This online discussion is open for comments October 15-21. The assignment description and grading requirements are available here.


 

In the classical music world, just like in other fields, women have been present and made significant contributions as long as the profession has existed. However, women as a group generally have not been acknowledged or lauded to the degree or consistency that men have been in the field. The emphasis on male composers, conductors, and top performers suggests that making classical music is a man’s activity and that all the greatest achievements have been made by men only. This implication has had repercussions for how classical music evolves as well as the challenges it faces in terms of remaining relevant in today’s world.

[Side note #1: Men have obviously had some fantastic musical moments; we’ve listened to a lot of them in class. They just don’t have a monopoly on musical ability, and addressing non-male contributions and the difficulty women have in asserting their value in this field is the focus of this online discussion.]

[Side note #2: Everything that applies to women in this online discussion applies to other kinds of minorities, too. The content of this course has skewed heavily, nay exclusively, to music by dead white guys — this is a bit of a selection effect, since the topic of the course is Western music, and for the historical periods we’ve covered so far, the European population historically consists of approximately 50% dead white guys — but in addition to that, the social structures that benefit white men in European society, allowing them to become musically trained, present concerts, publish music, and earn money, are often the same structures that make the same activities difficult for their non-white, non-male counterparts.]

Can music sound “feminine”?

Listen to the two works below. Does one of them sound more “feminine” than the other? What musical features seem “masculine” (i.e., manly or likely made by a man), and which seem “feminine” (i.e., womanly or likely made by a woman)?

Piece #1:

 

Piece #2:

 

What is sexism?

sexism-rosieSexism refers to using a person’s sex as a basis for prejudice, discrimination, or stereotyping. It includes stereotypes such as women are “kind” and men are “strong,” and it begins early in life: baby clothes and toys are color-coded, blue for boys and pink for girls (although at the beginning of the 20th century pink was for boys, and some parents today reject this binary in favor of “neutral” colors like yellow and green).

Sexism influences our perceptions of ourselves, our abilities, and our roles in society: boys who feel they need to be good at sports, or girls who think they’ll never be good at math or science. Here’s an entry the pianist-composer Clara Schumann wrote in her own diary, revealing how she began to tell herself that she couldn’t be a composer because she didn’t see any evidence to the contrary in the world around her:

“I once believed that I possessed creative talent, but I have given up this idea; a woman must not desire to compose—there has never yet been one able to do it. Should I expect to be the one?” – Clara Schumann, 1839

clara young
Clara Schumann (1819-96)

Sexism frames and shapes romantic or sexual interactions (telling women that they should smile more because it will make them look pretty, expecting men to be gentlemen who hold doors open or pay for dates) as well as our attitudes towards activities in which gender is not obviously an issue (perceiving male professors as being more intelligent or capable than female ones, questioning whether women can hold political office because they are too emotional or not emotional enough, arguing that women should hold political office because they are more compassionate). Sexist stereotypes and presumptions are often contradictory and shift over time — like all aspects of culture, they are not fixed, they can be changed, and they are something that we collectively invent based on what we believe, perceive, or need at the time.

[Side note #3: The terms “sex” and “gender” are often used interchangeably in day-to-day conversation, but they refer to slightly different things. Sex is biological: chromosomes, hormones, and sex organs. Gender is socially-defined: the way that we present masculinity or femininity outwardly in terms of behavior, clothing, and social roles. When we talk about “sexism,” we’re really often talking about gender-ism — interactions based on 1) what we perceive people’s gender to be, and 2) what we expect them to do as a representative of their gender. But “genderism” is an awkward word and a more subtle distinction than we need to make right now.]

Why does sexism matter in music?

Legal hurdles and socially-constructed assumptions about women have prevented them from rising to prominence in the classical music field:

“Gentlemen may employ their hours of business in almost any degrading occupation and, if they have the means of supporting a respectable establishment at home, may be gentlemen still; while, if a lady but touch any article, no matter how delicate, in the way of trade, she loses caste, and ceases to be a lady.” –Sarah Stickney Ellis (1812-72)

Musical training was often seen as a way to make women more attractive or marriageable, not a foundation for a professional career (remember this online discussion?). And the domination of the professional music world by men is tradition, the way it’s seemingly always been. Such long-standing beliefs about the physical capabilities of women and men led the Russian conductor Yuri Temirkanov to say in 2012 that women could never be real conductors because “The essence of the conductor’s profession is strength. The essence of a woman is weakness.”

James Baldwin’s “great force of history”

In many ways, this discussion is a deeper dive into James Baldwin’s assertion (there he is again!) that we are living within structures and systems that control our lives, without our even being aware of them:

“The great force of history comes from the fact that we carry it within us, are unconsciously controlled by it in many ways, and history is literally present in all that we do.” —James Baldwin, 1965

Assumptions about what people of a particular gender can or cannot do, or should or should not do, create the social structures in which we live. In terms of the classical music world, such structures have the effect of maintaining the illusion that classical musicians could only be men. Here’s how this works:

1. If women are assumed not to be musical, professional, or competent, then they will either (1) self-censor and not pursue their musical interests, or (2) not be admitted into the best music schools or receive the best training.

This leads to…

2. If women not admitted into the best schools, they will have a smaller chance of building the network of peers and mentors that will help them secure the best jobs and reputation.

As a result…

3. If women are not holding professional positions of power, influence, or respect, then they cannot mentor or guide another generation of students to follow in their footsteps; they cannot be advocates for younger candidates because they aren’t seated on a school’s admission committee or a professional organization’s job hiring committee. There aren’t enough of them to exert their leverage to insist on equal pay, family leave, or other issues that an all-male governing board might overlook (and that would be a barrier for other women to enter or remain in the workforce).

Add to these structures any additional prejudicial beliefs about women or their abilities, and it’s not hard to see why there have been so few women in leadership or famous positions in the professional classical music world historically. (If you re-read these bullet points and substitute any other minority group — a group defined according to race, ethnicity, or sexual orientation, for example — you would also have an explanation for why this group of people traditionally has been excluded from the professional classical music world.)

An anecdote: Abbie Conant

abbie-conant

In one particularly egregious example, gender-based prejudice derailed and marred the career of Abbie Conant. Conant is an American trombone player who played in the Münich Philharmonic (Germany) in the 1980s and 1990s.

Orchestral auditions take place behind a screen (remember this article assigned for class: dorris-the-audition?) so that the auditioning committee cannot see the performer. It allows them to hire the player who sounds the best rather than being persuaded by seeing someone they know, being affected by the player’s physical gestures, or discriminating based on gender or race. Conant won her position (solo trombone) over 32 other applicants with the Münich Philharmonic in 1980 and was approved by the other members of the orchestra during both her audition and her first year with the orchestra, but the conductor of the orchestra refused to let her play the role that she had won. He instead insisting that she play second to another male trombonist because he believed that only a man could really handle the role:

“You know the problem: we need a man for solo trombone.” —Sergiu Celibidache, General Music Director of the Münich Philharmonic, to Abbie Conant

Conant was officially demoted to the position of second trombone in 1982 by the Music Director (a position that requires substantially more work but earns significantly less pay), and she sued. Over the next 11 years, she and the orchestra were embroiled in a legal battle involving court appearances nearly ever year, and she had to complete several arduous tests and tasks in order to be able to play in the position she had already won:

  • 1982: Orchestra leadership argued that Conant did not “possess the necessary strength to be a leader of the trombone section.” By her husband’s account, she “underwent extensive medical testing to measure the capacity of her lungs and the speed at which she could inhale and exhale air. She had blood drawn from her ear to see how efficiently her body absorbed oxygen. She stripped and let a doctor examine her rib cage and chest. She also solicited forty-three testimonials of her musicianship from guest conductors and other musicians.”
  • 1987: The court ordered Conant to play for another trombone professional to assess her physical strength, endurance, and durability. She was required to play a series of the most difficult excerpts from the orchestral repertoire, all of which were chosen by the Music Director. In her re-audition, which was more rigorous or demanding than any regular audition (including the one she had already won in 1980), she played each excerpt several times, altering her performance each time to meet the auditor’s instructions to vary the style, dynamics, phrasing, and vibrato. The auditor’s court report praised her playing fully:

“She is a wind player with an outstandingly well-trained embouchure, i.e., lip musculature, that enables her to produce controlled tone production in connection with a controlled breath flow, and which gives her the optimal use of her breath volume. Her breathing technique is very good and makes her playing, even in the most difficult passages, superior and easy. In this audition she showed sufficient physical strength, endurance, and breath volume, and above and beyond that, she has enormously solid nerves. This, paired with the above mentioned wind-playing qualities, puts her completely in the position to play the most difficult phrases in a top orchestra, holding them out according to the conductor’s directions for adequate length and intensity, as well as strength.” —Heinz Fadle

  • 1988: The court ruled in her favor, and Conant was reinstated to her position of solo trombone. The orchestra, however, refused to pay her at a soloist level until ordered to do so specifically by the court.
  • 1990: The orchestra created a special lower solo category to pay her less than her other 15 (male) soloist colleagues in the orchestra.
  • 1993: The court ruled that Conant should be in the same pay category as her colleagues, finally allowing her to truly say, 13 years after joining the orchestra, that she was its solo trombone.

With her reputation affirmed, she then left the orchestra and accepted a prestigious position at the State Conservatory of Music in Trossingen (Germany). The Münich Philharmonic hired a seventeen-year-old man who had no prior orchestral experience as her replacement.

Conant’s story is not unique, either. In the Pittsburgh Symphony, trombonist Rebecca Bower was similarly relegated to playing second after winning a principal position by a male conductor. In 1941, French horn player Helen Kotas was the first woman appointed to a principal position on any instrument except harp in the US, but she left the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in 1948 after being demoted to third horn, and the orchestra currently has no women in principal positions. Tina Ward, a clarinet player, was complimented in her audition for the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra in 1970 precisely because she didn’t “sound like a woman.”

In the top orchestras in the US today, women make up 50% of the players on average, a huge increase from around 5% in the 1970s. The shift isn’t due to affirmative action but rather a switch to blind auditions. Screens don’t hide the sounds of shoes or musicians’ breaths, so there is still opportunity for gender bias in the process, but the implication is that when gender is largely taken off the table, well-trained women are as competent as their male counterparts.

However, there is still a huge disparity in terms of who gets to hold prestigious positions within orchestras and the classical music world. Most conductors and most principal or solo positions in orchestras in the US, Europe, and Asia are held by men (except for harp, a position which is almost always held by women). Tenured professorships at prestigious universities and conservatories are more often held by men while women are more commonly found at smaller, less well-known schools or in adjunct positions.

Gender and musical meaning

sexy-classical-music-albumGender shapes how people perceive and talk about all music, and classical music is no exception. Sex is more often used to sell albums for female classical music performers and reviews of female performers — and reviewers are mostly male —  often discuss what clothes they wore (which is almost never the case for male performers). Women are also more often and more harshly judged for their appearance:

Overweight men in opera, who sang lead roles, could pretty much expect to be judged on their voice and their acting, with no mention of their size. But a large woman would always be criticized for her size, often before any comment was made about her voice or acting. — Deborah Voigt, soprano

Gender perceptions also affect the way classical music sounds are described. Composer Missy Mazzoli (b. 1980) notes that the same piece is often described using very different vocabulary choices, whether the audience thinks it was written by a man or woman:

“I have a friend, a composer, who told me, ‘When a man writes something lyrical it’s seen as brave and courageous, but when a woman does it it’s seen as sentimental and indulgent.’ This was in the late ’90s and she was commenting on how sexist the new music community was. I’d like to say that times have changed, but I think this is still totally true.” — Missy Mazzoli

composer-gender-orchestra-2014-15

There also exists gender bias in terms of what music is performed on classical music concerts. In the 2016-17 season, 14 of the top 21 US orchestras didn’t program a single work by a female composer; in 2014-15 of all the works played by the top orchestras, only 14.8% were composed by women. The 2017-18 season overall wasn’t much better:

  • Detroit Symphony, music by 46 composers (47 are men, 34 are dead)
  • Philadelphia Orchestra, music by 50 composers (49 are men, 42 are dead)
  • Indianapolis Symphony, music by 34 composers (34 are men, 32 are dead)
  • Milwaukee Symphony, music by 34 composers (30 are men, 26 are dead)
  • Los Angeles Philharmonic, music by 58 composers (49 are men, 35 are dead)

And neither is the 2018-19 season.

It’s worse in the movie industry: from 1999-2004, only 2.4% of the 500 top-grossing films had scores written by female composers; women are commonly only asked to write scores that can appeal to other women.

When people compile lists of the so-called “best” composers of all time, they’re almost always all-male: like this one, or this one, or this one, or this one.

All of this means that young women and girls who attend orchestra concerts won’t see role models that they can follow, and the same is true for all minority groups: the message classical music is sending is that white men are the ones who are successful, a lesson that can be extrapolated to the world beyond music. And other non-women in the audience? They’re being fed the same message that classical music is a (dead) white man’s world.

Notable women in Western music history

Despite all of this, there are some notable women who have been excellent composers, performers, teachers, and conductors, and here’s a list of women that you might be interested in learning more about:

  • Hildegard of Bingen (1098-1179) — An abbess who, in addition to composing liturgical music, was also an expert on science and medicine and received prophetic visions
  • The Ladies of Ferrara — An ensemble of highly-talented noblewomen who sang in the courts of the Medici family (Italy)during the Renaissance
  • Francesca Caccini (1547-c.1645) — An Italian noblewoman who played lute and was also a singer, poet, and the first female opera composer
  • Barbara Strozzi (1619-77) — A singer and composer from Venice, Italy
  • Anna Magdalena Bach (1701-60) — Johann Sebastian Bach’s second wife and a composer in her own right who wrote the manuscript copies of many of Bach’s works
  • Louise Farrenc (1804-75) — One of the best French 19th composers, Farrenc was the second-ever female professor at the Paris Conservatory, but she was only allowed to teach piano and not composition
  • Fanny Mendelssohn (1805-47) — An admired pianist and composer; Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, in a letter to her younger brother, the composer Felix Mendelssohn, wrote “give my regards to your equally talented sister.” Although people admired her compositions, the family persuaded her not to publish them so that she could continue to fulfill her role of being a “dutiful daughter and sister.”
  • Clara Schumann (1819-96) — A remarkable pianist and composer whose married life was wholeheartedly devoted to her husband, the composer Robert Schumann, and his professional needs, rather than her own career. In their house, he had dibs on the piano for his composition, and he could practice only when it wouldn’t bother him. Nevertheless, she premiered every one of his works that included piano and programmed his music on all her international tours, and when he was committed to a mental institution, she supported the entire family (8 children!) by touring across Europe well into her 70s and publishing critical editions of Robert’s works.
  • Jenny Lind (1820-87) — a Swedish soprano referred to affectionately by the press and her fans as “The Swedish Nightingale” and who helped popularize opera in the US by being one of the first famous European musicians to tour in America
  • Amy Beach (1867-1944) — One of the first American symphonic composers
  • Nadia Boulanger (1887-1979) — A French composer, conductor, organ player, and one of the most influential teachers of the 20th century. Nearly every major American composer of the early 20th century went to her studio in Paris to finish their training, among others: Martin Amlin, Burt Bacharach, Daniel Barenboim, Elliott Carter, Aaron Copland, Ingolf Dahl, David Diamond, Irving Fine, John Eliot Gardiner, Philip Glass, Quincy Jones, Leo Kraft, Per Nørgård, Astor Piazzolla, Walter Piston, Virgil Thomson
  • Gwynne Kimpton (1873-1930) — One of the first female orchestra conductors. When she conducted the British Women’s Symphony Orchestra in 1924, the performance was not taken seriously and given harsh reviews. A clipping of one such review is available here.
  • Marian Anderson (1897-1993) — A Black American singer who was barred from performing in the US due to racism and instead made her career in Europe. When a concert promoter arranged a performance for her in 1939 at the Daughters of the American Revolution hall, and Anderson was banned from singing because of a whites-only clause in the organization’s contract; the performance was moved to the steps of the Washington Monument where she sang for 75,000 people.
  • Ruth Crawford Seeger (1901-53) — An edgy and unapologetically experimental American composer
  • Jane Little (1929-2016) — A double bass player who, at the time of her death in 2016, was the longest-serving musician in any American orchestra, having held her position in the Atlanta Symphony for 71 years. She died onstage during a performance in May.
  • Jessye Norman (b. 1945) — An American opera singer
  • Marin Alsop (b. 1956) — The first female conductor of a major American orchestra (Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, 2007) and the first female conductor at the BBC’s annual Proms (2003)
  • Claire Chase (b. 1978) — A flutist who began the successful new-music collective International Contemporary Ensemble, also known as ICE. She won a MacArthur Genius Grant for her entrepreneurial skills in 2012.
  • Some additional living, working female composers: Chen Yi, Unsuk Chin, Valerie ColemanGabriela Lena FrankJennifer Higdon, Bun-Ching Lam, Tania LeónMissy Mazzoli, Meredith Monk, Shulamit RanBelinda ReynoldsKaija Saariaho, Hilary Tann, Joan TowerEllen Taafe Zwilich

Also, here’s a free 78-hour playlist of music by female composers over the last 1,200 years, featuring the women in this list and others.

Final thoughts

Sexism hurts classical music — it creates barriers that prevent certain musicians from participating, from making music, or from becoming widely known. It also contributes to the sense that classical music is irrelevant in today’s society. Part of what makes classical music seem irrelevant is its sense of stodgy tradition, and one of the ways that this sense of tradition is expressed is in the ways women (and others) have been unwelcome in its world. It’s difficult — but certainly not impossible — to appeal to audiences if they can’t see a bit of themselves in the music, and classical music has been behind the times in terms of acknowledging, supporting, and celebrating the range of musicians in its midst.

-Dr. J.

 

P.S. The first piece in the discussion was by a man: Frédéric François Chopin (1810-1849), Nocturne Op. posth. 72 No. 1 in E minor (1827), and the second piece was by a woman: Clara Schumann (1819-96), Scherzo No. 1 in D minor, Op. 10 (1838). Were you surprised to learn the composers’ genders?

103 thoughts on “Music and gender (Oct 15-21)

  1. Sexism definitely hurts music overall. Today, that’s not a problem because we have singers such as Beyonce and Rihanna who are international superstars and have cemented their legacies forever. But back then, i can really see the problem. Women weren’t allowed to do anything such as having a job, voting, driving etc. This means that women weren’t able to express their feelings through anything and they thought music was going to help them do that but they weren’t given a chance. Men had taken over all roles besides housewife, of course. Women were never given chances like men because they were looked down on and were “weak”. Classical music was affected as it had mostly men musicians but not enough women musicians so audiences couldn’t relate to both sides.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I totally understand and agree with what your saying, back then women didn’t have a say. Times were completely different and thank god we have these role models and singers Rihanna, Beyonce and Cardi B. Also the two pieces of music I listened to above, I don’t think a piece of music can sound feminine. They both in my opinion have different beats and sounds. There both were spectacular to listen to, one has a slow tempo and is being played key by key. While the other is having many keys being played at once.

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      1. Luckily we have a lot of female representatives in Today’s world! That allow other females to be more open and willing to try new things! Great example

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      2. i completely agree. Without certain artists, female representation wouldn’t be as prominent as it is today. definitely different from years ago.

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    2. Agreed! Women like Beyoncé and Rihanna definitely paved the way for women as artists to really be successful in their careers in the music industry.

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      1. yes i can say definitely agree with your comment because men was able to do a lot of thing and women weren’t able to do anything and now today most women and successful just as men even thought Oprah Winfrey isn’t a singer she is a successful women

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        1. Right. This applies not only to music but in every work field too. Women have the same capabilities as men and have every right to purse whatever she pleases.

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    3. @raphaelirizarry and others who replied to this comment: We’re definitely seeing the changes made as both men and women have equal opportunities in music today. It’s more of a levelled playing field now for both genders. But what do you guys think lead to such change?

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      1. I believe that what leads the change in sexism in music is that the times nowadays are changing and people are realizing that sexism is stupid. Music nowadays is so diverse from all aspects, let it be gender or race and everything.

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    4. I agree with you, today’s society is more open-minded than before, but I do not agree when you say it’s no longer a problem even if you have artists like Beyonce , Rihanna as you say I think they struggles more as female artist than male artist. They must always be sexualized or they are criticized by the way they dress or act. This society has always been very tough with women, this same society is still tough with women.

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      1. I agree women have to sell sex which is unfair because they can be super talented but if they don’t appeal sexually, they’ll never see the career they deserve to have.

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    5. I can agree with Raphael because I feel today since we have artist such as Beyonce and Rihanna, other female artist can look up to these legends and create music of their own. Before their wasn’t many female artist to look up to so only men had their grasp on music sexism and women had no say in music. Now, since times are different, the equality movement has lead us to rights for women’s music rights along with many minorities today thought to be idiotic back then. Music should not be judged by gender but by skill and talent.

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    6. It’s true. For centuries women have been looked down on as inferior or “weak”. Because of this they weren’t able to express themselves fully. They weren’t able to get the same opportunities as men and therefore have been left at a huge disadvantage. Only now they’ve been able to influence classical music and change he face. We have a long way to go before the stereotype changes. Because there is small truth to stereotypes that truth has to be changed.

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  2. I was surprised that the first piece was composed by a man, just because it had a very soft melody. It gave me the impression of something so soft and gentle, similar like a woman’s touch. Similarly, the second piece sounds more “masculine” because it has more ragged and quick notes. I think this just goes to show that women deserve to be acknowledged and given the same opportunity as men when it comes to compositions, because they are just as capable of producing quality sound. I feel that women are not viewed the same in society as they were during the Classical Era, which is a good thing. They are no longer being judged for the type of music produce or expected to sing only soft melody songs. There are well respected rappers just as Cardi B or Nicki Minaj, all of who’s raps can be compared to a male as well. I truly believe that if women in the Classical Era were given as much of a chance as they are today, there probably would have been some remarkable pieces created during this era.

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    1. Yes. In the rap game, it was mostly men who were really successful and it was seen as a genre for men, but now with rappers like Remy Ma, Nicki Minaj and Cardi B, rap is now more inclusive and appealing to both genders, not just men.

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      1. Definately, I feel that once women started introducing their music in the rap game, it could’ve gave inspiration to women in general thinking that not only men can rap, but women can achieve the same as men or even greater.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. I agree with that thought that they can be compared to men (talent wise). Hower (as I stated in my post with a bit more depth) They are often put to battle against each other. This was seen from when Remy ma was first released from prison. Nicki M. and her music was instantly being compared as on whos better and who’s going to conquer who. Then when Cardi B debuted they instantly began to compare her to Nicki M., despite Cardi’s short existence in the Rap Industry and Nicki’s 10 year experience in the industry. It’s like women aren’t allowed that equal opportunity to pursue their career without it turning into a competition on who’s better. Men are never treated in this manner in the music industry.

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      1. I get what you’re saying about Cardi B and Nicki but sometimes it does happen with men tho. For example Jay Z and Nas.

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    3. I agree with you I was really surprised that the first piece was by a man it was soft and sounded like a woman would be playing as I thought the second piece was more intense and played by a man. If sexism was not such a big issue back then we women would not have been so afraid to express themselves or become composers even though there were still some who took on the challenge. Today there is more freedom for women to express themselves through music and we are standing up more for the right to do the same things men do. We can see this with the many famous women in the music world today.

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  3. People have been distinguished in life through multiple reason like skin color or accents or economic standards by I never thought it would also be in music. Sexism has been influenced into gender equality and i think that it would hurt music deeply. There are many women talented in such things just like men are; maybe the lady can even perform it better than the man could. Every gender should be given a chance to show themselves which in modern day they are allowed to do unlike in the era of 1400’s to 1700’s where women could conduct a single note of music. Since the times have change looked at how music has progressed thanks to women infusing their soft gentle voices and melodies.

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    1. Do you think we would have as many women composers as we do if the women who paved the way would not have done so?

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  4. Woah! The last part of this post revealing that the first of the two musical pieces was composed by a man because I too, thought that it was made by a woman because of the softness and gracefulness of the piece. Next, the second piece was the opposite. It had a hard and rugged texture to it that I thought it was composed by a man. I was pleased to find that I was wrong and my bias reaction was because of how society construes gender roles and the stereotypes that are unfortunately ingrained in us. (I really tried not to be biased.)
    On another note, I’m really glad that we are discussing women and their contribution to music even from the classical eras. Sexism was really prevalent in the early 20th Century and before, but still exists today and I am glad that in today’s age we have movements like “Me Too” and “Time’s Up” that are really moving mountains for women everywhere. As a student in a performing arts high school, we really never learned about the role women played in the history of music. The irony is that my musicianship, music theory, history and vocal teachers were women!!! But I definitely learned a great deal of how women were surely a part of the game long before they were recognized for their input. I also appreciate the fact that this is showing the lack of diversity (race-, sexual orientation-wise) we have in music from recently and somewhat now in American society. It comes to show how far we’ve come and how much further we have to go. As for the mention of the lists that ranked the top composers of a time, I thought it was just stupid. I noticed that two of the sites, (NYTimes.com and BBC.com) are predominantly ran by men. So, it is not surprising that their publishings are shining a light on just men. That along with reviews of music made by women must change. My question to you all is, would it be beneficial to have “blind” reviews like they do with orchestral auditions; to listen to music without knowing anything about the musicians appearance until the review was complete with no alterations thereafter?

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      1. I don’t understand your question. Sure, being from either gender will have an influence over how you listen to music and perceive it or how it can influence the music you create, but being a man or woman, shouldn’t really be a factor in the influences of music. I should be able to listen to a piece of music the same as my female counterparts in terms of inclusiveness. For example, a rap song shouldn’t just be for men, women should be able to listen to that music and enjoy it too just like their male counterparts.

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  5. Honestly both piece 1 and piece 2 sound amazing and I wasn’t really surprised by the first piece being by a man because men back in those days make soothing and soft texture music same as music today like R&B music in which Usher and Ne-Yo come to my mind personally as there music sounding similar in that of piece 1. Also, in piece 2 the notes are very dramatic and it sounds very upbeat as well as the melody changing drastically so you’d be quick to assume that as masculine and not written by a woman but I completely disagree because personally, I feel like Cardi B music is very aggressive in that manner as well as upbeat so I think that’s extreme sexism and both pieces can be written by both genders no question about it.

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    1. I agree that men’s music is assumed to be more dramatic and upbeat but over time we’ve come to notice than men can also compose soft tunes. I can admit that I’ve been overtaken by societal norms because I felt that the second piece was composed by a woman because women are seen to be more dramatic than men.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I agree with your comment that music composed by men were expected to be more dramatic but as we can see from the first piece, men can also be soft and play in a delicate way. You can also see this in our century we have many famous composers that play soft music.

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    2. Exactly i agree with your post back in the days men were the leading musicians artists actors and what not. Women were not given the same position or value for their work. I also knew that women and men weren’t treated same in work but music was one thing I thought everyone got the same respect and honor for their work. But sadly it’s the same in the music industry.

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    3. I completely agree with machardy, because men also feel the need to make sounds that are soft and soothing and so relaxing. Personally, I love both heavy intense music, but also really love smooth music. I believe that women have that same idea, making fast intense music but also make soothing music, it all depends on what you’re feeling.

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  6. Before I listen to the two pieces of music that was posted. I believed that I can recognize the gender of the composer of the music. I got it wrong. I personally don’t believe in the sexism in the music industry because you can’t really tell gender of the composer after listening to the music except the voice. According to the comment above, he/she mentioned that Beyoncé and Rihanna are international superstars. That being said, if a person has talents then they will be successful in career. I think Sexism in the music was existed before but not anymore . Both men and women who are blaming on sexism because they can’t do outstanding job in their career is just making excuses.

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  7. I believe there is sexism in the music industry and it’s pretty obvious that fans companies the media all effect the look coming from a female or a male celebrity. They still limit women to go for a great position that can put them in power and actually many men fear this! Its crazy how people really believe women were so gentle that they believed an instrument would physically hurt her. And songs about sex and love are always and mostly played in todays music but mostly by female cause that gains the most audience.

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    1. Right. In the early 20th Century women were only allowed to play the harp in orchestras. The harp was the only instrument that seemed suitable for women because of what society thought of their physical abilities. Women can play any instrument just as good or even better than men.

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    2. I completely believe in this 100%. Thankfully our society and the world we live in is evolving some for the better. Women are finally being able to be recognized for their talents but it wasn’t always like that. The world didn’t always believe in equal opportunity.

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    3. Agree! Female really gain a lot of audience because of singing sex or love songs because now a days were people thinking has changed where at the same time people mostly like love songs. I see a lot of likes in the YouTube channel video songs where as if I look at the other songs they have half of the likes or some times very less likes so that is also a prof that people like love songs the most

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  8. This weeks topic is one of the most un-talked-about subjects. As other classmates have stated prior to my post, I believe that this issue effects the entire music industry. However, I believe this is more evident in the Rap/Hip-Hop community. I say this because often female rappers are held to a higher standard than male rappers are. Female artist have to have sex appeal, the looks, the talent, and the personality. As opposed to men who are solely judged based on their talent, and MAYBE their clothes. Also, the music industry often implicitly implies that there can only be one great Female MC, causing female rappers to battle against each other for the “top” spot. As opposed to male rappers, who are able to have multiple talented men in that field. This is even happening in Hollywood now with the two famous artist Nicki Minaj and Cardi B. The two individuals are constantly being compared and contrasted on who’s better as an overall artist, despite the two’s large time difference in experience as far as being in the music industry. These two women are extremely talented in their own way but can’t be great because often things are said like “Cardi’s going to take Nicki’s spot” or “Cardi will never beat Nicki”. This is not evident in the male’s world of Rap/HipHop. I’ve never heard Drake and Jay Z get compared in this manner, or DMX and Eminem. It’s generally only in the females field of Rap and HipHop. I feel that this is an unfortunate trend in music because it hinders a lot of women musicians (performers and composers) art to be devalued in society’s eyes because there is already a successful female in that field.

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    1. It’s like you read my mind. I completely agree with every aspect of your writing. Women have to look a certain way to also be looked at when entering the entertainment world. If she looks “bad” the audience will look at her as a role model over somone who does not look the same.

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  9. I was very surprised to learn the genders of the composers behind the two pieces. I had thought that the first piece was composed by a woman because of how light and airy it sounded, versus the second piece which sounded quite mellow and bit dark. I guess using anonymity proved your point in a way. Every time I’ve ever been to a Classical Music Concert, I’ve always heard pieces played by men, composed of men, conducted by men and I’ve not once batted an eye. I believe that it is quite the norm, to just appreciate the music heard and not think about the deeper meaning. Or why there aren’t any woman or minorities [save for a lone Asian on the piano or violin]. So in a way, this particular discussion has tapped into my dormant side. The side that question’s just about everything about the way society moves. I’m not a classical musical fanatic, though on a good day I do indulge a bit in the genre. Though I have always noticed how on the cover of albums, the women look very sexy. I see this trend in jazz as well. Women dressed to the nines with their cleavage out [ to each his own] clutching a saxophone, and I’ve always wondered.. why? Shouldn’t the music speak for itself? I also think that the ideas of the “Blind Auditions” are great. Because they promote equality, though nothing will ever truly be equal it’s a start. Great topic this week, and great comments.

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    1. Even thought I’m not the best at classical music i can fell / hear the different in the music. To me most classical pieces iv heard mostly sounds as if only men but then again i know some are by woman but mainly MEN.

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  10. Honestly I never put sexism into thought when it came to classical music. Being that classical music is generally so calm and soothing I never felt that it was feminen or not. When it comes to songs with lyrics I’ve always heard judgments of a male if he listens to female artist. Females have been always placed behind men in everything & anything you can imagine but I never realized it went this far.

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    1. This is one of the many reasons I enjoy this class. It has helped me break down stereotypes in my head that I didn’t even knew I had.

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    2. Music is one thing we all relate to and connect to out of all the careers out there. I didn’t know there was sexism in music as well.

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    3. Exactly i agree with your post back in the days men were the leading musicians artists actors and what not. Women were not given the same position or value for their work. I also knew that women and men weren’t treated same in work but music was one thing I thought everyone got the same respect and honor for their work. But sadly it’s the same in the music industry.

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    4. I also would never believe it went that far too. Back in time I know it was hard for females and I know that people in the 21centray still believe that the men work and the women stay home and take care of the kids. However, even though females know that’s what some men think, they get up and get a job. There are more and more females that are scientists, company CEO, firefighter and much more. They are proven to men whatever they do females can do too.

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  11. I don’t really hear “gender” when I listen to the 2 pieces. But I think what will probably make the first piece sound womanly is the timber or tone color of the sounds. It has a calm, soft, smooth tone. However, it sounds darker and it has more base. This can be attributed to being more manly. In the second piece, parts of the music sounds loud, vibrant and powerful. E.g in the beginning (the piano produced a very sharp, distinct sound). I think this aspect can be related to being manly whereas other parts sounded soft, calm and mellow; like the melody was moving in a wave-like/curvy, smooth motion. It also has a lot of scales connecting the different movements. This gives me an image of a little girl skipping around merrily and chasing after butterflies or picking flowers in a garden, while her dress flows around with the wind. It sounds playful and relaxing. I think this part can be related to being womanly.

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  12. I have never truly understood why the concept of women are beneath men. I think society has got it all wrong.

    I actually knew the first piece was Chopin only because I’ve heard it before. I did find the second one to be beautiful. However, at the end of the day, who cares if it’s a woman or man creating music? It’s art at the end of the day and that’s actually what should matter.

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  13. I get the whole sexism part. Like in rap, When Lil Kim first came out; she was very sexual & a lot of people didn’t like that and their excuse was “because she’s a female” “she shouldn’t be talking in such language” .. But Lil Kim felt that Since then men do it why can’t she. She paved the way for female rappers today!

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    1. I agree it’s women like her or the ones before that actually paved the way for female artist in the music industry. People mention big names who are famous now but others went through the struggles to show people women can start in this industry. The OGs are are often overlooked but they are the true women who opened pathways for women nowadays.

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  14. This topic and the fact that gender roles has been clearly defined in music doesn’t surprise me at all. Woman has been discriminated against in all works/fields of life including religion, politics, education, family, economics, etc. I really felt sympathy for the female player who’ve been denied her role in the Orchestra just because she’s a woman. I feel like why  must one be judged or evaluated based on something they cannot control; gender has been assigned by God. Noone chose to be male or female. So, I feel like this really shouldn’t be a determining factor of one’s abilities. This scenario is an example that women are more capable than men often think we are. But I feel satisfied that she’s been given her rightful position afterwards. I definitely feel a great sense of achievement as a woman seeing that she has overcome this barrier and the label ‘weakness’ that has been attached to her and women in general in music has finally fallen off.

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  15. Since the beginning of this semester, I have always wondered if women composed classical music because we only talked about men. it’s really sad that the man and the woman are supposed to act in certain ways and these way are socialized from birth by many parents. To think that many women have abandoned their dreams of becoming composers because of certain mentalities, it’s really sad.

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  16. I have heard two of the piece so it seems like they are made by female. Because of it’s softness.I also wanted to talk about the women who work really hard in their music don’t get that popularity which should be given to their work. Old times there were the people who never give that respect or there were no rights or Justice for women, I really feel bad if I came to know these things by my grandma or by social media.Now when the time has passed people thinking also changes with time, female has shown their hard work and their are some women’s who work way more great than male musicians. In order to promote female work not only musicians female composer but female in any field we have to change. Just thinking of some strereotypes we can’t regret fthe hard work of female. If somebody says women are weak I have the simple expample if a women can give birth to a child she feel the pain of like 80 bones of a human crushed together so how can be she weak. Where as if somebody says women can’t do the things which man can do I always answer give me the highest field in which women’s are not in either in army police officer teaching you can find women every where.

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    1. yes yes yess Agree!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! i have no words you said it ALL their is Strong women all over especially when it comes to a women giving birth.

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  17. Completely in agreement with Baldwin, I will truthfully admit that I had assumed the first piece was played by a female because of its delicate nature. However, I assumed that the second piece was also played by a female because of its strong nature. Our judgments are definitely influenced by society’s expectations while we are mostly unaware of it. However, musicians are also stereotyped to be seen as more open minded or understanding and I guess that stereotype I had kept in mind was also broken when I read the battles women had to fight to gift the world of classical music with their talents.
    In my culture, women are still taught singing because that contributes to their “feminine” character. For which I had always thought that women probably would have never had to fight for their place in the music industry. I was completely mind blown by the fact that musicians actually withheld such talents solely due to the fact that its coming from a female. What I found more shocking by the end of the article, though, was the fact that sex still plays a role in the music industry against female musicians but when I come to think about it, I see how the rap industry of music barely has any lead females and I wonder if that’s due to similar reasons.

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  18. This reading was great because it shows women of our past regardless of the little amount who dared be different who open pathways for women nowadays. Classical music is even more difficult to achieve greatness as a female composer or in anything because it’s predominantly a male world. Yes hip hop/rap is more listened to by our era therefore its easier for women like beyonce and Cardi to be great. One name that stuck was Jane little because I bet she died the way she wanted, for someone with such great accomplishment the stage was her life and now death.

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    1. I agree with you about classical music being more difficult to break through these standards for women, although women now are able to express themselves in whatever way they want in the music industry now , I definitely feel in certain genres it’s still lacking more than others.

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  19. After listening to the two pieces, I don’t see a masculine or a feminine traits in music. Gender traits in music was created by old sexist musicians to judge because they have a need to feel better about themselves. Music is sounds to me and gender opinions shouldn’t be used to describe sounds. I feel that the masculinity and its traits has clouded past generations degrading thoughts and opinions on overall society. The use of sexism in music history is idiotic to me because it doesn’t test people for skill nor talent only the use of judging someone for their sex. Equality really sparks talent because with freedom from judgement, people can truly make masterpieces whether it being the calm vibes of modern classical art or the catchy beat and distinct flow of rap.

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  20. One Thing about women is that we are independent we won’t back down we’ll fight for what we want and need just to keep our family and close friends happy. When you look back to Cardi Bs background she didn’t stop fighting to make music, so many people said she couldn’t or this isn’t made for her she still did it anyway. look at her now she’s the hottest rapper out right now( so is Nicki Minaj). Today We very Great Successful women .To me after listening to both pieces i feel like they can go either way both man and woman can either sing or rap to it. but the second is more hard up beat.

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    1. I agree with what you’re saying, women like Cardi and Nicki have definitely influenced the musical industry. Women like them have shown that women can too and men are not just the ones who are going to be successful.

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  21. Sexism and music has hurt a lot of women and this was a way for men to control their wives. Back then they were considered property and had little rights. This doesn’t happen to just classical music. For example hip hop was considered a predominantly male music industry until artists such as Queen latifah and Lauren hill became dominant MCs. So sexism still continues with the music industry today.

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  22. Sexism and music do go hand and hand and in reality it has the potential to ruin modern music. You would think that the era in which the music world was predominantly male would long be passed. However it is still prevalent today. In our current state, although it may seem evident that music is constantly changing there has been a positive way for women to surpass the idea that is listed above. Many female stars have already paved the way to exceed that theme and have allowed for many new female superstars to make a mark on the music industry as well. Each and everyday not only in music but in for example sports female stars have achieved excellence which allows everyone to notice the existing equity. It is definitely a positive feeling to see that we are consistently changing and how in music nowadays women are being treated equally. Sexism definitely ruins the music industry. It is always nice seeing influential female stars nowadays break the boundary entirely.

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  23. There are so many truths in this writing. Female are exposed to sexism as soon as they are born. Although it seems to restrain them to fully be themselves, achieve big goals, the society in which we live seems to not notice how such discrimination impact female lives.The example given earlier about color- coded is true. Some colors have been predetermined to be for female or others to be for male. Such thing is completely wrong and prevent people to fully explore options that are out there.

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  24. I didn’t know sexism was a huge problem is the music industry. Men back in the day had more say. women now have opportunities to do what they want, there still is that problem that men do get higher pay then women, but sexism will always be a problem.

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  25. Sexism was clearly a very big problem in the music industry, specially the classical music era. Usually you hear that classical music is composed by men and the most famous classical pieces have been usually composed by men, but you don’t really see that out in the world nowadays. Women were not looked upon and were nothing in this era, a great example would be Abbie Contant, She had an orchestral audition and won her position over 32 other applicants and the conductor refused to let her play because they ” needed a man to do it ” and ” Only a man was able to handle that kind of role “. This was very sexist on their part, but throughout time things have changed. Men and women should be given a chance to show what they are truly capable without being judged due to their gender. This mainly goes for woman, they were not given the same position or roles. Things have definently changed all throughout the musical industry, we now have female singers, rappers,actors and even just successful women who have changed the game and turned things around. The only thing missing from this article is showing the recent women who have actually made a change and have created diversity not just in race but also in gender, women like Nicki Minaj, Cardi B, Beyonce, Rihanna, Adele, Jhene Aiko and many more, these women have shown society and the world that women can too and not just men will be successful or talented, but women will be too.

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  26. Sexism will slowly stop existing in this world I truly believe so. Men will start to realize that women can do anything they can do also The hate and criticism will only make them stronger.

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  27. What i still find facinating is that although woman have made huge achievements in the world of music in some places due to religious woman are completely forbidden of singing and making music which i find baffling, in the jewish tradition, mosltly hard-core orthodox (very religious) woman are not allowed to sing to men or at all from the fear of the men getting aroused, and is considered a sin for them to sing .

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  28. I agree that women like Rihanna and Beyoncé have paved the way for millennials and have created a higher standard for female musicians and performers to live up to in the future but you also have to consider women who have paved the way for Beyoncé and Rihanna, such as Whitney Houston, and Aretha Franklin, and those who came before them. I personally feel like this along with a majority of other things will be an on going battle between genders and it’s obviously us to us to break the stigma of gender norms.

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  29. With that being said do any of you guys feel like in your normal day to day life your being marginalized by your gender? in other words do you feel like based on your gender others may feel like your incapable of doing something or you shouldn’t be doing it because of your gender?

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  30. I was somewhat surprised that the first piece was composed by a man and not a woman because the second piece came across as more masculine meaning it was harder compare to the second which had a softer melody.
    Today’s society people are more open-minded than before. In any age, some popular music reflects cultural values. Cultures that labels women and men differently when it comes to the role they play in holding significant office positions such as” “women presidents,” and “women rock bands” are labeling men as normal by default.
    Today women are just as equal and some will say on a same level or more successful than man.
    Even though a lot has change over the years and woman are breaking through on the same level society still has there bias about the gender role in music and everyday life, so woman still has to work even twice as harder as men do.

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  31. Surprisingly, even though the first piece was very calming and not as robust in sound, it seemed masculine to me and I don’t know why. It didn’t sound like it was composed by a female. It had certain points of feminity but overall it felt as if it was composed by a man. The second piece felt more feminine than the first piece. It seemed like it was meticulously constructed which gave off the appeal of a female, which not to say that a man can do the same, but that’s just how I felt.

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  32. sexism was definitely a big problem back then. how do you guys feel it would’ve affected the history of music if females were given the same opportunities as men?

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    1. I would say yes. Women appearing in rap video are called video hoes or groupies. You don’t see men getting called out their name for appearing in music videos.

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      1. I definitely believe that this is a form of sexism because females continued to get bashed for it and in a way the men are displaying that this is the only thing women are good for and this i the only way to get a mans attention but then proceed to call those females hoes.

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  33. I personally think that sexism is not a problem in music today. As everyone said we have Beyoncé who’s a female and is on “top” of everyone in the industry. And for the body shaming part of the article men and women have to worry about their appearances. Dj khaled, Rick Rose, Gucci mane all been made into memes for losing weight. Then you have Nicki Minaj for her over sized butt and Kelly Clarkson for gaining weight.

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  34. Do you guys think that women should stop going into music videos performing any way (tweaking or wearing revealing clothing) or society needs to stop shaming women based on what they do?

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    1. I honestly feel like it’s nothing wrong with being in video as long as your comfortable and you should be treated with respect. Society is always going to have an opinion on video vixens,especially when it comes to women. I honestly think as long as he or she is happy, that’s all that matters.

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    2. I think people are making difference between a male and female. People do changed their thinking but some people still have the same thinking. If people really wants to make male and female the same they should have to change because people makes the society, if people starts not give priority to men than the women then our society could be more great.

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    3. Women can do whatever they choose to do in their videos, we as a society need to stop shaming women on what they do. Artists should feel free to do whatever they want with their music, without receiving backlash for it.

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  35. When I listened the two pieces of music, it was hard to recognize which one was more feminine or masculine. At the beginning of the second piece of music was strong, faster piano sounds but after 1:52-1:55 and 2:25-3:20 minutes the sounds were soft, slow. Men composers predominant classic music orchestra/symphony, and they believe many famous pieces of classic are made by men.Also, people’s impression about classic music composers are male not female. People’s belief, orchestra interview bias, surrounding, education all of these factors hurts many female musicians, and It is a very complex problem. In addition, three years ago I was working in the front desk of music school (small, private music school in main street Flushing), and all of teachers were female; students age from 5-18yrs. I think female musicians prefer teaching children. Sexism is not only in musical fields, and it also happens in education, working fields, women’s wages… a lot of fields. Music sexism is one of these fields, female should have same opportunities as male musicians.

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  36. I enjoyed this article and a lot of things that was mentioned in this article that I wasn’t aware of. It’s really wasn’t fair that women wasn’t able to get acknowledged just because of their gender. I was also shock to see how many composers and singers that were around and their finally get acknowledged for the great work that they have done. I also feel like today many female artists had made a difference and women have so many opportunities now.

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  37. after reading this article I think that we as females have came a long way in the music industry. I find it really unfair that women wasn’t getting acknowledged for their work just because of their gender because to me music should have no gender, but now women to day major opportunities and we have people to look up to like Beyonce, Rihanna, and Kehlani. I do agree when it comes to the fact that some music can sound feminine but not all music that sounds like that are made by women. For example the first came off to me as more feminine and that was done by a man. Sexism was a big problem back then and even though it may not be as intense now, it is still a problem in the music industry today. Some people still feel like women should stick to singing while men do the rapping where to me they can do both.

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    1. I really agree with @nadia722 due to the fact that many women back in the day have the ability to speak up and say how they truly feel due to the fact that they had no say in anything. They were just simple house wives who just depended on there man. That all changed throughout time, were we started to have more confidence and had dreams and more value. There are many female artist that successfully made it. Yet in this music industry there’s competition between both men and female. It’s more likely for a female to want to be on top of a male just because it’s hsrder for them to make it, due to sexism. Perfect example would be with nicki and Travis, she was highly upset that Travis was on top and blamed everything on whatever he did to be on top with him selling merchandise before he dropped his album, his daughter promoting his album and Kylie Jenner, since she has thousands of followers and is well know she also is what caused him to be on top. Anytbing but him doing what he did to be on top.
      Not only does nicki have a problem w men but also with females in being the best. Can there also be jealousy between both of the sane gender?

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  38. It bothers me that sexism was an issue in the past and still is an issue. Even though it has gotten better through the years it’s still a problem. In the hip hop genre when women rap they are expected to sell sex, but when they don’t there’s always the assumption that they are gay. But it’s not only in music it’s in sports also. In the NBA the lowest payed player is probably making 1 million a year, in the WNBA women the highest payed player is making 1 million a year. A lot of these women put in the same work as the men but definitely don’t see the same rewards. Sexism has been an issue since the beginning of time.

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  39. Piece #1 sounds more feminine because the entire piece was just calm and soothing, elegant like a real woman should be. It was such a pleasing piece to listen to I felt relaxed, while piece #2 had a lot going on, it started out aggresive then went on to being calm then back to being up beat, and its sad to say but that’s what men are like nowadays, mixy, angry, calm then aggressive.

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  40. I completely agree with @nadia722, music should have no gender. It’s sad that woman couldn’t be apart of the music industry back then, but that’s something people had no control over as women couldn’t really do much, their main job was to take care of the house and kids, they couldn’t work, go to school or anything like that. But now we master everything we do. Yea some women song might sound feminine but you do have cases where male songs sound feminine
    and female songs sound masculine Sam Smith and Nicki Minaj for example.

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  41. I believe that female artists are just as capable and in many cases better than many men at creating enjoyable music. I also believe that they shouldn’t have to sexualise their music in order to get it out in the world. However I do believe that they shouldn’t continue to enforce this practice of over sexualising music just because they believe nobody will listen. If these artist enjoy what they do and are not just out for the money they will not hide their aversion towards sexualising music. They will make their music because they have a love for what they do and if nobody wants to listen then its just a loss for that person, not the artist. I do believe that music can sound masculine or feminine but that does not effect my opinion. I do not personally care about gender when it comes to the artist. Whether the artist is a man or a women I will only judge them on the content that they produce.

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  42. It’s nice to know and see that the times have changed with women being able to express themselves openly with their music unlike in the past where women had no say/weren’t given an outlet to express themselves creatively because that was a role taken on by the men. Today in the industry there are so many women who are empowering and it helps motivate other women to be strong and confident in themselves and what they believe in. I enjoyed the pieces of music but they didn’t stick out to me as feminine, nor do I think I would be able to listen to any other song and define it as masculine or feminine.

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  43. When I hear music I’m not concerned with the gender of the artist, music is music. Sexism is a bad thing for music because an artist shouldn’t be judged for their gender, artists shouldn’t be judged on nothing besides their music. There’s a lot of female hip hop artists today that show being a female doesn’t mean they’re not capable of making a hit. After reading, Women in the past have definitely been discredited and critiqued. It’s interestig to see how far they’ve come along.

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  44. I think that gender affects music at some point, but not that much, because now days we got female and male singers, both of them got different kind of songs that I think we identify with, the songs that we got on the assignment, for me are not feminist at all, I feel that both of them are neutral. We got different kind of songs that I think those are really feminist like old Miley Cyrus songs. We all know that females got less attention on all the topics, because people (males) think that we are less stronger than them, but a long time female show that this Idea it’s not true.

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  45. “You know the problem: we need a man for solo trombone”- Sergin Celibidache. General Music Director of the Minch Philharmonic to Abbie Conant.
    One would expect a bias towards women from the fore fathers white manifesto wRly society, after all the brutality slavery was an acceptable norm by their laws. However, in today’s white male dominated civilization women are still viewed as secondary to men when correlating music and gender. As we have become more civilized and educated it is alarming to observe how little we have progressed as oppression ( a form of slavery) towards women is wide spread within the music industry. A particularly disturbing case is that of American Trombonist Abbie Conant. After proving herself to be as skilled if not better the most trombonist her white counterparts shunned her during the 1980’s. According to the blog it appears that women have never had a chance to thrive in classical music.

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  46. I couldn’t agree anymore. Women in the past have definitely been discredited for the work they have displayed. Luckily for the strong women singers we have today that have given other women the courage they need, not only to make music, but to also gain some self confidence that they may lack. It is nice to see how they can express themselves through their music and one can really get to feel the passion that comes along with it, as well as the inner strength they portray.

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  47. I was so surprised to find out towards the ending of the reading that a man played the first piece. Men are expected to be strong and defined by this. On the other hand women are soft and delicate and not expected to do what man can do. Listening to these pieces and reading on sexism lets us know that both men and women can do the same.

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  48. The differences and effect that different sexes have in our community, i didnt know that sexism can even be found in music, but im also not surprised. Men have always been seen to be the most dominant in our lives and yet the women are seen to be not as important compared to the men. But throughtout this reading it really showed that women can do it just as good, or even better than men.

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  49. Sexism is a terrible social problem before even today, and I believe we the society treat woman much fairly than before. However, my belief is right for America. In Indu, a man could be sentenced in prison for one year by eating beef,and for three months by raping a woman. It sounds out of all reason for us,but it‘s not for the people live in there. I agree in the music area; we should treat all men and women reasonably because it is not about who is stronger has more talent in music creation.

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  50. I suppose I understand how music can sound masculine or feminine. The songs that were soft-sounding and slow would most likely come across as feminine, the rougher more intense songs would come across as masculine. Most stereotypes make women appear more soft spoken and men tough. Unfortunately sex is commonly used to help make albums successful, appearance really matters in the music industry, especially for women. However I do believe celebrities have been able to shed light on this issue as a way of bringing about equality. Even passages such as these inform the public about how women still don’t experience complete equality.

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  51. It’s amazing how we’ve come so far in the classical music culture. In the past women were really put into these small boxes when it can to musical opputunities. I can definitely speak on this through the history of the great players of my particular instrument, the violin. Back then, we had players like Jascah Heifetz, Fritz Kreisler, and then came Itzhak Perlman and Maxim Vengerov. All world renowned male violinists. They are the faces of the violin still ‘til this day. But now you have world renowned female violinists like Hilary Hahn, Sarah Chang, Janine Jansen, and Anne Sophie Mutter. All extraordinary female violinists; Hilary Hahn being my favorite. Times have truly changed for the better.

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  52. I agree with what this article is saying female artist need to be represented more in today’s society and even through history, women been given this stereotype of being weaker then men. Which was proven incorrect in this article as well.

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  53. answering the first question if music can sound feminine ? it is really a hard question to answer because i don’t hear, when listening to music or any kind of piece i don’t really ask my myself id this work was played by a man or a women. while listening to the two pieces during the discussion, the only thought that came to my mind was- wow the person ( man or women ) who played or created this piece has talent. as i kept reading i was a little surprised to find sexism in the musically world. to make my thought more clearer i would like to add is that musicians now a days and the best performs that i have seen so far would go more to the women side, but looking back into history that was the case back then. men were seen as the top of the ladder and has to take the biggest role in anything- family, job, or a team. but now and as time passes by we are having more equality between two genders and whatever it may be music or anything else women can out do or even better what a man zcan does.

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  54. One question I had was what are ways we could eliminate these Boundaries with in our community and or music culture, to have artist be successful without selling music to a specific genre as well too ?

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  55. I enjoyed reading this article because this is actually something that I have always wondered about. I always questioned why some music sounded more feminine or more masculine. I believe that tone, rhythm, beat and style of music convey such thoughts. Also, I always questioned why more men are in the music industry than women, or is it not true? But after reading this article it has been confirmed that sexism even exists in music. It’s crazy to think that we are still facing these kinds of things today in society. Props to those women who are rising and breaking barriers!

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