Unsung: A History of Women in American Music

Overview

In this new edition of the classic text in the field, Christine Ammer surveys a full 200 years of women active in American music. From the earliest organists to contemporary innovators in jazz, succinct biographical sketches show the influences of and influences on hundreds of musicians. Adding significantly to the list, Ammer now chronicles important strides women musicians have made in the last 20 years.

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Overview

In this new edition of the classic text in the field, Christine Ammer surveys a full 200 years of women active in American music. From the earliest organists to contemporary innovators in jazz, succinct biographical sketches show the influences of and influences on hundreds of musicians. Adding significantly to the list, Ammer now chronicles important strides women musicians have made in the last 20 years.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Revised and expanded from the 1980 version (Greenwood), this "Century Edition" of the first book to survey the role of women in American music history from 1800 to 2000 reflects the information explosion in the field as evidenced by the bibliography, which includes about five dozen sources appearing after 1979. In terms of revisions, Ammer (The HarperCollins Dictionary of Music, 3d ed.) has gracefully rewritten unclear passages and corrected facts. Expansions include 18 halftone photos (not seen), updated information about women included in the first edition, and the addition of more women and more subjects: blues, jazz, ragtime, and "international fusion." Two new chapters cover electronic music, mixed media, film, performance art, and women as advocates and patrons of serious American music-making. This second edition follows the first's suit and omits women singers because "[t]hey only compete with other women in their own voice parts, and hence are immune to the gender discrimination faced by women composers, instrumentalists, and conductors." This excellent reworking of an indispensable title is highly recommended. Bonnie Jo Dopp, Univ. of Maryland Libs., College Park Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Booknews
This study of women in American music looks at past and present trends and recounts individual stories of composers, instrumentalists, conductors, orchestra and opera managers, and music educators. Ammer (a writer and amateur musician) discusses attitudes toward women's roles in both music and society, looking back to the earliest European settlers in the 1600s, but focusing on the years 1800-2000. New chapters and material have been added to this edition. Although it can be argued that tremendous strides have been made in the opportunities available to women, this study offers a long-term perspective on the inadequate recognition women receive and the comparatively small number of them hired to serve on music faculties and in symphony orchestras. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781574670615
  • Publisher: Hal Leonard Corporation
  • Publication date: 3/1/2003
  • Edition description: CENTURY ED
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 384
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.79 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface to the Century Edition 9
Preface to the First Edition 11
1 The First Flowering - At the Organ 13
2 The "Lady Violinists" and Other String Players 32
3 Seated at the Keyboard 62
4 The First "Lady Composers" 91
5 Apartheid - The All-Women's Orchestras 118
6 American Composers in European Idioms 139
7 Grass Roots-Composers in American Idioms 166
8 Opera Composers and Conductors 192
9 Contemporary and Postmodern Idioms - After 1950 212
10 Electronic Music, Mixed Media, Film, Performance Art 230
11 Today's Orchestras, Conductors, and Instrumentalists 249
12 Teaching Music 282
13 Angels and Advocates 303
App Women Musicians in Thirteen Major U.S. Orchestras 313
Notes 314
Bibliography 346
Index 361
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 20, 2001

    Ammer's amazing history brings women to center stage!

    This revolutionary and influential volume is now reprinted and updated. In 1980, when it was first published, it was the starting point of interest in the vital historic role that American women have had in all genres of music in America. Ammer's book bore rich fruit in so many recordings and performances, as well as other studies. Ammer's searching curiosity and the range of her interests makes for fascinating reading. Armed with extensive documentation including interviews, she investigates women's roles in the traditions of classical, jazz, and folk. Liane Curtis

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