In a development that will delight both music lovers and reform-minded Catholics, one of the church’s gender taboos has finally been broken. Cecilia Bartoli, one of Italy’s most celebrated classical singers, has become the first woman to perform inside the chapel with the all-male Sistine Chapel Choir, as part of a unique musical project which draws on ancient, neglected musical archives of the Catholic church.
Music is a controversial issue in Islam. While certain branches such as Sufism consider music central to their religious rituals, some conservatives consider it to be a tool of intoxication, especially songs with non-religious themes and those sung by women. The Quran, however, does not forbid music, nor does any Islamic country forbid all music.