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2015 marks the 100th anniversary of the Women's Institute so we're celebrating with a look at the finest women composers. Today there's a lot of debate about the role of women in classical music. Yet from Hildegard in the 12th century through to the present day, women have made a significant contribution which has often been overlooked.
Not only a composer of some 70 works, Hildegard was a writer, mystic and visionary. As a Benedictine Abbess, she founded two monasteries. One of her compositions, the Ordo Virtutum, is the oldest surviving morality play. It features melodies for the human soul and 16 virtues, but the Devil for once doesn't get any of the best tunes – he has a speaking role.
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