In the history of 17th-century Italian music we come across over 12 names of women composers who practised their art in convents, thus enriching the liturgy in their own nunneries. The preserved works by those artists, including Isabella Leonarda and Claudia Rusca, represent an excellent level of creative skills. On the other hand, Barbara Strozzi's life was quite secular. Her singing talent developed most probably in the tradition of concerti delle donne, deriving from the court of Ferrara dukes d'Este of the 1570s. This fashion produced demand for repertoire written for female voices and in consequence many works for voice and basso continuo were written for women singers. The wonderfully educated Francesca Caccini had an extraordinary career, combining vocal art with intriguing and prolific output as a composer, including works for stage.