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CoMO Girls Rock Camp, 2013
Transcript of CoMO Girls Rock Camp, 2013
A Survey of Women, Music, and Popular Culture
please keep in mind:
Women have always been a part of music; it's the role they play that has changed over time.
That role is relative to the prevailing beliefs and customs of the time, i. e. the "sociocultural context";
Sociocultural context is plastic, changeable.
Art is reflective of the social/cultural context in which it is created;
Music is a powerful tool for change;
Music is a powerful tool for expressing your feelings, thoughts, and opinions about everything that is going on around you...
SO SPEAK UP & BE HEARD!
*** This is a brief survey of major eras and musicians; Cannot cover everything & everyone.
Ancient women rocked!
You just don't know about it because women are under-represented in ancient historical accounts due to
Most ancient cultures were male dominated
Men and women lived separate lives;
Women were not allowed to participate in most aspects of society, such as politics or education;
Typically only wealthy men could read and write, meaning that ancient history was often written by and from their perspective.
An unfair preference for one perspective over other equally-valid perspectives in history.
i. e. "Getting one side of the story"
Despite the lack of written historical accounts of women in music during this time, we can see it archaeologically...
Conclusions about ancient women & music:
Women were very much involved;
In some cultures, instrumental music was a female job or hobby (poetry, however, was a male thing).
How does this compare to female roles in bands today?
What might have contributed to the differences between now and then?
Fall of Roman Empire; Onset of Dark Ages; Bubonic Plague
Rise of Christianity: Art becomes very religious; Secular life is not well documented; women's roles in music are curtailed.
Historical bias during this period as rampant as any other.
However, women were still involved in music during this turbulent period.
We know from various documents (literary references, wills, financial accounts, religious documents, tax records, personal chronicles, etc.) that women were singers, dancers, instrumentalists, composers, art benefactors, educators, and copyists.
Courtly women were expected to know how to sing, play instruments (percussion, organ, string) and write poetry, but not allowed to perform.
Trobairitz, or women composer-poets flourished during the late twelfth and thirteenth centuries.
Several accounts of women composing religious songs (even though Christianity became increasingly restrictive on women performing music, dancing, or singing in church).
The "Rebirth" of Classical Society
Discovery of Americas, capitalism, persecution of witches; humanism; Puritanism (Europe).
Great time to be male and wealthy! Women are increasingly confined, however.
female vocation = Marriage, motherhood, and household management.
Feminine virtues = modesty, humility, silence, submissive patience, piety, obedience, & chastity.
Even upper-class women were not always taught to read and write, although they usually learned to sing, dance and play one or more instruments. Only at home; no public performances.
Musical women during this period were courtesans, opera singers, actresses (although men often portrayed women in theater & operas). Men as instrumentalists.
AD 400 - 1400
Rise of female composers (Europe)
But mostly, a continuation of female gender roles of Renaissance (homemaker, wife, mother).
Women who took up music during this period typically did it to increase their chances of getting married.
Romantic idea of man as genius, woman as muse.
Rise of women in opera - professional women in music are now mostly singers. Realm of "lower-class" women who saw it as a way to get fame, fortune, and a husband (expected to stop performing once married).
"...women were discouraged from taking music too seriously. Even the most competent were forbidden by husbands or fathers to appear in public, to publish music under their own names, or to accept fees for their teaching lest these activities reflect badly on the social status of the family. The advice and support of a man was still a necessity in the musical career of a woman no matter how talented she was." (Pendle, 1991)
Early 20th Century
The music that developed regionally in America or served as the basis for other American music to come: Blues, Bluegrass, Appalachian folk, Gospel, Country, Native American, etc.
Developed in African-American communities in the Southern states; spread to urban areas such as St. Louis, KC, Detroit, Chicago.
Foundational music for jazz, bluegrass, rock & roll, R&B
Song themes included spirituality, field work, oppression, poverty, heartbreak, and injustice.
Lizzie "Memphis Minnie" Douglas
The first African-American to record a vocal blues - The record became a best seller, selling a million copies in less than a year.
Biggest Blues artist of the '20s and '30s.
Highest paid African-American entertainer at the time.
Hugely influential on later Jazz artists.
Janis Joplin's idol.
Started playing guitar at 8. Ran away to Memphis as a teen. Played on street corners. Immersed early on in the Tennessee blues scene. Famously beat male contemporary, Big Bill Broonzy, in a guitar contest in Chicago.
Important time in women's history: Voting rights (1920), University educations, 1st wave feminism, the New Women (flappers).
After WWI (1914-1918), people wanted to let go: Jazz, Swing, Big Band music prevails. More women in workforce
Also: Prohibition (1920-1933), speakeasies, the Great Depression (1929), WWII (1939-1945).
The Jazz Age
Began in the '20s and ended with the great depression (although Jazz continued to be popular into the '30s and '40s).
"Rebellious music" for the new generation.
Jazz was heavily influenced by blues; they're very similar in origin and theme, but Jazz is more upbeat dance music, and requires a big band.
Lil Hardin Armstrong
First major female instrumentalist of jazz;
jazz musician, pianist, composer, singer, band leader, manager and promoter;
Was an all-girl jazz band;
Married to Louis Armstrong
Culture: Civil Rights movement, 2nd-wave feminism (sexuality, reproductive rights, workplace rights), Birth control widely available; Women's Lib
Music: Am. Folk Revival peaks; Acid Rock/Psychedelic Rock is born; Phil Spector & 60s girl-groups; Motown R&B; Moog Synthesizer.
Culture: Rise of the PC; "Pause" in the feminist movement; 1st female supreme court justice & presidential candidate; AIDS awareness; CDs are invented.
Music: Punk, Post-Punk, Pop, New Wave, Electronic; Alternative Rock, Hip-Hop; Hardcore Punk; Metal.
Metal and hardcore punk = aggressive, music; slam dancing, mosh/circle pits could be dangerous- some feel that this pushed women out of these genres. Women are still underrepresented in these genres today.
Feminist punk rock movement started by Kathleen Hannah (Bikini Kill, Le Tigre) in response to what she was experiencing in her personal life and in the art scene of the time.
The "Third-wave" of feminism: an angry "backlash against the failures of second-wave feminism"; questioned interpretations of gender, feminine stereotypes, media portrayal of women; incorporated sex-positivity, queer theory, anti-racism, and female empowerment over female competition.
More than just music; Riot Grrrl is a subculture: zines, the DIY ethic, art, activism, politics.
Supporting and organizing female presence, especially in the music scene.
What issues are important for women today?
What messages do women musicians communicate?
How has that message changed over time?
What do you like/dislike about current music?
What would you change & how?
What challenges do women in music face today?
How do female musicians dress? Has that changed over time? Does it even matter?
How can we support women in music locally, nationally, globally?
We will mostly focus on:
Contemporary history and music (1900 and on);
Popular music & culture;
American musicians & music. (Understand that similar things were happening all over the world at various times in various ways).
Think about this!
America becomes an independent nation (1776)
The Civil War (1861)
Slavery abolished (1865)
‘The Queen of the Blues.’
Started the era of "female blues."
'Empress of the Blues'
Well-known as a strong woman who had no problem standing up to male blues artists of the time!
***Birth of the recording industry happened during this time.
Other famous female Jazz artists:
Influx of men returning from war; growth in everything; "Baby Boom"; School segregation ruled unconstitutional; beginnings of Civil Rights movement; Cold War; Korean War.
Music: Rock & Roll was born, Country music is popular, Rockabilly, Gospel, American Folk Revival begins.
Am. Folk Revival
Rock & Roll
Culture: Vietnam War; growing disillusionment of government; advances in civil rights, increased influence of the women's movement; heightened concern for the environment; increased space exploration; Roe vs. Wade.
Music: Soft Rock; Funk; Soul; Hard Rock; Disco; Reggae; Punk Rock is born!
Created by Brandy Tunmire (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Siouxsie & the Banshees
RiOT GRRRL bands:
"a small circulation self-published work of original and/or appropriated texts and images usually reproduced via photocopier."
Heavens to Betsy
7 Year Bitch
Babes in Toyland
Other 90s female artists:
Female Musicians around the World
We can thank the Riot Grrrls for programs like Girls Rock Camp!!
*** Some of these bands can be heard for FREE at www.bandcamp.com.
Support local music: Attend shows!
Girl in a Coma
Female musicians outside of the US face challenges, too.
The Internet enables us to be connected and informed like never before so that we can be global advocates of women in music.
Ammer, C. (2001). Unsung: A history of women in American music. Portland, OR: Amadeus.
Block, A. F., & Neuls-Bates, C. (1979). Women in American music: A bibliography of music and literature. Westport, Conn: Greenwood Press.
Burden, Z. . (2010). Women of the underground: Music : cultural innovators speak for themselves. San Francisco: Manic D Press.
Dickerson, J. (2005). Go, girl, go!: The women's revolution in music. New York: Schirmer Trade Books.
Ericson, M. D. (1996). Women and music: A selective annotated bibliography on women and gender issues in music, 1987-1992. New York: G.K. Hall.
Jackson, B. G. (1994). Say can you deny me: A guide to surviving music by women from the 16th through the 18th centuries. Fayetteville, AR: University of Arkansas Press.
Marcus, S. (2010). Girls to the front: The true story of the Riot grrrl revolution. New York: HarperPerennial.
Pendle, Karin. Women & Music : A History. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1991. eBook Collection (EBSCOhost), EBSCOhost (accessed May 7, 2013).
Skowronski, J. A. (1978). Women in American music: A bibliography. Metuchen, N.J: Scarecrow Press.
Turner, C. (2001). Everything you need to know about the riot grrrl movement: The feminism of a new generation. New York: Rosen.
Home page image: Justice League Band created by MBecks14 (with minor modifications by Brandy Tunmire); Retrieved from http://mbecks14.deviantart.com/art/Justice-League-Band-Girls-268221641.
Jar in the Form of a Woman Playing a Lyre, c.a. 1400 B.C., Egypt. Metropolitan Museum of Art. Retrieved from http://metmuseum.org/Collections/search-the-collections/100001239?rpp=20&pg=1&gallerynos=116&ft=*&pos=14.
Egyptian fresco of Women making, enjoying music and dancing. Retrieved from http://www.mitchellteachers.org/WorldHistory/AncientEgyptNearEastUnit/Images/EgyptDailyLife/AncientEgyptDailyLIfeMusicPic_large.jpg.
Greek Vase. Metropolitan Museum of Art. Retrieved from http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2369/1528660308_12fe1a8a9c.jpg. Close up retrieved from http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2369/1528660308_12fe1a8a9c.jpg.
Detail of Lekythos painted by the Achilles Painter, ca.450-440BC. Retrieved from http://www.ceramicstoday.com/articles/ancient_greek_ceramics2_spare.htm.
Fresco of Woman playing Cithara. Roman. Retrieved from http://www.quickiwiki.com/en/Music_of_ancient_Rome.
Chinese engraving of women in the court performing music. Retrieved from http://www.theepochtimes.com/n2/china-news/a-question-from-history-why-does-ancient-music-tire-people-240203.html.
Chinese scroll. Retrieved from http://saxonianfolkways.wordpress.com/2013/05/20/numbers-in-asian-music/
5, 6, 7, 8's - Japanese all-girl garage rock/rockabilly band.
Pussy Riot - Russian feminist punk band.
Some members jailed for performing music that condemned Russian president, Vladimir Putin.
Secret Trial Five - Canadian taqwacore band; .
Praagaash - Indian All-Girl rock band; Won 3rd place in all male battle of the bands; forced to disband.
Hildegard of Bingen
Other important historical events happening during this time