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Women have always created music

Women have always created music

The Byzantine nun Cassia (9th century) and her successor Hildegard von Bingen 300 years later proved: women have always created music. Hildegard’s liturgical drama, Ordo Virtutum, laid the foundation for the opera even before any mention of the Florentine Camerata. This turning point from the Renaissance to the Baroque was also reflected in the work of Barbara Strozzi (1619-1677), who succeeded in music not only for her own singing. And the fact that the obscure “Lady Philarmonica” had three sonnets printed in London around 1715 shows that at the time it wasn’t just a gossip paper written by a woman who was talking about the city, as the Netflix series “Bridgerton” suggests.

Admittedly, being a member of the gentry often proved beneficial: apart from marital duties and motherhood, there was usually time, energy, and money for artistic hobbies. We owe to Wilhelmine of Prussia not only the Baroque jewel of the Margravial Opera House at Bayreuth, which she directed, but also the theme and music for the opera “Argenore”: a precursor to Wagner’s total artistic work! Amalie von Prussia collected the score and imitated Bach; Anna Amalia von Braunschweig-Wolfenb├╝ttel was well versed in theory and practice. . .

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