Rupert Christiansen

Play It Again, Ma’am

Sounds and Sweet Airs: The Forgotten Women of Classical Music

By Anna Beer

Oneworld Publications 368pp £14.99 order from our bookshop

This stimulating and engaging book, written with passionate enthusiasm and a light touch, addresses one aspect of a contentious cultural quandary: why is it that women seem to have created and achieved so much less than men in the arts? Anna Beer focuses on the field of Western ‘classical’ music, in which male domination remains marked: there isn’t a single piece of music authored by a woman that has entered the traditional canon, and women are generally absent from histories of the evolution of form. Music comes nowhere near the higher levels of gender parity that obtain in painting, fiction and poetry.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • 'If there is a god, nature is the breath of it and art ... is its messenger.' Jan Morris contemplates Wordsworth ,
    • Weekend read 2: Take inspiration from Jonathan Meades's 'anti'-recipes and 'serve up a treat' this Sunday ,
    • If you're at , starting tomorrow, there are free copies of Literary Review for festival attendees. Grab while stocks last!,
    • Weekend read 1: 'The fiery meteor that was Victor Grayson', as presented in David Clark's biography ,
    • We’re offering the chance to win a copy of I Am Not Your Negro. You can find all the information in our newsletter: ,
    • Stephen Bates reviews Richard Ingrams's biography of Ludovic Kennedy ,
    • RT : Pls enjoy my interview about the Bad Sex Awards w @Lit_Review-"My body was her gearstick" & "his bulbous salutation" ,