Women and Music in Cross-Cultural Perspective

Women and Music in Cross-Cultural Perspective

Women and Music in Cross-Cultural Perspective

Women and Music in Cross-Cultural Perspective


Illustrations Preface An Introduction to Women, Music, and Culture by Ellen Koskoff From Singing to Lamenting: Women's Musical Role in a Greek Village by Susan Auerbach Balkan Women as Preservers of Traditional Music and Culture by Patricia K. Shehan "Ya Salio de la Mar": Judeo-Spanish Wedding Songs among Moroccan Jews in Canada by Judith R. Cohne A Sociohistorical Perspective on Tunisian Women as Professional Musicians by L. JaFran Jones Hazara Women in Afghanistan: Innovators and Preservers of a Musical Tradition by Hiromi Lorraine Sakata Professional Women in Indian Music: The Death of the Courtesan Tradition by Jennifer Post Identity and Individuality in an Ensemble Tradition: The Female Vocalist in Java by R. Anderson Sutton Inversion and Conjuncture: Male and Female Performance among the Temiar of Peninsular Malaysia by Marina Roseman Female Tayu in the Gidayu Narrative Tradition of Japan by A. Kimi Coaldrake Musical Expression and Gender Indentity in the Myth and Ritual of the Kalapalo of Central Brazil by Ellen B. Basso The Joyful Sound: Women in the Nineteenth-Century United States Hymnody Tradition by Esther Rothenbusch Close Harmony: Early Jazz Styles in the Music of the New Orleans Boswell Sisters by Jane Hassinger An Investigation into Women-Identified Music in the United States by Karen E. Petersen The Sound of a Woman's Voice: Gender and Music in a New York Hasidic Community by Ellen Koskoff Power and Gender in the Musical Experiences of Women by Carol E. Robertson Index About the Contributors


The past fifteen years have been a time of intense scholarly interest in women, resulting in an explosion of literature that has begun to reveal the overriding effects of gender on other cultural domains. Affecting all aspects of culture, issues of sexuality, gender-related behaviors, and inter-gender relations also have profound implications for music performance.

This volume represents an introduction to the field of women, music, and culture and in no way attempts to be comprehensive in its coverage nor conclusive in its implications. For example, Western classical music is not discussed here, I many large world areas are not covered, nor does this volume present a comprehensive survey of all recent developments in feminist-oriented anthropology. What these essays do share is a focus on women's cultural identity and musical activity, either in socially isolated performance environments or within the public arenas shared by their male counterparts.

A quick look at the Contents will reveal that the order of essay presentation is geographic; as there is still so little research and analysis available, presenting essays here that were theoretically grouped seemed premature. The Introduction that follows attempts to serve the dual purpose of surveying recent research in the area of music and gender and framing the discussion of various issues raised in the essays in light of some contemporary anthropological insights.

Some of the essays contained herein, presenting historical accounts of women's musical activity, are primarily musicologically oriented. L. JaFran Jones's discussion of women musicians in Tunisia, for example, traces this tradition from its ancient qayna (slave-girl) origins to the present; Jennifer Post traces the historical roots of the singer-dancer tradition in India and the social and musical effects of westernization on this tradition; A. Kimi Coaldrake discusses the role of the female tayū (chanter) and the life and career of Takemoto Ayanosuke 1 . . .

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