In musicology, music theory and ethnomusicology, the commitment to the well-being of women and to the importance of their creative participation in culture and history has given rise to a body of scholarship dedicated to the understanding of women's roles, experiences and contributions as well as the various ways in which gender as social construct has defined those roles in different cultural settings. Feminist scholarship has also been concerned with the retrieval of women's compositions and the study of their activities as composers, performers and users of music, and with a critical approach in which the understanding of gender and gender ideology is brought to bear upon the entire musical realm. Specifically, feminist musical scholarship sees music as both product and promulgator of a gendered social order.
In keeping with feminism's commitment to the well-being of women and to its motto that ‘the personal is political’, musical feminism also includes explicit activism in the various music professions. Many learned societies have established committees or caucuses with the mandate to monitor women's economic status and advancement within the profession. Performers and composers have established organizations for the purpose of promoting women's music, and issue journals and newsletters to foster communication about opportunities and successes. Special performing organizations have come into existence in order to create more opportunities for women composers. Feminist recording companies, reference books and catalogues of available published and recorded music by women, and annual music festivals in various locations celebrate women's music-making and help to disseminate information about it. (1)