Festivals and orchestras in Scotland are being urged to increase their representation of female composers.

An event at Aberdeen's Sound festival of new music today is to cast a spot light on the comparative lack of work by women being featured in music festivals.

Lucy Hollingworth, a composer studying at the Glasgow's Royal Conservatoire, who will chair the debate, said that orchestras and festivals need to pay more attention to female composers in their repertoires and concerts.

She pointed to the BBC Proms recent performance of the work of the late Welsh composer Morfydd Owen as an example of female composers who have hitherto been overlooked and whose music has benefitted from increased exposure.

READ MORE: Female composers mark Sound festival programme

She said: "We are not just talking about modern music, there are composers from earlier times that have been overlooked.

"Small examples of recognition can have such a large impact.

"I think the number one issue, is that I would like people who are able to make these decisions to look at the world of music as it is, not as they think it is."

The discussion at St Andrew's Cathedral will take place after the performance of new works by five women composers: Lisa Robertson, Aileen Sweeney, Electra Perivolaris, Ms Hollingworth, and Sarah Rimkus, given by members of Red Note Ensemble

Ms Hollingworth drew attention to recent article by the US composer Emily Doolittle.

It says that although 36% of composition students are women, 21% of commissions go to women, and only 7% of orchestral commissions, which are likely to be the highest paid, go to women.

In the US, 22% of music theory and composition students are women, but only 14% of major orchestra commissions go to women.

READ MORE: Violas and women composers in Sound festival 2018

Ms Hollingworth added: "Sexism has definitely been a factor, but there is a combination of reasons.

"There is also the 'canon' [of male composers], where for historical reasons there have not been as many prominent women, but I would also say there is a lack of imagination."

She said that the PRS Foundation's Keychange initiative should be taken up by more festivals.

It is asking such events to sign up to a 50:50 gender balance by 2022.

In the UK in 2017, women made up 26% of the line up of a sample of large music festivals, and less than 10% of headliners in the US.

Celtic Connections and XpoNorth have signed up to the Keychange initative.