Women in music in Canada : an introduction


Gillard, Cheryl A.




The work represents the first attempt to begin to identify, assess and bring together the primary sources available on women in music in Canada. It is hoped that its content will provide an adequate introduction and basic building block for any future research on the subject. Because music in Canada is largely a transplantation of European musical attitudes, it is necessary to first closely examine the European example of women in music. By presenting several European and American primary sources, it is shown how women were greatly restricted from becoming professional musicians when the Renaissance ideal of European feminine musical accomplishment was solidified by the bourgeoisie in the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. It is further indicated that after women won their right to higher musical education in the late nineteenth century, their musical achievements, excluding singing, continued to be measured by a double standard that developed out of European feminine musical accomplishment. It is illustrated that these European feminine musical attitudes have been transplanted into Canada but that significant differences exist. For the sake of undertaking a more complete introductory examination of the position of women in music in Canada, the thesis contains an exploration of the position of women in Canadian Amerindian and Inuit cultures. In the research studied there is no strong indication that Canadian Inuit or Amerindian women receive as high a status or as many music-making opportunities as men. It is found that the effects of the environment and the varying difficulty of the procurement of food in Canadian Amerindian and Inuit culture seem to greatly determine status and the resultant gender roles in music-making. To conclude, resolutions are proposed to help bring about full opportunity for all of Canada's women musicians.


Women Musicians -- Canada




Carleton University

Thesis Degree Name: 

Master of Arts: 

Thesis Degree Level: 


Thesis Degree Discipline: 

Canadian Studies

Parent Collection: 

Theses and Dissertations

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