Music is extremely influential.
It can both revive you or make you want to go on a violent spree. It makes you feel good, all fuzzy and important on the inside.
I listen to classical music because I can’t watch Broadway shows on a regular basis I can place these feelings in separate spots inside of my head and make more sense of it than a pop song. It’s a story within a story, a book without words. Just music.
It’s like the waveform of poetry, and I can’t get enough of it.
The divide of gender in the orchestral music area is honestly so insane. I mean they didn’t allow women to play in the Vienna Philharmonic until 1997… c’mon. That’s like, only 20 years ago.
21 to be precise (my guess was close).
Men played every instrument, women only got to play the harp (again, not even in the Vienna Philharmonic until 1997).
This is only when it comes to performing though. Women have always been at the heart of music, especially classical music. Playing the piano (or flute or harp) used to be required in girl’s schooling so it’s a known fact that we can excel in melodies as well as anybody else.
Some historical women who excelled in music were:
Maria Anna (Nannerl) Mozart – (1751-1829) classical pianist and older sister of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Nannerl toured with her brother to play for the European world. She was known as a “genius”, “virtuoso”, and “prodigy” for her skilled hands on the piano.
Clara Schumann – (1819-1896) composer and musician during the Romantic era who, during years where women rarely composed or performed, chose to do both. She interpreted her husband’s, Robert, work and was even honored by the Austrian court.
Marie-Juliette (Lili) Olga Boulanger – (1893-1918) composer and younger sister of the famous Nadia Boulanger. Lili was the first female winner of the Prix de Rome composition prize, making history, at only nineteen! She died when she was twenty-five years old due to a weak immune system from having pneumonia when she was a little girl. She dedicated her intensely poignant Pie Jesu to Nadia in 1918.
Amy Marcy Cheney Beach – (1867-1944) she would have been an amazing concert pianist if her husband hadn’t encouraged her to limit public performances. Instead, she became an extremely influential composer – one of the first in the United States – and was self-taught. She did return to the platform after her husband’s death (and a few compositions later).
Fanny Mendelssohn – (1805-1847) a pianist and composer who went on to compose over 460 pieces of music (!!!). 460!!
Hildegard von Bingen – (1098-1179) writer, philisopher, composer, etc. She was many many things, including a nun, and is known as Saint Hildegard and Sibyl of the Rhine in the German church. She wrote her songs mainly for the monasteries and her fellow nuns.
These are all just a taste of the women who reinvented classical music. If you happen to think of any others that stand out in your head, make sure to let me know.