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Classical Music, Women in

Although women have been active participants in all aspects of musical life since antiquity, their accomplishments have typically been eclipsed by those of male musicians. Historically, classical music (Western art music) has generally been viewed as an elite domain-the realm of the highly trained “professional,” and thus deemed largely off-limits for female musicians, who usually lacked equal access to formal musical training. Women have been performing and composing music for centuries, but often their efforts were unknown, unpublished, or considered amateur accomplishments.

Since the “second wave” feminist movement of the 1960s and 1970s, women's work in classical music has begun to be explored by scholars in greater depth. Research has led to new insights about important female performers and ensembles of previous eras. Music by female ...

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