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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.
Barbara Strozzi was said to be 'the most prolific composer – man or woman – of printed secular vocal music in Venice' in the middle of the 17th century. Her unique output only contains secular vocal music, with the exception of just one volume of sacred songs. The large majority of her works were written for soprano.
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