UNT Research, Volume 16, 2006 Page: 36
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Sn t u u n t r e s e arc h
or another way to define it would be musical anthropole
ou( [TH AN ni[!E B. ass .:
Hayes co-edited a forthcoming book
titled Black Women and Music: More Than the
Blues, supported by a Ford Foundation
Postdoctoral Fellowship for Diversity. The
chapter she contributed on women's music
festivals highlights research included in the
book she is now writing.
Black Women and Music consists of
II essays on different aspects of African
American women's musical experiences, in-
cluding their work as performers and com-
posers, and their contributions to Western
classical music, hip-hop, the blues, lesbian
music cultures, black musical theater, gospel
music, avant-garde jazz and other genres.
"The most important thing about the
book is that rather than a series of biogra-
phies, the contributors situate black
women's engagement in music within the
relevant social and cultural contexts across
time periods," Hayes says.
"Not only is this the first edited vol-
ume to address the musical experiences of
African American women across genres,
but it's the first volume on that topic that
draws together such a diverse range of
Contributors came from a wide variety
of disciplines including ethnomusicology,
music theory, musical theater, music history
and women's studies.
arican music and gender theories
ontext of women-only music festivals in the
The women's music festivals Hayes
studies stem from radical feminism, she
notes. Since most people are familiar only
with mainstream feminism, an examination
of this topic reveals cultural dynamics that
have never received much attention before.
"Although the women's music move-
ment was permeated early on by utopian
ideals, it is important and interesting to
note that, in the process, numerous disjunc-
tures - along the lines of race, age and
sexual orientation - within feminist com-
munities were revealed and addressed," she
says. "Women's music festivals became
important sites for feminist activists to
work out many of these issues."
For example, she says that early on,
when feminists were changing pronouns in
lyrics from "he" to "she," black women at
the festivals fought to maintain references
to "he" in African American spirituals
and hymns out of respect for that cultural
"It's not that they were against femi-
nism, but there was another agenda that
needed to be brought to the table," Hayes
Likewise, Friedson regards his research
as one of many ways to open minds to a
larger perspective of how music is used in
"I think what I value in my research is
that it can help people understand that
musical experience can be something much
different from the way we think of it in the
West," he says.
"My work also includes philosophical
arguments about what it's like to be in the
world. We have a lot to learn about the
range and value of experience, and we can
open up those kinds of understandings to
other people." I
z O0(6 UNT RESEARCH
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University of North Texas. UNT Research, Volume 16, 2006, periodical, 2006; Denton, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc29777/m1/36/: accessed July 22, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting University Relations, Communications & Marketing department for UNT.