Dissonant Composition: Gender Inequalities in Music

Researcher Information

Greg Kyriakakis

Project Type


Start Date

30-3-2007 12:00 AM

End Date

30-3-2007 12:00 AM

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Mar 30th, 12:00 AM Mar 30th, 12:00 AM

Dissonant Composition: Gender Inequalities in Music

Gender constructions are inescapable in society; it is therefore understandable that inequities have permeated the realm of classical and popular music. From the types of instruments young children decide to study to the composition of modern rock bands, gender roles and expectations have helped shape the state of music. Women who further their study in music predominantly learn from the works of male artists, influencing the female musicians’ style while crippling personal creativity. Even the body of the performer plays a role in the type of instrument studied; female vocalists rely on their body to produce sound while male musicians are more inclined to use technology, such as the guitar, to aid in sound production. Males and females occupy different roles as musicians. Rock bands tend to feature male performers and have limited roles for females save for sexual appeal or gimmicks. Female artists gravitate toward solo pop music performance in which they are heavily sexualized. These types of constructions are perpetuated and reinforced by mediums such as the music video.