Cover for BOWERS: Women Making Music: The Western Art Tradition, 1150-1950. Click for larger image

Women Making Music

The Western Art Tradition, 1150-1950
Awards and Recognition:

Winner of the Pauline Alderman Prize for New Scholarship on Women in Music, International Congress on Women in Music, 1987. Winner of an ASCAP Deems Taylor Award, 1987.

"Do look after my music!" Irene Wienawska Polowski exclaimed before her death in 1932. And from the urgency of that sentiment the authors here have taken their cue to reveal and "look after" the previously neglected contributions of women throughout the history of Western art music.

The first work of its kind, Women Making Music presents biographies of outstanding performers and composers, as well as analyses of women musicians as a class, and provides examples of music from all periods including medieval chant, Renaissance song, Baroque opera, German lieder, and twentieth-century composition. Unlike most standard historical surveys, the book not only sheds light upon the musical achievements of women, it also illuminates the historical contexts that shaped and defined those achievements.


"These essays have at last prepared the ground for a more enlightened understanding of the distinctive contribution made by women to music's long history and slowly changing development."--London Daily Telegraph


Jane Bowers is associate professor of music at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and the author of articles in the New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, the Women's Studies Encyclopedia, and various journals. Judith Tick is associate professor of music at Northeastern University and the author of American Women Composers before 1870.

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