Women in the Studio: Creativity, Control and Gender in Popular Music Sound Production, 1st Edition (e-Book) book cover

Women in the Studio

Creativity, Control and Gender in Popular Music Sound Production, 1st Edition

By Paula Wolfe


224 pages

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Hardback: 9781472474872
pub: 2019-07-08
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pub: 2019-06-25
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The field of popular music production is overwhelmingly male dominated. Here, Paula Wolfe discusses gendered notions of creativity and examines the significant under-representation of women in studio production. Wolfe brings an invaluable perspective as both a working artist-producer and as a scholar, thereby offering a new body of research based on interviews and first-hand observation. Wolfe demonstrates that patriarchal frameworks continue to form the backbone of the music industry establishment but that women’s work in the creation and control of sound presents a potent challenge to gender stereotyping, marginalisation and containment of women’s achievements that is still in evidence in music marketing practices and media representation in the digital era.


"A fascinating and timely book that explores the role of female producers in the music industry – both as DIY artists and in commercial studios. Wolfe reveals through in-depth interviews and analysis that female producers are a growing community, but they are still under-represented in the media, and marginalised by a music press that ignores their work amid a gendered discourse appealing to a male audience. An artist-producer herself, Wolfe presents a crucial insider view. Read it now!"

– Lucy O’Brien, author of She Bop: The definitive history of women in popular music (2013)

"In this timely book Paula Wolfe delivers an extensive and captivating critical discussion on gendered notions of creativity in the recording studio. Wolfe eloquently challenges gender stereotypes and illustrates how women’s achievements are still marginalised within the music industry by the ways in which they are marketed, represented and sold to audiences. This is a vital book for those studying gender in the music industry and even more essential for anyone working, playing or practicing within the music industry and beyond."

– Dr Paul Thompson, Leeds Beckett University

"Women in the Studio is an important and timely contribution from Paula Wolfe, which unpicks the entrenched inequalities of the music industries and lays them bare. More than that though, through its deep engagement with the voices of women in the field of music production and the realities of their agency in the recording studio, it offers productive insights into how women can, and are, breaking down the structures and values that have for so long been erected to contain them. For the emerging field of Songwriting Studies, Wolfe's attention to the female singer-songwriter serves as a powerful reminder of how the creativity of women has been marginalised and why there is hope for change and new understanding."

– Dr Simon Barber, Birmingham City University

Table of Contents

1.The Music Industry and Gender 2. Music Production and Gender 3. Self-production, Music technology and Gender 4.New Industry and Gender 5. Media Representation and Gender

About the Author

Paula Wolfe has published in the areas of music production, music technology and gender, and regularly presents her research at national and international music conferences on a wide range of issues that accompany the work of women singer-songwriters, composers and producers. Practitioner as well as scholar, Wolfe is a critically acclaimed artist-producer and is currently promoting her third album, White Dots (Sib Records 2019). www.paulawolfe.co.uk

About the Series

Ashgate Popular and Folk Music Series

Popular musicology embraces the field of musicological study that engages with popular forms of music, especially music associated with commerce, entertainment and leisure activities. The Ashgate Popular and Folk Music Series aims to present the best research in this field. Authors are concerned with criticism and analysis of the music itself, as well as locating musical practices, values and meanings in cultural context. The focus of the series is on popular music of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, with a remit to encompass the entirety of the world’s popular music.

Critical and analytical tools employed in the study of popular music are being continually developed and refined in the twenty-first century. Perspectives on the transcultural and intercultural uses of popular music have enriched understanding of social context, reception and subject position. Popular genres as distinct as reggae, township, bhangra, and flamenco are features of a shrinking, transnational world. The series recognizes and addresses the emergence of mixed genres and new global fusions, and utilizes a wide range of theoretical models drawn from anthropology, sociology, psychoanalysis, media studies, semiotics, postcolonial studies, feminism, gender studies and queer studies.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
MUSIC / General
MUSIC / Genres & Styles / Pop Vocal