Cécile Chaminade (August 8, 1857 – April 13, 1944)
Cécile (Louise Stéphanie) Chaminade was one of the first successful French women composer and pianist of her time. She was born in the late Romantic era and died in the mid twentieth century.
The Romantic Period, approximately 1800-1900, was a time of increased emotional expression as well as great change. After the French and American Revolutions, there where many changes in the economy. People were moving from the countryside to the cities and slowly begun to create a society based on mass production and distribution. The music would also change during this time. Pianos became more affordable and the mass production of printed music became easily accessible for the average person’s home (Grout 567). Music genres, audiences, as well as the opera companies, professional orchestras and concert halls all grew in size. Musicians could finally work for themselves. They had the opportunity to become self-supporting composers, performers, and teachers (Finson 5).
In the second half of the nineteenth century there where many contributions to the everyday life and in music. The civil war in the United States began in 1861 and ended in 1865. Many countries moved towards a parliamentary government, leaving behind monarchy. Literature was being published in the masses, thus increasing the literacy rate for the middle and lower classes. There was also the invention of the telephone by Alexander Graham Bell in 1876. With free mandatory education, children were becoming more educated while sweat shops where gradually being replaced by better working conditions. There where more conservatories and universities being founded, making it easier for musicians to get a concrete career in teaching music or performing music (Yudkin 235).
The twentieth century, 1900-present, began a new time of extraordinary contrast, rapid change in technology, society and in the arts. There were many inventions in the world...