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MUSC/WGST 188: Intro to Women and Music

Instructor H. Meg Orita (Ph.D. Candidate) |
Summer Session I | Monday – Friday, 1:15 – 2:45 pm

This course surveys the many roles that women have played in music throughout history from the twelfth century to the present. It focuses primarily on Western popular and classical music traditions, but also addresses musics in the Middle East and the Americas. The semester is divided into three units: patrons, composers, and performers in early music history; politics and the voice; and music and the body. Each unit will include a series of case studies, allowing students to draw comparisons among women across historical periods. Case studies include: Dolly Parton, Imogen Heap, Cher, Hildegard von Bingen, Barbara Strozzi, Josephine Baker, Beyoncé, and Umm Kulthum. Students will address questions of social structures, gender roles, expressions of identity, and power relationships, among many others.

Intro to Women and Music combines reading in women’s and gender studies and musicology with listening, viewing, creative projects, and written assignments. It is designed for students with no prior formal study of music.

MUSC/WGST 188 fulfills requirements for minors in Music and Women’s and Gender Studies, can count as elective credit for both majors, and satisfies general education requirements for Visual and Performing Arts (VP), North Atlantic World (NA), and Global Issues (GL).

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