Thank you for posting that!
Now before someone who does not know any better claims that you, the church, or several popes are women haters, let's examine the reason for the prohibtion of women in choirs and as musicians.
A choir is properly composed of clerics (or major and/or minor orders), or religious. Lay persons were not admitted to choirs at first, as it was a liturgical office - which properly belongs to men. The use of non ordained men as singers was restricted to seminarians, scholastics, students......hence the developement of the boy choir.
At first the choir sang "in choir" - in stalls provided fro them, either in, or just outside the altar rail - depending on whether they were composed of clerics/religious, or lay persons (boy choirs).
It was only at a much later date that choirs were moved to a read gallery. Why? Because they were exclusively compoased of lay persons, who were not allowed in the sanctuary, and secondly becuase the were placed in the back loft so as not to be a visual distraction at mass.
Their role was liturgical - not that of a concert performance!
So why not women? Firstly - when a choir was located in or near the chancel of a church, women were not allowed in the chancel/sanctuary AT ALL. Secondly, a woman singing in public would have been a cause of grave scandal, as she would be a distraction & possible occasion of sin for the eyes. This is also why a woman was to cover her hair/head in church - humility....and that her glory (her hair) not be a distraction.
Once choirs were relagated to a rear gallery the presense of a woman would no longer be an occasion of sin to men in the congregation (as they were supposed to be looking at the altar). But, she would be a distraction to men in the choir. Also, there is still the problem of a woman holding and exercising aliturgical function at public mass.
The only exception to this might have been in monastaries of women relgious. The would sing their office in common. And if they utilised a choir for daily or Sunday mass, it was of their members.The only male present would have been the priest - and possibly an acolyte from the local parish to act as a server.
The ultimate bases for this is in the fact that Christ did not extend any type of priestly ministry to women. Also, we have the words of St. Paul in his epistles.
My apologies to the ladies....but these are the facts as I know them to be. Besides, a woman had enough work to do in making a home, raising children, and cleaning up after the lazy lump of flesh which is her husband!
The real work of women in the church was that of the teaching of children in the home - of setting their feet on the path of righteousness. That is more then enough work.....and sometimes even superhuman!
Patriarchy? Perhaps.......but who REALLY runs the home? For that, women should get the credit they deserve!
"Secondly, a woman singing in public would have been a cause of grave scandal, as she would be a distraction & possible occasion of sin for the eyes. This is also why a woman was to cover her hair/head in church - humility....and that her glory (her hair) not be a distraction. "
Not to go off topic completely, but I want to add that St. Charles Borromeo demanded that his priests(he was archibishop of Milan and a major architect of the Counter-Reformation)be clean shaven -- for similar reasons. These days, we are obliged to look at all sorts of weird facial fur-growth at the altar -- and I don't just mean the mustached sisters. Satanic Van Dyke whiskers may be popular among pro baseball players -- but on priests, they are just nasty and to my mind signify a deeply inappropriate devotion to grooming in order to stand out, not blend in.
The change in the discipline of Pius XII on 12/25/55, also referred to as 'the musicians' Christmas present' formed the underlying canonical changes which allowed altar-girls.
As you know, the change for church choirs was a practical matter; AFAIK, driven principally by US bishops (but it could have been Europeans as well.)