Women and Music

July 18, 2021 by No Comments

Relation between Women and Music

Composers, songwriters, instrumental players, vocalists, conductors, music researchers, music educators, music critics/music journalists, and other musical professions are all represented by women in music. It also describes music movements (for example, women’s music), events and genres linked to women, women’s concerns, and feminism.

While women make up a large percentage of pop and classical music vocalists, as well as songwriters (many of whom are singer-songwriters), there are few female record producers, rock reviewers, or rock instrumentalists in the 2010s. Bjork and Lady Gaga, two well-known female pop musicians, have spoken out against sexism and gender discrimination in the music business. Furthermore, according to a recent research headed by Dr. Smith, “women’s participation in the music business has been much lower during the previous six years.” Women composers are significantly underrepresented in the commonly performed classical music repertoire, music history textbooks, and music encyclopaedias, despite the fact that there have been a large number of female composers from the Medieval period to the present day. For example, Clara Schumann is one of the few female composers mentioned in the Concise Oxford History of Music.

In classical music, women make up a large share of instrumental soloists, and the number of women in orchestras is growing. 84 percent of the soloists of the Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal were men, according to a 2015 report on concerto soloists in major Canadian orchestras. In 2012, women made up only 6% of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, which was rated first in the world. Although there have been a handful of prominent female instrumentalists and all-female bands in popular music genres like rock and heavy metal, women are less prevalent as instrumentalists. Extreme metal genres have significant female underrepresentation. Orchestral conducting, music criticism/music journalism, music production, and sound engineering are all fields where women are underrepresented. Women became active in music education “to such a degree that women dominated [this area] during the second part of the 19th century and well into the 20th century,” despite the fact that they were discouraged from composing in the 19th century and there were few female musicologists.

Women performers in classical music are “too often assessed by their appearances, rather than their skills,” according to Jessica Duchen, a music reporter for London’s The Independent, and are under pressure “to look seductive onstage and in pictures. ” While “there are female artists who refuse to play on their looks… those who do tend to be more monetarily successful,” according to Duchen, “those who do tend to be more materially successful.” According to Edwina Wolstencroft, the UK’s Radio 3 editor, the music industry has long welcomed women in performance or entertainment roles, but women are far less likely to hold positions of authority, such as orchestra conductor, which has been dubbed “one of the last glass ceilings in the music industry.” While there are numerous female vocalists who record songs in popular music, there are very few female music producers that oversee and control the recording process.

A new wave of female singers:

By the late 1960s, a new generation of female singer-songwriters had broken free from pop’s limitations, penning more personal songs in the confessional manner of Anne Sexton and Sylvia Plath. “What unites them – Joni Mitchell and Lotti Golden, Laura Nyro, Melanie, Janis Ian, and Elyse Weinberg – are the individual songs they compose, like trips of self-discovery,” according to Newsweek in July 1969, “The Girls: Letting Go.” These women overcame several challenges, including prejudice, while innovating. Female composers, like Joni Mitchell, desire to be perceived outside of racial and gender boundaries in a male-dominated publishing environment. Joni Mitchell denounced feminism in a 1994 interview with Alice Echol, although she expressed her opposition to discrimination, sex-based exclusion, and excessive sexualization. Joni Mitchell’s “discomfort with the feminist label” is placed in the perspective of her creativity by interviewer Alice Echol. Women composers want to be recognised as talented artists without their abilities being overlooked because of their gender. Grace Slick, a former model, is also well-known in rock and roll history for her participation in the emerging psychedelic music scene in San Francisco in the mid–1960s. Author Laura Barton discusses the drastic shift in subject matter — politics, drugs, disillusionment, nomadic performance solitude, and urban life – in The Guardian on January 26, 2017. Lotti Golden, a native New Yorker, recounted her experiences in the late 1960s East Village counterculture on her Atlantic debut album, Motor-Cycle, touching on topics like gender identity (The Space Queens-Silky is Sad) and excessive drug usage (Gonna Fay’s). The ladies featured in the 1969 Newsweek story ushered in a new era of singer-songwriters, inspiring future generations of female musicians.

Pop in the 1960’s:

Song-writing was a male-dominated industry in the 1960s pop music scene, like other parts of the music business at the time. Women… were largely viewed as customers, despite the fact that there were many female performers on the radio. Singing was occasionally accepted as a girl’s leisure, but playing an instrument, creating songs, or recording records were just not considered acceptable. Young ladies were not socialised to think of themselves as musicians. Carole King and her husband, Gerry Goffin, had a successful song-writing partnership, authoring songs such as “The Loco-Motion,” “Will You Love Me Tomorrow,” “Up on the Roof,” and “Natural Woman.” “Musicians were at the forefront of the sexual and romantic revolution in American culture,” according to the New York Times, influencing and altering the social norms of the youth. Young people in the late 1940s and early 1950s began marrying and taking on adult duties at an early age. Carole King, on the other hand, defied the date, marriage, and sex sequence by proving that sex after marriage, as well as the traditional courting process, are uninteresting. With her song You’ve Got a Friend, she advocated the casualness of human relationships while also highlighting the rise of opposite-sex “friendships.”

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