University of Illinois Press

New Perspectives on Gender in Music

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New Perspectives on Gender in Music

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A Feminist Ethnomusicology

Writings on Music and Gender

Ellen Koskoff

One of the pioneers of gender studies in music, Ellen Koskoff edited the foundational text Women and Music in Cross Cultural Perspective, and her career evolved in tandem with the emergence and development of the field.In this intellectual memoir, Koskoff describes her journey through the maze of social history and scholarship related to her work examining the intersection of music and gender. Koskoff collects new, revised, and hard-to-find published material from mid-1970s through 2010 to trace the evolution of ethnomusicological thinking about women, gender, and music, offering a perspective of how questions emerged and changed in those years, as well as Koskoff's reassessment of the early years and development of the field. Her goal: a personal map of the different paths to understanding she took over the decades, and how each inspired, informed, and clarified her scholarship. For example, Koskoff shows how a preference for face-to-face interactions with living people served her best in her research, and how her now-classic work within Brooklyn's Hasidic community inflamed her feminist consciousness while leading her into ethnomusicological studies.An uncommon merging of retrospective and rumination, A Feminist Ethnomusicology: Writings on Music and Gender offers a witty and disarmingly frank tour through the formative decades of the field and will be of interest to ethnomusicologists, anthropologists, scholars of the history and development of feminist thought, and those engaged in fieldwork.Includes a foreword by Suzanne Cusick framing Koskoff's career and an extensive bibliography provided by the author.

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In Her Own Words

Conversations with Composers in the United States

Jennifer Kelly

This collection of new interviews with twenty-five accomplished female composers substantially advances our knowledge of the work, experiences, compositional approaches, and musical intentions of a diverse group of creative individuals. With personal anecdotes and sometimes surprising intimacy and humor, these wide-ranging conversations represent the diversity of women composing music in the United States from the mid-twentieth century into the twenty-first. The composers work in a variety of genres including classical, jazz, multimedia, or collaborative forms for the stage, film, and video games. Their interviews illuminate questions about the status of women composers in America, the role of women in musical performance and education, the creative process and inspiration, the experiences and qualities that contemporary composers bring to their craft, and balancing creative and personal lives. Candidly sharing their experiences, advice, and views, these vibrant, thoughtful, and creative women open new perspectives on the prospects and possibilities of making music in a changing world.

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Roll Over, Tchaikovsky!

Russian Popular Music and Post-Soviet Homosexuality

Stephen Amico

Centered on the musical experiences of homosexual men in St. Petersburg and Moscow, this ground-breaking study examines how post-Soviet popular music both informs and plays off of a corporeal understanding of Russian male homosexuality.Drawing upon ethnography, musical analysis, and phenomenological theory, Stephen Amico offers an expert technical analysis of Russian rock, pop, and estrada music, dovetailing into an illuminating discussion of homosexual men's physical and bodily perceptions of music. He also outlines how popular music performers use song lyrics, drag, physical movements, images of women, sexualized male bodies, and other tools and tropes to implicitly or explicitly express sexual orientation through performance. Finally, Amico uncovers how such performances help homosexual Russian men to create their own social spaces and selves, in meaningful relation to others with whom they share a "nontraditional orientation."

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Stunning Males and Powerful Females

Gender and Tradition in East Javanese Dance

Christina Sunardi

In east Javanese dance traditions like Beskalan and Ngremo , musicians and dancers negotiate gender through performances where males embody femininity and females embody masculinity. Christina Sunardi ventures into the regency of Malang in east Java to study and perform with dancers. Through formal interviews and casual conversation, Sunardi learns about their lives and art. Her work shows how performers continually transform dance traditions to negotiate, and renegotiate, the boundaries of gender and sex--sometimes reinforcing lines of demarcation, sometimes transgressing them, and sometimes doing both simultaneously. But Sunardi's investigation moves beyond performance. It expands notions of the spiritual power associated with female bodies and feminine behavior, and the ways women, men, and waria (male-to-female transvestites) access the magnetic power of femaleness. A journey into understudied regions and ideas, Stunning Males and Powerful Females reveals how performances seemingly fixed by tradition are instead dynamic environments for cultural negotiation and change surrounding questions of sex and gender.

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Women Musicians of Uzbekistan

From Courtyard to Conservatory

Tanya Merchant

Fascinated by women's distinct influence on Uzbekistan's music, Tanya Merchant ventures into Tashkent's post-Soviet music scene to place women musicians within the nation's evolving artistic and political arenas. Drawing on fieldwork and music study carried out between 2001 and 2014, Merchant challenges the Western idea of Central Asian women as sequestered and oppressed. Instead, she notes the ways Uzbekistan's women stand at the forefront of four prominent genres: maqom, folk music, Western art music, and popular music. Merchant's recounting of the women's experiences, stories, and memories underscores the complex role that these musicians and vocalists play in educational institutions and concert halls, street kiosks and the culturally essential sphere of wedding music. Throughout the book, Merchant ties nationalism and femininity to performances and reveals how the music of these women is linked to a burgeoning national identity.

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