An examination of the challenges faced by female brass musicians in Britain, 1870-1920

Crowe, Sarah (2021) An examination of the challenges faced by female brass musicians in Britain, 1870-1920. Masters thesis, University of Gloucestershire. doi:10.46289/44TR55KS

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This study examines the challenges facing female brass players in Britain between 1870 and 1920. In order to do this, it analyses several different areas of the lives of these women including their everyday experiences living in a patriarchal society, the difficulties of cumbersome Victorian clothing, and the judgement and scorn aimed at women who performed on the public stage. It also considers the upheaval brought about by the Industrial Revolution which created uncertainty around women’s ‘place’ and increasing freedoms. By bringing together these separate strands of scholarship concerning women and female musicians, this thesis explains why female brass players emerged in such low numbers. Essentially, this study shows that the set of challenges faced by female brass musicians was uniquely constraining and difficult to overcome, and when examined in combination as they have been here, they comprehensively demonstrate why so few women took up these instruments at this time. Of equal importance is the discussion surrounding those few musicians who did manage to break through the prejudice and perform. What has been revealed through this research and analysis of case studies is much commonality in their experiences in terms of familial or group support, and the embracing of wearing looser-fitting uniforms and costumes to circumnavigate the impractical clothing of the day. This study shows that women faced limitations in every area of their lives at this time. However, it also reveals a small number of female brass musicians were able to overcome these hurdles with support, courage, and sartorial imagination.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Thesis Advisors:
Thesis AdvisorEmailURL
Additional Information: M.A. by Research
Uncontrolled Keywords: Women musicians; Female brass players; Industrial revolution, Britain;
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
M Music and Books on Music > M Music
Divisions: Schools and Research Institutes > School of Education and Science
Depositing User: Susan Turner
Date Deposited: 17 May 2023 13:44
Last Modified: 17 May 2023 13:44

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