Volume 11, No 1 (June 2002)


Volume 11, Number 1  (June, 2002)

In this issue:

1.  Editorial

     Violence Against Women: What’s Music Got to Do with It?, Elizabeth Gould

2.  Special Feature

     Music’s Open Secret, Robin Wilson

3.  Conference Report

     Ruth Crawford Seeger: Modernity, Tradition, and the Making of American Music,

     A Centennial Festival

4.  Research Abstracts

4.1  A Case Study of Boys’ Experiences of Singing in School, Adam H.W. Adler

4.2  “Where are all the girls?” Women in Collegiate Instrumental Jazz, Kathleen McKeage

5.  Member News

5.1  “Feminism, Feminist Research, and Gender Research in Music Education: A Selective

       Review.”  Roberta Lamb, Lori-Anne Dolloff, and Sondra Wieland Howe

5.2  Sondra Wieland Howe received the Distinguished Service Award for Exceptional

       Contributions to Research and Service & a paper on “Women’s Participation in the Music

       Department of National Education Association”

5.3  “Transforming Music Education,” Estelle Jorgensen
5.4  Websites for the research projects “Journees Sonores, canal de Lachine” and “In and Out

       of the Studio,”  Andra McCartney

6.  Notes

6.1  Sondra Wieland Howe, from Stockholm, Sweden

6.2  Program Notes, Spring Concert, Voices of the Drum:Patti O’Toole, Artistic Director

7.  News of the Profession

7.1  The New Handbook of Research on Music Teaching and Learning

7.2  Organised Sound, An International Journal of Music and Technology, Call for

       articles and works

7.3  New research institute opening soon in Bremen, Germany

7.4  The 3rd International Conference for Research in Music Education

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1.  Editorial

Violence Against Women: What’s Music Got to Do with It?
Elizabeth Gould

As the result of a lawsuit filed against a music composition professor at the University of Texas-Austin, sexual harassment in music and college music departments is currently receiving a great deal of attention. See the discussion list of the International Alliance for Women in Music (music.acu.edu/www/iawm/home.html), as well as the Chronicle of Higher Education (chronicle.com), June 7, 2002. Robin Wilson’s article, “Music’s Open Secret” is reprinted with permission in this GRIME Newsletter in the section, Special Feature.

Sexual harassment constitutes a type of violence that is enacted (almost exclusively) on women around the world. This violence is a plague in most societies, and is manifested in many ways. One of its most overt manifestations in Afghanistan has been under intense criticism by western feminists. Other westerners also became concerned about it after the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon last fall. We might be more effective in eliminating sexual harassment, however, by first interrogating practices in our own communities and places of employment.

Virtually all of us can recall an incident of sexual harassment of some type that happened to us or that we witnessed or heard about while studying for an undergraduate or graduate degree in music. At the university where I was attending graduate school, a male graduate student approximately 40 years of age stood up during a wind ensemble rehearsal in which I was playing, and verbally assaulted a much younger female undergraduate student about her behavior. The (male) conductor of the ensemble did and said nothing. It was left to me to turn around and loudly state, “Your language is unacceptable!” The man immediately stopped his tirade and sat down. The conductor, looking dazed, continued the rehearsal without comment. During a meeting with the conductor the next morning, I pointed out how this incident was not the isolated occurrence he claimed, but was the most recent in what had been a series of escalating altercations between this man and undergraduate women. Only after I produced documentation of the previous incidents and threatened to report the School of Music to the University Student Advocate Office did he agree to announce at the next rehearsal that aggressive behavior would not be tolerated in his rehearsals. That, of course, followed the incident of the band director who was visiting the same university to judge a marching band festival, and managed to insult every group imaginable (including lesbians, gay men, and musicologists-he disparaged the latter group as “faggots”). The university wind ensemble conductor and I agreed that this man never would be invited back to our institution. Ten years later, however, he was invited to judge a marching band contest for the local university where I was living at that time. To my dismay, he repeated the same behavior. In all three of these cases, music administrators were unwilling to act.

Harassment of women students of a sexual nature has been reported at both institutions, as well, and in all cases, the accused professors still teach-at those institutions or elsewhere. Unfortunately, this is not the “open secret” of music departments only. Because of the structure of music teaching, our departments simply provide more opportunities for predators to act.

What have gender researchers in music education written about this and the power relations in which it occurs? Like most of us, I can discuss a few, but to avoid inadvertently overlooking someone, I would ask you to please post to the list serve (or to me privately, if you prefer) bibliographic information about your work in the areas of violence, harassment, and power relations in relationship to teaching. It would be helpful, if possible, to include a summary of your findings, as well. I will collect and organize what is posted and include it in the next Newsletter.

How do we communicate this research to music administrators in higher education and other schools? At the very least, we can individually forward the posts to our own administrators. This could be done in response to a particular situation or in the context of “for your information.” We also can situate the information in the context of the research done by the American Association of University Women. See their website at www.aauw.org.

Clearly, we must speak louder-and more often. In the face of accusations of “political correctness,” the situation only seems to be getting worse for women in higher education. This, I would think, is of concern to all researchers, whether or not they describe themselves as feminists or gender researchers.

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2.  Special Feature

Music’s Open Secret
Robin Wilson

Copyright 2002, The Chronicle of Higher Education. Reprinted with permission. This article may not be posted, published, or distributed without permission from The Chronicle.

In music schools, the relationship between professor and student is extraordinarily intimate. Hours are spent one on one, behind closed doors in soundproof practice rooms. Touching is often necessary, as the professor teaches students how to breathe or place their fingers on an instrument. The lines between personal and professional may blur, particularly when a young musician is dependent on a professor’s approval for career success, and when the mentor grows accustomed to the feelings that admiration and power can bestow.

And that special relationship explains music schools’ not-so-secret secret:Sexual affairs between male professors and female students are common, and so is unwanted physical attention.

“The teacher and student relationship in music has virtually no comparison in other academic fields,” says William Osborne, a composer and outspoken critic of classical music’s treatment of women. “It is essentially a master and apprentice relationship. It is not supervised or witnessed by anybody else, and so the potential for issues involving sexual harassment is great.”

Although colleges distribute pamphlets telling students how to report sexual harassment, and offer training for professors on how to behave, it is rare for word of actual instances to surface outside the practice-room walls. Yet there is anecdotal evidence that sexual harassment is a serious problem, and recently the issue became public when two music schools were hit with formal charges.

These cases, according to female music students, raise the question of whether universities are either unaware of the sexual climate in their music schools or unconcerned about policing their professors. They also send a warning that, even though a student must prove that a university showed “deliberate indifference” to a complaint to win in court, institutions are susceptible to such charges.

At the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, a former oboe student, Maureen Johnson, now 26, won $250,000 in damages in April as a result of her lawsuit claiming that she was repeatedly sexually harassed by a visiting professor. The university has said it did everything possible to try to stop the harassment and will appeal the jury’s verdict. But Ms. Johnson, who dropped out of music school following the events, says her victory sends a message that colleges are responsible if their professors create a hostile environment.

Here at the University of Texas, Monica Lynn, 37, has filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights, charging that the music school’s most prominent composition professor repeatedly made off-color jokes and remarks that made her uncomfortable. In the last several months, a handful of current and former students, both male and female, have joined Ms. Lynn in protesting the atmosphere in the department. Their complaints paint a picture of a boys’ club in which some music professors joke about strip clubs, sing songs about the male anatomy, comment on the physical appearance of female performers, and carry on sexual relationships with students.

The university has said Ms. Lynn’s charges have no merit, and professors say she’s simply angry because they refused to admit her to the music-composition program. But Ms. Lynn, who earned an undergraduate degree in music theory last spring says it’s more complicated than that. “I never had a chance to find out if I was a composer, because I had to deal with so much abusive behavior. I couldn’t stand the thought of leaving this school and knowing that every young woman who comes here and wants to study composition is going to be destroyed.”

Craving Approval

The black-and-white photographs that line the walls of the dean’s office in the College of Fine Arts here tell the history of women in music. In three pictures — a 1911 portrait of John Philip Sousa’s band, a 1947 photo of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, and a 1963 picture of Princeton University’s music department — only one of the musicians is female.

The photos are here because they feature male family members of the dean, Robert Freeman. Missing from the group are any shots of his mother playing the violin with the Boston symphony. That’s because when she auditioned in 1951, the conductor told her the orchestra already had two female members, Mr. Freeman recalls.

The situation for women in music has certainly changed in the last 50 years, but not as much as some would like. That’s particularly so in composition and orchestral conducting, two of music’s most male-dominated fields. The charges of sexual harassment at Austin center on the music-composition department, where all four faculty members are male. Of the department’s 18 undergraduate majors, one is a woman, and of its 37 graduate students, five are female. Nationwide, of the 1,850 professors of music composition listed in the College Music Society’s 2001-2 directory, only 178 are female.

The small number of women in the field can make female musicians feel isolated, and cultivate an environment where sexual harassment — and discrimination — are allowed to flourish. Linda Dusman, a composer at the University of Maryland-Baltimore County and one of the few women to head a music department, says these issues are “enormous” in music. But that doesn’t mean anyone talks about them, she says, because “people have their heads in the music, and that’s what’s considered important.”

Perhaps because so much of musical training is based on criticism, students crave their professors’ approval. “If there is someone who can tell you, ‘Yes, you’ve got it,’ that invites intimacy, and it invites trust and dependence,” says a woman who earned her master’s degree in vocal performance from the University of Kansas and asked not to be identified.

Outside the classroom, after concerts and rehearsals, students often seek out more contact with professors. “For graduate students, casual time with the mentor is like gold,” says Ms. Dusman. “It’s part of the culture. If you have a teacher who promotes your music, that will be incredibly helpful in getting your career started.”

At many music schools, stories abound of male professors who greet female students with a kiss on the mouth, make sexually explicit comments, and ask them out on dates.

Some female students consider such personal contact and crude behavior part of the territory. Elizabeth Hinkle-Turner, who runs an electronic-mailing list on gender and music technology and is writing a book about the history of women composers, says “putting up with the crap” is just part of the road to success. “There are women who say that’s a crime and wonder why they should have to do that, and my personal opinion is, because you do.”

Ms. Johnson, the former University of Michigan musician, refused. She started her graduate work at Ann Arbor in 1997, playing first-chair oboe in the School of Music orchestra. Pier Calabria, a visiting professor from Italy, was the orchestra’s associate director. Ms. Johnson says he came to the campus library where she worked and repeatedly asked her for dates and told her how sexy she was. After she spurned his advances, she says, Mr. Calabria demoted her to fourth chair and told her she didn’t have what it took to be a musician. Ms. Johnson dropped out before finishing her degree, then filed a lawsuit against Michigan for failing to deal with the problem. In April, she won the award when a jury agreed with her complaint. The university has said it does not tolerate sexual harassment, and contends it did everything it could to stop the harassment. Mr. Calabria was not named as a defendant in the case because he has returned to Italy.

“Conductors have so much power, and no one questions their authority, ever,” says Ms. Johnson, who is now a telecommunications engineer in Denver.

A Hostile Atmosphere?

Monica Lynn moved to Austin to earn an undergraduate degree in music composition in the early 1990s. She was divorced and had earned a bachelor’s degree in nursing. She attended music courses part time while working at local hospitals.

Ms. Lynn says she knew from the beginning that the way male professors at UT treated female students wasn’t right.

“I’m a really strong person,” she says. “I’m older, and I have a grasp of what’s acceptable and what’s legal.”

Her problems began during her first semester of music composition in the fall of 1995, when the graduate teaching assistant who taught the course made dirty jokes in class, she says. Another male teaching assistant, she says, advised her to use her “feminine wiles” to get ahead in music, stared at her legs during class, stroked her hair as he walked by, and put his arm around her.

Although anyone is allowed to enroll in music-composition courses at Austin, students who want to declare it their major must pass a jury, where professors assess the quality of music they have written. In the fall of 1998, after earning an A in two composition courses, Ms. Lynn failed her first jury. During the evaluation, she says, Dan E. Welcher, a professor of composition, noted that she was a nurse, and commented that now “he would know who to call when his back was hurting.”

Bigger Than Life

Over the next two years, Ms. Lynn came to consider Mr. Welcher her biggest opponent in the music-composition program, and attributed his behavior to the fact that she rejected his personal attention and refused to laugh at his jokes. She failed her final jury in the spring of 2000. During the 15-minute session with Mr. Welcher and two other professors, she says, Mr. Welcher asked her not about her music, but about her job as a neonatal-intensive-care nurse. Had she heard about a benefit held in a city park for a new “milk bank” that supplied donated breast milk to premature infants? she remembers him asking. “I just envision women pulling out their breasts in the park and breast-feeding people right then and there,” Ms. Lynn recalls the professor saying with a snort of laughter.

Later in the year, at a holiday party, she says Mr. Welcher asked her to go to the Yellow Rose, a local strip joint, an invitation she refused. She remembers him announcing in a loud voice, “Hey, Monica will be dancing tonight. She’ll be wearing her dog collar and chain.”

In December 2000, three days after the party, Ms. Lynn filed a sexual-harassment complaint with the university, charging that Mr. Welcher’s comments created a hostile environment for female students.

Mr. Welcher, who is not married, denies he made any of the statements Ms. Lynn complained about. He is a larger-than-life figure at Austin’s music school. He directs its New Music Ensemble, a group of about 20 advanced instrumentalists and singers. He has been at the university since 1978, and has written more than 80 works for opera, symphony, and chamber orchestras. His Web site calls him one of the “most played composers of his generation.”

Mr. Welcher refused to speak to The Chronicle, but sent several statements by e-mail. He vigorously denies making the comments that Ms. Lynn has attributed to him, and contends that she has concocted a story of sexual harassment out of bitterness over her academic failure.

“The only ‘reputation’ I have is that of a very demanding teacher,” he wrote in one e-mail message. “I do sometimes intimidate certain kinds of students with my directness and my candor about their music. But none of this has anything to do with sexual harassment.”

In a letter to the university, Mr. Welcher made it clear that he believes Ms. Lynn lacks talent. “A would-be composer who lacks sufficient musical skills, a good ear, or the ability to produce competent music after three years of study must face the unpleasant fact that she is not suited to this career,” he wrote. “If the student cannot accept this, it is her right to go elsewhere and try again — but not to malign the faculty with libelous statements.”

Russell F. Pinkston, an associate professor of music composition at Austin, says Ms. Lynn’s charges amount to a “smear” campaign against the faculty here. “The irony is, we are bending over backwards to support and encourage female composers,” he says. “If you have anything going for you as a woman composer, you can write your own ticket here.”

Female musicians who have been successful here say that, while male professors can be crude and rude, they don’t believe that amounts to sexual harassment. “Dan Welcher shoots his mouth off,” says Larisa Montanaro, who is finishing up her doctorate in vocal performance at the music school. “He could use a few lessons.”

But nothing Professor Welcher has done qualifies as sexual harassment, in her book. “There are women who really experience sexual harassment, and that’s what bugs me most,” says Ms. Montanaro. “If these women [at UT] were expecting to go through life without these kind of men in the world, they need to get a grip. They’re everywhere.”

In fact, legal experts say that while unwanted touching and aggressive sexual behavior are considered sexual harassment under the law, so are comments and suggestions that are unwelcome and that create an atmosphere of hostility.

The university’s own policy seems tailor-made to root out the very behavior Ms. Lynn complained of. It says “gratuitous comments of a sexual nature such as explicit statements, questions, jokes or anecdotes” can be considered sexual harassment. Under “sexual misconduct,” the university lists “repeatedly engaging in sexually oriented conversations, comments or horseplay.”

The university’s investigation this spring into Ms. Lynn’s charges was conducted by Lee S. Smith, associate vice president for legal affairs. According to documents obtained under the state’s open-records law, Mr. Smith asked Mr. Welcher and his colleagues whether he had said the things Ms. Lynn alleged. All of the professors said no. Mr. Smith won’t discuss the investigation, but from the documents, it appears that he did not interview students.

Other students have complained about Mr. Welcher. One woman who is currently enrolled in the doctoral program in music composition wrote a letter to the civil-rights office at the Education Department about a dinner she and a male graduate student had at Mr. Welcher’s home last summer. The professor sang a song called “Isn’t It Awfully Nice to Have a Penis?” and showed the students pictures of his trip to Greece, the woman wrote. In one photo, Mr. Welcher was naked, she said, and in another a cat was sitting alone on a sidewalk. Mr. Welcher, she wrote, explained that he’d taken the picture of the female cat because it had just been “gang banged” by several male cats. Mr. Welcher told The Chronicle that he did nothing inappropriate that evening and that the student exaggerated and misconstrued the events.

Consensual Relationships

Ms. Lynn’s case also prompted Katie Jahnke, who graduated this spring, to fire off a letter to the OCR. In March 2000, Ms. Jahnke filed a sexual-harassment complaint with the university about Daniel M. Johnson, who directs the music school’s Early Music Ensemble. Ms. Jahnke says she had a sexual relationship with Mr. Johnson for about 10 months in 1996, when she was a freshman in music performance and sang in the ensemble. Ms. Jahnke was 19; Mr. Johnson, who is not married, was 45.

After she ended the relationship, Ms. Jahnke says, Mr. Johnson refused to give her solo opportunities. Although their relationship was consensual, Ms. Jahnke says she later came to believe it amounted to sexual harassment, in part because Mr. Johnson retaliated against her for ending it. She dropped out of music and became a government major.

“My whole perception of how my voice sounded was affected by that relationship,” says Ms. Jahnke, who graduated this spring. Although the university found that Mr. Johnson had dated at least three female students, including Ms. Jahnke, while they were taking his classes — something UT-Austin’s policy discouraged — and that he had lied to the university about his sexual affairs, the college decided that his behavior did not amount to sexual harassment. Mr. Johnson did not respond to requests for an interview.

Mr. Freeman, the fine-arts dean, says he’d like to crack down on consensual relationships between professors and students. “Wait until she graduates,” he says he tells male professors. “We have a kind of sacred trust to the students,” he explains. “They’re coming here to get us to evaluate what their abilities are and what their future could be. These relationships poison the whole academic well.”

Still, Mr. Freeman insists that nothing he’s seen or heard about at Austin is different from what goes on in schools of music elsewhere: “There certainly isn’t a plague of problems.”

The civil-rights office, which visited the music school in April to talk to students and faculty members, won’t comment on its investigation. Last year, it considered 46 complaints of sexual harassment in all colleges nationwide. Although the agency has the power to cut off federal money to universities it finds guilty of ignoring harassment complaints, that hardly ever happens. If the office finds problems, it usually merely asks a college to fix them.

“The hard reality is that sexual harassment, in the workplace and on college campuses, just is not going away,” said Frank Vinik, a lawyer and risk manager with United Educators, a member-owned insurance pool for colleges and universities.

This spring, in the Bates Recital Hall at UT-Austin, Ms. Lynn held a recital of songs she has composed. Because she graduated last spring with a bachelor’s degree in music theory, she didn’t have to put on the recital, which is required only for composition majors. But she wanted to do it anyway. For an hour, her friends and relatives listened to the percussion and vocal pieces she had spent years crafting.

“I’ve been writing songs since I was 6 years old,” she says. “If no one ever heard a note, I’d still be writing.”

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3.  Conference Report

Ruth Crawford Seeger: Modernity, Tradition, and the Making of American Music,

A Centennial Festival

26-7 October, 2001, Brooklyn College and CUNY Graduate Center
Elizabeth Keathley, University of Tennessee, Knoxville

A scant six weeks after the sad events of September 11, 2001, music scholars and folk music fans gathered in New York to celebrate the centennial of the birth of Ruth Crawford Seeger. Subway service to Brooklyn via the No. 2 train had already been restored, and the only obvious reminder of the recent horrors was the disorientingly different skyline-and, in keeping with family tradition, Peggy Seeger’s remarks objecting to the bombing of Afghanistan. It seemed to me especially important at this critical time to be in the presence of one of America’s most significant musical families: Mike and Peggy Seeger (Ruth’s children) and Pete Seeger (her stepson) continue to embody the musical and political commitments of their parents, which they shared with us in their reminiscences of Ruth Crawford Seeger and in a “Seeger Family Tribute” concert as a festival finale.

Festival directors Ellie M. Hisama and Ray Allen, both of the CUNY Graduate Center and Institute for Studies in American Music at Brooklyn College, brought together the various threads of Ruth Crawford’s engagement with American music in a way that did much more than celebrate the creative life of a composer: from her avant-garde compositions to her transcriptions of American traditional songs, to her music pedagogy and compositions for children, Crawford’s life in music was rich and meaningful in a way that should cause us all to re-evaluate the “solitary genius” paradigm of musical creation. All of these modes of engagement were considered during the festival through a range of presentation forms including musical performance, scholarly papers devoted to compositional analysis or cultural history and criticism, a composers’ roundtable, and family remembrances. I cannot recall a conference devoted to a single individual that encompassed such a diversity of approaches, and all of them were important. The two-day conference was divided into sessions devoted to Crawford’s compositions, including her compositions for children (Oct. 26), and those devoted to her involvement with folk music (Oct. 27), with each day capped by a concert of the music under discussion. I learned something valuable from each one of the presentations, as well as from the well-produced festival program book, a special issue of the Institute for Studies in American Music Newsletter (Vol. XXXI No. 1, Fall 2001) including articles, a discography, and a bibliography.

The keynote address by the fabulous Judith Tick, whose 1997 biography of Ruth Crawford is available from Oxford University Press, conveyed the essence of Crawford’s conflicting claims as mother and modernist in a compositional sketch with a marginal annotation to the effect of, “did the kids get their cod liver oil today?” “She was a housewife,” Tick quoted Studs Terkel as exclaiming, “yet she wrote this modern music!” Tick reminds us that to find housewifery and musical modernism contradictory says something about the limitations of our own concepts of gender.

The theme of gender was also taken up by Bess Lomax Hawes, emerita of the NEA Folk Arts Program, daughter of John Lomax, and one of the original Almanac Singers. She recalled that Ruth Crawford became upset with Peggy when she was three years old for batting her eyes at Charlie (Charles Seeger): “I have always been a strong woman and thought that women had to make their own way, and here is my daughter batting her eyes.” We learned from Peggy Seeger that Ruth Crawford was “an embarrassing mother” with her “square shape, no make-up, and . . . men’s shoes,” and that Peggy did not learn of her mother’s avant-garde compositions until after her death. But knowing these compositions, Peggy suggested, helped her understand Crawford’s folk song arrangements better, for their accompaniments are full of seconds with no clear harmonic function-they add color and richness gratifying to the ears of those with a taste for musical dissonance and complexity. Such a clear point of convergence of Crawford’s engagement with the “avant-garde” and the “folk” invites us to begin thinking of these as related rather than divergent categories. Peggy Seeger’s contribution to the “Seeger Family Tribute” included her original songs, among them “Hormones,” which pokes fun at the old saw that a woman President would be a danger to herself and others every 28 days-it brought down the house.

All of the Seeger children play multiple musical instruments (including guitar, banjo, and auto harp) as did Ruth and Charlie. Ruth herself was a “superb pianist” (Hawes), although her perfectionism made it difficult to practice (Peggy Seeger). Crawford was meticulous in documenting and transcribing folk songs, and the transcriptions themselves were visually beautiful (Hawes). But she was also suspicious of “Ur-types” because they obliterated the influence of place and audience in performance. Her relationship with the Lomaxes was interesting in this regard, for their not infrequent arguments over the accuracy of her transcriptions apparently revolved around whether it was “true to type” or whether it accurately represented the recorded performance Crawford transcribed. This privileging of the theoretical or the empirical has obvious gender overtones I will not discuss here, but it is clear that transcription is both a creative and a critical process. Thus, it is not completely accurate, as some scholars have opined, that Crawford’s shift from composition to folk music transcription constituted a relinquishment of her own creative pursuits.

Roberta Lamb discussed Crawford’s significance to music education, both through her folksong transcriptions and through her early presentations to the Music Educators’ National Conference. Crawford’s presentations were dramatic, involved actual children, and set the standard for subsequent presentations at MENC. As Lamb pointed out, Crawford regarded transcription as a scholarly endeavor and was scrupulous in documenting her sources and rendering details accurately. An important corollary to this attitude is that Crawford did not see music education and music scholarship as separate, but rather as complementary fields.

Important contexts and critical perspectives of the Seegers’ relationship(s) to American folk music were contributed by Michael Kammen (author of, among other works, a cultural biography of the African-American visual artist Robert Gwathmey) and Benjamin Filene (author of Romancing the Folk:  Public Memory and American Roots Music). Kammen and Filene drew attention to some of the more questionable aspects of the various “folk music revivals” in the U.S., including the right wing, racist tinge of the various celebrations of Anglo-American folk culture (e.g., the White Top Festival), the fetishization of “authenticity,” and the dilemmas of “outsider populism.” These are important reminders that, in spite of folk music’s use as a political vehicle of the American left, it bears many ideological resonances and ambiguities.

Ruth Crawford’s political commitments emerged prior to her involvement with folk music, as Ellie Hisama demonstrated in her analysis of Crawford’s Two Ricercari, based on the poems “Sacco, Vanzetti” and “Chinaman, Laundryman” by H. T. Tsiang, first published in the Daily Worker.  Hisama’s recent book, Gendering Musical Modernism:  The Music of Ruth Crawford, Marion Bauer, and Miriam Gideon (Cambridge, 2001) sets a new standard for culturally informed analytic approaches to modern music, and her discussion of the Two Ricercari brought to bear the same type of incisive analysis. Also on this session we learned of Crawford’s pre-compositional strategies (from Joseph N. Straus, author of, among other works, The Music of Ruth Crawford Seeger [Cambridge, 1995]); of the mutually influential relationship of Crawford and her composition teacher (and later husband), Charles Seeger (from Taylor Greer); and of Crawford’s work to reconcile European influences with a distinctively American compositional style (from Lyn Ellen Burkett). The subsequent composers’ roundtable with Ursula Mamlok, Pauline Oliveros, and Christian Wolff attested to Crawford’s influence on her compositional successors, even though her published oeuvre is quite small.

In the more intimate space of Levenson Recital Hall on the Brooklyn College campus, the first evening’s concert of (mainly) Crawford’s modernist works did not have the draw of the “Seeger Family Tribute” finale concert in the Prohansky Auditorium of the CUNY Graduate Center, but had much to offer, including Crawford’s Nine Preludes for Piano and Piano Study in Mixed Accents, played by Marilyn Nonken; a selection of Crawford’s folk song arrangements, sung by Dora Ohrenstein; a performance of her String Quartet by the Charleston String Quartet, and three of seven new piano works commissioned by Sarah Cahill and composed by women in honor of Ruth Crawford Seeger’s centennial. Cahill performed the compositions by Pauline Oliveros, Maggi Payne, and Mary Jane Leach, and each work paid tribute to Crawford through at least one of its musical attributes: intervallic patterns, folksong, or timbre. All three works seemed informed by Crawford’s intense involvement with auditory phenomena that transcended prosaic musical categories like “modernism” and “folk music.”

It is difficult to sum up the experience of attending the Ruth Crawford Seeger Centennial Festival, but I can say that many aspects of it made me happier than I had any right to be at that time and place. What made me happiest was not merely that this remarkable woman was duly celebrated, which is reason enough, but rather the way she was celebrated.  For if Ruth Crawford embodied qualities that we tend to think of as contradictory-an “ardent feminist” who was also a “woman of her period” and devoted to her family; a composer who was also a housewife; an “ultra-modernist” who was also deeply committed to traditional music; a student who also influenced her teacher; a teacher who was also a scholar-maybe a time will come when we realize that these qualities are not contradictory at all except insofar as our divisive categorization schemes make them so. Much of the festival suggested that the time is now.

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4.  Research Abstracts

4.1  A Case Study of Boys’ Experiences of Singing in School
Adam H.W. Adler, A thesis submitted in conformity with the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Music Education, 2002, Graduate Department of Music, University of Toronto

The problem of missing males in high school vocal classes ensembles is a symptom of the much greater problem of gender discrimination against males, which has been under-researched in music education (Koza, 1994; Svengalis, 1978). By denying themselves the full range of activities that could be available to them, boys are deprived of potential growth experiences that contribute to the construction of identity and self-esteem, and are therefore limited in their life possibilities. The researcher explores the location and meaning of singing within the personal/social universes of young adolescent males, in order to illuminate the negative and positive factors that influence their decision-making with regards to singing. The researcher observed the interactions of students in his grade 7 and 8 music classes and ensembles in a multi-class, multi-ethnic suburban senior public school; a journal of observations was used later as data for analysis. 16 boys and 2 girls from grades 7 and 8 participated in group- and individual interviews. Data were examined critically through multiple lenses, including a set of theoretical propositions that emerged from a synthesis of the literature in music and general education with the teacher-researcher’s teaching experience. Data were further analyzed through the process of creating writing of fictional narratives that also constituted an artistic presentation of the data. A typology of identities emerged, which were marked by a hierarchy of masculinities and differing approaches to interaction with peers, schooling, and singing. Boys perceive the singing concurrently as a bodily-aesthetic act and a psychosocial act. Boys’ decision making regarding singing is a complex series of evaluations and decisions, which is influenced by: culture and home environment; prior musical experiences and successes in school; public recognition from peers and teachers; and by issues of self-esteem, negative public visibility, and social-power as they relate to maturity and homophobia. Implications for music education and schooling are discussed.

4.2  “Where are all the girls?” Women in Collegiate Instrumental Jazz
Kathleen McKeage

This qualitative study was undertaken in answer to a question posed by a visiting high school musician who, after sitting-in with a college jazz ensemble, noted that she was the only girl in the room. Three undergraduate women music majors were selected for this study. Each was an instrumentalist, had an extensive background in jazz at the high school level and had withdrawn from college jazz bands after the freshman year. Individual and focus group interviews with the participants revealed that each of the three had made conscious choices that led to their withdrawal from the jazz program.  Analysis of the data revealed the following themes:  (1) a lack of female role models and mentoring in jazz; (2) pressure to perform both classical and jazz and (3) a sometimes negative environment associated with jazz ensembles. These factors led the students to make choices based on self-assessment and gendered expectations for success.

Women, especially music education majors, may limit their career choices by opting out of jazz ensemble opportunities at the undergraduate level. Considerations for modifying collegiate jazz programs to enhance participation by women are also discussed.

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5.  Member News

5.1  Roberta Lamb, Lori-Anne Dolloff, and Sondra Wieland Howe
“Feminism, Feminist Research, and Gender Research in Music Education: A Selective Review.” The New Handbook of Research on Music Teaching and Learning, eds. Richard Colwell and Carol Richardson. New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 2002, 648-674.

5.2  Sondra Wieland Howe
At the MENC conference in Nashville, Sondra Wieland Howe received the Distinguished Service Award for Exceptional Contributions to Research and Service, History Special Research Interest Group of MENC.

At the Minnesota Music Educators Association (MENC): state convention in Minneapolis in February 2002, Sondra Wieland Howe presented a paper on “Women’s Participation in the Music Department of National Education Association” and a research poster on “Elsie Shawe and the Music Supervisors National Conference.”

5.3  Estelle Jorgensen
My new book, Transforming Music Education, is available at a special pre-publication price of $14.96 if ordered before June 13, 2002, and mention is made of code E6BK.  It may be of especial interest to GRIME members.  The Indiana University Press which is publishing it as the lead book in its Counterpoints: Music and Education series can be reached by email at iupress@indiana.edu or visit the Press website at http://iupress.indiana.eduud.

5.4  Andra McCartney
Websites for the research projects “Journ?s Sonores, canal de Lachine” and “In and Out of the Studio” are now online and can be accessed from andrasound.org. I welcome your visits and comments to these online research sites about soundscape research and gender-sound-technology issues.

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6.  Notes

6.1  Sondra Wieland Howe, from Stockholm, Sweden

I am spending six months in Stockholm doing research on two topics: 19th-century Swedish textbooks and women in music. The Statens Musikbibliotek is an excellent musicology library. The following books are interesting accounts about Swedish women. Margaret Myers, Blowing Her Own Trumpet: European Ladies’ Orchestras and Other Women Musicians, 1870-1950 (Gothenburg, Sweden: University of Gothenburg, 1993) describes women’s roles in instrumental music in Sweden, education at the Music Conservatory in Stockholm, and the socio-political background of the period. Kvinnors Musik (Women’s Music) (Stockholm: Sveriges Utbildningsradio, 1989), edited by Eva Ohrstrom, began as a series of radio programs in the 1980s. The chapters in the book explore the roles of Swedish women in various environments throughout history: folk settings, salons, the workplace, opera, orchestras, and popular music. Ohrstrom’s Ph.D. dissertation from Gothenburg University (1987), Borgerliga kninnors musicerande i 1800-talets Sverige (Bourgeois Women Musicians in 19th-Century Sweden), gives background information on continental European salons, and describes the Swedish salons of the 1840s and the move from bourgeois salons to public concerts at the end of the 19th-century. Ohrstrom’s biography of the Swedish composer, telegraphist, conductor, and organist, Elfrida Andree: Ett levnadsode (Elfrida Andree: A Life Destiny) (Stockholm: Bokforlaget Prisma, 1999) has been reviewed by Pirkko Moisala in Women & Music 5 (2001): 146-48.

6.2  Program Notes, Spring Concert, Voices of the Drum
Patti O’Toole, Artistic Director

Voices of the Drum featured several women master drummers from a variety of musical traditions.

Have you ever wondered where rhythm comes from? Although no one knows for sure, some historians and musicians speculate that rhythm was born out of the moon cycles. The moon’s movement divides time into 29 and 30 day periods, which is the time it takes to go from a new moon to a full moon and back to the new moon. Because babies are born after 10 moon cycles, women were believed to be connected to the moon. The moon’s power to change tides and seasons, as well as women’s menses and birthing, was so revered that not only was the moon associated with the feminine, she became a deity-a Goddess. Because they were connected to the rhythms of the moon, women were responsible for performing the rhythms of work, worship and community, as the men were responsible for hunting food. Women sang songs to worship the moon and accompanied their music with everyday work tools. Eventually, a drum was created (probably out of a sieve), and it is no surprise that its shape honored the full moon. Archeologists and scholars have uncovered cave drawings and ancient iconography that depict Goddess-based societies where women were the keepers of the sacred worship tools -the drums. So, how is it that in contemporary society women have become disassociated with drumming? There are several explanations, again all based upon speculation. As ancient peoples moved from hunter-gather to agrarian societies, men became more prominent in the community simply because they were around more. When studying drumming in Ghana, West Africa I was told that the men became jealous that women could speak to the divine deities with their drums, and they overpowered the women and physically took the sacred drums for themselves. To this day, not many women drum in West Africa because they have been told that touching a drum will cause infertility-a frightening cultural myth that few women have challenged. Another piece of the story focuses on understanding men’s role in reproduction. Initially, it was thought that men played merely a symbolic role and when it something physical to the zygote, their role in society changed significantly. In fact, some believe this opened the doors for recognizing a male deity, which eventually led to the Christian male God. As deities became male, men became more prominent in worship. In order for Christians to convert Western societies from an earth-based worship, with multiple deities, to a single-deity faith, they had to eliminate the means of worship, which meant that drums were no longer permitted in sacred ceremonies. In fact, women were forbidden to lead sacred ceremonies and their musical voices were replaced by young boys’ voices. The only remnants of women using drums for worship are in occasional paintings of Mother Mary, who for many became the Christian transformation of the Goddess. Despite the many historical forces at work challenging women’s power, and specifically the power that comes from drumming, it is my speculation that women have always drummed. The questions become, where have they drummed and for what reasons? As in contemporary society, women’s drumming is not always immediately apparent. It happens in small gatherings in kitchens, unobtrusive ceremonies in the woods, or any place women gather to worship, work or share. Women have always known the power of drum vibrations to transform minds, bodies and life itself. Drumming can add a sense of play to work, fierceness to war, and depth to spirituality. In this concert you will see numerous drums used for various reasons. In the opening sequence we demonstrate symbolically how drums were born of the moon and enact celebrations of the phases of the moon. As we explore the use of drums in women’s spirituality, we begin with Manaus, an incantation to help a young woman who feels trapped in her marriage become invisible for a year as she searches for her true self. In this piece the drums shift the energy so that the spell is more powerful and effective. Mahk Jchi invokes our ancestors to join us and help us to remember who we are. The Native American drum serves a those singing, and of mother earth who provides sustenance for life. Yemaya is a chant to the Yoruba Goddess of the ocean. In this piece the drum becomes part of the prayer and speaks its own praise for the Goddess. The last piece of this set, El Reyna del Cielo, embodies the political move to a single-deity religion in that it is a hymn to the Mother of Christ, but uses native instrumentation as a means of transitioning from one faith to the next. In the next group of music you will hear how women’s work creates rhythms, and that engaging in such rhythms makes work both more productive and enjoyable. The first song, Herding Calls, starts with shepherdesses in the field calling to one another as they work. The chorus then sings a folk tale to which the infectious rhythm invites a dance that quickly whittles away the time. He Mandu is a song that would have been sung as Scottish women waulked tweed fabric. In this process the women shake the wool to tighten the weave and sing to keep everyone working at the same intensity. The last group of music celebrates how women express their womanhood through rhythm and drums. The first songs, Cantigas de Amigo, were written specifically for women to perform with percussion. These songs are sensuous and focus on the beauty of the female body as expressed through highly rhythmic music. The frame drum, which typically has been played by women in numerous cultures, is featured in this music. Ogguere is a lullaby sung by a mother wising to soothe her baby quickly to sleep, so that she can sew and cook things to sell in hopes of eventually buying her own house. Lullabies like this originally would have been accompanied by the creak of a rocking chair on a wooden porch and the rhythms of women working around the mother. We hope you can hear these rhythms in the conga and other accompanying percussion. This set concludes with a contemporary setting of an old Finnish text that reminds women to find solace in nature, as our mothers long before us have. The percussion joins the chorus feeling of the wind that blows us through our lives. Our concert ends with a formidable arrangement inspired by Maya Angelou’s poem, And Still I Rise. Bringing all of our drummers together we conclude with a celebration of women drummers and with a reminder that “as the rhythms of time renew the flow every morning, STILL I RISE.” And so too will women’s stories, songs, and rhythms.

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7.  News of the Profession

7.1  The New Handbook of Research on Music Teaching and Learning

Edited by Richard Colwell, Editor, Bulletin of the Council for Research in Music, and Carol Richardson, Chair, Music Education SIG of the American Education Research Association.
Featuring chapters by the world’s foremost scholars in the field of music education and cognition, this comprehensive collection (1,232 pages) includes sections on essential issues like Arts Advocacy, Music and Medicine, Teacher Education, and Studio Instruction.
Building on the 1992 edition, hailed as a “welcome addition” to the field because it brought “definition and unity to a broad and complex field” (Choice), this companion reference volume explores significant changes in music education in the last decade, including Multicultural Music, Gender Issues, and Nonmusical Outcomes.

Among the exhaustive list of chapters that cover all age levels and address issues from policy perspectives, are cognition, the philosophy of research theory, program evaluation, and curriculum. And each chapter considers the significance of research topics, offering suggestions for future research. An invaluable resource for music teachers, scholars, and researchers! 

7.2  Organised Sound
An International Journal of Music and Technology
Call for articles and works

Volume 8, Number 1
Issue’s thematic title: Gender Issues in Music Technology
Date of Publication: April 2003
Publishers: Cambridge University Press

For this special issue on gender, we invite submissions in the form of  papers, short audio pieces or excerpts, and/or short audio-visual artworks, related to gender issues.

Articles might focus on one or more of the following issues, although other approaches are also welcome:

What is the relationship between gender and the use of contemporary technology in pop music, electronic and computer music, experimental and electroacoustic composition, live electronics, radiophonics, multimedia, performance art, sound sculptures, and other sound art? Which gender perspectives can be articulated in the composition, production, performance, reception, interpretation or mediation of these musical genres? Why is there an apparent lack of women in most fields of contemporary music technology and electronic audio art, and how does this relate to the music, practices and interpretations?  How do musico-technological cultures relate to masculinity? Are there feminine styles of electroacoustic composition? How do women composers make a difference?

Guest editor Hannah Bosma will co-ordinate this issue. Please contact her
at Hannah.Bosma@hum.uva.nl.

Deadline for submissions is December 1, 2002. Audio and audio-visual material will be presented as part of our annual CD-ROM which will appear with issue 8/3.

The editors, as always, welcome submissions that fall outside of the scope of this issue’s theme.


Notes for Contributors/Further Details can be obtained from the inside back cover of published issues of Organised Sound or from:


Hard copy of articles and other material should be submitted to:

The Editors
Organised Sound
Centre for Technology and the Arts
Clephan Building
De Montfort University
Leicester LE1 9BH, UK.

Email submissions should be mailed to (please see SUBMISSION FORMAT above):


Editors: Leigh Landy and Tony Myatt.
Associate Editors: Ross Kirk and Richard Orton
Regional Editors: Cort Lippe, Eduardo Miranda, Shimoda Nobuhisa, J?an
Rudi, Barry Truax, Ian Whalley, David Worrall
ICMA Representative: Mary Simoni
International Editorial Board: Marc Battier, Laurant Bayle, Allesandro
Cipriani, Francis Dhomont, Simon Emmerson, Rajmil Fischman, David Howard,
Miller Puckette, Jean-Claude Risset, Francis Rumsey, Trevor Wishart.

7.3  There is a new research institute opening soon in Bremen, Germany, that will be devoted to women’s and gender studies in music.  Its director is Dr. Freia Hoffmann.  The institute is named for the American music scholar Sophie Drinker, who was the first person to write a comprehensive book about women and music in the 1940s.

The official opening will take place May 31-June 1, and you are warmly invited to attend.  A description of the institute’s purpose can be found at the website <www.sophie-drinker-institut.de>, and you may consult the program of the opening conference by logging on to the website <www.sophie-drinker-institut.de/eroeffnung.htm>.

You may also contact the institute by e-mail at info@sophie-drinker-institut.de, or by mail at Ausser der Schleifmuehle 28, 28203 Bremen.

7.4  The 3rd International Conference for Research in Music Education
April 8-12 2003 School of Education University of Exeter
Call for Papers Deadline October 31 2002

The aim of the conference is to gather together researchers, teachers and practitioners to share and discuss their research which is concerned with all aspects of teaching and learning in music: musical development, perception and understanding, creativity, learning styles, pedagogy, curriculum design, informal settings, music for special needs, technologies, instrumental teaching, teacher education, gender and culture.

  • Abstracts of no more than 300 words should be submitted with an indication of the mode of presentation i.e. paper presentation, poster, symposium.
  • Paper presentations should be 30 minutes in length to be followed by 10 minutes discussion time.
  • Practical workshops linking research to practice are especially welcome.
    Criteria for acceptance will include: original, well-conducted and reported research, relevance to international audience, command of English (it may be possible to provide support for this). A short curriculum vitae should be attached
  • Doctoral students are encouraged to submit as there will be dedicated sessions for feedback and supportA particular focus will be on research methods, the sharing of approaches to dissemination, and the influence of research on practice.

    Applications for attendance will be available from April 2002.

    Keynote Speakers will include:Professor Nicholas Cook – University of Southampton, UK
    Professor David Hargreaves- Roehampton Institute, University of Surrey
    Professor Goran Folkestad- University of Goteborg
    Professor Carol Richardson- University of Michigan
    Professor Peter Webster – Northwestern University

    For further information, contact Sarah Hennessy at the School of Education,
    University of Exeter,
    St Lukes Campus, Exeter EX1 2LU, UK.
    E. Mail <S.J.E.Hennessy@exeter.ac.uk>

    Website for conference is under construction details to follow.

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