Instrumental Women

Established by historian Jayme Kurland in 2020, the Instrumental Women project highlights the vast contributions of womxn to the global histories of musical instrument making.  

The contributions of women in the musical instrument industry have been largely ignored by historians.  Only by addressing why women have been omitted from these histories and discussing the realms in which women have worked, will the importance of women and their varied roles in the histories of musical instrument manufacturing be appreciated and acknowledged.  While the realm of musical instrument manufacturing has traditionally been dominated by men, we know that women worked in family businesses, women replaced men in factory work during WWII and later, and women entered the artisan workforce in the later part of the 20th century. Yet many stories remain untold. I established Instrumental Women to be a place to share and celebrate the stories of womxn past and present, and to create a global connected community of women in this workforce.

Instrumental Women aims to:

  1. Center and promote feminist and antiracist theory and scholarship.
  2. Celebrates past and present womxn instrument builders, technicians, repairers, and designers.
  3. Shares content that promotes these values on social media.
  4. Creates new content in the form of blog posts, social media posts, interviews, publications, and digital history projects.
  5. Hosts the “Database of Women Musical Instrument Makers” to promote the work of women in the field.

Instrumental women supports:

  1. Black Lives Matter
  2. Indigenous Rights
  3. LatinX Rights
  4. LGBTQ Rights
  5. Disability Rights
  6. Design Justice