Le Rôle des femmes dans les carrières musicales (Simone Plé)
In 1928 the musician Simone Plé submitted to the journalist and feminist Jane Misme 225 pages of assorted documents: manuscripts, typescripts, press cuttings, brochures, excerpts from letters, and various archival materials. Entitled Le rôle des femmes dans les carrières musicales, it was in fact a first draft of a collaborative encyclopaedia, written by Simone Plé and by the artists whose careers are documented as a testimony to “the increasingly prominent role” played by women in the musical economy. The 121 biographical entries in the work trace the careers of French women composers, singers, instrumentalists and musicographers. Simone Plé’s manuscript was a groundbreaking attempt to trace the history of women in music, in a historiographic field and a professional milieu marked by the cult of male genius. Preserved in the Bibliothèque Marguerite Durand in Paris, Le rôle des femmes dans les carrières musicales provides essential information on the career paths and life stories of women musicians in early twentieth-century France.