Of course there are! Many, many talented women make violins! And guitars, and drums, and flutes, and…..
This question, asked on a 2002 Pegbox discussion board, was the genesis for the Database of Women Instrument Makers. The database was created to not only highlight the vast contributions and excellent musical instruments made by women but also to support and publicize women’s work and businesses, hopefully linking people interested in buying instruments made by women to makers in their areas, or women who specialize in instruments saught after by musicians and collectors.
Thus, we set out to create a database and found over 200 women around the world making instruments, and the list has grown exponentially. We initially planned to publish this list online, however, we felt uncomfortable doing so without consent, given the issues with trolling endemic to the field.
The database, in its current form, is one in which women makers of all kinds of musical instruments around the globe (not just bowed strings!) can sign up themselves, and choose which information they want to share. We have partnered with Women in Lutherie to provide a searchable, public, living database of women working at the bench worldwide.
This platform allows users to update their own information or delete their listings altogether. The Instrumental Women team will approve the content and will only change the wording to keep the terminology consistent throughout, allowing for more exact search methods. In that way, we hope women makers feel empowered by owning their own data. This database has the potential to connect women across disciplines and we hope it helps foster community.
If you would like to add your name and information to the database, please follow this link and create your profile here.
-Instrumental Women team