In nineteenth-century Egypt, female singers were known as almeh-s, and enjoyed very little public consideration, except for a few upscale artists. The twentieth century brought numerous changes to this rigidly codified world: public scenes replaced the private space, and the advent of commercial recording blurred the boundaries between male and female repertoires, as well as between learned art music and light popular music. Women became important actors of the musical scene in the 1920s.
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> Les Almées, par Frédéric Lagrange (in French)