Women sounding out: Listening for queerness in folk and popular music of the United States | Intellect Skip to content
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Girls and Women in Popular Music Education
  • ISSN: 2397-6721
  • E-ISSN: 2397-673X

Abstract

Folk music and other popular styles associated with rural regions of the United States appear to be unlikely places to find lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and other gender/sexual minorities (LGBTQ+). Consequently, teaching folk music of the United States with attention to diversity, equity and inclusion can be challenging for music educators. In this article, I use Yves Bonenfant’s notion of ‘queer listening’ to discuss queer genders and sexualities in folk and popular music, applying the framework to three songs by women artists: Tracy Chapman’s ‘For My Lover’, the Indigo Girls’ ‘Closer to Fine’ and Amythyst Kiah’s version of ‘Black Myself’. By treating queerness as a ‘doing’ rather than a ‘being’, queer narratives of oppression, survival, resilience and triumph in folk music can be discussed in the music classroom with greater nuance in relation to history, performance and reception.

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/content/journals/10.1386/jpme_00085_1
2022-07-01
2024-02-29
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