Discovery Guides Areas


(NO?) Strings Attached:
Female guitarists in contemporary music

(Released July 2009)

  by Les Reynolds  


Key Citations

Visual Resources

News & Scholars

Key Citations Short Format Full Format
  1. Ngaraya : Women and musical mastery in Mali [Ngaraya : les femmes et la maîtrise musicale au Mali]

    Lucy (1) Duran.

    Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies, Vol. 70, No. 3, 2007, pp. 569-602.

    This article aims to contribute to an understanding of the evaluation of musical artistry in Africa, through Mali as a case study. The discussion focuses on the informal discourses of the occupational group of Mande artisan-musicians known as jeli (pl. jeliw, jalilu), concerning the ideal of musical greatness, signified by the polysemic term ngaraya; while there is consensus about the ideal, there is much debate about who qualifies. Drawing on extensive interviews and fieldwork with leading jeliw over the past twenty years, it pays special attention to the views of and about Malian women singers, who since the 1980s have - somewhat controversially, as explored here - been the "stars" on the home scene. The article shows how local discourses challenge the widely accepted view that only men are the true masters (ngaraw). Many women jeli singers (jelimusow) have a special claim to ngaraya, and some also seek to position themselves within the canon, as they increasingly move into centre-stage of Malian popular culture. The importance of learning directly from senior master jeliw remains a core issue in the evaluation of ngaraya for both men and women, encapsulated in the phrase "the true ngaraw are all at home".

  2. Rock 'n' roll wisdom: What psychologically astute lyrics teach about life and love

    Barry A. Farber.

    Westport, CT, US: Praeger Publishers/Greenwood Publishing Group, 2007, xxxiii

    (From the jacket) The Beatles meet Sigmund Freud. Bob Marley trades ideas with Carl Rogers, and Joni Mitchell shares thoughts with psychological great Erik Erikson. Those aren't actual face-to-face meetings, but a reflection of the fascinating interplay developed for this book by psychologist Barry Farber. In a novel look at rock 'n' roll lyrics, Farber shows us those lyrics that rise above the rest because they are not only clever, but also wise in their psychological themes and conclusions. These great lyrics embody enduring truths about topics as diverse as love, identity, money, sex, religion, aging, social justice, and the search for meaning. No other book has treated rock 'n' roll lyrics so seriously, as a source of both creativity and wisdom. No other book has used rock lyrics to help us understand who we are and why we do what we do. This is a fascinating work that will make readers think about their lives and consider where they have been, as well as where they are going. Featured artists include Bob Dylan, The Beatles, The Eagles, Joni Mitchell, Billy Joel, Stevie Wonder, Alanis Monssette, and more. Rock lyrics from every decade since the 1950s are featured and intertwined with the theories of such psychological luminaries as Freud, Rogers, Erikson, and John Bowlby. The wisest rock lyrics, says Farber, can teach us something about ourselves that even the greatest figures in psychology have sometimes failed to do. Join Farber in a fun and informative journey across rock 'n' roll history to see how we can learn about significant areas of life through the medium of psychologically wise rock 'n' roll lyrics. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2008 APA, all rights reserved)

  3. Not pretty girls? : Sexuality, spirituality, and gender construction in women's rock music [Pas de jolies filles ? Sexualité, spiritualité et construction de genre dans le rock féminin]

    Kate Mccarthy.

    Journal of popular culture, Vol. 39, No. 1, 2006, pp. 69-94.

  4. Bars behind Bars: The Impact of a Women's Prison Choir on Social Harmony

    Laya Silber.

    Music Education Research, Vol. 7, No. 2, 07 2005, pp. 251-271.

    The choir is a community with rules, relationships and purpose. When located in a prison, it takes on the therapeutic function of providing a protected space for expression and a context for reframing, even when its manifest goal is educational. This paper documents the establishment, by a professional musician and music educator, of a multi-vocal choir for women inmates in an Israeli prison. It examines the many aspects of the multi-vocal endeavour that address the therapeutic needs of prisoners at an individual and interpersonal level, and considers the potential as well as the limits of such a choral project as a therapeutic intervention.

  5. Nomadic Turns: Epistemology, Experience, and Women University Band Directors

    Elizabeth Gould.

    Philosophy of Music Education Review, Vol. 13, No. 2, Fall 2005, pp. 147-164.

    Music education occupations in the U.S. have been segregated by gender and race for decades. While women are most likely to teach young students in classroom settings, men are most likely to teach older students in all settings, but most particularly in wind/percussion ensembles. Despite gender-affirmative employment practices, men constitute a large majority among band directors at all levels. At the postsecondary level in the U.S., women constitute less than 10%. In all cases and all levels, the vast majority of band directors are white. Occupational segregation inhibits the development of individuals' careers as well as the development of the profession as individuals choose or are hired for positions based on their gender and/or race rather than their abilities. The profession of conducting university bands exists within the profession of music education in general, which, of course, exists within the profession of music. Clearly, one cannot be adequately understood without placing it in the context of the others. This author contends that richer, more substantive, and meaningful understandings of the professions in general and of specific questions within them are needed, in particular, as they may provide the basis on which change can be possible. In addition to addressing the issue of persistent occupational gender and racial segregation, questions that may be addressed include positionalities of bands in the music education profession, the relationship of performance/conducting to the music profession, and the role of the musician in society in general. In order to accomplish this, the author proposes an analytical method that is both postmodern and feminist, and in which the philosophical figuration of the nomad, as explicated by Rosi Braidotti, is central. (Contains 76 notes.)

  6. Good medicine and good music: the virtual life of Mrs. Joe Person at East Carolina University

    David Hursh.

    North Carolina Libraries, Vol. 62, No. 2, Summer 2004, pp. 80-83.

    Describes the life and work of Alice Person, an eighteenth century professional musician, patent medicine entrepreneur and women's rights advocate in North Carolina, as presented through a digital exhibition hosted by the Joyner Library, East Carolina University, based on the extensive collection of her papers and materials about her life and work.

  7. Music, Meaning, and Subjectivity: The 32 Flavors of Ani DiFranco and Friends

    Elizabeth Perea.

    Studies in Symbolic Interaction, Vol. 27, 2004, pp. 323-338.

    Underpinned by feminist theory, Bakhtinian dialogics, & Foucault's notions of power relations & discursive resistance, the interactive dialogic space in the performances of three women in response to the resistant discourse performed by singer/songwriter AnI DiFranco is explored. Following a transcription of DiFranco's "32 Flavors," the interactive multivocal responses of the three women to DiFranco's discourses are provided. Theoretical connections between DiFranco's source narratives & listeners' epiphanic moments of identification are then contemplated. 17 References. J. Zendejas

  8. Nina Simone: diva with a cause

    Tammy Johnson.

    ColorLines, Vol. 7, No. 1, Spring 2004, pp. 40-42.

    Discusses the North Carolina-born singer and pianist's experiences of racism in the US, classical training as a musician, involvement with the civil rights movement of the 1960s, and influence on other Black and female artists.

  9. Bonnie Raitt: do right woman

    Kristine McKenna and Sam (Photog ). Jones.

    My Generation, No. 9, Jul-Aug 2002, pp. 42+.

    Profiles singer, songwriter, and blues woman Bonnie Raitt. Inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2000 and awarded a star on Hollywood Boulevard the next year, Raitt, 52, reflects on her 30-year career in the music business and the toll it can take on relationships (she was divorced from actor Michael O'Keefe in 1999). A long-time political activist, she was a founding member of the anti-nuke collective Musicians United for Safe Energy and has done close to 350 benefits for the Guacamole Fund, a Los Angeles-based nonprofit group that supports various social causes. After years of steady work after her first album was released in 1971, she was dropped by Warner Brothers in 1983. At the same time, she began to come to grips with her drinking, which had become a way of life over years lived on the road. With the commercial clout she achieved in the 1990s (after her 1989 comeback album on Capitol Records, "Nick of Time," helped her take home 4 Grammy Awards that year), Raitt has helped to shine a light on the blues that played such a crucial role in her coming-of-age as an artist. (MM) (AgeLine Database, copyright 2002 AARP, all rights reserved)

  10. Hole Lotta Attitude: Courtney Love and Guitar Feminism

    Susan Hopkins.

    Social Alternatives, Vol. 18, No. 2, Apr 1999 1999, pp. 11-14.

    Looks at the brand of feminism promoted by Courtney Love, leader of the girl-powered band Hole, who gave a guitar to a girl in the audience at the end of each concert on her recent Australian tour. Love had no such encouragement as a child; her father used vicious pit bulls to discipline her. She emerged from this dysfunctional past full of rage that led to drug addiction & marriage to punk rocker Kurt Cobain who committed suicide. However, she was able to express herself through her guitar & the female band Hole. It is noted that the painful rawness of their first album shifted more toward the mainstream on subsequent albums & gained popularity by blending punk with pop. Love became a celebrity by building a controversial image & constantly reinventing that image. Although riot grrrl feminism has been exploited & commodified, & rich, successful Love has been accused of "selling out," there is something inspiring about the moment when she passes on her guitar to someone in the young female audience. References. J. Lindroth