"The “Missing Muscle”: Attitudes to Women Working in Cinema and Music 1910 to 1930
In the 1900s as Edwardian women musicians moved from music teaching into public performance, cinemas offered a safe place: out of the spotlight and in the relative anonymity of the darkened auditorium. The rapid growth in cinemas from the 1910s also meant that women were needed to fill the demand for ensembles, pianists and vocalists; a demand that greatly increased during WWI. However, women faced successive waves of backlashes and debates about their abilities played out in the music and popular press, in trade and fan magazines and in the Musician’s Union. Evidence of women’s experience can also be gleaned from personal testimony, diaries and autobiography, but this is piecemeal and represents only a fraction of what was a considerable occupation for women. Focusing on cinema musicianship, this article examines the battles for women entering the profession between 1900 and 1930.
Citation : Porter, L. (2017) "The “Missing Muscle”: Attitudes to Women Working in Cinema and Music 1910 to 1930. Popular Music & Society,
ISSN : 0300-7766
Research Group : Cinema and Television History Research Centre
Research Institute : Cinema and Television History Institute (CATHI)
Peer Reviewed : Yes
- Leicester Media School