The Exclusion Of Women In Music: An Exploration Of The Western Canon

ASU Author/Contributor (non-ASU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Michelle Olivia Jaluvka (Creator)
Appalachian State University (ASU )
Web Site:
Reeves Shulstad

Abstract: Women composers have been systematically excluded from the Western canon of music since its formation. This is partially due to the structure of society at the time of the canon’s formation and throughout its early development. Another contributing factor to women’s exclusion is the role of academia and how course curricula as well as music textbooks and anthologies have not evolved rapidly enough to accommodate new discoveries of music by women. The visibility of women in the field of music began improving alongside the rising popularity of the feminist movement, but women still face many obstacles. Not only are women generally excluded, but women of intersectional identities who are members of other marginalized groups face a higher level of exclusion and discrimination. The exclusion of black women composers is due to racial discrimination during the time of canon formation and lack of remediation in academia and performance practices to accommodate for the increased scholarship surrounding this topic. The goal of this research is to present the issue of women’s lack of presence in the canon, understand the foundations of why this occurs, and inspire change in future performers and teachers of music in order to form a more inclusive field of study and performance.

Additional Information

Honors Project
Jaluvka, M. (2019). The Exclusion Of Women In Music: An Exploration Of The Western Canon. Unpublished Honors Thesis. Appalachian State University, Boone, NC.
Language: English
Date: 2019
Music, Gender, Race, Intersectionality, Feminism

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