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WOMEN IN BRASS MUSIC

The wind music scene has evolved over time into a diverse and dynamic environment in which women play an increasingly important role. However, despite the progress, there are still challenges faced by female musicians worldwide.


Credit: Jana Legler

Sexism in Brass Band Music: A Cultural Legacy.

Wind band music has a long tradition that has often been shaped by traditional gender roles. Historically, women in wind music were often relegated to specific instruments, while men took dominant roles in brass sections. This division of roles led to the perpetuation of stereotypes and discrimination against women in the music industry.,

Sexism manifests itself in brass music in various forms, from prejudice about the technical ability of female musicians to stereotypical expectations of their behavior in ensembles. Women have often had to fight harder to gain recognition, and their talents have not always been adequately appreciated. And even on stage to this day, stereotypical gender roles are sometimes reproduced, with female musicians expected to wear short stage outfits that fit close to their bodies.

Gender equity in Brass Band Music: progress and change.

Despite the challenges, women have been gaining space in brass band music. More and more talented female musicians are actively participating in orchestras, ensembles, and competitions, proving their abilities. This has led to a gradual change in the perception of women in the music industry and contributed to an increased acceptance of their roles and importance.


An important step toward equality of gender in wind music is the increased promotion of women to leadership positions. More and more women are taking on conducting roles, helping to break down stereotypical notions and inspire young female musicians.


The Frauenblasorchester Berlin (Women's Wind Orchestra) and the Berlin Frauenensemble holz&blech (Women's Ensemble Wood and Brass) are outstanding examples of the influence and importance of women in wind music.


Credit: Jana Legler

Founded in 2003 by conductor Astrid Graf, the Frauenblasorchester Berlin is one of the largest women's wind orchestras in the world and has become an important ambassador for the female music scene. It offers talented female musicians a platform to develop their skills and support each other. The orchestra inspires not only through its musical excellence but also through its commitment to gender equality in brass music.


The Berlin Frauenensemble holz&blech is another example of a remarkable female musical initiative. This ensemble demonstrates the diversity of wind music and the creative power of women in Berlin's music scene. It helps to break stereotypical notions and strengthen the presence of women in the wind music.


Overall, the Frauenblasorchester Berlin and the Berlin Frauenensemble holz&blech, which are still led by conductor Astrid Graf, are shining examples of change in the wind music industry. They show that women can not only play an equal role but also occupy a special and meaningful position. Again and again, they draw attention to themselves with special actions, such as the Frauen*BrassMob, which took place in Berlin Schöneberg in July this year, and ensure more visibility for women in brass music.

Summary: On the way to a more equitable brass music scene.

The global situation of women in wind music has undoubtedly improved, but there is still much room for growth and change. Fighting sexism and promoting gender equality in the music industry is an ongoing process.


Initiatives like the Berlin Frauenblasorchester and the Berlin Frauenensemble holz&blech are crucial to strengthening the female music scene and promoting talented female musicians. By recognizing and celebrating the diversity and creativity of women in brass music, together we can create a more equitable and inclusive music scene where gender plays no role in the recognition and appreciation of female musicians.




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