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Discover reliable and peer reviewed sources in Music, Theatre, and related fields.
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Performing Arts

Welcome to the library's guide to resources in the Performing Arts!

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    Featured Titles

    Cover Art
    A Bad Woman Feeling Good: blues and the women who sing them - Buzzy Jackson
    Call Number: ML400 .J24 2005
    ISBN: 9780393059366
    Publication Date: 2005-02-17
    An exciting lineage of women singers originating with Ma Rainey and her protegee Bessie Smith shaped the blues, launching it as a powerful, expressive vehicle of emotional liberation. Along with their successors Billie Holiday, Etta James, Aretha Franklin, Tina Turner, and Janis Joplin, they injected a dose of reality into the often trivial world of popular song, bringing their message of higher expectations and broader horizons to their audiences.

    These women passed their image, their rhythms, and their toughness on to the next generation of blues women, which has its contemporary incarnation in singers like Bonnie Raitt and Lucinda Williams (with whom the author has done an in-depth interview). Buzzy Jackson combines biography, an appreciation of music, and a sweeping view of American history to illuminate the pivotal role of blues women in a powerful musical tradition. Musician Thomas Dorsey said, "The blues is a good woman feeling bad." But these women show by their style that he had it backward: "The blues is a bad woman feeling good."

    Cover Art
    From Spirituals to Symphonies: African-American women composers and their music - Helen Walker-Hill
    Call Number: ML390 .W16 2002
    ISBN: 9780313299476
    Publication Date: 2002-03-30
    African-American women composers remain largely unknown despite their important musical contributions. Active in the United States since the late-19th century, several gained national and international recognition during their lifetimes, only to have their work neglected after their deaths. From Spirituals to Symphonies is a unique, extensively researched examination of the history and scope of musical composition by African-American women, focusing on the implications of race, gender, and class for their musical creativity, and demonstrating how this important, under appreciated category of American art was shaped by the unique individual personalities of its participants.

    Their particular times, communities, families, racial heritages, economic circumstances, education, and musical training were all brought to bear on their music, and author Helen Walker-Hill challenges the assumption that black women's only important musical contributions have been in folk, jazz, and pop. With unprecedented detail, she charts the lives and the output of a group of artists whose work has gone unnoticed for too many years.

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