One of the projects I have set myself for lockdown is to research women composers and I am really enjoying this. I am reading a book called "Sounds and Sweet Airs" which follows the lives of 8 women composers at different times in history.
One of them is Francesca Caccini who was composing in 17th century Italy. She lived through the plague that swept through Europe at that time and I found this passage:
“Women and children under 16 were forbidden to leave their homes, with just one person from the household permitted to go out for provisions, but only on Tuesdays and Fridays. There were to be no ‘assemblies and gatherings of people’, schools were closed, and all games and entertainments stopped.” .................Sound familiar?
If anyone else is interested in finding out about women composers I can recommend the Spotify playlist called "Women Composers Marathon" - there is some truly wonderful music there, and I offer this gentle piece from an Irish composer, Joan Trimble, who died in 2000: www.youtube.com/watch?v=K20DyRo3-wc Soothing music for troubled times.