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.
Music and Gender
Edited by Pirkko Moisala and Beverley DiamondForeword by Ellen Koskoff University of Illinois Press, 2000 Library of Congress ML82.M74 2000 | Dewey Decimal 780.82
Through the experiences of performers, composers, and ethnomusicologists working in Africa, Europe, the Middle East, and North America, Music and Gender explores how the uses and descriptions of music shift in response to rapid political, economic, or technological change.
A cross-section of case studies from the Central African Republic, Finland, and Turkey addresses issues of how performance reflects gender and furthers other social goals, such as negotiating identity and transforming consciousness. Articles on Croatian and Serbian popular music and on the changing circumstances of women musicians in war-torn Ethiopia and post-Soviet Estonia consider the fate of fragile constructions of gender and nationhood in times of war or crisis. Other essays consider the relationship of gender to digital sound technology--in terms of access to the field, interactions among musicians, and aesthetic decisions--and gender issues in writing the musical lives of women composers and performers.
Articulating a theoretical agenda that encompasses perspectives from vastly different musical cultures, this important collection shows how music can help bridge the radical transformations of individuals, groups, and nations.
"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, 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 culture identity and musical activity, either in socially isolated performance environments or within the public arenas shared by their male counterparts."--From the preface
Exploring and celebrating individual lives in diverse situations, Women Singers in Global Contexts is a new departure in the study of women's worldwide music-making. Ten unique women constitute the heart of this volume: each one has engaged her singing voice as a central element in her life, experiencing various opportunities, tensions, and choices through her vocality. These biographical and poetic narratives demonstrate how the act of vocalizing embodies dynamics of representation, power, agency, activism, and risk-taking.
Engaging with performance practice, politics, and constructions of gender through vocality and vocal aesthetics, this collection offers valuable insights into the experiences of specific women singers in a range of sociocultural contexts. Contributors trace themes and threads that include childhood, families, motherhood, migration, fame, training, transmission, technology, and the interface of private lives and public identities.