Document Type


Date of Degree

Fall 2010

Degree Name

DMA (Doctor of Musical Arts)

Degree In


First Advisor

Anthony Arnone

First Committee Member

Meredith Alexander

Second Committee Member

Marian Wilson Kimber

Third Committee Member

William L Jones

Fourth Committee Member

David Gier


Although women have slowly been accepted in America's top orchestras, they are still a minority. Certain instrument sections remain predominantly male in spite of the implementation of blind auditions. Inconsistency in the use of the screen in blind auditions is partially responsible for the lack of women in orchestras, but the problem is seeded in cultural constructions that act as barriers for female brass, percussion and string bass players. Gender constructions have dictated that women should not play instruments that are loud, heavy or require physical exertion. Nonetheless, many women have shown that they are capable of performing as well as men on these instruments. Brass players are often the highest paid in an orchestra, thus women musicians face economic discrimination when they face bias at the hiring level or in the workplace.


Blind auditions, Brass, Gender, Orchestra, Percussion, Women


viii, 101 pages


Includes bibliographical references (pages 93-101).


Copyright 2010 Amy Louise Phelps

Included in

Music Commons