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Exotism and World Music Exploring Everyday Dancing Female
From Mozart to Madonna Gender Studies and Music
German Music Almanach 1999/2000 Heavy Metal Individual Taste Popmusic on Television Pops Stars in Videoclips
Punkrock &
Puzzling Gender Soccer Fan
Women Jazz Musicians
Wanted: Experienced Female Drummer
Review in RPM#26 (Summer 1998)

Kaufmann, Dorothea,
"... routinierte Trommlerin gesucht." Musikerin in einer Damenkapelle.
Zum Bild eines vergessenen Frauenberufs aus der Kaiserzeit, Karben 1997:
CODA Musikservise & -verlag,

(276 pp., 73 ill., historical newspaper facsimiles)
ISBN 3 00 001838-7

(276 pp., 73 ill., historical newspaper facsimiles)
ISBN 3 00 001838-7

The author has unearthed an almost forgotten part of popular music. The Topic of this book is the so-called "Damenkapelle" or "Damenorchester" (an orchestra with mainly female members.) These orchestras played an important role in the music business during the German Empire of Wilhelm II up to World War I. This period is also the setting of the book. It’s the time when light music became the fashion and music-halls in Germany were booming. To get large audiences, the Music Halls hired attractions of different types (acrobats, various orchestras, soloists etc.), one of which was the "Damenkapelle". With a repertoire of popular and folk music as well as arrangements of classical compositions they competed with all the other attractions for the favour of the audience.

Dorothea Kaufmann provides the reader with a vivid illustration of the scene. The focus of this book is on the working conditions of the "Damenkapellen". It supplies a lot of information about the organisation of work and problems the orchestras had to cope with. For instance, the prejudice of men who tended to detract from the success of the "Damenkapellen" by accusing them of prostitution or contracts which obliged the female members of the orchestra to encourage male customers to treat them to a drink. The book also gives information about aspects like e. g. training, management, payment, appearance, repertoire and many others. The author's research is thorough and the reader gains insight into many facts about the topic.

The book is written in an easy readable style but without any trivialities. I can recommend it to everybody who is interested in this period and its music.

Henry Maraharens
FB 9 - Music, University of Bremen
Postfach 330440
D-28334 Bremen
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Women Jazz Musicians.
Improvisation as Life.

Review in RPM#26 (Summer 1998)

Eva-Maria Bolay:
Jazzmusikerinnen. Improvisation als Leben.
Eine empirische Untersuchung zu Laufbahnen und Lebenswelten
von Jazzinstrumentalistinnen in den 90er Jahren.
Kassel 1995: Furore
ISBN 3-927327-33-6

Professional musicians who are able to earn a living from their work are still a small minority in most countries, and in many cases the formal exclusion of women (like from the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra) is only the tip of the iceberg. So it comes to no major surprise that the presence of female artists in the German landscape of jazz is incredibly small - only 3 percent of the registered jazz musicians are women, around 90 percent of them being singers.

Starting out with this rather depressing stock-taking Eva-Maria Bolay deals with a truly rare species, the female jazz instrumentalist. However, her small but effective qualitative study is not a history of constant discrimination or victimisation. On the contrary, she explores the biographical conditions, the musical development and the personal decision-making processes of five jazz players, asking how these aspects interconnect to influence the women's difficult roads to becoming professionals.

How do successful jazz musicians talk about the meaning of music in their own lives? What is the relationship between gender-specific socialisation and the complex process of developing a professional life? And which one of the partly contradictory self definitions - as musicians or as women - do they take up in which context? The five musicians from the South of Germany Bolay has interviewed for her study, have answered her questions in such a diverse manner that the researcher was at first disappointed not to find any general pattern in their biographies or in their musical self-socialisation. After a careful in-depth interpretation of each interview, comparing the differences time and again, however, she could extract specific thematic nodal points. Her way of presenting these case studies has developed out of this process and can therefore be regarded as well-balanced: detailed analysis (two chapters with biographical sketches) alternate with a more generalising interpretation (one chapter concentrating on the objective life conditions, another one on the musicians' subjective meaning productions). A short historical outline, a methodological chapter and a final one on gendered subjectivities frame the two empirical parts.

In an incredibly underresearched field (at least in Germany) Bolay's book presents new results about women jazz musicians, grants problem-oriented insight into their careers and private lives and offers some basic information about jazz on the side - making a fascinating reading for specialists and non-experts alike.

Ute Bechdolf
Ludwig-Uhland-Institut - Universität Tübingen

D-72070 Tübingen
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Take Three Chords.
From Punkrock to American Hardcore

Review in RPM#26 (Summer 1998)

Budde, Dirk, Take three Chords.
Punkrock & die Entwicklung zum American Hardcore.
Karben1997: Coda Verlag.
(236pp., glossary, band-index,
song analyses, biblio-, discography)
ISBN 3-00-001409-8

Since the mid-seventies, punk rock has lastingly influenced the development of Popular Music far beyond its own genre. However, there is not much literature dealing with this musical phenomenon from a non-sociological but musicological view. Dirk Budde has now published a study in German, giving musicological insights into punk rock and its offspring hardcore.

In the first part of the book, Budde depicts the development of punk rock in Great Britain from 1975 to 1978, of punk music in the USA from 1976 to 1978 and - although of no great international importance - also the development of punk rock in Germany. The second part of the study deals with the development of hardcore in the USA since 1978 and also briefly with the development of hardcore in Great Britain and Germany.

Budde’s main consideration is the organisation of musical sound and the context of musical practice, taking into account the concepts of the musicians as well as the audience. For his study, he has analysed sound-carriers, video material, record covers, numerous fanzines and magazines. With the example of particular songs of representative bands,both from the realms of punk rock and hardcore, he demonstrates the range of musical expression and shows common musical structures and principles of sound organisation.

The study shows detailed knowledge of an insider whose own musical experiences have left their mark. Budde’s essay is rich in material and hence represents a major contribution to a musicological research of punk rock.

Joachim Dalmer
D-76534 Baden-Baden
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Soccer Fan Singing. A FANomenology
Review in RPM#26 (Summer 1998)

Kopiez, Reinhard/ Brink Guido,
Fußball-Fangesänge. Eine FANomenologie,
Würzburg 1998: Königshausen & Neumann,
273 pp., CD
ISBN: 3-8260-1495-2

30 years ago the audience performances on the fringes of the German football-grounds were without any imagination: only hand-clapping, whistling and yelling. Singing, at most, was limited to the end of the game when the followers of the winning team started shouting a carnival song from 1954: "So ein Tag, so wunderschön wie heute" (What a day, what a wonderful day today). In the meantime some fundamental changes have occurred, discovered the Würzburg and Cologne based musicologists Kopiez and Brink. Continuously cultivating and varying, hundreds of thousands singing soccer fans obtained a repertoire of about 30 to 50 songs they learnt by heart.

Within 90 minutes of a typical first league (Erste Bundesliga) soccer game each of the two fan groups achieve to sing more than hundred times. Soccer games of the upper leagues generally appear to be open-air concerts of improvising fans. With collective singing and hand clapping thousands of human beings join to unity thereby influencing the actions on the turf. Leaving aside the diversity of rhythmic applauding and similar primary reactions (shouting, whistling) also investigated in this book, the authors carved out four functions of collective singing in the stadium: a) spurring on the opposing team, b) paying tribute to certain idols among the players and pledging loyalty towards the own club, c) reviling and jeering at the rival, d) working as a valve against the emotional stress of every single fan.

Soccer songs are spontaneous outbreaks; all attempts failed to determinate the repertoire with written Songbooks. Only in a few exceptional cases the fans take over words and tunes completely, for instance with the classical stadium hymn "You'll never walk alone", a song performed for the first time 1963 by Gary and the Pacemakers.

Typologically the book distinguishes Songs with words and Songs without, like those with a repetitive "shalala, lala, lala, la" to the chorus tune of "Is this the way to Amarillo?" Fan Songs with words normally are short and made up in rhymes. There poets are as unknown as those of popular jokes; they are disregarding copyrights employing free and easy any kind of tunes and songs serving their needs -- almost comparable to the 'good old times' of the traditional popular song.

The book gets weak when the authors play with psychological explanations or are constructing new anthropological perspectives ('neues Menschenbild'), adding to the nature of the homo sapiens not only attributes like 'faber' and 'ludens', but furthermore 'fanaticus'. Another deficit are the national limits. Although quoting several times Desmond Morris and his pioneering book "The Soccer Tribe", the English findings were not compared with the German ones. This would have made obvious a few important distinctions -- and the diversity of local soccer singing cultures.

Klaus Hansen
Univ.of Applied Sciences/ Fachhochschule Niederrhein
Dept. of Social Work and Social Management
Rheydter Str. 232
D-41065 Mönchengladbach
Fax: +49 2161 186660
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Aspects of Individual 
Music Taste Development

Review in RPM#26 (Summer 1998)

Kunz, Andreas
Aspekte der Entwicklung
des persönlichen Musikgeschmacks
Frankfurt/M., Bern, New York, Paris, Wien 1998:
Peter Lang Verlag, 256 pp., 3 ill.
ISBN 3-631-33027-8

The phenomenon of musical taste development, i.e. how and why music becomes of relevance to an individual has not been investigated in depth. This is what Andreas Kunz book is all about. In his first chapter the reader is introduced to general models and theories of human and musical development and socialisation, genetic-socialisational variables and socialisation instances. Then he recalls the existing theoretical concepts of musical functions, self concept and identity, and moves on to the heart of his research - five in-depth interviews.

Using a content analysis with five dimensions Kunz comes to the following main conclusions: Emotional and physical aspects of music seem to have the main impact on the process of musical selection. The type of music satisfying individual needs, seems to be dependent on the personal musical history. This is contradicting earlier findings by Dollase/Rüsenberg/Stollenwerk, who asserted, demographics are the central factors to develop musical taste or preference. He confirms Behne saying young individuals focus on few musical styles during puberty, because of group pressure and search for identity. Having passed this period a favourite musician emerges, musically derived from the preferred music during puberty. Musical taste is supposed to be imbedded in the development of identity as an active process of self construction.

Leaving aside possible criticism on novelty, common sense and research methods, Kunz offers an interesting and valuable insight in the field of musical taste development.

Marlies Luetkenhues
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Heavy Metal - Art, Commerce, Heresy
Review in RPM#26 (Summer 1998)

Roccor, Bettina
Heavy Metal - Kunst Kommerz Ketzerei, Berlin 1998:
I.P. Verlag Keske/Mader,
432 pp.
ISBN 3-931624-07-2
432 pp.
ISBN 3-931624-07-2

This book is a detailed, even exhaustive study of what the author terms a "cultural phenomenon." The dissertation was presented to a department of Volkskunde, roughly what the English language terms ethnology. The work is heavily based on the author's enthusiastic participant observation, supplemented by fan magazines, recording liner notes, and interviews with other fans and musicians. These sources are treated as primary ("sources from the scene"). She also considers denunciations by religious writers, and more measured commentary by academics ("sources about the scene"). Thus, "instead of relying.. on secondary literature, attention is directed to the phenomenon itself.

In order to avoid misinterpretations, fans and musicians themselves are cited as much as possible.at the same time, proper treatment demands a balance of subjective involvement and objective observation."

This statement encapsulates the author's purpose: to do intellectual justice to a phenomenon which lies largely beyond the categories of academic reflection, without betraying the core experiences and "world" of Heavy Metal. Broadly, her methodological guide is the work of Pierre Bourdieu on taste cultures. The book has substantial chapters on the problems of studying Heavy Metal, sources, musical style, social and geographical distribution, gender attitudes and roles, logos, clothing and aesthetic styles, politics, economics, the Satanism controversies, and a summary consideration, in which Roccor examines the roots of Metal in working class culture.

The chapters are uneven in detail, but uniformly excellent. Roccor admits to modest musical competence, for example, and so the chapter on musical style does not fill the (still urgent) need for intelligent musical analysis of the genre. The documentation of the German scene in the last fifteen years will provide valuable new information to North American students, but her painstaking studies of British and North American practices are equally important. Even those who disagree with her conclusions or "take" on this music and scene will find her lucid arguments helpful. Despite the near impossibility of the dual goal of scholarly detachment and insider's intimacy, this thorough work comes remarkably close to achieving it.

Michael William Morse
76 Ellerbeck Street
Toronto, ON
M4K 2V1
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Pop Music on Television

Review in RPM#27/28 (Winter/Spring 1998/1999)

Neumann-Braun, Klaus, ed.
VIVA MTV! Popmusik im Fernsehen
Frankfurt a.M. 1998: es/Suhrkamp Verlag, 352 pp.
ISBN 3-518-12090-5

Over the last 18 years, MTV has become almost synonymous with music videos. It has spawned, around the globe, a number of national franchises and imitators, notably the Cologne-based channel VIVA, which is now far more popular among German teenagers than the putative model. A lot of ink has been spilled over this rivalry, at least in the German press. The book edited by Neumann-Braun is now the first in-depth study of the two competing channels. What is more, it is a self-proclaimed sampler of articles on the aesthetics and economics of pop music on TV.

The introduction gives a meticulous summary of the most widely discussed questions related to music videos, e.g.: Do they promote stereotypes or rather allow polyvalent interpretations? Do they lean towards authenticity or manipulation? Which are the criteria for their reception and comprehension? Do MTV and VIVA stand for avant-garde, mainstream culture or cross-over?

In the subsequent contributions, which include the description of MTV’s and VIVA’s strikingly different geneses, these issues are mostly dealt with from a semiotic or sociological perspective (with respect to generation, race, gender). The main emphasis, however, lies on the analysis of music videos as texts, such as Jackson’s famous Thriller or The Prodigy’s infamous Smack my Bitch up. The approaches and readings preferred by the authors vary considerably, ranging from a lucid retrospective (of Madonna’s clips until 1990), an instructive academic discussion (of a Living Colour clip), a revealing musicological treatment (of Robert Miles‘ clips) to an all subjective but, in that respect, entirely justified ´stream-of-consciousness´ account (of the controversial Prodigy clip that the author pretends to be watching in real time). The reader thereby learns how open visual texts are potentially both to methodology and interpretation.

Without any direct reference to the video analyses, the book concludes with a comparison of how MTV Europe and VIVA cater for the needs of their respective key audiences. The authors base their arguments on research works that offer a vast amount of technological and demographic facts. This empirical foundation, which can be encountered throughout the book, is a definite plus.

On balance, Neumann-Braun has collected a number of ambitious, thought-provoking articles that differ less in quality than in technique and scope. Having said this, some contributions are rather lengthy, while a few relevant points could have been treated more extensively (e.g. VIVA’s language choice). The only major weakness remains the almost complete omission of the omnipresent and, in this context, essential globalisation/Americanisation debate. This seems odd since VIVA was set up to somehow oppose Anglo-American products and to promote German pop, in the interest of the country’s music industry; national VIVA eventually forced international MTV to 'think globally, but act locally‘. The failure to stress this slightly spoils the overall impression of a stimulating and serviceable publication.

Marc Lilienkamp
Windmühlenstr. 7
D-53111 Bonn
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Staging Pop Musicians 
as Pop Stars in Video Clips
Review in RPM#27/28 (Winter/Spring 1998/1999)

Silke Riemann
Die Inszenierung von Popmusikern als Popstars in Videoclips"). 
Eine Untersuchung anhand der Videoclip-Kompilationen 
"US" – Peter Gabrtiel (1993), "HIStory" – Michael Jackson (1995) 
und "Greatest Flix II" – Queen (1991),
Berlin: Pharus-Verlag. 1998. Pp. 245.
ISBN 3-929223-52-X

Riemann´s dissertation concerns the nature of a popstar´s existence, attained when staged in the media. She aims to "describe the specific logic of staging created by the video clip" and attempts to unfold the constructedness of the product, focusing on Peter Gabriel´s 1993 production "US", "HIStory" by Michael Jackson (1995) and "Greatest Flix II" by Queen in 1991. Riemann asserts that until now "no scientific conceptualizations or models have been convincingly applied to analysing video clips", a genre which has acquired its own history, intertextual quotations, ironic references and historical continuities. She employs the concept of the "theatrical" to mediate the relationship between the (evaluating) audience and the sound of the music. "Staging" becomes the primary category of identity creation, with the pop star's image as a commercial and identificatory category reproduced in the video clip. The video clip combines sound and image qualitatively differently compared to media in the past. In her view, video clips create cultural framing mechanisms for marketing the music by coupling the music – as sound – with market-appropriate images depicting a specific lifestyle. This frames the role acted out by the pop star and thus become his/her trademark, primarily by stagings of the body of the star. Riemann denies that "identities" are negotiated through pop star stagings. Instead "roles" are acted out in which the economic function of video clips intersects with their aesthetic staging.

Three different types of video staging typologies constitute the backbone of Riemann´s analysis: 1) Staging musicians while making music, 2) Staging musicians in front of a visible background, 3) Staging musicians within a specific story. The video clip compilations illustrate the various steps of the pop star during his career. Peter Gabriel sings about, and illustrates, communications and identity-problems. Michael Jackson celebrates himself as a socially ostracized and misunderstood genius/artist. Queen on the other hand, foregrounds collective creativity in an elitist, intellectual and morally superior sense. Jackson´s creations work toward producing and reinforcing a single impression, whereas Peter Gabriel videos contain a variety of different components mutually coexisting and even commenting on each other. Queen plays around ironically with clichés, even their own, by exposing, deconstructing and re-constructing them.

"The theoretical discussions of the "theatrical" and the concept of "staging" were most interesting, but I would have appreciated a greater incorporation of these into the primarily descriptive analysis of the videos. Riemann also needs to demonstrate how she concluded that previous models (which ones?) for analyzing video clips have been inadequate before making such a sweeping generalizations about their usefulness. I would recommend this book for those who are interested in developing a particular framework for analyzing music videos."

Edward Larkey
Dept.of Modern Languages & Linguistics
University of Maryland - Baltimore County
Baltimore, MD 21250
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From Mozart to Madonna.
A Pop music Cultural History
Review in RPM#27/28 (Winter/Spring 1998/1999)

Wicke, Peter,
Von Mozart zu Madonna:
Eine Kulturgeschichte der Popmusik,
Leipzig 1998: Gustav Kiepenheuer Verlag, 320 pp.,
ISBN 3-378-01030-4 (hardback)

In his cultural history of popular music Peter Wicke deals with the whole historical span of popular music since its inception at the beginning of the 19. century. The contours of the popular appeared at that time, partly because of the invention of means for mass production of music-related products (e.g. lithography), partly because popular culture – as opposite to bourgeois culture – was taken up as a problem of moral principles. These two main threads are woven into the following discussions. The technological innovations are reviewed in a critical light and the moral ‘problems’ are taken up by among other things placing the body as a central place for the dialectics of submission and subversion. One example is the female piano students who often feared and loathed their teachers, but gained a sensuous pleasure from performing in front of guests. An important point is that the sensuous pleasure was gained from the actual sounds (not the music’s structure) as an expression of both the body and the feelings. Furthermore, the gentle gestures of the young female performers became eroticised and an object for the male gaze of the audience. This was tolerated within the living rooms, but different forms of erotisation turned out to become a main criticism of popular music – not least become of its near relation to more or less frivolous dance fashions – and Wicke documents this in detail throughout the book.

Through eleven chapters the author discusses central popular music genres, beginning with parlor music and the waltz, continuing with different dance genres (especially tango and the shimmy) and the 'Schlager' from the first half of this century, and ending with British Beat and American dance music. Luckily, the book is not written as a continuous narrative (the History) but focuses on a few central genres and performers that are then discussed and interpreted in depth. Through the first 200 pages Wicke concentrates on the German speaking countries of Europe. In the last third the perspective is Anglo-American. Although this shift is in some ways obvious, a discussion of this within the book’s perspective would have been welcome.

Peter Wicke has written an important book, not least because here popular music is not synonymous with rock but with 200 years of popular music and culture. Furthermore, the book’s central themes make sure that everything before rock is not explained as a forerunner to a glorious ‘classic’ sixties period followed by decay – a history model that more recent American rock histories seem to prefer. The book deserves to be translated so that Anglo-Americans can read this it too.

Morten Michelsen
Dept. of Musicology
University of Copenhagen
Klerkegade 2
DK-1308 Copenhagen K
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Between Exoticism and World Music
Review in RPM#27/28 (Winter/Spring 1998/1999)

Pfleiderer, Martin.
Zwischen Exotismus und Weltmusik.
Zur Rezeption asiatischer und afrikanischer Musik im Jazz der 60er und 70er Jahre
(The Reception of Asian and African Music in 60s and 70s Jazz).
Karben, Germany: CODA, 1998. ISBN 3 00 003273 8

Originally a PhD dissertation (as the carefully precise title suggests), this well-written study consists of three main parts. From a brief discussion of the terminological wrangles around "exotic," "Western/Non-Western," and "world music," Pfleiderer launches into a general survey of the social and cultural forces which inclined jazz musicians to their varied interests in different cultural and musical expressions. After a somewhat uncertain survey of the political and ethnic forces of the time, he hits his stride with an excellent analysis of the religious ideas and motives for such interests. For many jazz musicians, black and white, non-western religions offered an important social value alternative, which in turn led to musical interest. The section concludes with details of some social and musical contacts between West and East.

Part two presents a survey of some musical specifics, treating both individual performances and general concepts such as modality. Part three treats the life and ideas of Don Cherry as a broad case study. Each part concludes with a brief but concentrated summary, rich with suggestions on the import of the author's work.

While individual researchers might choose different examples, or interpret those given with a different emphasis, Pfleiderer has made a significant contribution to the literature here. In particular, his adept balance of social, cultural and analytic issues should provide valuable inspiration to students of exoticism in other musics besides jazz.

Michael Morse
76 Ellerbeck Street
Toronto, Ontario M4K 2V1
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Exploring Everyday Dancing
Review in RPM#27/28 (Winter/Spring 1998/1999)

Ute Bechdolf/ Projekt Tanzen (ed.)Tanzlust: 
empirische Untersuchungen zu
Formen alltäglichen Tanzvergnügens
Tübingen, Germany 1998, Tübinger Vereinigung fur Volkskunde
230 pp., ill., ISBN 3-932512-03-0

This nicely designed and - more importantly - highly stimulating volume presents results of a research project on one of the most popular recreational activities. The study of the cultural practice of dancing, observed mostly in the Tuebingen and Stuttgart areas, stands at the core of the project, conducted by Ute Bechdolf at The Ludwig Uhland Institute for Empirical Cultural Studies. How the body movement is being permanently redefined in various ways through dancing, whether it be tango or salsa, house or hip hop, Techno, ballroom or belly dancing? Who dances what, where, to what occasion? How do particular cultural dialogues take place? What are the social functions of dancing in specific contexts? What aspects can be found to reflect the changes in gender roles? How do these cultural practices differ according to age and class? These are only some of the points approached however in relation with broader themes like the exoticisation of everyday life, youth culture and social norms.

The publication includes 24 essays, written by the 22 participants in the project plus five 'guest-authors', and nine of the works presented are co-author studies. The essays are grouped in six attractively titled chapters ('May I Ask You?', 'Any Beginning is Difficult', 'Why Should We Wander So Far?', 'Jumping in Time', 'Holiday Night', 'Rave New World'), showing however the intention to make the broad and otherwise 'difficult' scholar matters readable for larger circles. The preface by Ute Bechdolf puts more information about the very idea of the project and the process of its realisation, while the introduction (Ute Bechdolf and Monique Scheer) outlines the main problematic accents and the perspectives of their studying. It is worth mentioning the bibliographical list (pp. 223-227), which completes the literature indicated after any essay and gives useful information on different aspects of the broad subject of dancing.

Among the many illustrations giving additional useful information two photos (p. 218) show the authors, involved in the project. Apparently more of them are quite young (the youngest one: born 1974) but according to the authors team information (pp. 219-222) owning already respectful scholar background and rich personal experience. Covering fields like cultural studies, philosophy, sociology, ethnology, popular culture studies, religion, DJ activities, journalism, pedagogy, among others, the team succeeds to apply convincingly an interdisciplinary approach and to interpret the subject of everyday dancing as an important form of personal expression and group communication from a variety of perspectives.

For me personally this book brought interesting new details about the practice of dancing out of my region. It made me agree many times with different observations, statements and interpretations. I believe it could be a basic source in studying of such or similar problems.

Gencho Gaitandjiev
Kv. Hadji Dimitar Bl. 140 Vh. 2
BG-1510 Sofia
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Puzzling Gender - 
Re- and Deconstructions 
of Gender Relations in Music-TV
Review in RPM#27/28 (Winter/Spring 1998/1999)

Ute Bechdolf
Puzzling Gender - Re- und Dekonstruktionen
von Geschlechterverhältnissen beim Musikfernsehen
ISBN 3-89271-797-4, Weinheim, Germany 1999: Beltz

Popular music researchers tend to agree on the fact that listening is an active process and that the meanings attributed to certain sounds are actually produced by the recipients. When it comes to visual images, however, prejudices like the following are still common, especially among members of the pre-MTV-generation: "I don't watch music videos, because the pictures draw away my attention and tie fixed associations to the music, and then, I won't be able to listen to it anymore without these images coming to my mind.". In the above study, Ute Bechdolf does not at all subscribe to this sort of determinism. On the contrary, music television is regarded as a medium used by its audience to create, to support or to re- and deconstruct a very crucial element of personality: sexual or gender identity. But this is only one aspect of "Puzzling Gender". The perfectly suitable title also refers to the puzzling effects that sexual representations in music videos have on existing gender relationships in society; and to the author's long-year effort to fit all the elements into what has become a remarkable dissertation.

Bechdolf sets out with a thorough introduction into current media theory on the one hand and into recent gender studies on the other hand. For the latter, Judith Butler's prominent argument that neither gender nor sexual identities can be traced back to "natural" biological facts, and that both have to be considered a result of "culture" serves as a starting point. Now, the exciting thing about the book is the fact that these theories are not only used as premises for a couple of subsequent analyses of music videos. The analyses themselves are preparing the extensive empirical part of the study, an attempt to find evidence for the cultural processes of "Puzzling Gender". Questionnaires were applied in classrooms of various school-types and a number of personal interviews was carried out. Thus, otherwise often neglected social contexts of reception could be examined in detail. Whereas major differences between female and male forms of reception easily become obvious, the statements cited also illustrate all to well that many stereotypes of teenage sexuality are still in effect. To me, the empirical part thus clearly illustrates that reception is a process of construction, but social contexts remain most influential concerning the individual sexual or gender identities.

It should be added that this very informative study also contains a history of music videos, an extensive bibliography as well as a detailed reflection of the position of the author by means of an "autoethnographic sketch". As a musicologist, I would have preferred to find most of the details about musical structures not only in the appendix. Other than that, this study is highly recommended and long-needed after all the "Me and Madonna"-feminism.

Jan Hemming
Mainstr. 34
D-28199 Bremen
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Gender Studies and Music - 
the relevance of sexual roles for musicology
Review in RPM#27/28 (Winter/Spring 1998/1999)

Fragner, Stefan, Kutschke, Beate, Hemming, Jan (Ed.)
Gender Studies und Musik.
Geschlechterrollen und ihre Bedeutung für die Musikwissenschaft
Regensburg, Germany 1998: ConBrio Verlag
ISBN 3-932581-04-0

The book in question is the outcome of an academic symposium in the field of musicology held in 1996 at the Humboldt-University of Berlin. The invitation to the symposium stated that it was "by women and men for men and women" - which gives already the idea that the assembled material is not on the side of the feminist movement at all. Rather it includes a balanced selection of papers by men and women alike, with a larger number on the female side, though, which may come with the available scientific work in the field of gender studies.

What is especially compelling about a book of that kind of origin is the fact that one need not be an expert on the highly diverse topic to profit from reading it: The editors composed a foreword that heightens your sensitivity of the various aspects of gender studies or makes you aware of some of the points for the first time. And they added an in-depth introductory chapter to the whole topic as well in which the reader can learn about history and definitions in the field.

Thus well-prepared the reader will be able to make his/her choice from a wide variety of papers as a next step: There are the more basic ones, e. g. "Gender Studies: A Controversy" (dealing with the topic and field as such, as it is perceived through two different pairs of eyes) and highly specialised fields of research, e. g. "Journey to Jerusalem" (dealing with the female Christian pilgrim Aetheria, 4th century, and her perception of the religious musical world and forms of her times) assembled side by side. Apart from those two examples there's material on androgynity, females in jazz and rules of our system of values.

Another field that is represented is musical analysis of works, in this case of L. Adolpha Le Beau, A. Hoelszky, W. Rihm and Alban Berg; in the context of gender studies the methods of analysis remain the usual ones, but the conclusions drawn from them have a strong focus on gender issues as well. Although I can by no means fully cover the whole list of topics addressed in the book here I should like to mention one last article still, namely Margaret Myers' "Musicology and the Other", in which the author discusses aspects of "other than the norm" and as an example deals with European Ladies' Orchestras.

In addition to the presentation of the various papers (which are, by the way, partly German, partly English!) there is also source information included for a number of those - several authors list extensive bibliographical information that may be helpful for further reading and research. Concluding remarks? A highly recommended book as a point of entry into a topic that is still "young" within the field of musicology - and a book that may well get you hooked..

Monika Fahrnberger
Software Engineering
University of Technology
Resselgasse 3/ E 188
A - 1040 Wien
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Almost One-and-a-half Kilo
Review in RPM#27/28 (Winter/Spring 1998/1999)

Deutscher Musikrat (ed.)
Musik Almanach 1999/ 2000
Kassel, Germany 1999: Bärenreiter/Bosse,
ca. 1200 pp-, ISBN 0930 8954

It always has been the source for music-data from Germany. Published every three years, the recently published update is the most comprehensive ever. Relevant addresses from all kinds of music and all possible forms of music usage are included. An extensive collection everybody needs who deals with music one or the other way professionally. Less than 10% of almost one-and-a-half Kilo consist of essays on the musical life of the country. Although the data-base tries to reflect any kind of music, the articles are interested only in traditional music making. Speaking of "Lay"-musicians, the amateurs in the fields of popular music are overlooked. Popular music seems to be only a phenomenon of media and business. No word about all these composers and samplers on their home computers. But that's probably asking to much. It does not devalue this book as a useful tool to make contacts and to investigate.

Heinz-Peter Katlewski
Alte Wipperfürther Str. 138 A, 
D-51467 Bergisch Gladbach
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