First published in 1998, this volume by Derek Hyde remedies the lack of information concerning the contribution made by women to musical life in Britain during the nineteenth century in this carefully researched survey. The book reveals the significant role played by women in the production and performance of certain genres of music, such as piano music, songs and ballads, and touches on the reasons why they were more prominent in these areas than in the male preserves of chamber and orchestral music. In particular, the pioneering work of Sarah Glover in Sol-fa notation and the part played by Mary Wakefield in establishing the Competitive Festival Movement are charted.
The third edition includes a new introduction, taking into account recent research in the field of gender and music. There is also a revised chapter on the work of Ethel Smyth, the first woman composer to enjoy a measure of success in England. This book will be of interest to social historians, musicologists and those concerned with women’s history alike.