Women & Music: A History

Women & Music: A History

Women & Music: A History

Women & Music: A History

Synopsis

Women & Music now features even more women composers, performers, and patrons, even more musical contexts, and an expanded view of women in music outside Europe and North America. A popular university textbook, Women & Music is enlightening for scholars, a good source of programming ideas for performers, and a pleasure for other music lovers.

Excerpt

Women and Music: A History is a survey of women’s activities in music performance, composition, teaching, and patronage from the time of the ancient Greeks to the present, with an emphasis on art music in Europe and North America. This focus is not meant to suggest that women’s musical activities, or even their most significant ones, are in any way limited to these areas of the world, but rather to enable students and teachers in standard music history courses to coordinate the material in this book with the topics normally covered in undergraduate surveys. As such surveys have broadened in accordance with today’s educational goals, so this edition of Women and Music also moves beyond Western art music to include chapters on women in popular music and jazz, as well as approaches to researching and evaluating women’s practices and contributions in cultures not part of the Western tradition. The first chapter, dealing with feminist aesthetics as they relate to music, suggests some ways in which music and music making by women could be approached differently from music and music making by men.

The feminist movement of the 1960s and 1970s was the driving force behind the emergence of a wide range of studies and theories focusing on the lives, positions, and contributions of women in society through the ages. As in other fields, scholars in music began to show an interest in the work of the half of the world’s population that had been ignored in earlier studies of music history and development. Women’s studies came to the fore even more slowly in music than in many other fields, however, perhaps because musicology was (and to some extent still is) dominated by men schooled in traditional methodologies. Even as late as the 1970s, Women and Music could not have been written: serious, reliable information on women’s musical . . .

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