitted, one finds occasional references to schismatic Jewish cults where both men and women had separate choirs, each led by male and female preceptors. The Jewish Hellenistic philosopher Philo described a service of the therapeutae where hymn- and psalm-chanting occurred between two such antiphonal choirs. Many centuries later, in the German town of Worms, a group of women had their own synagogue, adjoining that of the men. A 13th-century tombstone commemorates ‘the eminent and excellent lady Uranya bat harav Avraham who was the master of the synagogue singers. She also officiated and sang hymns with sweet melodies before the female worshippers. In devout service may her memory be preserved’ (Taitz, H1986).

In the early centuries of Christianity, the Church Fathers intensified the polemics surrounding the moral censure of professional female musicians and the prohibitions from Jewish exegesis on kol isha. Patristic authorities elaborated St Paul's famous dictum ‘mulieres in ecclesies taceant’: ‘Let your women keep silent in the churches, for they are not permitted to speak, but they are to be submissive, as the law also says’ (1 Corinthians xiv.34). Cyril of Jerusalem (c315–86) advised nuns to pray ‘so that their lips move, but the ears of others do not hear. … And the married woman should do likewise’. The fear that secular music harboured sexuality and subversion within it looms large in this passage from the Church Father Pseudo-Basil:

You place a lyre ornamented with gold and ivory upon a high pedestal as if were a … devilish idol, and some miserable woman, rather than being taught to place her hands upon the spindle, is taught by you … to stretch them out upon the lyre. Perhaps you pay her wages or perhaps you turn her over to some female pimp, who, after exhausting the licentious potential of her own body, presides over young women as the teacher of similar deeds.

In practice, the early centuries of Christianity heard vox feminae more than these writings suggest. The testimony of the Spanish pilgrim Egeria of around 400 ce authenticates the ‘continuous psalmody’ practised by the ‘monazontes’ (monks) and the ‘parthenae’ (nuns) in antiphonal style at a Jerusalem church. But the writings of the Church Fathers were to remain authoritative sources for social and intellectual control in subsequent centuries. A thousand years later, in De institutione feminae christianae (1523), a book whose popularity nearly matched that of Castiglione's Il libro del cortegiano, Juan Louis Vives lamented the ‘intolerable degree of insolence’ of women who ‘did not read or hear tell of those splendid exhortations of the Fathers of the Church concerning chastity, solitude, silence and feminine adornment and attire’.

2. 500–1500.

The monastic movement, which was formalized in the 6th century, played a crucial role in women's music history during the Middle Ages. The Rule of St Benedict (c530 ce) established convents as well as monasteries, while around 512–34 Caesarius, Bishop of Arles, wrote the first rule especially for a women's community. Administrative structures were similar, so that abbeys had an abbot or abbess, a prior or prioress, and a cantor or cantrix. Despite the fact that most positions within the church hierarchy would have remained closed to women, that monasteries would have been more powerful, numerous and wealthy than convents, that equivalent educations were not provided and Latin not routinely taught, convents nevertheless functioned like monasteries in the propagation and preservation of medieval music.

Some exceptional convents were famous centres of learning. Two organa survive from the celebrated illuminated religious encyclopedia Hortus deliciarum (c1167–85) by Herrad of Landsberg which is no longer extant. A major 14th-century manuscript of polyphony comes from the Spanish convent of Las Huelgas. The 15th-century Utrecht Liederbuch comes from a Franciscan nunnery. Yardley (1986) listed 14 additional manuscripts from convents containing music from the 12th century to the 15th.

Convents offered some women access to musical literacy. The first surviving music by a female composer is a set of troparia by Kassia (b 810), a renowned Byzantine composer of chant. The most stunning achievement of the era belongs to the abbess Hildegard of Bingen, a leading figure in 12th-century culture and one of several prominent female mystics in the 12th and 13th centuries. Music history has long acknowledged her existence, but only recently her stature: Hildegard created the largest single body of attributed monophonic chant of the Middle Ages. She also wrote the first allegorical morality play (Ordo virtutum), the only medieval music drama in which both the music and the text are attributed. Like Sappho and Miriam, Hildegard entered the world of illustrious paradigms. In 1523 Vives wrote that ‘the letters and learned books of the German maiden, Hildegard, are in everyone's hands’ (De institutione feminae christianae), yet only in the last two decades of the 20th century did her musical genius win recognition beyond the scholar's circle.

How much new music was created more routinely by other religious women is the subject of research often focussing on the special ceremonies unique to convent life (such as the consecration service of Virgin Brides to Christ). Manuscript corroboration can be found in many countries. Over half the antiphon repertory in the music of St Birgitta of Sweden (1303–73) is unknown outside its main source, the Cantus sororum. The Dutch nun Suster Bertken (1426/7–1514) published eight sacred songs, the melody of one of which survives through its concordance in the Utrecht Liederbuch. In England, chants unique to specific monasteries survive in a 15th-century hymnal from Barking Abbey and from a Benedictine nunnery at Chester (including the still familiar carol Qui creavit celum).

Convent life and culture varied greatly by era, region, order and class. Some convents served the daughters of the rich, forced to take vows by their families (indeed, the theme of the forced nun appears in contemporary popular songs); others were shelters for the random poor. The discipline and control exercised by local ecclesiastical authorities varied as well. As early as 789 ce Charlemagne issued an order that ‘no abbess should let those under her … dare to write love songs [winileodas]’. This points not only to now buried repertories but to social behaviour more diverse and less predictable than church doctrines suggest. By the 12th century the ubiquitousness of the religious woman as music teacher modified the iconography of La Donna Musica – Lady Music – which moved from allegory into contemporary allusion. The mid-13th-century Florentine manuscript known as ‘F’ contains an illumination of the three Boethian categories of music: one of the figures is dressed in the garb of a convent music teacher. Awareness of all these factors has changed the climate of scholarship around medieval music to some extent, so that no longer is Gregorian chant defined as ‘single-line melody sung by men’, as it was in 1980 in Grout's influential History of Western Music.

More questions than answers still surround the practice of polyphony in convents. Ecclesiastical decrees suppressing polyphony imply conventions of musical performance already in place. In 1261 the Archbishop of Rouen forbade the convent at Montivilliers to continue to perform conductus and motets. Yet this convent enjoyed enough of a reputation for knights in the Roman de l'Escouffe to attend a Mass sung by the Montivilliers ‘nonnains’. The Las Huelgas Manuscript contains a two-part solfège exercise annotated with directions for convent use. Still awaiting more historical investigation is a late 14th-century manuscript ‘Notitia de valore delle note del canto misurato’ from a Florentine convent, which teaches ‘musica mensuralis’, including the reading and composing of motet tenors.

With respect to secular music, four important currents flow through the period 1000–1500: (1) the continuation of employment as musician-entertainers; (2) the representation of women's experience in sophisticated genres, producing ‘women's song’ in every medieval Romance-language repertory; (3) the emergence of the ‘trobairitz’ and female trouvère; and (4) the pervasive musical activity of amateur female musicians, both in urban social life and in court culture.

Working-class women made livings as professional musicians – both as freelance, sometimes itinerant, minstrels (known as joglaresse in Provençal, or jougleresse in Northern French) and as court entertainers. In the French romans, heroines have adventures in which they darken their skin to disguise themselves as Moorish jougleresses (Aucassin et Nicolette) or menestrelles (Galeran de Bretagne and Guillaume de Dole). Illuminations in the late 13th-century Cantigas de Santa Maria include a depiction of a female servant-lute player entertaining two ladies. In other 13th-century French manuscripts illuminations realistically portray women musicians playing the vielle, harp, rebec and gittern.

Most guilds, according to Etienne Boileau's Livre des metiers (1270), accepted women. In 1321 eight women were among the 37 who signed the statutes of the professional guild of menestriers (minstrels), whose articles of incorporation mention ‘menestreus et menestrelles’ and ‘jougleurs et jougleresses’. In England, the Musicians' Company of London (founded 1472) included women as well as men. Sometimes an obscure source provides a confirming detail. For example, the household accounts of Dame Alice de Bryene, a wealthy English widow, mention payment to ‘Margaret Brydbek, one harper’ at a New Year's banquet in 1413 (Amt, 1993). Diverse archives from the courts of Louis IX, of Burgundy, of the Duke of Berry and of Savoy provide similar corroboration, mentioning employment of a ‘cantatrix’ or ‘chanteresses’ and ‘menestrières’.

Between 1000 and 1500, as vernacular artistic forms gained literary prominence, the medieval lyric, which was rooted in centuries of aural tradition as well as classical literary practice, developed into formal genres in several Romance languages. With that came a significant literary corpus for the representation of women's experience and sexual love. Love songs written from the point of view of a female subject appear as cantigas de amigo in Portugal, Frauenlieder in Germany and chansons de femme in France. Songs about pregnancy appear in Carmina Burana. Social critiques of marriage appear in the French chanson de malmariée or its Italian counterpart the malmaritate. Women in French romans often sang a chanson de toile, a weaving song that spins a tale of unrequited love. The genre of ‘women's song’ is found in 15th-century Italian chansonniers.

Who sang such songs? Who listened? As an accomplishment for an ideal heroine or a socially ambitious young woman, music was promoted in literature and in advice books. In around 1200 Garin lo Brun's Ensenhamens urged women to sing and recite poetry for their guests. The Ensenhamen de la donsela by Amanieu de Sescars (c1291–1295), a Catalan, explicitly suggests that young women practise the arts of the ‘trobairitz’ and write ‘jocs partis’ (jeux-partis, or love-debate duets), thus endorsing a high level of cultural literacy. The subject of Chretien de Troyes' Philomena composed poetry and played the psaltery, vielle and other instruments. In Gotfrid von Strassburg's Tristan, Isolde achieves the musical skill one associates with Orpheus, enchanting men (instead of beasts) through her music: she fiddles an estampie, plays the lyre and harp expertly, and sings a variety of chansons, including a pastourelle, rotrouenge and rondeau, some of which she may have composed.

Thus the step from ‘chansons de femme’ to actual female poet-musicians is not great. Alongside the troubadour is the ‘trobairitz’, a term found in the Roman de Flamenca (c1250). About 20 female poets flourished between 1170 and 1260, among them Alamanda, Azalais de Porcairages, Maria de Ventadorn, Tibors, Castelloza, Garsenda and the Comtessa da Dia. Dominating the total known corpus of about 40 poems are two genres – the tenso (debate dialogue), and the canso (love song). Only one canso by an Occitanian composer, the beautiful A chantar by the Comtessa da Dia, has survived with a melody ( F-Pn fr. 844). Of around 15 chansons by female trouvères, five survive with melodies. Coldwell (1986) transcribed one chanson each by Maroie de Dregnau de Lille and Blanche de Castile and a duet by Dame Margot and Dame Maroie, a rare example of a jeu-parti. 13th-century chansonniers containing this repertory include the famous Manuscript du Roi ( F-Pn fr. 844, c1246–1254); the Chansonnier cangé ( F-Pn fr. 845); F-Pn 21677; F-AS 657 (c1278); I-Rvat Reg. Lat. 1490; and the Chansonnier de Noailles ( F-Pn fr. 12615). The composing ‘domna’ (lady) was, according to the vidas, most often a noblewoman. But that does not mean she wrote for herself alone: a 13th-century Italian manuscript (MS H) is exceptional in depicting eight trobairitz, significantly seen in performance poses, with hands outstretched toward an imaginary audience, or holding a pointer.

Although the trobairitz and women trouvères contributed perhaps 1% of the total repertory, their symbolic stature as the first female composers of extant European secular music has attracted many historians and literary critics. In 1935 Rokseth asserted the ‘fraîcheur’ and ‘sincérité’ of the chansons of the Comtessa da Dia. More recently, literary critics have searched the repertory to demonstrate ‘écriture féminine’, that powerful if ambiguous idea of sexual identity inscribing itself into art.

Why the 12th century produced such enduring examples of women's musical creativity as Hildegard of Bingen and the trobairitz remains unexplained. It has been asserted (in landmark scholarship by Kelly-Gadol, H1977) that 12th-century cultural achievements paralleled the comparative growth in power and wealth of medieval women in general, particularly in Occitan, where the trobairitz resided. No comparable figures emerge within the repertory of polyphonic music until three centuries later.

It is true that anonymity was the rule rather than the exception for both men and women composers until the 15th century (e.g. there are no named composers for the 13th-century motet repertory). For women, moreover, conventions of modesty and class restraints increased the likelihood of their donning the protective veil of anonymity. That there were fewer women composers then (as now) also seems likely, a fact related directly to their subordination in society. Notated polyphony in Western music, which was becoming increasingly important, depended precisely on the kinds of training women usually did not receive – study at a cathedral school, or apprenticeship to a master player.

The lack of compositions attributed to women has occasionally been interpreted as evidence of their exclusion from late medieval musical life. But too much circumstantial evidence shifts the burden of proof away from assumptions of exclusion towards more sophisticated interpretations of performing practice. Many examples of literary allusion and visual imagery document the ubiquitous presence of women in the musical culture of the late Middle Ages. It is significant that in Boccaccio's Decameron women musicians outnumber men.

The tradition of music as an élite accomplishment sanctioned their training on instruments (like the vielle or harp), especially to relieve the tedium of young girls ‘who would not last shut in’ – that is, sequestered in the home – without some diversion (Francesco da Barberino, Reggimento e costumi di donna, 1316–18). This early Italian treatise devoted to women's socialization contains one of the earliest uses of the word ‘chamber’ to describe musical activity in a space that links intimacy with emotion: ‘E questo canto basso, chiamato camerale, e quel che piace e che passe ne' cuori’ (‘And this soft singing style, called of the chamber, is what people like and will affect the heart'; Beck in Schliefer and Glickman, A1996).

The brilliant courts, so important to the prestige of feudal and monarchical governance, required both women and men. Music as entertainment, as symbol of wealth and royal breeding, depended on the female courtier as much as on her male counterpart. Specialized studies of particular courts, such as that of Princess Marguerite of Scotland, where the creative work of several women poets has been documented, may eventually also unearth names of women composers.

Some noblewomen became important musical patrons. The Mellon Chansonnier ( US-NHub 91) was probably prepared as a gift to Beatrice of Aragon, reflecting her tastes and interests. The chanson album of Marguérite of Austria, prepared under her direction, includes her poetry and perhaps even a composition of hers ( B-Br 228 and 11239). Other notable patrons include Marie of Burgundy, Anne of Britanny and, above all, Isabella d'Este. Isabella played a formative role in the development of the frottola, employing women (among them Giovanna Moreschi, the wife of Marchetto Cara) as professional singers at the Mantuan court. Manuscript corroboration for the use of women's voices in the frottola survives ( I-Fn Magl. VII. 735, c1510).

3. 1500–1800.

The early modern period witnessed a number of important developments. Precedents of all sorts were set, among them access for women to professional performing careers on stage and in the concert hall, as well as to publication. Nothing remotely resembling equality of education or opportunity prevailed, but new social institutions, like the salon and the boarding-school, mediated boundaries between public and private musical expression. The special historical position music occupied within women's separate and unequal education had far-reaching consequences. Amateur musical life for both women and men in this period can hardly be understood without reference to the voluminous literature of gender ideology, ranging from the polemical ‘Querelle des femmes’ (the debate over equality of the sexes and the nature of ‘woman’, inaugurated c1400 by Christine de Pisan and begun in earnest c1500) to the didactic treatises on educating daughters.

The publication record for female composers begins in 1557 with an organ setting of the hymn Conditor alme by the Spanish nun Gracia Baptista in Luis Venegas de Henestrosa's Libro de cifra nueva para tecla, harpa, y vihuela. In 1566 four madrigals by Maddalena Casulana appeared in the collection Il desiderio, the earliest printed vocal music by the first woman to consider herself a professional composer. Outside Italy, other countries followed suit in the next century: Germany in 1651, with hymn melodies by Sophie Elisabeth, Duchess of Brunswick-Lüneberg, one of the earliest documented German female composers after the Middle Ages; England in 1655, with the three songs by Mary Dering included in Henry Lawes's Second Book of Ayres, and Dialogues; and France in 1678, initially with airs by Mme Sicard printed in a Ballard collection, but more substantively in 1687 with a collection of keyboard music by Elisabeth Jacquet de La Guerre. In addition to Jacquet de La Guerre, a celebrated professional performer and composer in diverse genres ranging from harpsichord music to opera, a few other women gained exceptional professional renown as composers. Among others whose music is now enjoying active rediscovery are Francesca Caccini, Barbara Strozzi and the prolific nun-composer Isabella Leonarda.

The most sweeping and radical change in the status of women musicians was the result of their increased participation in professional singing. In the 1580s the success of the ‘concerto delle donne’ – a virtuoso female vocal ensemble at the Ferrara court, whose repertory of madrigals was fed by such composers as Luzzaschi, Marenzio and Monteverdi – propelled into prominence the novel option of exclusive women's voices. The Ferrara ensemble, which initially included Livia d'Arco, Anna Guarini, the famous Laura Peverara and, later, Tarquinia Molza, was emulated at other northern Italian courts. Such ensembles offered greater opportunities for women to be employed at court specifically as musicians.

The recognition of the female voice as a separate musical entity as distinct from other treble options (e.g. boy soprano, or castrato) had enormous consequences for the development of singing in general, as well as for composition, where it shaped the progressive stylistic trajectory of late Renaissance Italian vocal music, first in the madrigal and later in opera. Opera unfolded through the assimilation of ‘woman’ as both subject and agent. As subjects, operatic heroines (whose thematic weight made their names the very titles of operas) embodied female archetypes often popularized in the catalogue tradition of famous or notorious women, familiar from myth (Eurydice, Dido) and antiquity (Poppaea). Over 30 of Boccaccio's 106 subjects in De claris mulieribus were transformed into operatic characters on the 17th-century Venetian stage.

As an agent, the woman singer commanded ‘a rhetorical authority, a previously unknown power to move and seduce audiences’. Access by Italian women to the public stage had originated in the 16th-century commedia dell'arte (where Isabella Andreini was a pioneer). With the onset of commercial public opera in Venice in 1637, the doors opened to greater fame and fortune. Singers such as Vittoria Archilei, Laura Guiddiccioni Lucchesini and Andriana Basile were followed by Anna Renzi, the Venetian soprano whose career created the typology of the prima donna in the burgeoning opera industry of the 1640s. With the dissemination of Italian opera throughout the rest of Europe, new opportunities abounded.

Probably the first English female singer to appear on a professional stage was Catherine Coleman in 1656; by 1662, a royal warrant decreed that women actors rather than boys were to play female roles. Early 18th-century Londoners celebrated Catherine Tofts as one of England's first native prima donnas. Later in the century, Mme Mara (Gertrud Elisabeth Schmeling) was the first international opera star of German birth. Largely excluded from royal appointments at Louis XIV's court, French women gained access to the stage through the Académie Royale de Musique, first as dancers, later as singers. Their subsequent participation as singers in opera in Paris and at Versailles, and as instrumentalists at the Concert Spirituel, has been well documented. Some 18th-century women gained real international fame, among them the singers Faustina Bordoni and Francesca Cuzzoni.

To compose opera and get it produced, greater obstacles had to be surmounted, but a few women gradually began to succeed in this ambitious genre, as well as in the related genres of oratorio and opéra comique. The historical record in Italy is somewhat paradoxical. While Venetian women wrote about 50 opera librettos between 1700 and 1750 (over half the total for Italian female authors as a whole – see Hufton, T1996), few women after Francesca Caccini composed opera seria (Antonia Bembo's opera Ercole amante, written for Louis XIV in 1707, remains unperformed). Between 1670 and 1724, four Italian women composed oratorios and other dramatic works performed at the Imperial Chapel in Vienna. No music has survived for Le sacre visioni di Santa Teresa by the Austrian nun Maria Anna de Raschenau, but there are extant oratorios by Catterina Grazianini, Maria Grimani and Camilla de Rossi (notably Rossi's Il sacrifizio di Abramo, 1708). In France, Jacquet de la Guerre, Mlle Duval, Henriette de Beaumesnil and de Vismes composed operas for the Académie Royale de Musique, in 1691, 1736, 1784 and 1800 respectively. The long span between these works suggests how hard it was to get opera produced. Even so, occasional references to other obscure figures suggest a still relatively unexplored breadth of participation by women. In the Netherlands, the great 18th-century epistolaire Isabelle de Charrière (or Belle van Zuylen) wrote several operas: fragments of her L'Olimpiade are extant. Also worthy of mention is her compatriot, the aria composer Josina Boetzelaer. In France, women achieved greater visibility writing opéra comique. Henrietta de Beaumesnil had six works produced in Paris between about 1781 and 1792, and Julie Candeille became famous for her Cathérine, ou La belle fermière (1792), which received 113 performances during the Revolution. Candeille justified her career in 1795 by claiming traditional feminine virtues: ‘No insensitive pride, no arrogant pretension, has ever guided me in the service of the arts. … Submissiveness and necessity led me to the theatre; a propensity for such work and a love of it emboldened me to write. These two resources, united, are my sole means of survival’ (Sadie, I1986).

Opera and oratorio were ‘companionate’ musical genres, that is, they allowed for equal participation from both sexes. It was to take many more decades for other ‘mixed’ parallels to emerge. Johann Hiller founded a singing school open to women in 1771 in Leipzig, to oppose the exclusion of women from choral singing, especially in church. His most famous pupil was the lied composer Corona Schröter. A parallel endeavour in Berlin was the Singakademie, founded by C.F.C. Fasch in 1792. That year, perhaps for the first time in Germany, a mixed chorus of adult voices presented a public choral concert.

In Catholic countries, and in Italy in particular, convents saw sophisticated music-making throughout the 17th century. Over half the women whose works were published in Italy between 1566 and 1700 were nuns. In the post-Tridentine period, before the 18th-century decline of the Italian convents, their records include thousands of organists, singers and composers. Despite the Council of Trent's ban on polyphony in convents, its installation of ‘clausura’ or total cloistering, as well as continued ecclesiastical decrees attempting to control musical expression, at least 26 Italian cities had musically important convents. Some even enjoyed international reputations. In their writings, Bottrigari and Artusi immortalized the orchestral concerts at S Vito in Ferrara, where Raffaella Aleotti, a member of the convent, composed the earliest printed collection of sacred music by a woman. Other musically renowned convents include S Geminiano in Modena; many in Milan, but especially S Radegonda (where Chiara Margarita Cozzolani published music); in Bologna, S Lorenzo (where Monteverdi's motets were sung) and S Cristina della Fondazza (home of the composer Lucrezia Vizzana); and S Orsola in Novara (home of the prolific Isabella Leonarda).

Notable French counterparts include the abbey at Feuillants (where the famous singer Anne de la Barre appeared in 1656); the Abbaye Royale des Religieuses de Longchamp, Port-Royal, Assomption, and the religious but uncloistered community Petite Union Chrétienne des Dames de Saint Chaumont, where Antonia Bembo composed motets and psalm settings.

A unique institution in Venice was the ‘ospedale’ (a state-run shelter for chronically ill, poor and homeless children), which provided the first formally organized music education for women outside the convent. Four women's ospedali became famous musical centres: the Incurabili, Pietà, Derelitti and Mendicanti. Unencumbered by Vatican rules, they trained choruses of young girls and offered private lessons on instruments and in singing. By 1630 some were offering instruction to non-resident girls, and accepted as boarders female students, figlie di spezi, who paid for tuition. Between 1585 and 1855 the ospedali employed about 300 male professional musicians (among them Legrenzi, Vivaldi, Galuppi and Hasse) and over 70 maestri di cappella, who also held prestigious posts at establishments with high cultural visibility (Burney's accounts of them are particularly notable). These composers produced a specialized repertory of psalms, motets, liturgical dramas and oratorios (often about female saints and biblical heroines) for women's voices, which still remains largely unintegrated into our understanding of church music of the period. From the ranks of around 850 figlie di coro came some notable musicians, including Anna Maria della Pietà, the renowned leader of the orchestra at the Pietà, for whom Vivaldi wrote 28 concertos, the opera singers Nancy Storace and Faustina Bordoni; and the composers Maddalena Laura Lombardini Sirmen and Antonia Bembo. Even so, artistic freedom did not prevail at the ospedali, which decreed marriage or the convent for its graduating wards and limited autonomy in music by curtailing composition. A letter from Lavinia della Pietà written some time before 1800 offers a rare glimpse into the mentality of a rebel (Berdes, I1996):

You must understand that I could not do otherwise [than compose in secret]. … They would not take me seriously, they would never let me compose. The music of others is like words addressed to me; I must answer and hear the sound of my own voice. And the more I hear that voice, the more I realize that the songs and sounds which are mine are different. Woe betide me should they find out.

At courts, noblewomen across Europe were musically active as performers, composers and patrons. In the 17th century, both Catherine de Medici and Anne of Austria sponsored their own women musicians. In the 18th century, Anna Amalia, Princess of Prussia, and Anna Amalia, Duchess of Saxe-Weimar both composed music; the Holy Roman Empress Maria Theresa extended patronage to Gertrud Mara and Maria Theresia von Paradis; Marie Antoinette brought the prodigy Lucile Grétry to court; and Maria Antonia Walpurgis, Electress of Saxony, and Wilhelmina, Princess of Prussia, both composed opera. Such regal examples reinforced music as a paradigm of courtly accomplishment, which spread beyond the upper classes to the new urban élites. As material life improved and literacy increased, more families aspired to the social mobility that educated daughters represented.

In a period that differentiated sharply between the humanistic, Latin-centred university education available to men and the informal, unsystematic education offered to women, music loomed much larger in the training of women, because they had few opportunities to learn much else. In Italy it made them employable at court. An especially detailed treatise by Anibal Guasco, Ragionamento a D. Lavinia sua figliuola della manera del governarsi ella in corte; andamo per Dama (1586), describes a sophisticated training in singing and in playing several instruments, as well as counterpoint. Few amateurs could match the standards of the Italian female courtier described here, but they tried. An ideal day in the life of a lady could, according to Pierre Erondelle (The French Garden: for English Ladyses and Gentlewomen to walk in, or a Sommer Dayes Labour, London, 1601), run like this (Austern, I1989):

Lady … At what houres do your Maisters come? Charlotte [the eldest daughter]. Our dauncing Maister commeth about nine a clocke: our singing Maister, and he that teacheth us to play the virginalles, at tenne; he that teacheth us on the Lute and the Violl de Gambo, at foure a clocke in the after noone: and our French Maister commeth commonly betweene seaven and eight a clocke in the morning.

The education of daughters kept musicians employed. Henry Lawes survived the demise of the court of Charles I because, as Hawkins wrote, he ‘betook himself to the teaching of ladies to sing’. In Vienna, Haydn received free board in exchange for teaching the harpsichord to Marianne von Martínez, who became a distinguished composer, leaving the largest extant body of music by a Viennese woman in this period. The demand to train daughters on appropriate instruments, such as the harp, lute and keyboard, implicates gender in many ways. The very names for early keyboard instruments – ‘virginalls’ in English and ‘Jungfernklavier’ in German - suggest the pervasive stereotyping of that instrument. In 1612-13, the humanistic title of the first British collection of keyboard music, Parthenia, emphasized ‘virginal’ contexts even further. Similarly, the lute was feminized to the extent that Thomas Mace (Musick's Monument, 1676) felt it necessary to refute the stereotype of the lute as a ‘weak, feeble, soft instrument’, in short, a ‘woman's instrument’. Was it not difficult to master? If so, then ‘it cannot so properly be called a woman's instrument, in regard they are the weaker vessels, and therefore not so fit to set upon and attempt the mastery of things of such difficulty’.

The long tradition of music within female education buttressed training in new institutions such as the boarding-school and the salon, which were overlapping worlds for urban élites. The first boarding-school in London opened in 1617; by the 1660s this prestigious school in Hackney was known as the ‘ladies university of the female arts’ and had educated Mary Dering. John Blow's Venus and Adonis, as well as Purcell's Dido and Aeneas, were written for and first performed by girls at similar establishments. Parallel activity prevailed in other countries as well.

In France, where convent schools were the norm for upper-class girls, collections of pieces were specifically written ‘for the use of young ladies brought up in houses of religion’. Such a repertory acquired particular distinction at the Maison Royale St-Louis de Saint-Cyr, founded by Mme de Maintenon. The tragedies Esther (1689) and Athalie (1691), which she commissioned from Racine, featured choral music and spiritual songs by the school composer Jean-Baptiste Moreau. Such was their success that Mme de Maintenon, who was fond of maxims such as ‘Learn to obey, for you will obey forever’, forbade further performances. Nevertheless, these two tragedies became staples of the girls’ school repertory. At the end of the next century, an equally distinguished director, Mme Campan, staged Moreau's Esther at her famous school in St Germain (founded 1793).

Although advances in education benefited men more than women, the trend towards the broad marketing of culture proved powerful. With expanding female literacy came many magazines edited for and by women, first in England, then in France (and only at the end of the 18th century in Italy, Germany and the Netherlands). Along with coverage of prominent female musicians and musical education, both the words and the music of popular songs were routinely included in, for example, the Journal des dames (1759–78), the Lady's Magazine or Entertaining Companion for the Fair Sex (1770–1832) and the New Lady's Magazine (1786–95). The existence of the specialized Journal de musique pour les dames points again to the importance of amateur music-making, often at a sophisticated artistic level, among privileged women.

All across Europe, the salon (an urban gathering in the public space of a private home outside the court) offered female musicians a dynamic new venue. In 16th- and 17th-century Venice, the ‘ridotti’ helped the careers of Casulana and Strozzi. In Lyons at the same period, the organist Clémentine de Bourges was befriended by the distinguished poet Louise Labé, who wrote of her salon sisters, ‘they take their pen and lute in hand; they write and sing about their passions’. In the 18th century, musical salons gained prominence as well. Stéphanie-Félicité, Countess of Genlis, a famous harpist and educator, left among her annual salon chronicles an account in 1767 of Marie Emmanuelle Bayon Louis, who brought the fortepiano into vogue in France. Anne Louise Brillon de Jouy, whom Burney called ‘one of the greatest lady players on the harpsichord in Europe’, ran her own salon in the 1770s and performed her own compositions there. The careers of Mme de Genlis and Mme Brillon during the ancien régime were on a level with the best professional musicians in Paris. If ‘the 18th-century salon transformed a noble leisure form of social gathering into a serious working space’, then musicians like Jacquet de La Guerre, Martínez, Candeille, Maria Aghate Szymanowska, Elisabetta de Gambarini and Hélène de Montgeroult turned it into a venue for subscription concerts, teaching and for selling their compositions. At a time when women were largely excluded from orchestras, the salon was a gateway to diverse musical occupations and professional recognition.

Attitudes towards women's education and the role of music within it made allies of writers with otherwise opposing politics. Both the conservative royalist Bishop Fénélon and the anticlerical Rousseau sounded the same notes: modesty, reserve, subordination. Fénélon avowed that ‘more extensive study might be allowed the musically talented girl’, because ‘if she have a voice and a genius for the beauties of music, do not hope to keep her always in ignorance of them: the prohibition will but increase the passion; you had better give an orderly course to this torrent, then undertake to stop it’. Rousseau's enormously influential views on women's education gave Fénélon's virtues a new place within the context of the Republican family.

Even some proto-feminist writers cast a sceptical eye on music as a subject traditionally associated with female vanity and the old order. To be feminist can mean to desire to transcend the socially constructed ‘feminine’. In 1637 the famous Dutch scholar Elizabeth Schurmann assigned music to the ‘place of pretty Ornaments and ingenious Recreations’ (Whether the Study of Letters is Fitting to a Christian Woman, 1659). Some 18th-century women were less defensive. Mary Wollstonecraft (Thoughts on the Education of Daughters, 1787) neutralized the rhetoric surrounding music by noting how it could ‘afford the most rational and delicate pleasure’. If a daughter possessed it, ‘do not suffer it to lie dormant’. More advanced views were put forth by the English historian Catharine Macaulay-Graham: ‘Confine not the education of your daughters to what is regarded as the ornamental parts of it, nor deny the graces to your sons. … Let your children be brought up together; let their sports and studies be the same’. She accused Rousseau of being the ‘most conspicuous’ and ‘strenuous’ asserter of ‘a sexual difference in character’ (Letters on Education, 1787).

This, in fact, was one source of Rousseau's enduring influence on 19th-century thought. In Germany, the Romantic writer Friedrich Schlegel was one of the few who resisted and championed women's rights. Following in Rousseau's footsteps were two prominent educationists, Johann Campe and Wilhelm von Humboldt. Espousing ‘pure masculinity’ as active sexuality, and femininity as passive receptivity, Humboldt set in place views about sexual difference that A.B. Marx and, later, Vincent d'Indy were to apply metaphorically to theories of sonata form.

4. Since 1800.

  • Judith Tick

Modernity opened the door to new possibilities for women in music, as they benefited from the economic and social changes of the 19th and 20th centuries. After 1800, women musicians, many influenced by an emerging feminist movement, made access to a complete musical education a major priority. By 1900, they attempted to reverse centuries of subordination in many aspects of musical activity: violinists challenged their exclusion from orchestras; composers demanded admittance to competitions like the Prix de Rome. Recognizing how little the celebrations of ‘the eternal feminine’ and aesthetic androgyny translated into tolerance for female musicians, intellectuals challenged the Romantic ideology of sexual difference. The 20th century contained an array of ‘firsts’ marking incremental changes in all these areas, some resulting from individual achievement, others through collective action or legal reforms. Women slowly stepped on to new podiums, won major awards, graduated from the leading universities and conservatories with advanced degrees, and, in the last decades of the 20th century, argued vigorously for equality of opportunity and over issues of identity. However, not even in 2000 were all these issues resolved.

Old habits died hard. The mentality of separatist intellectual inferiority marked the Histoire de la musique by Sophie de Champgrand de Bawr, who, as the first woman to publish a music history, wrote it for the Encyclopédie des dames (1823) and asked indulgence ‘sur l'ouvrage qu'une femme a écrit pour des femmes’. And music à la mode prevailed in magazines like the Ladies Cabinet of Fashion, Music, and Romance (1832–70) and Godey's Lady's Book (1830–77). Newer goals of equality fired the reforming spirits of composers such as Nina D'Aubigny von Engelbrunner, and later Johanna Kinkel and Luise Adolpha Le Beau, as well as the earliest German feminists. In 1878, when Luise Buchner (in Die Frau) condemned ornamental education, Le Beau wrote:

Just do not limit, then, the training of girls. Rather, teach them the same things that are taught to boys. Grow accustomed to a system that has this same fundamental condition for every education, and then see what [girls] can do after acquiring technical skills and intellectual independence, rather than entrench yourselves against female capabilities by limiting the education of women!

The establishment of secular conservatories marked a crucial turning-point. Not only did it end church-dominated music education, but conservatories offered young women public formal schooling, albeit in one subject, even before some nation-states established any kind of public primary or secondary education for girls. Most conservatories admitted women, only to offer them lesser educations. At the Leipzig Conservatory, boys took a three-year course in theory, girls a two-year course, ‘especially organized for their requirements’. The Paris Conservatoire ran women's classes in solfège and keyboard harmony, barring women from classes in written harmony and composition until the 1870s. Rather than composers, conductors, or conservatory professors, girls were expected to become performers – typically singers, pianists or harpists – or teachers in private studios, or accomplished ladies at home. On 18 December 1881 an official at the Berlin Königliche Hochschule für Musik asked the director, Joachim, to rescind the right of women to participate in orchestra classes and performances (Reich, 1993):

It is bad enough that women are meddling in every possible place where they don’t belong; they have already taken over in almost every area of music. … Their need for artistic knowledge will be well enough served if we permitted them to attend final rehearsals before performances, since they shall not be studying conducting, composing, nor instrumentation.

Yet as the climate for women's education improved, barriers fell. The American composer Clara Rogers could not study composition at Leipzig in the 1860s; in 1877 Ethel Smyth was able to enrol. In the USA, where private rather than publicly funded conservatories were the rule, Jeannette Thurber founded the influential National Conservatory in New York (1885), admitting black as well as white students and letting her female student violinists play in the orchestra. By the early 1900s, in many conservatories female outnumbered male students, often to the consternation of men. After accepting the composer Rebecca Clarke as his first female pupil in 1907, Stanford grumbled in his memoirs (1908) that British institutions had been overrun by women. But few matched the men-under-siege mentality of the critic Emile Vuillermoz, who in an article entitled ‘The Pink Peril’ for Musica (1912) warned that women were on the march: ‘the Conservatoire, where they already hold the majority, will end by becoming their personal property’. In the USA, the tradition of music as a female accomplishment ensured high rates of participation at women's liberal arts colleges. Even there, however, curriculum policy sometimes reflected stereotypes. When Ernst Krenek was engaged to teach music at Vassar College in 1939, he was specifically barred from teaching the 12-note system to his female students, whom the chair of the department described as ‘cultivated amateurs’ for whom work of a ‘highly advanced nature’ would not be appropriate.

In the early and middle decades of the 19th century, as the various ‘ornamental’ arts detached themselves from one another, specialization became the rule. The governess who had previously taught French, music and embroidery slowly succumbed to the demand for expertise. As a result, the music profession experienced a surge of growth as a whole. Statistics for England and Wales between 1794 and 1951 show that between 1841 and 1891 the number of people employed as musicians and music teachers increased more than sixfold. Women jumped into this escalating market as fast as possible. Whereas in 1841 around 13·7% of the musicians and music teachers in England were female, by 1891 the figure was around 50%, and in 1921 it climbed to 76%. In the USA the number of women in music and music teaching increased eightfold between 1870 and 1910, and the proportion of women in music rose from 36% to 60%, before tapering off to 41% in 1940. Most women worked on the lower rungs of the teaching profession; few were employed in conservatories until the mid-1900s. At the Paris Conservatoire between 1797 and 1859, out of around 345 teachers only 26 women had positions (in singing, keyboard, keyboard harmony and solfège). In The Hague, where the Koninklijke Muzijkschool did not employ women, the composer Gertrude van den Bergh formed a women's chorus and taught women in her home as well. In Paris, Nadia Boulanger sustained her celebrated career as one of the great 20th-century composition teachers at her home studio.

In the 19th century music teaching loomed large, partly because little else was available. Once women left the conservatories they were stranded, excluded from professional orchestras, from conducting posts, from positions in universities and from the professional musical life of the Church (Fuller, 1992). Occupational segregation was one temporary solution, as late 19th-century female musicians formed all-women chamber groups and ‘lady orchestras’ in order to work. In 1887 Marie Soldat-Roeger (a pupil of Joachim) formed perhaps the earliest such group, the Soldat Quartet in Berlin. Among the earliest women's orchestras were those founded in Vienna and Berlin, both of which toured internationally. About 30 different women's orchestras flourished in the USA between 1925 and 1940. The practice was widespread: the Dutch composer Elisabeth Kuyper founded four women's symphony orchestras first in Europe, then in the USA. In 1937 the Cuban composer Ernestina Lecuona Casado helped found the Orquesta Feminina de Concierto. A few such groups exist today, some formed in the 1970s, defining their mission as the championing of music composed by women. Among the most prominent are the Women's PO (formerly Bay Area Women's PO; founded 1982), directed for many years by JoAnn Falletta and now by Apo Hsu, and the European Women's Orchestra, founded by Odaline de la Martinez in 1990.

What most female instrumentalists wanted, however, was an end to exclusion and a chance to compete. In the early 1900s, women in France organized to press for admission to theatre orchestras. Eugène Ysaÿe employed female string players for his orchestra in Brussels and was emulated in London by Henry Wood, who had four female violinists and two female viola players in his New Queen's Hall Orchestra in 1912. In the USA, the World War II era accelerated change; the shortage of available men forced most major American orchestras to employ their first female players by 1945, with the exception of the New York PO, which took them only in 1966. Data from the American Symphony Orchestra League confirm the acceleration of this upward trend. Between 1947 and 1982, female employment in the major American symphony orchestras increased from 8% to around 26%. In 1996, 46% of the musicians in American orchestras were female, although most were clustered in less important institutions.

This growth reflects changes in the status of women in Western societies more than changes in musical culture. In the USA, both the Civil Rights Act (1964) and the inauguration of gender-blind orchestra auditions had an impact. In Britain, a law dealing with gender discrimination changed the makeup of London orchestras. On the other hand, Austro-German resistance was more deeply entrenched. Only in 1982 did the Berlin PO employ its first female player, causing a great public stir. In 1997 protests against the policies of the Vienna PO led the orchestra to admit its only female player to membership status (although it remains no closer to a gender-blind admissions policy). In that year, statistics compiled about the Vienna PO and five other major orchestras in German-speaking countries (the Vienna SO, the Dresden Staatskapelle, the Dresden PO, the Berlin PO and the Leipzig Gewandhaus) showed only a minimal representation of women (Buzzarté, 1997). In 1998 the Czech PO rescinded its men-only policy.

Like all-women's instrumental ensembles, all-female professional societies were formed in reaction to discrimination. In Britain, barred from the Royal Society of Musicians (founded 1838), women founded the Royal Society of Female Musicians in 1839. In 1865, the two societies merged. The pattern repeated itself in the 20th century when, in 1905, the newly founded Society of British Composers included no woman among its 48 members. In 1911 the Society of Women Musicians was founded in London, with Liza Lehmann as its first president (it disbanded in 1972). In 1925 Amy Beach was elected president of the Society of American Women Composers, a group that lasted only a few years. Few other such organizations were formed in the middle decades of the century.

In the activist years of the 1970s and 80s, however, women's music organizations re-emerged on the cultural horizon: at least 13 were founded between 1975 and 1990. In 1975 Nancy Van de Vate founded the (International) League of Women Composers, in response to the impact of International Women's Year in 1975; this was followed in 1976 by American Women Composers, Inc. In 1978 two German organizations, the Frau und Musik-Internationaler Arbeitskreis, and Musikfrauen e.v. Berlin, supported primarily by musicologists and conductors, were founded, with additional archival goals. The 1980s saw the foundation of the Association of Canadian Women Composers (1980–88), Frauenmusik-Forum in Switzerland (1982), the Stichting Vrouw en Muziek (Foundation for Women in Music) in the Netherlands (1987) and the re-emergence of British Women in Music (1988), as well as other organizations founded in Denmark, Spain and Japan. The Finnish association Nainen ja Musiikki ry (Woman and Music) began in 1995. In the same year, a merger of two American organizations – the International League of Women Composers and American Women Composers, Inc. – with the International Congress on Women in Music (1982) produced the International Alliance of Women in Music (IAWM); the IAWM acts as a clearing-house for many individual national societies and internet research websites (it helped to support demonstrations against the admissions policy of the Vienna PO in New York in 1998).

The idea of festivals and thematic concerts devoted to music exclusively by women, as a way to get works heard and performed, emerged in the late 19th century. Concerts and events for the Women's Building at the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893 set important precedents in the USA. Many annual festivals in the late 20th century continue this tradition. Of note is the Donne in Musica festival founded by Patricia Adkins Chiti in 1982, in collaboration with the Unione Donne Italiane, the oldest and most militant feminist organization in Italy. Important Women in Music festivals were held in Bonn and Cologne in 1980. The International Congress of Women in Music began its Annual Festivals in New York in 1981. The Frau Musica Nova conference in Cologne in 1998 brought together composers from Asia, Europe and the USA.

Continuities as much as change shaped career patterns for female performers since 1800. Singers stood at the apex of international success, among them Angelica Catalani, Henriette Sontag, Wilhelmine Schröder-Devrient, Maria Malibran, Pauline Viardot and Jenny Lind. So great was the adulation of the 19th-century singer that writers like George Sand, George Eliot and Willa Cather made her the symbol of the ‘femme libre’ – the emancipated woman – whose voice represented power, freedom and a moral authority that transcended convention. Exemplifying this spirit was the soprano Mary Garden, who wrote: ‘I believed in myself and I never permitted anything or anybody to destroy that belief. My eye never wavered from the goal, and my whole life went into the operas I sang. I wanted liberty and I went my own way’.

In the 20th century singers continued to reign supreme. Among the many great internationally renowned artists, a few became cultural icons, including Maria Callas, Marian Anderson, Elena Gerhardt, Kirsten Flagstad, Ernestine Schumann-Heink, Amelita Galli-Curci, Rosa Ponselle, Renata Tebaldi, Joan Sutherland, Beverly Sills, Kiri Te Kanawa and Jessye Norman. Furthermore, the association between professional singers and social power spread beyond opera to popular styles. Black American singers such as Bessie Smith, Ma Rainey and Billie Holiday have been models of empowerment in contemporary black American literature.

Options for performing careers widened slowly but surely throughout this period, as virtuoso women in areas other than singing became increasingly common in the 19th and 20th centuries. In the catalogue of virtuoso women by Marie Lipsius (writing as La Mara), pianists rivalled singers. In the 19th century the outstanding artists were Clara Schumann, Marie Pleyel, Teresa Carreño and Annette Esipova. In the USA notable figures in the late 19th century include Julie Rivé-King (the first American-born woman to achieve a concert career) and Fanny Bloomfield Zeisler. By 1920 American woman pianists had ‘come to stay’, according to Harriet Brower (1918). Still, around 20 years later their professional vulnerability was commented on by Olga Samaroff: ‘men pianists and women pianists were as rigorously separated in the managerial mind as the congregation of a Quaker meeting … and women received lower fees than a man with the same degree of success and reputation’ (1939). Other notable keyboard performers included the harpsichordist Wanda Landowska and the pianists Myra Hess, Guiomar Novaes, Annie Fischer, Clara Haskil, Marguerite Long, Rosalyn Tureck, Alicia de Larrocha and Moura Lympany; the younger generation includes Martha Argerich and Mitsuko Uchida. Outstanding pianist-composers working in jazz include Mary Lou Williams and Marian McPartland.

Other instruments, particularly the violin, soon found their champions as well in the 19th century. Wilma Neruda, Camilla Urso and Maud Powell set important precedents. In the 20th century, celebrated violinists include Erica Morini, Ginette Neveu, Gioconda De Vito and Ida Haendel, and, more recently, Anne Sophie Mutter, Viktoria Mullova, Kyung-Wha Chung and Midori. Notable cellists include Beatrice Harrison, Guilhermina Suggia, May Mulke, Zara Nelsova and Jacqueline du Pré. Some sex-typing of instruments such as timpani, horn and saxophone still prevails. Here, the virtuoso percussionist Evelyn Glennie is an outstanding exception. In the male-dominated field of jazz, horn player Melba Liston and the soprano saxophonist Jane Ira Bloom are worthy of mention. Around 350 participants attended the first International Women's Brass Conference held in St Louis in 1993.

Given the problems with orchestral employment, relatively few women have been able to make careers as symphonic conductors. Marie Wurm, Antonia Brico, Ebba Sundstrom and Ethel Leginska relied heavily on women's orchestras for work. The American Symphony Orchestra League reported in 1997 that only 27 out of 425 member orchestras were conducted by women (c7%). In every country there is a history of one or another individual female musician being ‘the first’ to conduct some major symphony orchestra or appear on the podium of an opera house. The career of Nadia Boulanger in the first half of the 20th century, and that of Iona Brown in the second half, contain many such moments. Leading figures in the 20th century made more prominent careers in the choral world, among them Alice Parker, Margaret Hillis and Jane Glover, and in opera Eve Queler and Sarah Caldwell. What paths will be taken by Anne Harrigan, Simone Young, Sian Edwards, Marin Alsop and Gisele Ben-Dor in the current generation, remains to be seen.

Among all areas of professional music-making, perhaps composition is marked by the deepest sense of emotional divide between past and present. In the 19th century, class propriety and attitudes towards the roles of women in public stigmatized professional careers for some privileged women. Reich (J1993) pointed to the widening gulf between amateurs and professionals, with two tracks shaped by class mores: one for the professional woman from the artist-musician class and the other for the aristocratic or bourgeois lady, whose parlour domain reflected the ‘cult of domesticity’. Here the careers of Clara Schumann and Fanny Mendelssohn demonstrate its effects. Schumann was one of the great concert pianists of the century, in the public limelight for almost all her life. A prodigious talent, Mendelssohn was encouraged to learn music but discouraged by both brother and father from publishing her work. Instead, she adopted the 18th-century solution of turning a private salon into a professional milieu. While the compositions of both women have been revived with great success, each expressed her ambivalence about composing, echoing the prevailing 19th-century theories about female inferiority.

Through revivals and re-evaluation within women's history, the work of other 19th- and early 20th-century female composers is being heard once more. Among the most prominent are Amy Beach and Ethel Smyth. Many await further evaluation, such as Emilie Meyer, Augusta Holmès, Ingeborg von Bronsart, Agathe Backer Grøndahl and Rebecca Clarke. Florence Price was the first black American woman to compose symphonic music. In one way or another, all these women surmounted the confines of ‘women's work in music’, which, throughout the early 1900s, relegated female composers to the ‘smaller forms’ such as songs and piano pieces, and placed the ‘higher forms’ of symphonic composition out of their ‘sphere’. The extent to which each composer felt burdened by gender ideology varied considerably, but none of them was indifferent or unaffected, particularly in the reception of their music. Smyth stands alone in her pioneering feminist writings about women in music.

Along with the revival of individual composers, women's history and feminist criticism are shaping new perspectives for 19th-century genres previously stigmatized by their associations with women's work, particularly in demeaned salon traditions. Salon piano music, the French romance, the English art song, the American parlour song: all these have been the subject of recent research. Perhaps Loïsa Puget will find new advocates in the future, as have already Cécile Chaminade and Maude Valérie White.

In the first half of the 20th century, female composers lived in a period of transition between old mores and new freedoms. On the one hand, modernist rhetoric about sexual difference perpetuated ‘virility’ as the musical antidote to Romantic excess, and attitudes towards music composed by women were often patronizing. On the other hand, a more general social and political emancipation for women stabilized a sense of creative possibility that had not really existed earlier. Some important figures are the impressionist Lili Boulanger and the modernist Ruth Crawford Seeger. In England, Elisabeth Lutyens espoused serialism when few men had adopted this approach. Neo-classical sympathies mark the music of Germaine Tailleferre and Louise Talma, while a more dissonant post-tonal idiom characterizes music by Elizabeth Maconchy, Grażyna Bacewicz and Miriam Gideon.

In the second half of the 20th century and at the beginning of the 21st, women composing music are less hampered by ideologies of sexual difference. No style, idiom, form, genre or technology is beyond them. Among the many established composers working today are the American-born Nancy Van de Vate living in Austria; Nicola LeFanu and Judith Weir in Britain; Kaija Saariaho in Finland; Betsy Jolas in France; Karin Rehnqvist in Sweden; Thea Musgrave, Joan Tower and Ellen Taafe Zwilich in the USA; and several from Eastern Europe and Russia, who have become increasingly prominent since the end of the Cold War. Among these last are Russian-born Sofiya Gabaydulina and Galina Ustvol'skaya and the Polish-born Marta Ptaszyńska.

Given the importance of vox feminae in women's history, the contributions of female composers to modernist and contemporary vocalism has continuities with the past. Many female composers are working with new approaches to the voice, blurring boundaries between composition and performance. In Romania, such sonic explorations are associated with Myriam Marbé and her pupil Violeta Dinescu, and in Germany with Adriana Hölszky. In the USA, such internationally renowned jazz singers such as Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan and Betty Carter showed one direction vocal virtuosity might take; in the smaller avant-garde world, Cathy Berberian, Joan La Barbara and Meredith Monk showed another.

Within electro-acoustic music, women have made important contributions. Bebe Barron pioneered electronic scores for film. Pauline Oliveros has helped shape the avant garde since the 1960s. Pril Smiley and Alice Shields have been involved with the leading Columbia-Princeton Electronic Music Center since the 1960s. Ruth Anderson founded an electronic music studio in 1968 at CUNY. In 1970 Françoise Barrière co-founded the Concours Internationaux de Musique, at which Vivian Adelberg Rudow was the first female composer to win a first prize (1986). Other important figures include Annea Lockwood and Lucia Dlugoszewski; and, in the next generation, Laurie Spiegel.

How viable is the category ‘woman composer’ for the current generation? This question raises the issue of identity, to which each woman gives her own answers. The spectrum of responses ranges widely, as one survey has suggested (Barkin, J1980–81). Some women have composed music containing feminist social critique. The wry wit of the innovative performance-artist Laurie Anderson is well known. The British composer Rhian Samuel describes ‘a growing sense of obligation’ among women to ‘take a woman's point of view’ in their compositions; and she, like many others, supports an aesthetic based on the belief in ‘a woman's voice’. Yet other composers consider gender to be an arbitrary factor, aspiring to be heard beyond category.

Such internal issues of identity must be separated from external questions of professional careers in music, which today is both art and commodity in an international corporate marketplace. It seems clear from the growing international literature on the status of women in music professions that marginalization still exists. In the USA, women constituted about 10% of those teaching composition in colleges and universities in 1975–6 (it is important to remember that not all composers on such faculties teach composition). For the period 1954–82, the number of recordings of music composed by women on CRI, a principal label for American 20th-century music, was about 5%. American women have in general received meagre support from the leading foundations granting commissions and prizes. Similar patterns were found to prevail in Britain as well. Nicola LeFanu's survey (1987) gave disturbing statistics for the record of the Arts Council of Great Britain: between about 1973 and 1987, women composers comprised about 15% of the composer pool and yet received only 22 out of 360 commissions, about £7000 out of £160,000 disbursed to composers, and were shut out of touring programmes of contemporary music, in which 186 men were represented. A survey by the Women's PO (San Francisco) of the repertory of 43 American orchestras in 1998–99 season found only 23 works by women out of a total of 2292. In the USA statistical data document both increased access to training and far slower access to employment. Between 1971 and 1986 the percentage of women receiving music doctorates more than doubled (from 16.3% to 36%). In a virtually comparable time frame (1974–1986), the percentage of women employed full-time as post-secondary faculty barely changed (from 21.4% in 1974 to 23.2% in 1986 (Jezer, M1993)). The extent to which such inequities are replicated in other countries has yet to be documented.

The scholarly investigation of ‘women in music’ has many challenges ahead of it. Comprehensive syntheses and overviews of the extraordinary research explosion that occurred after 1970 still remain to be written. Integration of this material into mainstream writing is hardly secure. In 1849 the German feminist Louise Otto-Peters wrote: ‘The history of all times, and of today, especially, teaches that women will be forgotten if they forget to think about themselves’. Writing such history for women in music is still a work in and for progress.

A Collected editions, anthologies. B Indexes, bibliographical sources. C Biographical dictionaries, encyclopedias. D Special periodicals. E Special periodical numbers. F General historical studies. G The ancient world. H 500–1500. I 1500–1800. J Since 1800. K Jazz, popular music. L Disciplinary and professional studies.


A: Collected editions, anthologies
  • Da Capo Press Women Composers Series (New York, 1979–92)
  • C.A. Lindeman, ed.: Women Composers of Ragtime: a Collection of Six Selected Rags by Women Composers (Bryn Mawr, PA, 1985)
  • E. Rieger and K. Walter, eds.: Frauen komponieren: 22 Klavierstücke des 18-20. Jahrhunderts (Mainz, 1985, 2/1992)
  • J. Briscoe, ed.: Historical Anthology of Music by Women (Bloomington, IN, 1987)
  • B. Harbach, ed.: Women Composers for the Harpsichord (Bryn Mawr, PA, 1987)
  • B.G. Jackson, ed.: Lieder By Women Composers of the Classic Era (Fayetteville, AR, 1987)
  • B.G. Jackson, ed.: Arias from Oratorios by Women Composers of the Eighteenth Century (Fayetteville, AR, 1987–92)
  • R. Drucker and H. Strine, eds.: A Collection of Art Songs by Women Composers (Fulton, MD, 1988)
  • S. Glickman, ed.: American Women Composers: Piano Music from 1865-1915 (Bryn Mawr, PA, 1990)
  • M. Hinson, ed.: At the Piano With Women Composers (Van Nuys, CA, 1990)
  • B. Harbach, ed.: Eighteenth Century Women Composers for the Harpsichord or Piano (Pullman, WA, 1992)
  • E. Rieger and K. Walter, eds.: Frauen komponieren: 25 Lieder für Singstimme und Klavier (Mainz, 1992)
  • H. Walker-Hill, ed.: Black Women Composers: a Century of Piano Music (Bryn Mawr, PA, 1992)
  • C. Johnson, ed.: Organ Music by Women Before 1800 (Pullman, WA, 1993)
  • J.N. Straus, ed.: Music by Women for Study and Analysis (Englewood Cliffs, NJ, 1993)
  • E. Rieger and B. Heller, eds.: Frauen komponieren: 13 Stücke für Violine und Klavier (Mainz, 1994)
  • B.G. Jackson, ed.: Lieder and other Songs by Women Composers of the Classic Era, 3–4 (Fayetteville, AR, 1994–7)
  • S. Glickman and M.F. Schleifer, eds.: Women Composers: Music through the Ages, 1 (Boston, 1996)
  • J. Briscoe, ed.: Contemporary Anthology of Music by Women (Bloomington, IN, 1997)
  • Treasury of Art Songs by Women before 1800 (Louisville, KY, 1997)
  • Women Composers on Microform (Women Composers Sheet Music Collection, University of Michigan, 28×35 mm microfilm reels; Primary Source Media, Woodbridge, CT, 1998)
B: Indexes, bibliographical sources
  • J.G. Pool: Women in Music History: a Research Guide (New York, 1977)
  • J. Skowronski: Women in American Music: a Bibliography (Metuchen, NJ, 1978)
  • A.F. Block and C. Neuls-Bates: Women in American Music: a Bibliography of Music and Literature (Westport, CT, 1979)
  • M. Stewart-Green: Women Composers: a Checklist of Works for the Solo Voice (Boston, 1980)
  • D. Hixon and D. Hennessee: Women in Music: an Encyclopedic Biobibliography (Metuchen, NJ, 1981, 2/1993)
  • E. Ludewig-Verdehr and J.L. Raines: ‘Music for Clarinet by Women Composers’, The Clarinet [Denton, TX], 8/2 (1981), 12–19
  • J.M. Meggett: Keyboard Music by Women Composers: a Catalog and Bibliography (Westport, CT, 1981)
  • J. Frasier: Women Composers: a Discography (Detroit, 1983)
  • J. Leder: Women in Jazz: a Discography of Instrumentalists, 1913-1968 (Westport, CT, 1985)
  • H. Boenke: Flute Music by Women Composers: an Annotated Catalog (Westport, CT, 1988)
  • A. Olivier and K. Weingartz-Perschel, eds.: Frauen als Komponistinnen: eine Bestandsaufnahme (Düsseldorf, 2/1988)
  • N.B. Reich, ed.: ‘An Annotated Bibliography of Recent Writings on Women in Music’, Women's Studies, Women's Status (Boulder, CO, 1988), 1–77 [CMS report]
  • R.M. Johnson: Violin Music by Women Composers: a Bio-Bibliographical Guide (Westport, CT, 1989)
  • E. Rieger, M. Oster and S. Schmidt, eds.: Sopran contra Bass: die Komponistin im Musikverlag: Nachschlagwerk aller lieferbaren Noten (Kassel, 1989)
  • A. Olivier: Komponistinnen: eine Bestandsaufnahme: die Sammlung des europäischen Frauenmusikarchivs (Düsseldorf, 1990, 2/1994)
  • J.M. Bowers and U. Bareis: ‘Bibliography on Music and Gender – Women in Music’, World of Music, 33/2 (1991), 65–103
  • M. Buzzarté: ‘Women's Contributions to the Brass Repertoire: a List of Works’, The Musical Woman: an International Perspective, iii: 1986–1990, ed. J.L. Zaimont (New York, 1991), 547–651
  • A. Heinrich: Organ and Harpsichord Music by Women Composers: an Annotated Catalog (Westport, CT, 1991)
  • L. Jennings: ‘Harp Music by Women Composers of the United States and Canada’, The Musical Woman: an International Perspective, iii: 1986–1990, ed. J.L. Zaimont (New York, 1991), 517–46
  • H. Walker-Hill: Piano Music by Black Women Composers: a Catalog of Solo and Ensemble Works (Westport, CT, 1992)
  • E.G. Schlegel: Catalogue of Published Works for String Orchestra and Piano Trio by Twentieth-Century American Women Composers (Bessemer, AL, 1993)
  • B.G. Jackson: Say Can You Deny Me: a Guide to Surviving Music by Women from the Sixteenth through the Eighteenth Centuries (Fayetteville, AR, 1994)
  • H. Walker-Hill: Music by Black Women Composers: a Bibliography of Available Scores (Chicago, 1995)
  • M.D. Ericson: Women and Music: a Selective Annotated Bibliography on Women and Gender Issues in Music, 1987-1992 (New York, 1996)
  • C. Mayer: KOM: Komponistinnen im Musikverlag: Katalog lieferbarer Musikalien (Kassel, 1996)
  • J. Macauslan and K. Aspen: Guitar Music by Women Composers: an Annotated Catalog (Westport, CT, 1997)
  • E. Rieger, ed.: Frau und Musik: Bibliographie 1970-1996 (Hildesheim, 1999)
C: Biographical dictionaries, encyclopedias
  • A.T.F. Michaelis: Frauen als schaffende Tonkünstler: ein biographisches Lexicon (Leipzig, 1888)
  • J. Towers: Women in Music (Winchester, VA, 1897)
  • O. Ebel: Women Composers: a Biographical Handbook of Women's Work in Music (Brooklyn, NY, 1902, 3/1913)
  • S. Stern: Women Composers: a Handbook (Metuchen, NJ, 1978)
  • J.W. LePage: Women Composers, Conductors, and Musicians of the Twentieth Century (Metuchen, NJ, 1980–8)
  • A. Cohen: International Encyclopedia of Women Composers (New York, 1981, 2/1987)
  • D.A. Handy: Black Women in American Bands and Orchestras (Metuchen, NJ, 1981)
  • S.J. Rogal: Sisters of Sacred Song: a Selected Listing of Women Hymnodists in Great Britain and America (New York, 1981)
  • J.L. Zaimont and K. Famera: Contemporary Concert Music by Women: a Directory of the Composers and their Works (Westport, CT, 1981)
  • S.C. Cook and T.K. LaMay: Virtuose in Italy 1600-1640: a Reference Guide (New York, 1984)
  • N. Baroncelli, ed.: Mulheres compositoras: elenco e repertório (Sao Paulo, 1987)
  • A. Olivier and K. Weingartz-Perschel: Komponistinnen von A-Z (Düsseldorf, 1988)
  • R. van Hessen and H. Metzelaar: Vrouw & muziek: informatiegids (Amsterdam, 1989)
  • V.L. Grattan: American Women Songwriters: a Biographical Dictionary (Westport, CT, 1993)
  • S. Fuller: The Pandora Guide to Women Composers: Britain and the United States (1629-Present) (London, 1994)
  • C.E. Claghorn: Women Composers and Songwriters: a Concise Biographical Dictionary (Lanham, MD, 1996)
D: Special periodicals
  • Women in Music, ed. F. Petrides (1935–40)
  • Paid my Dues: a Quarterly Journal of Women and Music (1974–80)
  • American Women Composers [AWC] News (1977–82)
  • International League of Women Composers Newsletter (1981–9)
  • Association of Canadian Women Composers [ACWC] Newsletter (1982–90)
  • American Women Composers [AWC] News/Forum (1983–93)
  • International Congress on Women in Music: Newsletter (1983–9)
  • Women and Performance: a Journal of Feminist Theory (1984–)
  • International League of Women Composers [ILWC] Journal (1989–95)
  • Association of Canadian Women Composers [ACWC] Bulletin (1990–)
  • Vivavoce [Internationaler Arbeitskreis Frau und Musik] (1991–)
  • Women of Note Quarterly (1993–)
  • International Alliance for Women in Music [IAWM] Journal (1995–)
  • Maud Powell Signature (1995–)
  • Women and Music: a Journal of Gender and Culture (1997–)
E: Special periodical numbers
  • The Etude, 19/9 (1901), xxvii/7 (1909), xxxvi/11 (1918), xlvii/11 (1929) [‘Woman's Work in Music’ issues]
  • BMI: The Many Worlds of Music (1977), no.4
  • Music Educators Journal, 65/5 (1978–9)
  • Ear Magazine East, 6/3 (1981)
  • ASCAP in Action (1987), wint.
  • Journal of American Folklore, 100/Oct–Dec (1987) [‘Folklore and Feminism’ issue]
  • Musician [New York] no.116 (1988), 36–60ff [‘The Women's Movement of 1988’]
  • Musik und Gesellschaft, 38/3 (1988)
  • Flutist Quarterly [Santa Clarita, CA], 15/2 (1990)
  • ÖMz , 46/7–8 (1991)
  • World of Music, 30/2 (1991)
  • Music Educators Journal, 78/7 (1991–2)
  • du: die Zeitschrift der Kultur [Zürich], no.4 (1992) [on women jazz singers]
  • Journal of Country Music, 15/1 (1992)
  • ON , 57/July (1992)
  • TENSO: Bulletin of the Société Guilhem IX [Louisville, KY], 7/2 (1992) [on the trobairitz]
  • Women: a Cultural Review [Oxford], 3/1 (1992)
  • British Journal of Music Education, 10/3 (1993)
  • Quarterly Journal of Music Teaching and Learning [Greely, CO], 4/4–5/1 (1993–4)
  • Contemporary Music Review, 11 (1994) [S. Fuller and N. LeFanu: ‘Reclaiming the Muse’]
  • Harmony: Forum of the Symphony Orchestra Institute [Deerfield, IL] no.6 (1998), 46–110
F: General historical studies
  • GroveA (J. Tick)
  • F.M.R. Ritter: Woman as a Musician: an Art-historical Study (New York, 1876); excerpt in Dwight's Journal of Music (6 Jan 1877), 364–5
  • G.P. Upton: Woman in Music: an Essay (Boston, 1880, 2/1886)
  • S. Stratton: ‘Woman in Relation to Musical Art’, PMA , 9 (1882–3), 115–46
  • E. Brower: ‘Is the Musical Idea Masculine’, Atlantic Monthly (1894), March, 332–9
  • R. Hughes: ‘Women Composers’, Century Magazine, 55/March (1898), 768–79
  • S. Jessel: Warum giebt es so wenige Componistinnen: Vortrag, verfasst und gehalten (…) in der Ortsgrube des Allgemeinen Deutschen Frauenvereins zu Frankfurt (Frankfurt, 1898)
  • A. Fay: ‘Women and Music’, Music [USA], 18 (1900), 505–7
  • A. Elson: Woman's Work in Music (Boston, 1903/R)
  • E. Newman: ‘Women and Music’, MT , 51 (1910), 359–61
  • H. Möller: ‘Can Women Compose?’, Musical Observer, 15/5 (1917), 9–10; xv/6 (1917), 11–12
  • A. Bonaventura: ‘Le donne italiane e la musica’, RMI , 32 (1925), 519–34
  • R. Brancour: ‘Les femmes et la musique’, RMI , 32 (1925), 363–80
  • R. Barbacci: ‘La inferioridad mental de la mujer y su reflejo en la actividad musical’, Revista musical peruana, 1/9 (1939), 1–5
  • C. Seashore: ‘Why No Great Women Composers’, Music Educators Journal, 26 (1939–40), 21, 88; also in In Search of Beauty in Music: a Scientific Approach to Musical Esthetics (New York, 2/1947), 363–7
  • S. Drinker: Music and Women: the Story of Women in their Relation to Music (New York, 1948/R, 2/1995)
  • Z. Rosés Lacoigne: Mujeres compositoras (Buenos Aires, 1950)
  • E. Pulido: La mujer mexicana en la música (hasta la tercera decada del siglo xx) (Mexico City, 1958)
  • P. Oliveros: ‘And Don't Call Them “Lady” Composers’, New York Times (13 Sept 1970), 23, 30
  • H. Roth: ‘Women and the Violin’, The Strad, 83 (1972–3), 551–63
  • J. Rosen and G. Rubin-Rabson: ‘Why Haven't Women Become Great Composers’, High Fidelity/Musical America, 23/2 (1973), 46–53
  • E. Borroff: ‘Women Composers: Reminiscence and History’, College Music Symposium, 15 (1975), 26–33
  • L. Keefer: Music Angels: a Thousand Years of Patronage (Baltimore, 1976)
  • C. Neuls-Bates: ‘Sources and Resources for Women's Studies in American Music: a Report’, Notes, 35 (1977–8), 269–83
  • C. Ammer: Unsung: a History of Women in American Music (Westport, CT, 1980)
  • E. Rieger, ed.: Frau und Musik: mit Texten von Nina D'Aubigny, Louise Adolpha le Beau und 16 anderen (Frankfurt, 1980, 2/1990)
  • E. Rieger: Frau, Musik und Männerherrschaft: zum Ausschluss der Frau aus der deutschen Musikpädagogik, Musikwissenschaft und Musikausübung (Frankfurt, 1981, 2/ 1988)
  • E. Weissweiler: Komponistinnen aus 500 Jahren: eine Kultur- und Wirkungsgeschichte in Biographien und Werkbeispielen (Frankfurt, 1981)
  • P. Adkins Chiti: Donne in musica (Rome, 1982, 2/1996)
  • C. Neuls-Bates, ed.: Women in Music: an Anthology of Source Readings from the Middle Ages to the Present (New York, 1982, 2/1996)
  • J. Tick: American Women Composers before 1870 (Ann Arbor, 1983/R)
  • J.L. Zaimont, C. Overhauser and J. Gottlieb, eds.: The Musical Woman: an International Perspective (Westport, CT, 1983–90)
  • R. Christiansen: Prima Donna: a History (London, 1984)
  • J.M. Bowers and J. Tick, eds.: Women Making Music: the Western Art Tradition, 1150-1950 (Urbana, IL, 1986)
  • B. Sonntag and R. Matthei, eds.: Annäherung - an sieben Komponistinnen: mit Berichten, Interviews und Selbstdarstellungen, 1 (Kassel, 1986–)
  • B. Brand: Komponistinnen in Berlin: 750 Jahre Berlin (Berlin, 1987)
  • R. Kydd: ‘Les femmes compositeurs au Canada: données sociologiques et historiques’, Sonances: revue musicale québecoise, 6/3 (1987), 16–22
  • E. Pulido: ‘Mexico's Women Musicians’, The Musical Woman: an International Perspective, ii:1984–1985, ed. J.L. Zaimont (Westport, CT, 1987), 313–34
  • P. Fromm: ‘Creative Women in Music: a Historical Perspective’, A Life for New Music: Selected Papers of Paul Fromm, ed. D. Gable and C. Wolff (Cambridge, MA, 1988), 42–51
  • L. Neuenschwander, A. Sutter and B. Höft: ‘Die Rolle der Frau in der Musik’, Humane Zukunft, ed. H. Kessler (Mannheim, 1988), 267–80
  • C. Rhéaume: ‘La création musicale chez les religieuses enseignantes de Montréal’, Les cahiers de l'ARMuQ [Association pour l'Avancement de la Recherche en Musique du Québec] no.10 (1988), 34–40
  • D.P. Jezic: Women Composers: the Lost Tradition Found (New York, 1989, 2/ 1994)
  • R. Cox: ‘A History of Music’, Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism, 40/4 (1990), 281–91 [Feminism issue]
  • S. McClary: Feminine Endings: Music, Gender and Sexuality (Minneapolis, 1990)
  • R.M. Story: And So I Sing: African-American Divas of Opera and Concert (New York, 1990)
  • C. Tremblay-Matte: La chanson écrite au féminin: de Madeleine de Verchères à Mitsou, 1730-1990 (Laval, 1990)
  • F. Hoffman: Instrument und Körper: die musizierende Frau in der bürgerlichen Kultur (Frankfurt, 1991)
  • H. Metzelaar and others: Zes vrouwelijke componisten (Hilversum, 1991)
  • K. Pendle, ed.: Women and Music: a History (Bloomington, IN, 1991)
  • J. Polk: ‘Distaff Dynasties’, The Musical Woman: an International Perspective, iii: 1986–1990, ed. J.L. Zaimont (New York, 1991), 739–68
  • E. Richmond: ‘Finnish Women Composers’, The Musical Woman: an International Perspective, iii: 1986–1990, ed. J.L. Zaimont (New York, 1991), 439–55
  • F. Hoffman and E. Rieger, eds.: Von der Spielfrau zur Performance-Künstlerin: auf der Suche nach einer Musikgeschichte der Frauen (Kassel, 1992)
  • J. Roselli: Singers of Italian Opera: the History of a Profession (Cambridge, 1992)
  • R.A. Solie: ‘Sophie Drinker's History’, Disciplining Music: Musicology and its Canons, ed. K. Bergeron and P. Bohlman (Chicago, 1992), 23–43
  • M.J. Citron: Gender and the Musical Canon (Cambridge, 1993)
  • R. Leppert: The Sight of Sound: Music, Representation and the History of the Bod (Berkeley, 1993)
  • K. Marshall, ed.: Rediscovering the Muses: Women's Musical Traditions (Boston, 1993)
  • R. Solie, ed.: Musicology and Difference: Gender and Sexuality in Music Scholarship (Berkeley, 1993)
  • S.C. Cook and J.S. Tsou, eds.: Cecilia Reclaimed: Feminist Perspectives on Gender and Music (Urbana, IL, 1994)
  • L.C. Dunn and N.A. Jones, eds.: Embodied Voices: Representing Female Vocality in Western Culture (Cambridge, 1994)
  • P. Moisala and R. Valkeila: Musiikin toinen sukupuoli: Naissäveltäjiä keskiajalta nykyaikaam [The Other Sex in Music: Women Composers from Medieval Times to the Present] (Helsinki, 1994)
  • C. Blackmer and P.J. Smith, eds.: En Travesti: Women, Gender Subversion, Opera (New York, 1995)
G: The ancient world
  • M. Alexiou: The Ritual Lament in Greek Tradition (London, 1974)
  • C. Calame: Les choeurs de jeunes filles en Grèce archaïque: morphologie, fonction religieuse et sociale (Rome, 1977; Eng. trans., 1997)
  • S. Pomeroy: ‘Techinkē kai mousikē’ [Artists and musicians], American Journal of Ancient History, 2 (1977), 51–68
  • M.R. Lefkowitz and M.B. Fant: Women's Life in Greece and Rome (London and Baltimore, MD, 1982, 2/1992)
  • G. Haas: ‘Musikarchäologie aus “anderer” Sicht’, SMw , 38 (1987), 7–21
  • H.W. Barker: ‘Public Music as “Fine Art” in Archaic Greece’, Antiquity and the Middle Ages, ed. J. McKinnon (London, 1990), 45–67
  • A.J. Neubecker: ‘Frauen im altgriechischen Musikleben’, Musik und Dichtung: Neue Forschungsbeiträge: Viktor Pöschl zum 80. Geburstag gewidmet, ed. M. von Albrecht and W. Schubert (Frankfurt, 1990), 13–23
  • A.N. Michelini: ‘Women and Music in Greece and Rome’, Women and Music: a History, ed. K. Pendle (Bloomington, IN, 1991), 3–7
  • F. Lissarrague: ‘Figures of Women’, A History of Women in the West, 1, ed. P.S. Pantel (Cambridge, MA, 1992), 139–230
  • C. Meyers: ‘Drum-Dance-Song Ensemble: Women's Performance in Biblical Israel’, Rediscovering the Muses: Women's Musical Traditions, ed. K. Marshall (Boston, 1993), 49–67
  • N. Sultan: ‘Private Speech, Public Pain: the Power of Women's Laments in Ancient Greek Poetry and Tragedy’, Rediscovering the Muses: Women's Musical Traditions, ed. K. Marshall (Boston, 1993), 92–110
  • E. Teeter: ‘Female Musicians in Pharaonic Egypt’, Rediscovering the Muses: Women's Musical Traditions, ed. K. Marshall (Boston, 1993), 68–91
  • D. Touliatos: ‘Traditional Role of Greek Women in Music from Antiquity to the End of the Byzantine Empire’, Rediscovering the Muses: Women's Musical Traditions, ed. K. Marshall (Boston, 1993), 111–23
  • C. Murphy: The Word According to Eve: Women and the Bible in Ancient Times and Our Own (Boston, 1998)
H: 500–1500
  • L. Eckenstein: Woman under Monasticism: Chapters on Saint-Lore and Convent Life between A.D. 500 and A.D. 1500 (Cambridge, 1896/R)
  • K. Meyer: Der chorische Gesang der Frauen mit besonderer Bezugnahme seiner Betätigung auf geistlichem Gebeit (Mittenwald, 1917)
  • Y. Rokseth: ‘Les femmes musiciennes du XIIe au XIVe siècle’, Romania, 61 (1935), 464–80
  • R. Kelso: Doctrine for the Lady of the Renaissance (Urbana, IL, 1956)
  • M. Bogin: The Women Troubadours (New York, 1976)
  • J. Kelly-Gadol: ‘Did Women Have a Renaissance?’, Becoming Visible: Women in European History, ed. R. Bridenthal and C. Koonz (Boston, 1977), 134–64
  • M. Shapiro: ‘The Provençal Trobairitz and the Limits of Courtly Love’, Signs, 3 (1978), 560–71
  • P. Bec: ‘Trobairitz et chansons de femmes: contribution à la connaissance du lyrisme féminin au moyen âge’, Cahiers de civilisation Mediévale, 22 (1979), 235–62
  • P. Dronke: Women Writers of the Middle Ages: a Critical Study of Texts from Perpetua (d. 203) to Marguerite Porete (d. 1310) (Cambridge, 1984)
  • H.M. Brown: ‘Women Singers and Women's Songs in Fifteenth-Century Italy’, Women Making Music: the Western Art Tradition, 1150-1950, ed. J. Bowers and J. Tick (Urbana, IL, 1986), 62–89
  • M.V. Coldwell: ‘“Jougleresses” and “Trobairitz”: Secular Musicians in Medieval France’, Women Making Music: the Western Art Tradition, 1150-1950, ed. J. Bowers and J. Tick (Urbana, IL, 1986), 39–61
  • E. Taitz: ‘Kol Isha: the Voice of Woman: Where was it Heard in Medieval Europe?’, Conservative Judaism, 38 (1986), 46–61
  • A.B. Yardley: ‘“Full Weel She Soong the Service Dyvyne”: the Cloistered Musician in the Middle Ages’, Women Making Music: the Western Art Tradition, 1150-1950, ed. J. Bowers and J. Tick (Urbana, IL, 1986), 15–39
  • D.L.C.M. Galles: ‘Canonesses and Plainchant’, Sacred Music, 114/1 (1987), 7–11
  • T. Seebass: ‘Lady Music, and her Proteges from Musical Allegory to Musicians’ Portraits’, MD , 42 (1988), 23–61
  • U. Mölk, ed.: Romanische Frauenlieder (Munich, 1989)
  • W.D. Paden, ed.: The Voice of the Trobairitz: Perspectives on the Women Troubadours (Philadelphia, 1989)
  • A.B. Yardley: ‘The Marriage of Heaven and Earth: a Late Medieval Source of the “Consecratio virginum”’, CMc , nos.45–7 (1990), 305–24
  • E. Borroff: ‘Women and Music in Medieval Europe’, Mediaevalia, 14 (1991), 1–21
  • A. Callahan: ‘The Trobairitz (c. 1170–1260)’, French Women Writers: a Bio-Bibliographical Sourcebook, ed. E.M. Sartori and D.W. Zimmerman (Westport, CT, 1991), 495–502
  • J.M. Edwards: ‘Women in Music to ca. 1450’, Women and Music: a History, ed. K. Pendle (Bloomington, IN, 1991), 8–28
  • P. Higgins: ‘Parisian Nobles, a Scottish Princess, and the Woman's Voice in Late Medieval Song’, EMH , 10 (1991), 145–200
  • A. Rieger: Trobairitz der Beitrag der Frau in der altokzitanischen höfischen Lyrik (Tübingen, 1991)
  • L.W. Macy: ‘Women's History and Early Music’, Companion to Medieval and Renaissance Music, ed. T. Knighton and D. Fallows (London, 1992), 93–8
  • E. Rosenn: Feminine Discourse in Medieval Provencal, Old French and Galician-Portuguese Lyrics (diss., Columbia U., 1992)
  • E. Amt, ed.: Women's Lives in Medieval Europe: a Sourcebook (New York, 1993)
  • P. Higgins: ‘The “Other Minervas”: Creative Women at the Court of Margaret of Scotland’, Rediscovering the Muses: Women's Musical Traditions, ed. K. Marshall (Boston, 1993), 169–85
  • K. Marshall: ‘Symbols, Performers, and Sponsors: Female Musical Creators in the Late Middle Ages’, Rediscovering the Muses: Women's Musical Traditions, ed. K. Marshall (Boston, 1993), 140–68
  • R.T. Rollins: ‘The Singing of Women in the Early Christian Church’, Music in Performance and Society: Essays in Honor of Roland Jackson, ed. M. Cole and J. Koegel (Warren, MI, 1997), 37–57
I: 1500–1800
  • M. Brenet: ‘Quatre femmes musiciennes’, L'art, 59 (1894), 142–7
  • M. Brenet: La musique dans les couvents de femmes depuis le moyen âge jusqu’à nos jours (Paris, 1898); also pubd in Tribune de St-Gervais, iv (1898), 25, 58, 73
  • L. de La Laurencie: ‘Les femmes et le luth en France aux XVIe et XVIIe siècles’, Le correspondant (10 May 1925), 443–51
  • A. Krille: Beiträge zur Geschichte der Musikerziehung und Musikübung der deutschen Frau (von 1750 bis 1820) (Berlin, 1938)
  • D. Arnold: ‘Orphans and Ladies: the Venetian Conservatories (1680–1790)’, PRMA , 89 (1962–3), 31–47
  • M. Bert: ‘La musique à la Maison Royale Saint-Louis de Saint-Cyr: son rôle, sa valeur’, RMFC , 3 (1963), 55–71; iv (1964), 127–31; v (1965), 91–127
  • M. Benoit: ‘Les femmes’, Versailles et les musiciens du roi 1661-1733: étude institutionnelle et Sociale (Paris, 1971), 252–63
  • M. Vilcosqui: La femme dans la musique française de 1671 à 1871: étude d'histoire musicale et sociale (diss., U. of Paris, Sorbonne, 1977)
  • G. Ellero, J. Scarpa and M.C. Paolucci, eds.: Arte e musica all'Ospedaletto (Venice, 1978)
  • E. Durante and A. Martellotti: Cronistoria del Concerto delle dame principalissime di Margherita Gonzaga d'Este (Florence, 1979)
  • M.V. Constable: ‘The Venetian “Figlie del Coro”: their Environment and Achievement’, ML , 63 (1982), 181–212
  • U. Rempel: ‘Women and Music: Ornament of the Profession?’, French Women and the Age of Enlightenment, ed. S.I. Spencer (Bloomington, 1984), 170–80
  • D. Hayes: ‘Some Neglected Women Composers of the Eighteenth Century and their Music’, CMc , no.39 (1985), 42–65
  • J. Bowers: ‘The Emergence of Women Composers in Italy, 1566–1700’ [with appx: ‘Compositions by Italian Women Published 1566–1700’], Women Making Music: the Western Art Tradition, 1150-1950, ed. J. Bowers and J. Tick (Urbana, IL, 1986), 116–67
  • A. Newcomb: ‘Courtesans, Muses, or Musicians? Professional Women Musicians in Sixteenth-Century Italy’, Women Making Music: the Western Art Tradition, 1150-1950, ed. J. Bowers and J. Tick (Urbana, IL, 1986), 90–115
  • J.A. Sadie: ‘“Musiciennes” of the Ancien Régime’, Women Making Music: the Western Art Tradition, 1150-1950, ed. J. Bowers and J. Tick (Urbana, IL, 1986), 191–223
  • L. Sawkins: ‘For and Against the Order of Nature: Who Sang Soprano’, EMc , 15 (1987), 315–24
  • R. Kroll: ‘La chanson des femmes poètes au XVIIe siècle: Mme de la Suze et Mme Deshoulières – une contribution féminine à la poésie chantée’, La chanson française et son histoire, ed. D. Rieger (Tübingen, 1988), 27–45
  • R. Leppert: Music and Image: Domesticity, Ideology and Socio-Cultural Formation in Eighteenth-Century England (Cambridge, 1988)
  • J.T. Quintana: ‘Educating Women in the Arts: Mme. Campan's School’, Eighteenth-Century Women and the Arts, ed. F.M. Keener and S.E. Lorsch (Westport, CT, 1988), 237–44
  • L.P. Austern: ‘“Sing Againe Syren”: the Female Musician and Sexual Enchantment in Elizabethan Life and Literature’, Renaissance Quarterly, 42 (1989), 420–48
  • J. Ruiter: ‘Zum Dualismus des Männlichen und des Weiblichen’, Der Charakterbegriff in der Musik: Studien zur deutschen Ästhetik der Instrumentalmusik 1740-1850 (Stuttgart, 1989), 159–70
  • H. Metzelaar: ‘An Unknown 18th-Century Dutch Woman Composer, Josina Boetzelaer (1733–1797): Introduction: Overview of Early Dutch Women Composers’, TVNM , 40/2 (1990), 3–56
  • B.G. Jackson: ‘Musical Women of the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries’, Women and Music: a History, ed. K. Pendle (Bloomington, IN, 1991), 31–53
  • W.F. Prizer: ‘Games of Venus: Secular Vocal Music in the Late Quattrocento and Early Cinquecento’, JM , 9 (1991), 3–56
  • R.J. Viano: ‘By Invitation Only: Private Concerts in France during the Second Half of the Eighteenth Century’, RMFC , 27 (1991–2), 131–62
  • R. Kendrick: ‘The Traditions of Milanese Convent Music and the Sacred Dialogues of Chiara Margarita Cozzolani’, The Crannied Wall: Women, Religion, and the Arts in Early Modern Europe, ed. C.A. Monson (Ann Arbor, 1992), 211–33
  • P. Macey: ‘“Infiamma il mio cor”: Savonarolan Laude by and for Dominican Nuns in Tuscany’, The Crannied Wall: Women, Religion, and the Arts in Early Modern Europe, ed. C.A. Monson (Ann Arbor, 1992), 161–89
  • L.P. Austern: ‘“Alluring the Auditorie to Effeminacie”: Music and the Idea of the Feminine in Early Modern England’, ML , 74 (1993), 343–54
  • S.G. Cusick: ‘Gendering Modern Music: Thoughts on the Monteverdi–Artusi Controversy’, JAMS , 46 (1993), 1–25
  • S.G. Cusick: ‘Of Women, Music and Power: a Model from Seicento Florence’, Musicology and Difference: Gender and Sexuality in Music Scholarship, ed. R. Solie (Berkeley, 1993), 281–304
  • R. Kendrick: ‘Feminized Devotion, Musical Nuns, and the ‘New Style’ Lombard Motet of the 1640s’, Rediscovering the Muses: Women's Musical Traditions, ed. K. Marshall (Boston, 1993), 124–39
  • W.F. Prizer: ‘Renaissance Women as Patrons of Music: the North-Italian Courts’, Rediscovering the Muses: Women's Musical Traditions, ed. K. Marshall (Boston, 1993), 186–205
  • L.P. Austern: ‘Music and the English Renaissance Controversy over Women’, Cecilia Reclaimed: Feminist Perspectives on Gender and Music, ed. S.C. Cook and J.S. Tsou (Urbana, IL, 1994), 52–69
  • S.G. Cusick: ‘“There Was Not One Lady who Failed to Shed a Tear”: Arianna's Lament and the Construction of Modern Womanhood’, EMc , 22 (1994), 21–41
  • B.L. Glixon: ‘Private Lives of Public Women: Prima Donnas in Mid-Seventeenth-Century Venice’, ML , 76 (1995), 509–31
  • W. Heller: Chastity, Heroism and Allure: Women in the Opera of Seventeenth-Century Venice (diss., Brandeis U., 1995)
  • C. Monson: Disembodied Voices: Music and Culture in an Early Modern Italian Convent (Berkeley, 1995)
  • D.M. Raessler: ‘London's Dancing Dogs, or, The Other Pianoforte School’, Early Keyboard Journal, 13 (1995), 81–105
  • J.L.B. Berdes: Women Musicians of Venice: Musical Foundations, 1525-1855 (Oxford, 2/1996)
  • O. Hufton: The Prospect before Her: a History of Women in Western Europe, 1500-1800 (New York, 1996)
  • R. Kendrick: Celestial Sirens: Nuns and their Music in Early Modern Milan (Oxford, 1996)
  • H. Metzelaar: From Private to Public Spheres: an Exploration of Women's Role in Dutch Musical Life from c. 1700 to c. 1880 and Three Case Studies (diss., U. of Utrecht, 1996)
  • D. Goodman: ‘Women and the Enlightenment’, Becoming Visible: Women in European History, ed. R. Bridenthal, S.M. Stuard and M. Weisner (Boston, 3/1998)
J: Since 1800
  • N. d'Aubigny von Engelbronner: Briefe an Natalie über den Gesang, als Beförderung der häuslichen Glückseligkeit und des geselligen Vergnügens: ein Handbuch für Freunde des Gesanges, die sich Selbst, oder für Mütter und Erzieherinnen, die ihre Zöglinge für diese Kunst bilden wollen (Leipzig, 1803, 2/1824)
  • M. Bourges: ‘Des femmes-compositeurs’, RGMP , 14 (1847), 305–7, 313–15; suppl. by A. de La Fage, 323–5
  • J. Kinkel: ‘Musik als Mode und Musiktheorie für Mädchen’, Acht Briefe an eine Freundin über Clavier-Unterricht (Stuttgart, 1852/R), 37–44, 53–6
  • E. Creathorne Clayton: Queens of Song: Being Memoirs of Some of the Most Celebrated Female Vocalists (London, 1863/R)
  • L.A. Le Beau: ‘Über die musikalische Erziehung der weiblichen Jugend’, Allgemeine Deutsche Musik-Zeitung (1 Nov 1878), 365–6
  • La Mara [pseud. of M. Lipsius]: Die Frauen im Tonleben der Gegenwart, 5 (Leipzig, 1882/R)
  • M. Powell: ‘Women and the Violin’, Ladies Home Journal (Feb 1896); repr. in Journal of the Violin Society of America, viii (1987), 112–16
  • H. Brower: ‘American Women Pianists: Their Views and Achievements’, Musical America, 28/26 (1918), 18–19
  • H.T. Randolph: ‘The Feminization of Music’, Music Teachers National Association: Proceedings, 17 (1923), 194–200
  • E. Smyth: Female Pipings in Eden (London, 1933)
  • O. Samaroff Stokowski: An American Musician's Story (New York, 1939)
  • J. Tick: ‘Women as Professional Musicians in the United States, 1870–1900’, Yearbook for Inter-American Musical Research, 9 (1973), 95–133
  • B. Jepson: ‘American Women in Conducting’, Feminist Art Journal, 4/4 (1976), 13–18
  • C. Clément: L'opéra, ou La défaite des femmes (Paris, 1979; Eng. trans., 1988)
  • ‘In Retrospect: Black Prima Donnas of the Nineteenth Century’, BPM , 7 (1979), 95–106
  • P. Schick: ‘Die Frau als Komponistin’ [lecture delivered at Hochschule für Musik, Leipzig, 26 Nov 1943], in Frau und Musik: mit Texten von Nina D'Aubigny, ed. E. Rieger (Frankfurt, 1980, 2/1990), 194–8
  • E. Barkin: ‘Questionnaire’, PNM , 19 (1980–81), 460–62
  • E. Barkin and others: ‘In Response’, PNM , 20 (1981–2), 288–329
  • M.D. Green: Black Women Composers: a Genesis (Boston, 1983)
  • B. Grigsby: ‘Women Composers of Electronic Music in the United States’, The Musical Woman: an International Perspective, 1983, ed. J.L. Zaimont (Westport, CT, 1984), 151–96
  • D. Hyde: New-Found Voices: Women in Nineteenth-Century English Music (Liskeard, 1984, 3/1997)
  • B. Jepson: ‘Women Music Critics in the United States’, The Musical Woman: an International Perspective, 1983, ed. J.L. Zaimont (Westport, CT, 1984), 244–64
  • V. O'Brien: ‘Living British Women Composers: a Survey’, The Musical Woman: an International Perspective, 1983, ed. J.L. Zaimont (Westport, CT, 1984), 209–34
  • S. Ehrismann and T. Meyer, eds.: Schweizer Komponistinnen der Gegenwart: eine Dokumentation (Zürich, 1985)
  • C. Ehrlich: The Music Profession in Britain since the Eighteenth Century: a Social History (Oxford, 1985)
  • J. Gottlieb: ‘Women in Music Organizations: a Preliminary Checklist’, The Music Profession in Britain since the Eighteenth Century: a Social History (Oxford, 1985), 652–62
  • M. Citron: ‘Women and the Lied, 1775–1850’, Women Making Music: the Western Art Tradition, 1150-1950, ed. J. Bowers and J. Tick (Urbana, IL, 1986), 224–48
  • C. Neuls-Bates: ‘Women's Orchestras in the United States, 1925–45’, Women Making Music: the Western Art Tradition, 1150-1950, ed. J. Bowers and J. Tick (Urbana, IL, 1986), 349–69
  • D. Allen: ‘Women's Contributions to Modern Piano Pedagogy’, The Musical Woman: an International Perspective, ii: 1984-1985, ed. J.L. Zaimont (Westport, CT, 1987), 411–44
  • C. Dahm: Kvinner komponerer: ni portretter av norske kvinnelige komponister i tiden 1840-1930 [Women Composers: Nine Portraits of Women Composers, 1840–1930] (Oslo, 1987)
  • C.A. Feather: ‘Women Band Directors in American Higher Education’, The Musical Woman: an International Perspective, ii: 1984-1985, ed. J.L. Zaimont (Westport, CT, 1987), 388–410
  • N. LeFanu: ‘Master Musician: an Impregnable Taboo?’, Contact, no.31 (1987), 4–8
  • E. Öhrström: Borgerliga kvinnors musicerande i 1800-talets Sv erige [Bourgeois Women Musicians in 19th-Century Sweden] (Göteborg, 1987)
  • G. Peeples: ‘Nineteenth-Century Strictures against Female Wind Players’, National Association of College Wind and Percussion Instructors Journal, 36/1 (1987), 11–16
  • J. Rosen: ‘Composers Speaking for Themselves: an Electronic Music Panel Discussion’, The Musical Woman: an International Perspective, ii: 1984-1985, ed. J.L. Zaimont (Westport, CT, 1987), 280–312
  • G. Haas: ‘Ein Urteil lässt sich widerlegen aber niemals ein Vorurteil: Gedanken zur Konzeption eines Komponistinnenporträts’, SMw , 39 (1988), 387–99
  • C.M. Jordan: ‘Black Female Concert Singers of the Nineteenth Century: Nellie Brown Mitchell and Marie Selika Williams’, Feel the Spirit: Studies in Nineteenth-Century Afro-American Music, ed. G.R. Keck and S.V. Martin (Westport, CT, 1988), 35–48
  • R. Samuel: ‘Women Composers Today: a Personal View’, Contact, no.32 (1988), 53–4
  • ‘The Women's Issue: Personal Narratives of Four American Conductors: Victoria Bond, Beatrice Brown, Eve Queler, and Alice Parker’, Journal of the Conductors' Guild, 9/2 (1988), 42–59
  • A. Ballstaedt and A. Widmaier: Salonmusik: zur Geschichte und Function einer bürgerlichen Musikpraxis (Stuttgart, 1989)
  • D. Kaufmann: ‘“Tüchtige Dirigentin und routinierte Trommlerin per sofort gesucht”: Musikerinnen in der “Popmusik” des 19. Jahrhunderts’, Zeitschrift für Musikpädagogik, 14 (1989), 21–6
  • D. Scott: ‘Rise of the Woman Ballad Composer’, The Singing Bourgeois: Songs of the Victorian Drawing Room and Parlour (Milton Keynes, 1989), 60–80
  • L. Shropshire: ‘Where are the Woman Composers?’, [on women film music composers] Cue Sheet, 6/2 (1989), 53–62
  • L. Whitesitt: ‘The Role of Women Impresarios in American Concert Life, 1871–1933’, American Music, 7/2 (1989), 159–80
  • P. Cohen: ‘Vintage Saxophones Revisited: Early Professional Women Saxophonists’, Saxophone Journal, 15/1 (1990), 8–13
  • J.M. Edwards: ‘All-Women's Musical Communities – Fostering Creativity and Leadership’, Bridges of Power: Women's Multicultural Alliances, ed. L. Albrecht and R.M. Brewer (Philadelphia, 1990), 95–107
  • C.M. Gruber: Nicht nur Mozarts Rivalinnen: Leben und Schaffen der 22 österreichischen Opern-Komponistinnen (Vienna, 1990)
  • G. Haas: ‘Ein Aspekt bürgerlicher Musikkultur – dargestellt anhand eines “Musikeralbums”’, ’Das Weib existiert nicht für sich’: Geschlechterbeziehungen in der bürgerlichen Gesellschaft, ed. H. Dienst and E. Saurer (Vienna, 1990), 162–73
  • J.E. Koza: ‘Music Instruction in the Nineteenth Century: Views from Godey's Lady's Book, 1830–77’, JME, 38 (1990), 245–57
  • A. Lindmayr: ‘“Weibsbilder, junge oder alte, haben auf dem Domchor überhaupt nichts zu suchen!” Allgemeines und spezielles zum Thema “Frau und Kirchenmusik”’, KJb , 74 (1990), 67–86
  • S. Mabry: ‘Music by Contemporary Women Composers’, NATS Journal, 47 (1990–91), no.1, p.33; no.2, p.28; no.3, p.40; no.4, p.32
  • A.E. Feldman: ‘Being Heard: Women Composers and Patrons at the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition’, Notes, 47 (1990–91), 7–20
  • L. Andersen: ‘Women Film and Television Composers in the United States’, The Musical Woman: an International Perspective, iii: 1986-1990, ed. J.L. Zaimont (New York, 1991), 353–70
  • C. Baier and others: ‘Österreichische Komponistinnen des 20. Jahrhunderts’, ÖMz , 46 (1991), 377–91
  • E. Carpenter: ‘Women Music Scholars in the Soviet Union’, The Musical Woman: an International Perspective, iii: 1986-1990, ed. J.L. Zaimont (New York, 1991), 456–516
  • E.L. Diemer: ‘Women Composers as Professors of Composition’, The Musical Woman: an International Perspective, iii: 1986-1990, ed. J.L. Zaimont (New York, 1991), 714–38
  • S. Glickman: ‘Women's Performance in Music Competitions, 1967–1988’, The Musical Woman: an International Perspective, iii: 1986-1990, ed. J.L. Zaimont (New York, 1991), 293–320
  • P. Gradenwitz: Literatur und Musik in geselligem Kreise: Geschmacksbildung, Gesprächsstoff und musikalische Unterhaltung in der bürgerlichen Salongesellschaft (Stuttgart, 1991)
  • J.B. Groh: Evening the Score: Women in Music and the Legacy of Frédérique Petrides (Fayetteville, AR, 1991)
  • B. Jepson: ‘Women in the Classical Recording Industry’, The Musical Woman: an International Perspective, iii: 1986-1990, ed. J.L. Zaimont (New York, 1991), 337–52
  • F. Kämpfer: ‘Sozialer Freiraum, ästhetische Nische: Frauen und Musik in der ehemaligen DDR’, NZM , Jg.152, no.10 (1991), 25–8
  • J.E. Koza: ‘Music and the Feminine Sphere: Images of Women as Musicians in Godey's Lady's Book, 1830–1877’, MQ , 75 (1991), 103–29
  • K. Lawson: ‘Women Conductors: Credibility in a Male-Dominated Profession’, The Musical Woman: An International Perspective, iii, 1986-1990, ed. J.L. Zaimont (New York, 1991), 197–219
  • M.T. Lefebvre: La création musicale des femmes au Québec (Montreal, 1991)
  • H. Matheopoulos: Diva: Great Sopranos and Mezzos Discuss their Art (London, 1991)
  • R. Matthei, ed.: Komponistinnen in Japan und Deutschland: eine Dokumentation (Kassel, 1991)
  • N.B. Reich: ‘European Composers and Musicians, ca. 1800–1890’, Women and Music: a History, ed. K. Pendle (Bloomington, IN, 1991), 8–28
  • J. Shatin: ‘Women in Computer Music: a Sampling’, AWC News/Forum, 9 (1991), March, 3–7
  • D. Bruenger: ‘Women Trombonists in North American Orchestras and Universities’, International Trombone Association Journal, 20/2 (1992), 12–21
  • L. Elkins-Marlow: ‘“Music at Every Meeting”: Music in the National League of American Pen Women and the General Federation of Women's Clubs, 1920–1940’, Politics, Gender and the Arts: Women, the Arts and Society, ed. R. Dotterer and S.R. Bowers (Selinsgrove, PA, 1992), 185–99
  • S. Fuller: ‘Unearthing a World of Music: Victorian and Edwardian Women Composers’, Women: a Cultural Review, 3/1 (1992), 16–22
  • E. Hinkle-Turner: ‘Recent Electro-Acoustic Music by Women’, ILWC Journal (1992), Oct, 8–14
  • D.E. McGinty: ‘Black Women in the Music of Washington, D.C., 1900–1920’, New Perspectives on Music: Essays in Honor of Eileen Southern, ed. J. Wright (Warren, MI, 1992), 409–49
  • J. Moore: ‘Women and the Flute in the Nineteenth Century’, Fluting and Dancing: Articles and Reminiscences for Betty Bang Mather on her 65th Birthday, ed. D. Lasocki (New York, 1992), 51–60
  • E. Rieger: ‘“Ich recycle Töne”: Schreiben Frauen anders? Neue Gedanken zu einem alten Thema’, NZM , Jg.153, no.2 (1992), 14–18
  • S. Rutherford: ‘The Voice of Freedom: Images of the Prima Donna’, The New Woman and her Sisters: Feminism and the Theatre 1850-1914, ed. V. Gardner and S. Rutherford (Ann Arbor, 1992), 95–113
  • G. Stout: ‘Women and the Flute: Three Early 20th Century Flutists’, Flutist Quarterly, 17/2 (1992), 17–27
  • H. Walker-Hill: ‘Black Women Composers in Chicago: Then and Now’, Black Music Research Journal, 12 (1992), 1–23
  • M. Wohlthat: ‘Störfaktor im Männerclub?’, NZM , Jg.153, no.11 (1992), 4–6
  • J. Wright: ‘Black Women in Classical Music in Boston During the Late Nineteenth Century: Profiles of Leadership’, New Perspectives on Music: Essays in Honor of Eileen Southern, ed. J. Wright (Warren, MI, 1992), 373–407
  • M. Myers: Blowing her Own Trumpet: European Ladies' Orchestras and other Women Musicians 1870-1950 in Sweden (Göteborg, 1993)
  • B. Philipp, ed.: Komponistinnen der Neuen Musik: Alice Samter, Felicitas Kukuck, Erna Woll, Ruth Bodenstein-Hoyme, Ruth Zechlin, Eva Schorr und Siegrid Ernst: eine Dokumentation (Kassel, 1993)
  • N.B. Reich: ‘Women as Musicians: a Question of Class’, Musicology and Difference: Gender and Sexuality in Music Scholarship, ed. R. Solie (Berkeley, 1993), 125–46
  • R. Robertson: ‘Women Winners of the Prix de Rome: a Chronological Analysis’, ILWC Journal (1993), Feb 4–7
  • K. Blair: The Torchbearers: Women and their Amateur Arts Associations in America, 1890-1930 (Bloomington, IN, 1994)
  • H. Hadlock: ‘Return of the Repressed: the Prima Donna from Hoffmann's Tales to Offenbach's Contes’, COJ , 6 (1994), 221–43
  • J. Horowitz: ‘Finding a “Real Self”: American Women and the Wagner Cult of the Late Nineteenth Century’ MQ , 78 (1994), 189–205
  • R. Locke: ‘Paradoxes of the Woman Music Patron in America’, MQ , 78 (1994), 798–825
  • B.H. Miller: ‘Ladies' Companion, Ladies' Canon? Women Composers in American Magazines from Godey's to the Ladies Home Journal’, Cecilia Reclaimed: Feminist Perspectives on Gender and Music, ed. S.C. Cook and J.S. Tsou (Urbana, IL, 1994), 156–82
  • D. Scott: ‘The Sexual Politics of Victorian Musical Aesthetics’, JRMA , 119 (1994), 91–114
  • C.P. Smith: ‘“Distinguishing Virility”: Feminism and Modernism in American Art Music’, Cecilia Reclaimed: Feminist Perspectives on Gender and Music, ed. S.C. Cook and J.S. Tsou (Urbana, IL, 1994), 90–126
  • K. O'Brien: Hymn to Her: Women Musicians Talk (London, 1995)
  • M. Buzzarté: ‘Advocacy: Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra’, IAWM Journal, 3/2 (1997), 3–7
  • K. Ellis: ‘Female Pianists and their Male Critics in Nineteenth-Century Paris’, JAMS , 50 (1997), 353–85
  • J. Halstead: The Woman Composer: Creativity and the Gendered Politics of Musical Composition (Aldershot, 1997)
  • R. Locke and C. Barr, eds.: Cultivating Music in America: Women Patrons and Activists since 1860 (Berkeley, 1997)
  • D.E. McGinty: ‘“As Large as She Can Make It”: the Role of Black Women Activists in Music, 1880–1945’, Cultivating Music in America: Women Patrons and Activists since 1860 (Berkeley, 1997), 214–36
  • C.J. Oja: ‘Women Patrons and Crusaders for Modernist Music: New York in the 1920s’, Cultivating Music in America: Women Patrons and Activists since 1860 (Berkeley, 1997), 237–66
  • L. Whitesitt: ‘Women as “Keepers of Culture”: Music Clubs, Community Concert Series, and Symphony Orchestras’, Cultivating Music in America: Women Patrons and Activists since 1860 (Berkeley, 1997), 65–89
  • A. Fauser: ‘“La Guerre en dentelles”: Women and the “Prix de Rome” in French Cultural Politics’, JAMS , 51 (1998), 83–129
K: Jazz, popular music
  • H. Jones: Big Star Fallin' Mamma: Five Women in Black Music (New York, 1974)
  • S. Cavin: ‘Missing Women: on the Voodoo Trail to Jazz’, JJS , 3/1 (1975), 4–27
  • S. Placksin: Jazzwomen: 1900 to the Present (New York, 1982)
  • M. Unterbrink: Jazz Women at the Keyboard (Jefferson, NC, 1983)
  • L. Dahl: Stormy Weather: the Music and Lives of a Century of Jazzwomen (New York, 1984)
  • J. McManus: ‘Women Jazz Composers and Arrangers’, The Musical Woman: an International Perspective, 1983, ed. J.L. Zaimont (Westport, CT, 1984), 197–208
  • W. Mellers: Angels of the Night: Popular Female Singers of our Time (Oxford, 1986)
  • D.D. Harrison: Black Pearls: Blues Queens of the 1920's (New Brunswick, NJ, 1988)
  • C. Greig: Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow? Girl Groups from the 50s on (London, 1989)
  • M. Bayton: ‘How Women become Musicians’, On Record: Rock, Pop, and the Written Word, ed. S. Frith and A. Goodwin (New York, 1990), 238–57
  • B. Bradby: ‘Do-Talk and Don't-Talk: the Division of the Subject in Girl-Group Music’, On Record: Rock, Pop, and the Written Word, ed. S. Frith and A. Goodwin (New York, 1990), 341–68
  • R. Pratt: ‘Women's Voices, Images and Silences’, Rhythm and Resistance: Explorations in the Political Uses of Popular Music (New York, 1990), 143–74
  • U. Büchter-Römer: New Vocal Jazz: Untersuchungen zur zeitgenössischen improvisierten Musik mit der Stimme anhand ausgewählter Beispiele (Frankfurt, 1991)
  • A. Wells: ‘Women on the Pop Charts: a Comparison of Britain and the United States, 1960–1988’, Popular Music and Society, 15/1 (1991), 25–32
  • G. Gaar: She's a Rebel: the History of Women in Rock & Roll (Seattle, 1992)
  • M. Bayton: ‘Feminist Musical Practice: Problems and Contradictions’, Rock and Popular Music: Politics, Policies, Institutions, ed. T. Bennett and others (London, 1993), 177–92
  • M.A. Bufwack and R.K. Oermann: Finding her Voice: the Saga of Women in Country Music (New York, 1993)
  • P. Antelyes: ‘Red Hot Mamas: Bessie Smith, Sophie Tucker, and the Ethnic Maternal Voice in American Popular Song’, Embodied Voices: Representing Female Vocality in Western Culture, ed. L. Dunn and N. Jones (Cambridge, 1994), 212–29
  • V.T. Berry: ‘Feminine or Masculine: the Conflicting Nature of Female Images in Rap Music’, Cecilia Reclaimed: Feminist Perspectives on Gender and Music, ed. S.C. Cook and J.S. Tsou (Urbana, IL, 1994), 183–201
  • T. Rose: ‘Bad Sistas’, Black Noise: Rap Music and Black Culture in Contemporary America (Hanover, NH, 1994), 146–82
  • L. Gourse: Madame Jazz: Contemporary Women Instrumentalists (New York, 1995)
  • L. O'Brien: She Bop: the Definitive History of Women in Rock, Pop and Soul (New York, 1995)
  • S. Reynolds and J. Press: Sex Revolts: Gender, Rebellion, and Rock ’n’ Roll (Cambridge, 1995)
  • B. Weinbaum: ‘Matriarchal Music Making’, Sounding Off: Music as Subversion/Resistance/Revolution, ed. R. Sakolsky and F. Wei-han Ho (Brooklyn, NY, 1995), 41–51
  • S. Cooper, ed.: Girls! Girls! Girls!: Essays on Women and Music (New York, 1996)
  • R. Roberts: Ladies First: Women in Music Videos (Jackson, MS, 1996)
  • A. Davis: Blues Legacies and Black Feminism: Gertrude ’Ma’ Rainey, Bessie Smith, and Billie Holiday (New York, 1998)
L: Disciplinary and professional studies
  • College Music Society: Status of Women in College Music: Preliminary Studies, ed. C. Neuls-Bates (Binghamton, NY, 1976)
  • E. Wood: ‘Review Essay: Women In Music’, Signs, 6/2 (1980), 283–97
  • C. Neuls-Bates: ‘Creating a College Curriculum for the Study of Women in Music’, The Musical Woman: an International Perspective, 1983, ed. J.L. Zaimont (Westport, CT, 1984), 265–82
  • E. Durbin: ‘Women and the Arts: a Survey of Recent Progress’, ’The Green Stubborn Bud’: Women's Culture at the Century's Close, ed. K.F. Clarenbach and E.L. Kamarck (Metuchen, NJ, 1987), 199–351
  • E. Rieger: ‘Feministische Musikpädagogik: sektiererischer Irweg oder Chance zu einer Neuorientierung’, Musikpädagogische Forschung, 8 (1987), 123–32
  • A.F. Block: ‘The Status of Women in College Music, 1986–1987: a Statistical Report’, Women's Studies, Women's Status (Boulder, CO, 1988), 79–165
  • College Music Society: Committee on the Status of Women in Music: Women's Studies, Women's Status (Boulder, CO, 1988)
  • E. Gates: ‘The Female Voice: Sexual Aesthetics Revisited’, Journal of Aesthetic Education, 22/4 (1988), 59–68
  • J.M. Bowers: ‘Feminist Scholarship and the Field of Musicology: I’, College Music Symposium, 29 (1989), 81–92
  • S.C. Cook: ‘Women, Women's Studies, Music and Musicology: Issues in Pedagogy and Scholarship’, College Music Symposium, 29 (1989), 93–100
  • J.M. Edwards: ‘Women and Music’, National Women's Studies Association Journal, 1 (1989), 506–18
  • P. Picard: ‘Does Gender Matter? an Evaluation of the Arts Curriculum’, The Claims of Feeling: Readings in Aesthetic Education (London, 1989), 200–279
  • J.M. Bowers: ‘Feminist Scholarship and the Field of Musicology: II’, College Music Symposium, 30/1 (1990), 1–13
  • S. Cant: ‘Women Composers and the Music Curriculum’, British Journal of Music Education, 7/1 (1990), 5–13
  • C. Rabson: ‘Women's Contributions to Music Scholarship’, The Musical Woman: an International Perspective, iii: 1986-1990, ed. J.L. Zaimont (New York, 1991), 238–92
  • A.D. Shapiro: ‘A Critique of Current Research on Music and Gender’, World of Music, 33/2 (1991), 5–13
  • R. Solie: ‘What Do Feminists Want? a Reply to Pieter van den Toorn’, JM , 9 (1991), 399–410
  • P.C. van den Toorn: ‘Politics, Feminism and Contemporary Music Theory’, JM , 9 (1991), 275–99
  • R. Samuel: ‘Feminist Musicology: Endings or Beginnings?’, Women: a Cultural Review, 3/1 (1992), 65–9
  • R. Jezer: ‘Women in Music Academia: a Statistical and Humanistic Analysis’, Gender, Culture and the Arts: Women, the Arts, Society, ed. R. Dotterer and S. Bowers (Selinsgrove, PA, 1993), 152–67
  • S. McClary: ‘Reshaping a Discipline: Musicology and Feminism in the 1990s’, Feminist Studies, 19 (1993), 399–423
  • R. Solie: ‘Changing the Subject’, CMc , no.53 (1993), 55–65
  • L. Treitler: ‘Gender and other Dualities of Music History’, Musicology and Difference: Gender and Sexuality in Music Scholarship, ed. R. Solie (Berkeley, 1993), 23–45
  • P. Higgins: ‘Women in Music, Feminist Criticism, and Guerrilla Musicology: Reflections on Recent Polemics’, 19CM , 17 (1993–4), 174–92
  • E. Sala: ‘Women Crazed by Love: an Aspect of Romantic Opera’, OQ , 10/3 (1993–4), 19–41
  • G. Cowart: ‘Of Women, Sex and Folly: Opera under the Old Regime’, COJ , 6 (1994), 205–20
  • S.G. Cusick: ‘Feminist Theory, Music Theory, and the Mind/Body Problem’, PNM , 32/1 (1994), 8–27
  • M. Guck: ‘A Woman's (Theoretical) Work’, PNM , 32/1 (1994), 28–43
  • J. Hepokoski: ‘Masculine-Feminine’, MT , 135 (1994), 494–9
  • M. Kielian-Gilbert: ‘Of Poetics and Poiesis, Pleasure and Politics – Music Theory and Modes of the Feminine’, PNM , 32/1 (1994), 44–67
  • R.K. Lamb: ‘Feminism as Critique in Philosophy of Music Education’, Philosophy of Music Education, 2/2 (1994), 59–74
  • S. McClary: ‘Of Patriarchs … Matriarchs, Too’, MT , 135 (1994), 364–9
  • S. McClary: ‘Paradigm Dissonances: Music Theory, Cultural Studies, Feminist Criticism’, PNM , 32/1 (1994), 68–85
  • J. Rycenga: ‘The Uncovering of Ontology in Music: Speculative and Conceptual Feminist Music’, Repercussions, 3/1 (1994), 22–46
  • E. Rieger: ‘“Gender Studies” und Musikwissenschaft – ein Forschungsbericht’, Mf , 48 (1995), 235–50 [review essay]
  • B. Coeyman: ‘Applications of Feminist Pedagogy to the College Music Major Curriculum: an Introduction to the Issues’, College Music Symposium, 36 (1996), 73–90
  • B. Payne: ‘The Gender Gap: Women on Music Faculties in American Colleges and Universities, 1993–1994’, College Music Symposium, 36 (1996), 91–102
  • L. Green: Music, Gender, Education (Cambridge, 1997)
  • R.K. Lamb: ‘Music Trouble: Desire, Discourse, Education’, Canadian University Music Review, 18 (1997), 84–98

III. World music

  • Ellen Koskoff

The past 30 years have seen an increase in women's social, economic and political status in many cultures worldwide, as well as increasing opportunities for women to create, perform and control all aspects of their music-making. In addition, scholars in fields such as ethnomusicology, anthropology, folklore and cultural studies have become increasingly interested in understanding the social and political relationships between men and women in a wide variety of cultures that foster or restrict men's and women's participation in diverse musical contexts. This section presents some of the current issues and research devoted to women's music and, more broadly, to music and gender. It centres on areas where (1) women's music is the main focus of study; (2) women are the main cultural informants; or (3) gender is the main context for the discussion of music. It concentrates on a variety of contemporary cultural settings, primarily outside the matrix of the Western classical music system.

For further information on women's music in non-Western cultural traditions, see articles on individual countries.

1. History of research and analysis.

Literature devoted to the study of women's music in world cultures falls into three historical yet overlapping periods, each marked by different research and analytical paradigms. The first (c1910–present) dealt with the near invisibility of women's musical activity in the scholarly literature, concentrating primarily on collecting, documenting and notating women's music, essentially contributing to a more holistic view of the world's musical cultures. The second wave (since c1965), influenced primarily by anthropology and folklore, began to refashion the question of women's music, framing it instead within the broader context of gender relations. Scholars looked at various societies' gender arrangements, ranging from gender hierarchy (where men controlled most aspects of women's public and expressive life) to gender equality (where men and women had equal autonomy). They also examined gender styles – ways in which power and value were negotiated or mediated between men and women, ranging from coercion to collaboration – and looked at music creation and performance as contexts for reinforcing, changing or protesting gender relations. The third wave of literature (since c1985), heavily influenced by postmodern scholarship in feminist theory, cultural and performance studies, semiotics and psychoanalysis, has sought to understand the links between social and musical structures, and how each can be seen as embedded within the other.

A quick glance at the geographical range of the literature shows that not all the world's musical cultures have been equally researched and that much more information is needed on all aspects of women's musical behaviour, especially among the traditional cultures of Central and South America, Africa and Asia. In all the literature, however, one universal exists: nowhere do men and women have equal access to all musical opportunities within a culture. Gender-based restrictions of some sort exist everywhere, from the mildest and most subtle (such as steering a young American boy away from playing the harp in the school orchestra) to the most violent (threats of gang rape against the Mundurucú women of central Brazil who catch sight of men's sacred flutes).

One of the problems facing the study of women's music in world cultures, and of gender issues in music in general, is that the analytical tools and models are largely Western-orientated, concentrating on Western constructs (such as the bi-polarity of the sexes) and a unitary Western conception of music. Although all societies recognize two human biological categories (‘male’ and ‘female’) and use them as a primary basis for the division of labour, gender categories (‘man’ and ‘woman’) are social constructs seen within specific contexts. Each society thus invents gender ideologies (often linked to religious, social, economic and other systems within the culture), which act as models, or templates, for gender-typical behaviours. Gender categories and ideologies are thus fluid, and constantly changing across time and space. There are no societies in which men and women have had total gender equality, that is, equal access to all political, economic and expressive aspects of culture, although there are many where men's and women's separate activities are, for the most part, equally valued or necessary to cultural maintenance. Likewise, although all societies select certain sounds to perform, and value such sounds over others, not all would refer to them as ‘music’, a term associated in many cultures with public, sexual or decadent (Western) values. Thus, it is crucial that future research takes into account indigenous understandings of analytical categories as much as possible.

2. Women's music in everyday and ritual life.

In many of the world's cultures, especially those based on traditional agrarian or exchange economies, women are still primarily defined by their biological roles as bearers and nurturers of children, and much of their everyday and ritual activity is either empowered or constrained by these activities. Most of the existing literature on women's music thus reflects this status, focussing on music and life-cycle rituals (those associated with birth, puberty, marriage and death), on women's roles in calendrical rituals and ceremonies, on women's roles in religious systems and on their traditional roles as healers.

In the Americas, for example, a long history of research on Amerindian women concentrates on puberty and initiation rituals, or on ceremonies that celebrate the power of women's fertility and spirituality to sustain tribal life. Similarly, in parts of Africa, especially among the Venda in the south, the central rainforest BaAka, and women in Sudanic Africa, as well as in India, Australia, Peninsular Malaysia, Papua New Guinea and the Pacific Islands, women's powerful and valued status as mothers and nurturers is reflected in studies of childbirth songs, and in celebrations of women's specialized sexual and ritual knowledge. Indeed, in cultures where there is an ideology of gender-equality, women's music is both necessary and sufficient for maintaining social and spiritual balance.

Two important genres of music almost universally performed by women and often linked together, especially in societies that are patriarchal and patrilocal, are wedding songs and laments. Young women, on marriage, generally leave the protection of their original homes, families and communities, and many have historically faced hardships in the homes of their husbands or mothers-in-law, frequently dying in childbirth. Women who survive the birth of many children, the death of other family members, and grow into old age, often take on new, important roles as lamenters within their communities and assume the responsibilities of communal mourning and burial.

Collections and other documentation of songs of love, courtship and marriage are found in great numbers in the literature: wedding and other life-cycle songs among Jews and Muslims in Morocco and Israel; wedding songs performed by women in North India, Albania and Canada; love songs composed and performed by Zulu women in Africa and by young, unmarried women, as part of long rituals of courtship, in the Philippines and in Turkey. Studies of lament, or of women's roles in funerary rituals, are found predominantly in the literature on Greek, Finnish and Hungarian women and among the Ga in south-eastern Ghana ( see also Lament ).

In addition to life-cycle rituals, there are numerous studies that address women's and men's ritual responsibilities during the yearly agrarian cycle of planting, harvesting and preserving. Some of the earliest and most important collections and discussions of folksongs from eastern and southern Europe and the USA, as well as from northern Thailand, for example, document women's songs associated with gender-based work activities, such as sewing, cooking and working bees, and with special ritual contexts accompanying planting and harvesting. Issues of women's identity and work are also addressed in a study of Kpelle women in Liberia.

Most world religious systems are male-dominated, in that men generally control the ritual, legal and expressive aspects of religious activity. Women, though always present, have often been overlooked in this context, and there is a small but growing literature documenting women's musical roles in major religious systems worldwide. The most extensive documentation outside the Western Classical music system (itself largely based on early Christian musical practice) is found in the literature on black American gospel and other church-related musics; Jewish liturgical and para-liturgical musics; and Muslim women in Saudi Arabia, North India and Pakistan. In addition, the ‘feminine spirit’, often seen as crucial to the efficacy of ritual, is frequently celebrated in traditional Amerindian culture, as well as within the Hindu and Buddhist traditions, primarily in Cambodia and Java, as well as elsewhere.

In many societies women take on the role of shaman and often practise outside the sanctioned religious systems of their communities. Part-healer, part-musician, spirit-guide and actor, the shaman is frequently called on to cure individual, family and community illness. Women are often regarded as more powerful than men in this role, as their fertility and perceived psychological openness seem to make them better adapted to mediating between the spirit and human worlds. Nowhere has this tradition been more fully documented than in Korea, with major studies on mudang (female shamans) and the ritual known as kut. Other studies have also appeared documenting female shamans in Siberia, Haiti and the USA.

3. Music in the court and harem.

From about 1000 ce to the present day, many societies, especially in Europe, the Middle East, North Africa and Asia, developed intricate religious and politically centralized court systems, where the ruling nobility or élite, usually defended by a warrior class, owned and controlled the land. This socio-economic system proved advantageous for the arts, especially for music, as court rituals and ceremonies required many elaborate performances and a constant stream of musicians and composers. The patronage system that developed in these areas disappeared with the rise of the urban middle class, where musicians, especially in western Europe, often acted as free agents and gained more control over their musical activities. But the legacy of the politico-religious court system still lingers in many of the world's cultures.

Women were frequently drawn from surrounding villages and farming areas to participate as courtesans in court life, as musicians, singers, dancers and composers. Indeed, many of the world's classical music systems developed and grew within court contexts, especially in Europe, India, China and Indonesia. In most societies, however, courtesans (but not courtiers) were viewed with some ambivalence. Contrary to the norm, these women were often highly educated, professional musicians, singers and dancers, who were also viewed as public women, that is, women who publicly performed not only their music but also their sexuality, primarily for male patrons. Courtesan traditions have been fairly well documented, especially in China, Korea, Japan, Indonesia, Egypt, India, Nigeria, Tunisia, Cyprus, and within the medieval Arabo-Islamic courts and the Christian courts of Europe ( see Courtesan ).

4. Popular and commercial music.

The 20th century has seen the unprecedented growth of technology and spread of Western music throughout the world, via the importation of Western styles of teaching and through the commercial recording industry. Thus, it is not uncommon today to see Western-style schools of music in many parts of Africa and Asia, or, even in the most remote villages, to hear the latest hits from American, Asian or European groups on radio, cassette tape or CD. Women, long associated with singing and dancing within the courtesan traditions (if less so as instrumentalists), have often become articulate spokespersons for cultural change and modernization, or for protesting their gender status.

A tremendous amount of popular literature exists that chronicles the lives and times of female singers, especially in the West; the scholarly literature, however, is relatively small by comparison. Most work centres on black American blues and jazz singers, especially in the first half of the 20th century when women such as Ma Rainey and Bessie Smith were stars. Blues lyrics, especially, provided a context for women to protest various gender issues, such as infidelity, abandonment and other abuses. Other work on popular female singers includes publications on women-identified (i.e. lesbian) music in the USA, on popular singers in Mali, South Africa and Croatia, and on the great Egyptian singer Umm Kulthum, a powerful icon of Egyptian nationalism and modernization in the first half of the 20th century. See also Popular music, §II .

5. New research.

Since about 1985, new, postmodern studies addressing the issue of gender in song lyrics and in musical structure itself have begun to appear, most prominently within the literature on Western classical and popular musics. These studies examine song texts, sound structures and actual performances as materializations of gender relationships and, in openly political ways, try to understand and address the power imbalances found between men and women in virtually all world cultures. Some literature, such as that on the popular performers Madonna, Annie Lennox and other contemporary Western singers and songwriters, focusses on the strategies used by these powerful women to subvert or overthrow male domination by questioning and playing with the bi-polarized constructions of gender in Western culture. Similarly, recent scholarship on rock, rap, blues and American balladry, and on women's musical life stories, openly addresses questions of sexual identity politics within music, the music industry, and within such contexts as the home and the Internet. Outside the USA, scholars working on a number of areas – the Arab Middle East, Jewish communities in Israel, female singers in Ethiopia and Turkey, folksingers in north India, Australia and among the Maori – are examining the ways in which culture-specific constructions of gender and resulting inter-gender relations are actually performed through the musical and sexual body.

Far more research and far more understanding of the wide variety of gendered musical and social behaviours and contexts are needed. Women have always been at least one half of the world's population, yet little of their music or musical performance has been documented within the Western academy, itself a male-dominated institution. This is changing as more women and men become sensitive to the diversity and creativity of both gendered constructs and the varied musical sounds the world offers, but much more research and analysis is needed in order to balance the picture.


A: General sources, anthologies
  • H. Cormier, ed.: Women and Folk Music: a Select Bibliography (Washington DC, 1978)
  • J. Riley: ‘Women and World Music: Straining our Ears to the Silence’, Heresies: A Feminist Publication on Art and Politics, no.10 (New York, 1980)
  • E. Wood: ‘Women in Music’, Signs, 6/2 (1980), 283–97
  • J.L. Zaimont, ed.: The Musical Woman: an International Perspective (Westport, CT, 1983)
  • E. Koskoff, ed.: Women and Music in Cross-Cultural Perspective (Westport, CT, 1987) [incl. C.E. Robertson: ‘Power and Gender in the Musical Experiences of Women’, 225–44]
  • J. Shepherd: ‘Music and Male Hegemony’, Music and Society: the Politics of Composition, Performance, and Reception, ed. R. Leppert and S. McClary (Cambridge, 1987), 151–72
  • R. Keeling, ed.: Women in North American Indian Music: Six Essays (Bloomington, IN, 1989)
  • E. Koskoff: ‘Both In and Between: Women's Musical Roles in Ritual Life’, Music and the Experience of God, ed. M.V. Burnim, M. Collins and D. Power (Edinburgh, 1989), 82–93
  • C.E. Robertson: ‘Singing Social Boundaries into Place: the Dynamics of Gender and Performance in Two Cultures’, Sonus, 10 (1989–90), no.1, pp. 59–71; no.2, pp.1–13
  • M. Herndon and S. Ziegler, eds.: Music, Gender, and Culture (Wilhelmshaven, 1990) [incl. M. Herndon: ‘Biology and Culture: Music, Gender, Power, and Ambiguity’, 11–26]
  • M. Herndon and S. Ziegler, eds.: ‘Women in Music and Music Research’, World of Music, 33/2 (1991) [whole issue]
  • L.J. Jones: ‘Women in Non-Western Music’, Women and Music: a History, ed. K. Pendle (Bloomington, IN, 1991), 314–30
  • B. Lincoln: Emerging from the Chrysalis: Rituals of Women's Initiation (New York, 1991)
  • S. McClary: Feminine Endings: Music, Gender, and Sexuality (Minneapolis, 1991)
  • M. Sarkissian: ‘Gender and Music’, Ethnomusicology: an Introduction, ed. H. Myers (New York, 1992), 337–48
  • K. Marshall, ed.: Rediscovering the Muses: Women's Musical Traditions (Boston, 1993)
  • C.E. Robertson: ‘The Ethnomusicologist as Midwife’, Musicology and Difference: Gender and Sexuality in Music Scholarship, ed. R. Solie (Berkeley, 1993), 107–24
  • P. Brett and E. Wood, eds.: Queering the Pitch: the New Gay and Lesbian Musicology (New York, 1994)
  • S. Cook and J.S. Tsou: Cecilia Reclaimed: Feminist Perspectives on Gender and Music (Urbana, IL, 1994)
  • E. Koskoff: ‘When Women Play: the Relationship between Musical Instruments and Gender Style’, Canadian University Music Review, 16/1 (1995), 114–27
  • W. Washabaugh, ed.: The Passion of Music and Dance: Body, Gender, Sexuality (Oxford, 1998)
  • B. Diamond and P. Moisala, eds.: Music and Gender: Negotiating Shifting Worlds (Urbana, IL, 2000) [incl. M. Herndon: ‘The Place of Gender within Complex Dynamical Musical Systems’]
B: North America
  • F. Densmore: Chippewa Music (Washington, DC, 1910–13)
  • C.I. Frisbie: Kinaalda: a Study of the Navaho Girl's Puberty Ceremony (Middletown, CT, 1965)
  • N.H. Saldaña: ‘La Malinche: her Representation in Dances of Mexico and the United States’, EthM , 10 (1966), 289–309
  • B.L. Hawes: ‘Folksongs and Function: some Thoughts on the American Lullaby’, Journal of American Folklore, 87 (1974), 140–48
  • E. Alloy and M. Rogers: Working Women's Music: the Songs and Struggles of Women in the Cotton Mills, Textile Plants, and Needle Trades (Somerville, MA, 1976)
  • F. Driggs: Women in Jazz: a Survey (New York, 1977)
  • S. Frith and A. McRobbie: ‘Rock and Sexuality’, Screen Education, 29 (1978), 371–89
  • G. Kurath: Tutelo Rituals on Six Nations Reserve, Ontario (Ann Arbor, 1981)
  • J. Vander: ‘The Song Repertoire of Four Shoshone Women: a Reflection of Cultural Movements and Sex Roles’, EthM , 26 (1982), 73–83
  • J. Stewart and B. Jones, eds.: For the Ancestors: Autobiographical Memories (Urbana, IL, 1983)
  • R. Keeling: ‘Contrast of Song Performance Style as a Function of Sex-Role Polarity in the Hupa Brush Dance’, EthM , 29 (1985), 185–212
  • A.D. Shapiro and I. Talamantez: ‘The Mescalero Apache Girls' Puberty Ceremony: the Role of Music in Structuring Ritual Time’, YIFMC , 18 (1986), 77–90
  • J. Cohen: ‘"Ya salió de la mar": Judeo-Spanish Wedding Songs among Moroccan Jews in Canada’, Women and Music in Cross-Cultural Perspective, ed. E. Koskoff (Westport, CT, 1987), 55–68
  • M. Jamal: Shape Shifters: Shaman Women in Contemporary Society (New York, 1987)
  • D. Kodish: ‘Absent Gender, Silent Encounter’, Journal of American Folklore, 100 (1987), 573–8
  • K. Petersen: ‘An Investigation into Woman-Identified Music’, Women and Music in Cross-Cultural Perspective, ed. E. Koskoff (Westport, CT, 1987), 203–12
  • J. Vander: Songprints: the Musical Experience of Five Shoshone Women (Urbana, IL, 1988)
  • R. Keeling, ed.: Women in North American Indian Music (Bloomington, IN, 1989) [incl. B.D. Cavanagh: ‘Music and Gender in the Sub-Arctic Algonkian Area’, American Indian Music, 55–66; C. Frisbie: ‘Gender and Navajo Music: Unanswered Questions’, 22–38; O.T. Hatton: ‘Gender and Musical Style in Gros Ventre War Expedition songs’, 39–54; R. Keeling: ‘Musical Evidence of Female Spiritual Life among the Yurok’, 67–78; T. Vennum jr.: ‘The Changing Role of Women in Ojibway Music History’, 13–21]
  • C. Gilkes: ‘Together and in Harness: Women's Traditions in the Sanctified Church’, Black Women in United States History, ed. D.C. Hine (Brooklyn, 1990)
  • G.D. Goode: Preachers of the Word and Singers of the Gospel: the Ministry of Women among Nineteenth Century African-Americans (Philadelphia, 1990)
  • J.R. Stuttgen: ‘Kentucky Folksong in Northern Wisconsin: Evolution of the Folksong Tradition in Four Generations of Jacobs Women’, Southern Folklore, 48 (1991), 275–89
  • H. Carby: ‘In Body and Spirit: Representing Black Women Musicians’, Black Music Research Journal, xi:2 (1992), 177–92
  • L.K. Kivi: Canadian Women Making Music (Toronto, 1992)
  • E. Koskoff: ‘Miriam Sings her Song: the Self and the Other in Anthropological Discourse’, Musicology and Difference: Gender and Sexuality in Music Scholarship, ed. R. Solie (Berkeley, 1993), 149–63
  • S.C. Cook and J.S. Tsou, eds.: Cecilia Reclaimed: Feminist Perspective on Gender and Music (Urbana, IL, 1994) [incl. S.C. Cook: ‘“Cursed Was She”: Gender and Power in American Balladry’, 202–24; J.C. Post: ‘Erasing the Boundaries between Public and Private in Women's Performance Traditions’, 35–51]
  • V. Giglio: Southern Cheyenne Women's Songs (Norman, OK, 1994)
  • J.A. Jones: ‘Nez Perce Women, Music, and Cultural Change’, Women of Note Quarterly, 3/3 (1995), 6–19
  • E. Koskoff: ‘The Language of the Heart: Music in Lubavitcher Life’, New World Hasidim: Ethnographic Studies of Hasidic Jews in America, ed. J.S. Belcove-Shalin (Albany, NY, 1995), 87–106
  • B. Diamond and P. Moisala, eds.: Music and Gender: Negotiating Shifting Worlds (Urbana, IL, 2000) [incl. J. Bowers: ‘Writing the Biography of a Black Woman Blues Singer’; B. Diamond: ‘The Interpretation of Gender Issues in Musical Life Stories’]
C: Central and South America, Caribbean
  • D.Z. Olivella: ‘An Introduction to the Folk Dances of Columbia’, EthM , 11 (1) (1967), 91–6
  • D. Olsen: ‘Japanese Music in Peru’, Asian Music, 11/2 (1980), 41–51
  • A. Seeger: ‘Sing for your Sister: the Structure and Performance of Suya Akia’, The Ethnography of Musical Performance, ed. N. McLeod and M. Herndon (Norwood, PA, 1980), 7–42; repr. in A Century of Ethnomusicological Thought, ed. K.K. Shelemay (New York, 1990), 269–304
  • E.B. Basso: ‘Musical Expression and Gender Identity in the Myth and Ritual of the Kalapalo of Central Brazil’, Women and Music in Cross-Cultural Perspective, ed. E. Koskoff (Westport, CT, 1987), 163–76
  • J.M. Chernela: ‘Gender, Language and Placement in Uanano Songs’, Journal of Latin American Lore, 14 (1988), 193–206
  • D.P. Hernandez: ‘Cantando la cama vacía: Love, Sexuality and Gender Relationships in Dominican Bachata’, Popular Music, 9 (1990), 351–67
  • B. Seitz: ‘Songs, Identity and Women's Liberation in Nicaragua’, Latin American Music Review, 12/1 (1991), 21–41
  • F.R. Aparicio: Listening to Salsa: Gender, Latin Popular Music and Puerto Rican Cultures (Middletown, CT, 1997)
  • W. De Kooning: Sacred Possessions, ed. M.F. Olmos and L. Paravisini-Gebert (New Brunswick, NJ, 1997)
D: Africa
  • GEWM, i (’Pop Music in Africa’, A. Impey)
  • M. Mackay: ‘The Shantu Music of the Harims of Nigeria’, AfM , 1/2 (1955), 56–7
  • J. Blacking: ‘Songs, Dances, Mimes and Symbolism of Venda Girls' Initiation Schools’, African Studies, 28 (1969), 3–35, 69–118, 149–99, 215–66
  • K.A. Gourlay: ‘Trees and Anthills: Songs of the Karimojong Women's Groups’, AfM , 4/4 (1970), 114–21
  • J.C. DjeDje: Distribution of the One-String Fiddle in West Africa (Los Angeles, 1980)
  • B. Hampton: ‘Music and Ritual Symbolism in the Ga Funeral’, Yearbook for Traditional Music, 14 (1982), 75–105
  • C.A. Campbell and C.M. Eastman: ‘Ngoma: Swahili Adult Song Performance in Context’, EthM , 28 (1984), 467–93
  • J.C. DjeDje: ‘Women and Music in Sudanic Africa’, More than Drumming, ed. I. Jackson (Westport, CT, 1985), 67–89
  • R. Joseph: ‘Zulu Women's Bow Songs: Ruminations on Love’, Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies, 50 (1987), 90–119
  • L. Monts: ‘Vai Women's Roles in Music, Masking, and Ritual Performance’, African Musicology …: a Festschrift presented to J.H. Kwabena Nketia, 1, ed. J.C. DjeDje and W.G. Carter (Los Angeles, 1989), 219–36
  • R.C. Okafor: ‘Women in Igbo Musical Culture’, Nigerian Field, 54 (1989), 3–4
  • M. Rorich: ‘Shebeens, Slumyards and Sophiatown: Black Women, Music and Cultural Change in Urban South Africa’, World of Music, 31/1 (1989), 78–101
  • C.E. Schmidt: ‘Womanhood, Work and Song among the Kpelle of Liberia’, African Musicology …: a Festschrift presented to J.H. Kwabena Nketia, 1, ed. J.C. DjeDje and W.G. Carter (Los Angeles, 1989), 237–64
  • R.C. Carlisle: ‘Women Singers in Darfur, Sudan Republic’, A Century of Ethnomusicological Thought, ed. K.K. Shelemay (New York, 1990), 207–24
  • C. Schmidt: ‘Group Expression and Performance Among Kpelle Women's Associations of Liberia’, Music, Gender and Culture, ed. M. Herndon and S. Ziegler (Wilhelmshaven, 1990), 131–42
  • W. Bender: ‘Great Female Singers: Mali’, Sweet Mother: Modern African Music (Chicago, 1991), 21–31 [Eng. trans. of Ger. orig., 1985]
  • D. Dargie: ‘Umngqokolo: Xhosa Overtone Singing and the Song Nondel'ekhaya’, AfM , 7/1 (1991), 32–47
  • J. Topp Fargion: ‘The Role of Women in taarab in Zanzibar: an Historical Examination of a Process of “Africanization”’, World of Music, 35/2 (1993), 109–25
  • D. Wagner-Glenn: Searching for a Baby's Calabash: a Study of Arusha Maasai Fertility Songs as Crystallized Expression of Central Cultural Values (Affalterbach, 1993)
  • M. Kisliuk: ‘Performance and Modernity among Ba-Aka Pygmies: a Closer Look at the Mystique of Egalitarian Forgers in the Rainforest’, Music and Gender: Negotiating Shifting Worlds, ed. B. Diamond and P. Moisala (Urbana, IL, 2000)
E: North Africa, Middle East
  • E. Gerson-Kiwi: ‘Wedding Dances and Songs of the Jews of Bokhara’, JIFMC , 2 (1950), 17–18
  • N. McLeod and M. Herndon: ‘The bormliza: Maltese Folksong Style and Women’, Women and Folklore, ed. C.B. Farrer (Austin, TX, 1975), 81–100
  • K.H. Campbell: ‘Saudi Arabian Women's Music’, Habibi, 9 (1985)
  • Y. Avishur: Women's Folk Songs in Judeao-Arabic from Jews in Iraq (Or Yehud, Israel, 1987)
  • E. Koskoff, ed.: Women and Music in Cross-Cultural Perspective (Westport, CT, 1987) [incl. L.J. Jones: ‘A Sociohistorical Perspective on Tunisian Women as Professional Musicians’, 69–84; H.L. Sakata: ‘Hazara Women in Afghanistan: Innovators and Preservers of a Musical Tradition’, 85–96]
  • S.M. Sawa: ‘The Role of Women in Musical Life: the Medieval Arabo-Islamic Courts’, Canadian Women's Studies, 8 (1987)
  • V. Doubleday: Three Women of Herat (London, 1988)
  • S. Weich-Shahak: Judeo-Spanish Moroccan Song for the Life Cycle: Recordings, Transcriptions and Annotations (Jerusalem, 1989)
  • M. Herndon and S. Ziegler, eds.: Music, Gender and Culture (Wilhelmshaven, 1990) [incl. E. Brandes: ‘The Relation of Women's Music to Men's Music in Southern Algeria’, 115–30; C.T. Kimberlin: ‘“And Are You Pretty?” Choice, Perception and Reality in Pursuit of Happiness’, 221–40; U. Reinhard: ‘The Veils are Lifted: Music of Turkish Women’, 101–14; S. Ziegler: ‘Gender-Specific Traditional Wedding Music in Southwestern Turkey’, 85–100]
  • V.L. Danielson: ‘Artists and Entrepreneurs: Female Singers in Cairo during the 1920s’, Women in Middle Eastern History: Shifting Boundaries in Sex and Gender, ed. N.R. Keddie and B. Baron (New Haven, CT, 1991), 292–309
  • I. Heskes: ‘Miriam's Sisters: Jewish Women and Liturgical Music’, Notes, 48 (1991–2), 1193–1202
  • S. Gergis: ‘The Power of Women Musicians in the Ancient and Near East: the Roots of the Prejudice’, British Journal of Music Education, 10 (1993), 189–96
  • K. Van Nieuwkerk: “A Trade Like Any Other”: Female Singers and Dancers in Egypt (Austin, TX, 1995)
  • V.L. Danielson: The Voice of Egypt: Umm Kulthūm, Arabic Song, and Egyptian Society in the Twentieth Century (Chicago, 1997)
  • I. El-Mallah: The Role of Women in Omani Musical Life (Tutzing, 1997)
  • S. Zuhur, ed.: Images of Enchantment: Visual and Performing Arts in the Middle East (Cairo, 1998)
  • V. Doubleday: ‘The Frame Drum in the Middle East: Women, Musical Instruments, and Power’, EthM , 43/i (1999), 101–34
  • V.L. Danielson: ‘Moving into Public Space: Women and Musical Performance in 20th Century Egypt’, Hermeneutics and Honor: Negotiating Female ’Public’ Space in Islamic Societies, ed. A. Afsaruddin (Cambridge, MA, 1999)
  • B. Diamond and P. Moisala, eds.: Music and Gender: Negotiating Shifting Worlds (Urbana, IL, 2000) [incl. C.T. Kimberlin: ‘Women, Music and Chains of the Mind: Eritrea and the Tigre Region of Ethiopia’; U. Reinhard: ‘The Image of Woman in Turkish Ballad Poetry and Music’]
F: Europe
  • B. Bartók and A. Lord: Serbo-Croatian Folk Songs (New York, 1951)
  • P. Szirmai: ‘A Csángó-Hungarian Lament’, EthM , 11 (1967), 310–25
  • I. Markoff: ‘Two-Part Singing from the Razlog District of Southwestern Bulgaria’, YIFMC , 7 (1975), 134–44
  • M.P. Coote: ‘Women's Songs in Serbo-Croatian’, Journal of American Folklore, 90 (1977), 331–8
  • A. Caraveli-Chaves: ‘Bridge between Worlds: the Greek Women's Lament as Communicative Event’, Journal of American Folklore, 93 (1980), 129–57
  • T. Rice: ‘A Macedonian Sobor: Anatomy of a Celebration’, Journal of American Folklore, 93 (1980)
  • A. Giurchescu: ‘Power and Charm: Interaction of Adolescent Men and Women in Traditional Settings of Transylvania’, Yearbook of Traditional Music, 18 (1986), 37–46
  • E. Koskoff, ed.: Women and Music in Cross-Cultural Perspective (Westport, CT, 1987) [incl. S. Auerbach: ‘From Singing to Lamenting: Women's Musical Role in a Greek Village’, 25–44; P. Shehan: ‘Balkan Women as Preservers of Traditional Music and Culture’, 45–54]
  • J.C. Sugarman: ‘The Nightingale and the Partridge: Singing and Gender among Prespa Albanians’, EthM , 33 (1989), 191–216
  • M. Herndon and S. Ziegler, eds.: Music, Gender and Culture (Wilhelmshaven, 1990) [incl. A. Czekanowska: ‘Towards a Concept of Slavonic Women's Repertoire’, 57–70; A. Johnson: ‘The Sprite in the Water and the Siren of the Woods: on Swedish Folk Music and Gender’, 27–40; A. Petrovic: ‘Women in the Music Creation Process in the Dinaric Cultural Zone of Yugoslavia’, 71–84; E. Tolbert: ‘Magico-Religious Power and Gender in the Karelian Lament’, 41–56]
  • E. Tolbert: ‘Women Cry with Words: Symbolization of Affect in the Karelian Laments’, Yearbook for Traditional Music, 22 (1990), 80–105
  • M.P. Coote: ‘On the Composition of Women's Songs [in the south Slavic oral tradition]’, Oral Tradition, 7 (1992), 332–48
  • J.C. Sugarman: Engendering Song: Singing and Subjectivity at Prespa Albanian Weddings (Chicago, 1997)
  • B. Diamond and P. Moisala, eds.: Music and Gender: Negotiating Shifting Worlds (Urbana, IL, 2000) [incl. N. Ceribasic: ‘Defining Women/Men in the Context of War: Images in Croatian Popular Music in the 1990s’; H. Jarviluoma: ‘Local Construction of Gender in a Rural Pelimaiuu Musicians' Group’; P. Moisala: ‘Gender Negotiation of Composer Kaija Saariaho in Finland: Woman Composer as Nomadic Subject’; M. Meyers: ‘Searching for Data About European Ladies' Orchestras, 1870–1950’; I. Runtel: ‘Past and Present Gender Roles in the Traditional Community on Kihnu Island in Estonia’]
G: Asia
  • J.O. Becker: ‘Music of the Pwo Karen of Northern Thailand’, EthM , 8 (1964), 137–53
  • Soedarsono: ‘Classical Javanese Dance: History and Characterization’, EthM , 13 (1969), 498–506
  • B.C. Wade: ‘Songs of Traditional Wedding Ceremonies in North India’, Yearbook for Inter-American Music Research, 4 (1972), 57–65
  • U.H. Cadar: ‘The Role of Kulintang Music in Maranao Society’, EthM , 17 (1973), 243–49
  • M.J. Kartomi: ‘Music and Trance in Central Java’, EthM , 17(2) (1973), 163–208
  • B.W. Lee: ‘Evolution of the Role and Status of Korean Professional Entertainers (Kisaeng)’, World of Music, 21/2 (1979), 75–84
  • H.P. Huhm: Kut: Korean Shamanist Rituals (Elizabeth, NJ, 1980)
  • R.B. Qureshi: ‘Islamic Music in an Indian Environment: the Shi‘a Majlis’, EthM , 25 (1981), 41–71
  • A. Catlin: ‘Speech Surrogate Systems of the Hmong: from Singing Voices to Talking Reeds’, The Hmong in the West: Observations and Reports, ed. B.T. Downing and D.P. Olney (Minneapolis, 1982)
  • L. Kendall: Shamans, Housewives and other Restless Spirits: Women in Korean Ritual Life (Honolulu, 1985)
  • A. Catlin: ‘Apsaras and other Goddesses in Khmer Music, Dance and Ritual’, Apsara: the Feminine in Cambodian Arts (Los Angeles, 1987), 28–36
  • E. Koskoff, ed.: Women and Music in Cross-Cultural Perspective (Westport, CT, 1987) [incl. A.K. Coaldrake: ‘Female Tayu in the Gidayu Tradition of Japan’, 151–62; J. Post: ‘Professional Women in Indian Music: the Death of the Courtesan Tradition’, 97–110; M. Roseman: ‘Inversion and Conjuncture: Male and Female Performance among the Temiar of Peninsular Malaysia’, 131–50; R.A. Sutton: ‘Identity and Individuality in an Ensemble Tradition: the Female Vocalist in Java’, 111–30]
  • J. Becker: ‘Earth, Fire, “Sakti” [female power] and Javanese Gamelan’, EthM , 32 (1988), 385–91
  • L.G. Tewari: ‘Sohar: Childbirth Songs of Joy’, Asian Folklore Studies, 47 (1988), 257–6
  • M. Herndon and S. Ziegler, eds.: Music, Gender and Culture (Wilhelmshaven, 1990) [incl. G. Schwörer-Kohl: ‘Considering Gender Balance in Religion and Ritual Music among the Hmong and Lahu in Northern Thailand’, 143–56; N. Yeh: ‘Wisdom of Ignorance: Women Performers in the Classical Chinese Music Traditions’, 157–72]
  • I. Srivastava: ‘Woman as Portrayed in Women's Folk Songs of North India’, Asian Folklore Studies, 50 (1991), 269–310
  • S. Addiss: ‘Text and Context in Vietnamese Sung Poetry: the Art of “Hát á Dào”’, Selected Reports in Ethnomusicology, 9 (1992), 203–34
  • I. Fritsch: ‘The Social Organization of the “Goze” in Japan: Blind Female Musicians on the Road’, CHIME: Journal of the European Foundation for Chinese Music Research, no.5 (1992), 58–64
  • S. Weiss: ‘Gender and Gender’, Rediscovering the Muses: Women's Musical Traditions, ed. K. Marshall (Boston, 1993), 21–48
  • A.K. Coaldrake: Women's Gidayu and the Japanese Theatre Tradition (New York, 1996)
H: Australia and the Pacific
  • GEWM, ix (’Music and Gender’, A.L. Kaeppler)
  • K.A. Gourlay: Sound-Producing Instruments in Traditional Society: a Study of Esoteric Instruments and their Role in Male-Female Relations (Port Moresby, 1975)
  • L. Barwick: ‘Central Australian Women's Ritual Music: Knowing through Analysis versus Knowing through Performance’, Yearbook for Traditional Music, 22 (1990), 60–79
  • C.J. Ellis and L. Barwick: ‘Antikirinja Women's Song Knowledge 1963–1972: its Significance in Antikirinja Culture’, Women, Rites and Sites: Aboriginal Women's Cultural Knowledge, ed. P. Brock (Sydney, 1990), 21–40
  • M. Herndon and S. Ziegler, eds.: Music, Gender and Culture (Wilhelmshaven, 1990) [incl. A.L. Kaeppler: ‘The Production and Reproduction of Social and Cultural Values in the Compositions of Queen Sálote of Tonga’, 191–220; J.M. Rossen: ‘Politics and Songs: a Study in Gender on Mungiki’, 173–90]
  • M. Orbell: ‘“My Summit where I Sit”: Form and Content in Maori Women's Love Songs’, Oral Tradition, 5 (1990), 185–204
Rome, Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana
Proceedings of the Royal Musical Association
Journal of the International Folk Music Council
Early Music History
Opera News
Revue et gazette musicale de Paris
Music & Letters
The New Grove Dictionary of Women Composers
Neue Zeitschrift für Musik
Black Perspective in Music
Arras, Médiathèque Municipale
Perspectives of New Music
The Garland Encyclopedia of World Music
Tijdschrift van de Vereniging voor Nederlandse muziekgeschiedenis [and earlier variants]
Yearbook of the International Folk Music Council
Kirchenmusikalisches Jahrbuch
African Music
Rivista musicale italiana
Studien zur Musikwissenschaft
Journal of the American Musicological Society
Musical Quarterly
Florence, Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale, Dipartimento Musica
The New Grove Dictionary of American Music
19th Century Music
Paris, Bibliothèque Nationale de France
Musical Times
Musica disciplina
Proceedings of the Musical Association
Early Music
New Haven (CT), Yale University, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
E.R. Anderson: Contemporary American Composers: a Biographical Dictionary
Journal of Musicology
Opera Quarterly
Recherches sur la musique française classique
Die Musikforschung
Current Musicology
Journal of the Royal Musical Association
Brussels, Bibliothèque Royale Albert 1er/Koninlijke Bibliotheek Albert I, Section de la Musique
Österreichische Musikzeitschrift
Cambridge Opera Journal