This document contains discussions of biographical information, performance practice, historical evaluations, and theoretical analysis of selected composers and their pieces. The first chapter is an overview of Baroque ornamentation, with emphasis placed on J.S. Bach's use of ornamentation in his Cantata No. 51, Jauchzet Gott in Allen Landen. The remaining chapters focus on the lives and music of women composers. The second chapter is a comparison of Fanny Mendelssohn Hensel and Clara Wieck Schumann with regard to gender in the nineteenth century, social standing, family influences, and differences between a private and public performing career. The third chapter contains an analysis of the nineteenth-century European salon, a comparison of Pauline Viardot's transcriptions of Chopin's makurka's, "Aime-moi" and "Plainte-d'amour," and an analysis of the significant attributes in two of Cecile Chaminade's salon pieces, "Écrin" and "L'Eté." The last chapter is a discussion of how Amy Beach's success as a musician and composer can be attributed to her natural aptitude for music, her mother's methods for preserving and developing her talents as a child, and the support of Dr. Beach and the city of Boston during her adult life.