striking case of Fanny Mendelssohn
, who was only encouraged by her family to compose so long as her beautiful compositions passed under her brother's name and helped to swell his fame.
When she proposed to publish for herself, she was regarded by her family as unsexing herself.
Is that the way genius is developed among men?
Genius in men is watched for, helped, trained, supported, furnished with prizes and incentives.
The fact that we give it all these aids is proof that genius needs them; withdraw the aids, and it suffers, or if it excels it will be still at a great disadvantage, and fall short of its full success.
High English scientific authority has said that we never shall know how much science lost by the almost total early neglect of the rare powers of Mary Somerville
We know as little what the musical world lost by the domestic repression of Fanny Mendelssohn
We do not even know, as the latest biographer of the family admits, which of her brother's published “Songs without words” she composed.
It may have been the very finest, and her genius may have been intrinsically greater than his.
gives us a list of four women composers in the seventeenth century, twenty-seven in the eighteenth, and seventeen in the nineteenth.
It is an obvious and significant fact that most of these are German
; and here we have a further suggestion as to the backwardness of women in music.