These metaphors represent culturally defined roles: the male, bülbül, is insignificant in appearance but is able to sing and fly; the female, gül, is beautiful but voiceless and relatively static. The poetic imagery provides a framework for the investigation of women musicians, who prior to the beginning of the twentieth century seemed nonexistent-voiceless. Positioned within the gender-segregated Azerbaijanian society, female musicians performed only for female gatherings limited to a private domestic sphere.3 Women first appeared in the public musical arena less than one hundred years ago, which coincided with the revolutionary changes in Azerbaijanian culture discussed earlier: the de-segregation of society, the shift of native classical and folk music to the concert stage, the birth of native composed music, and the foundation of a European-based system of musical education that opened new opportunities and musical venues to Azerbaijanian female musicians.