This topic has come up on this board in the fairly recent past and you might
find some useful information by digging through the archives. Also, check
Reg Hall's Phd thesis on Irish Music (IRISH MUSIC AND DANCE IN LONDON,
1890-1970: A SOCIO-CULTURAL HISTORY) which was granted by the University of Sussex
in 1994. Despite the title, there is a wealth of information on musical
practices in Ireland, including the status of women musicians.
Overall, though, there were very few prominent women musicians because of
what we would nowadays term sex discrimination. IE., it was assumed that, once a
woman got married, she would give up attending dances in order to look after
her house and family. Therefore, there was little point in teaching a girl
to play an instrument.
I mentioned Tim Rice's book, May It Fill Your Soul, a week or so ago, in
conjunction with music teaching in Bulgaria. Sexual division in music
performance is another area which he covers extremely well, and produces some thought
provoking parallels with Ireland.
Anyway, to your own list, and to the ones which Phillipe has added, you may
be able to add MARGARET MCNIFF-LOCKE'S INSTRUMENTAL TRIO. Unfortunately, I
can't provide any information about them, having learned of their existence
through a Library of Congress LP which had the booklet missing. I wonder if
Phillipe or anyone else, may be able to fill in a few details.
Come to think of it, Margaret Barry would just about qualify, as a banjo
playing accompanist of her own singing, and that of the fiddle playing of
I'm sitting here wracking my brain to come up with
female instrumental musicians born before c. 1930 who
were well-known enough around the country to be names
we'd think of immediately (or almost
immediately)--rather than "so-and-so was the mother of
such-and-such. For the moment, I'm leaving singers
out of this survey.
So far, I've got--
Julia Clifford (1914)
Lucy Farr (1912)
Kathleen Harrington (1903)
Mrs. Crotty (1885)