1st Edition

Voicing Girlhood in Popular Music Performance, Authority, Authenticity

Edited By Jacqueline Warwick, Allison Adrian Copyright 2016
    310 Pages
    by Routledge

    310 Pages 25 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This interdisciplinary volume explores the girl’s voice and the construction of girlhood in contemporary popular music, visiting girls as musicians, activists, and performers through topics that range from female vocal development during adolescence to girls’ online media culture. While girls’ voices are more prominent than ever in popular music culture, the specific sonic character of the young female voice is routinely denied authority. Decades old clichés of girls as frivolous, silly, and deserving of contempt prevail in mainstream popular image and sound. Nevertheless, girls find ways to raise their voices and make themselves heard. This volume explores the contemporary girl’s voice to illuminate the way ideals of girlhood are historically specific, and the way adults frame and construct girlhood to both valorize and vilify girls and women. Interrogating popular music, childhood, and gender, it analyzes the history of the all-girl band from the Runaways to the present; the changing anatomy of a girl’s voice throughout adolescence; girl’s participatory culture via youtube and rock camps, and representations of the girl’s voice in other media like audiobooks, film, and television. Essays consider girl performers like Jackie Evancho and Lorde, and all-girl bands like Sleater Kinney, The Slits and Warpaint, as well as performative 'girlishness' in the voices of female vocalists like Joni Mitchell, Beyoncé, Miley Cyrus, Taylor Swift, Kathleen Hanna, and Rebecca Black. Participating in girl studies within and beyond the field of music, this book unites scholarly perspectives from disciplines such as musicology, ethnomusicology, comparative literature, women’s and gender studies, media studies, and education to investigate the importance of girls’ voices in popular music, and to help unravel the complexities bound up in music and girlhood in the contemporary contexts of North America and the United Kingdom.   

    PART I
    Voice and Agency

    1  I’m with the Band: Redefining Young Feminism 15 LUCY O’BRIEN

    2  Girls at Work: Gendered Identities, Sex Segregation,
    and Employment Experiences in the Music Industry 37 MARION LEONARD

    3  "I Love Beyoncé, but I Struggle with Beyoncé": Girl Activists

    Voice and Vocality

    4  "These Stupid Little Sounds in Her Voice": Valuing and
    Vilifying the New Girl Voice 77 DIANE PECKNOLD

    5  Girls and Puberty: The Voice, It Is a-Changin’;
    A Discussion of Pedagogical Methods for the
    Training of the Voice through Puberty 99 BARBARA FOX DEMAIO

    6 The Curse of the "O mio bambino caro": Jackie Evancho as Prodigy, Diva, and Ideal Girl 113 DANA GORZELANY-MOSTAK

    7  Authority, Ability, and the Aging Ingénue’s Voice 143 ALEXANDRA APOLLONI

    Voice and Authenticity

    8  Performing Pop Girlhood on Disney Channel 171 MORGAN BLUE

    9  When Loud Means Real: Tween Girls and the Voices of Rock Authenticity 191 SARAH DOUGHER

    10  YouTube, Twerking and You: Context Collapse and
    the Handheld Copresence of Black Girls and Miley Cyrus 208 KYRA D. GAUNT

    Voice and Narrative

    11  The Counterpoint of Aging and Coming of Age in the Mother–Daughter Duets of Tori Amos and Natashya Hawley 235 LORI BURNS

    12  Listen to the Mockingjay: Voice, Identity, and Agency in


    Jacqueline Warwick is Associate Professor of Music at Dalhousie University, Canada.

    Allison Adrian is Associate Professor of Music and Women’s Studies at St. Catherine University, Minnesota, where she also serves as Endowed Chair in Women’s Education.