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Pioneer Spirits: New media representations of women in electronic music history

  • Frances Morgan (a1)
Abstract

The Alternative Histories of Electronic Music conference in 2016 reflected a rise in research that explores new and alternative directions in electronic music historiography. Accordingly, attention has been focused on practitioners previously either ignored or thought to be marginal; a significant number of these figures are women. This fact has caught the attention of print and online media and the independent recording industry and, as a result, historical narratives of female electronic musicians have become part of the modern music media discourse. While this has many positive aspects, some media representations of the female electronic musician raise concerns for feminist scholars of electronic music history. Following the work of Tara Rodgers, Sally MacArthur and others, I consider some new media representations of electronic music’s female ‘pioneers’, situate them in relation to both feminist musicology and media studies, and propose readings from digital humanities that might be used to examine and critique them. This article expands on a talk given at AHEM and was first conceived as a presentation for the Fawcett Society event Sound Synthesis and the Female Musician, in 2014.

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Copyright
Corresponding author
Email: frances.morgan@network.rca.ac.uk
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Organised Sound
  • ISSN: 1355-7718
  • EISSN: 1469-8153
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