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Women in Music

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WOMEN IN MUSIC Read the article “Black Music Critics and the Classic Blues Singer” by Phillip McGuire and answer the following discussion questions: 1. Why were the Blues considered “distasteful” by society? Blues was considered “distasteful” by society because there were so many people going around preaching and brainwashing the public. They wanted people to believe that blues was crude, barbaric, vulgar, suggestive, and a music form that should appeal only to animal emotions. 2. How were blues-women viewed by other “trained, professional” musicians? John Wesley Work III viewed the blues-women as a singer with “not much hope in earth-a thoroughly disillusioned individual… [who] translated everyday happenings into her own intimate inconvenience. Later in the article Dave Peyton from the Defender stated that black musicians should be trained and understand what they should do to meet European standards. 3. Discuss ways in which songs by blues-women represented social protest and reflected personal views of oppression. (You may give example of song lyrics.) Lyrics and titles represented social protest and personal views of oppression in the songs of blues-women. Throughout this article McGuire provided a number of examples that allowed his readers to see how blues-women exemplified these things in their songs. The first example was the “Chain Gang Blues” by Ma Rainey this song talked about the chain gain experience. The lyrics of this song went like this: Many days of sorrow, man nights of woe, Many days of sorrow, many nights of woe, And a ball and chain, everywhere I go The next example was sang by Bessie…...

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