Women in Music

This course examines the interaction of women's musical lives with politics, society, and spirituality, and will focus primarily on the twentieth century. We will look at artists like Aretha Franklin and South Africa's Miriam Makeba and their relationship to the Civil Rights struggles in their countries; Joni Mitchell, Holly Near, punk rocker Patti Smith, and performance artist Laurie Anderson and their relationship to the feminist movement; Mary Lou Williams, Billie Holiday, Bessie Smith and the integration of women into jazz; Joan Tower, Marin Alsop, Maria Callas, Marian Anderson and the traditions of Western Classical Music; and the role of the ingenue and character roles in the Broadway musical - from Rodgers and Hammerstein to Stephen Sondheim. In addition to twentieth century women, we will also review the lives of women frame drummers of earliest history, as well as the seminal figures Amy Beach, Clara Schumann, and the mystic visionary Hildegard von Bingen. Women's diaries and oral histories will be a major source for the class, as well as video and extensive listening to recordings. (Not offered 2022-23).

1 unit

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