The pastoral, as a poetic mode, a musical style and as a comic theatrical form, was highly favored by women, as is apparent in the sheer number and consistent popularity of works from songs including Mary Worgan's "The Dying Nightingale" and Miss Carver's "Free from bustle, noise & strife", to theatrical productions such as Frances Brooke's afterpieces Rosina and Marian. This chapter considers women's pastoral songs, descriptions of pastoral music in novels and conduct books, and pastoral operas. Women strategically cultivated literary and musical pastoral traditions to examine the assumption that their place in social harmony was "natural," and to seek intellectual and bodily rural pleasures. Many songs featuring imitative birdsong refer to the Greek myth of the rape of Philomela, a cultural resonance that transcends imitative realism and explores the relation of female melancholy, sympathy, and sensibility to social harmony.