Lyrics & Knowledge Personal Pages Record Shop Auction Links Radio & Media Kids Membership Help
The Mudcat Cafemuddy

Post to this Thread - Sort Descending - Printer Friendly - Home


Is singing now the preserve of women?

Johnny J 19 Jan 18 - 09:05 AM
Joe Offer 19 Jan 18 - 09:45 AM
Johnny J 19 Jan 18 - 09:49 AM
Johnny J 19 Jan 18 - 09:49 AM
Joe Offer 19 Jan 18 - 10:17 AM
David Carter (UK) 19 Jan 18 - 10:35 AM
GUEST 19 Jan 18 - 10:41 AM
Steve Gardham 19 Jan 18 - 11:21 AM
Johnny J 19 Jan 18 - 12:08 PM
GUEST 19 Jan 18 - 02:53 PM
GUEST 19 Jan 18 - 02:54 PM
Johnny J 19 Jan 18 - 06:11 PM
Joe Offer 19 Jan 18 - 08:15 PM
RTim 19 Jan 18 - 09:05 PM
Johnny J 20 Jan 18 - 12:09 PM
GUEST 20 Jan 18 - 01:28 PM
GUEST 20 Jan 18 - 01:28 PM
Steve Gardham 20 Jan 18 - 01:41 PM
meself 20 Jan 18 - 01:46 PM
Joe Offer 20 Jan 18 - 01:49 PM
GUEST,Peter 20 Jan 18 - 01:58 PM
GUEST,Guest Tim 20 Jan 18 - 03:33 PM
GUEST 20 Jan 18 - 03:58 PM
GUEST,akenaton 20 Jan 18 - 04:23 PM
Steve Gardham 20 Jan 18 - 04:43 PM
Tattie Bogle 20 Jan 18 - 04:45 PM
GUEST,.gargoyle 21 Jan 18 - 08:54 PM
Marje 22 Jan 18 - 12:06 PM
Brian Peters 22 Jan 18 - 12:20 PM
meself 22 Jan 18 - 01:39 PM
GUEST 22 Jan 18 - 04:11 PM
GUEST,akenaton 22 Jan 18 - 04:13 PM
GUEST,RA 22 Jan 18 - 04:27 PM
GUEST,Jenn 22 Jan 18 - 08:21 PM
Johnny J 24 Jan 18 - 09:26 AM
Tattie Bogle 24 Jan 18 - 01:40 PM
Share Thread
more
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:









Subject: Is singing now the preserve of women?
From: Johnny J
Date: 19 Jan 18 - 09:05 AM

Yes, I know that there are many male singers in different musical genres but am I alone in thinking that women now seem to predominate as singers in folk and traditional music circles?

Everything from TMSA(and other) traditional singarounds, community choirs, singer songwriters, and young professional performers. The majority of these now seem to be women.

For instance, Scotland is blessed with some fine young female voices, e.g. Fiona Hunter, Siobhan Miller, Robyn Stapleton, Emily Smith, Iona Fyffe to name but a very few. Similar in Ireland.
From the top of my head, I can only think of one stand out young male singer from Scotland....Jack Badcock of Dallahan. There are others, of course, who are very good e.g. Scott Gardiner but he's not so young these days and has chosen himself not to focus on music full time.

Of course,women have predominated in other areas too. e.g. harp, cello, and increasingly so with the fiddle these days but it seems even more apparent in singing circles.

I'm not complaining, of course, and I'm delighted that there are so many talented women coming to the fore these days. I just wonder what has happened to the men.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Is singing now the preserve of women?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 19 Jan 18 - 09:45 AM

Hi, Johnny - what's TMSA?

We have had a number of young men come here to Mudcat who have posted links to their YouTube recordings. They have asked us for opinions of their work, and most of us have tried to be nice in our responses, or we have been silent. But to tell the truth, I do not like the music that young, male, folk musicians are making. It sounds more like Punk than folk to me. It has no connection to tradition. I hate to be unkind, but that is the truth of the matter.

On the other hand, I could listen to Emily Smith all day.

Joe


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Is singing now the preserve of women?
From: Johnny J
Date: 19 Jan 18 - 09:49 AM

"Traditional Music and Song Association of Scotland".

Worth having a look at the Celtic Connections programme too. I haven't actually done a count but women perfromes feature very strongly here too.
https://www.celticconnections.com/Pages/default.aspx


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Is singing now the preserve of women?
From: Johnny J
Date: 19 Jan 18 - 09:49 AM

Oops.. *performers*


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Is singing now the preserve of women?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 19 Jan 18 - 10:17 AM

You mentioned Scott Gardiner - I could listen to him all day, too. His older brother, Jim Malcolm, is also an excellent singer. I suspect that Jim makes a living from his singing, and Scott does not. But I would much prefer to listen to Scott.

I think the difference is that Scott sings traditional music, and Jim sings mostly his own compositions. These young men who have posted at Mudcat sing only their own compositions. That seems to be the practice among males, that they sing only their own compositions. If they were to learn the traditional music and practice the discipline of singing traditional music, I would be more likely to enjoy their singing, and to appreciate an original composition from them every now and then.

My son is 46 years old and makes a living as a musician. He started in punk rock and now does techno. He does only his own compositions, but he has a broad knowledge of many genres of music and the work of most of the musicians in his genre. I think that his knowledge of the work of other people is what makes him successful. I have to admit, however, that I can take his music only in small doses, with earplugs. He himself wears earplugs except when he is performing.

Joe


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Is singing now the preserve of women?
From: David Carter (UK)
Date: 19 Jan 18 - 10:35 AM

Kris Drever? Although you may think of him as a guitarist who sings.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Is singing now the preserve of women?
From: GUEST
Date: 19 Jan 18 - 10:41 AM

But wasn't Celtic Connections getting flack in the press a year or two ago about women being under-represented?

I have been going to trad-ish community-type singing workshops for about 25 years and on the one occasion when men outnumbered women the leader commented that it was the first time she had ever led one where that was the case. IIRC most of the women had gone somewhere together.

What is the relative representaiton of male and female in school choirs?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Is singing now the preserve of women?
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 19 Jan 18 - 11:21 AM

These things fluctuate a lot over the decades. Personally I couldn't care less what the gender proportions are as long as plenty of them are still performing traditional stuff to some degree. When we go into schools and other institutions to perform we don't ask about the gender distribution. It doesn't matter. We are a group of 6 blokes but that's only because of the type of material we do. We will have 2 girls leading tracks on our next album.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Is singing now the preserve of women?
From: Johnny J
Date: 19 Jan 18 - 12:08 PM

Jim Malcolm and Kris Drever are good all round performers but are more "workman like" as far as their vocals go. Also, they've been around a while too and have been established for some time. I don't see too many newer male singers coming to the fore, especially where the actual "vocals" is their main selling point..there's usually something else involved.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Is singing now the preserve of women?
From: GUEST
Date: 19 Jan 18 - 02:53 PM

Och! shame shame it is that's on you....John man!

What about the wonderful and inspirational voice of our champion, the finest singer in Scotland the noo!
James Graham


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Is singing now the preserve of women?
From: GUEST
Date: 19 Jan 18 - 02:54 PM

Sorry John that wis masell, :0)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Is singing now the preserve of women?
From: Johnny J
Date: 19 Jan 18 - 06:11 PM

Excellent. That's the kind of voice I mean.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Is singing now the preserve of women?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 19 Jan 18 - 08:15 PM

I always get confused when Guests don't put a name in the "from" box; but whatever the case, I certainly like the James Graham video/recording.
....and it sounds goddamn traditional to me, even though I don't really know if it is.


-Joe-


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Is singing now the preserve of women?
From: RTim
Date: 19 Jan 18 - 09:05 PM

No.........


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Is singing now the preserve of women?
From: Johnny J
Date: 20 Jan 18 - 12:09 PM

Ah, we're back in business, I see.

As I commented in the temporary thread, I hadn't necessarily intended it this become a list of singers either good or bad.
My main purpose in starting the topic was that I sense that there now seems to be less interest in singing in general among men in traditional and folk circles these days and I was wondering why?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Is singing now the preserve of women?
From: GUEST
Date: 20 Jan 18 - 01:28 PM

Don't wish to be accused of "trolling", but this thread WAS closed despite what Jeri alleges.
All's well that ends well. I think as I hinted on the other thread, that changes in society may have had a big effect. The work songs have gone, as have the politically inspired traditional stuff.
The "wild rovers" are no more, John Barleycorn has seen better days.
The space is filled with warbling birds and crowing hens.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Is singing now the preserve of women?
From: GUEST
Date: 20 Jan 18 - 01:28 PM

AKE^


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Is singing now the preserve of women?
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 20 Jan 18 - 01:41 PM

'warbling birds and crowing hens.' By this do you mean the vocal gymnastics often heard on our radio folk programmes? I must add not exclusively. There are plenty of both genders, young and old, who can do a song justice without singing 5 notes when one will do.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Is singing now the preserve of women?
From: meself
Date: 20 Jan 18 - 01:46 PM

I've been finding that where I am - western Canada - there are far fewer people generally joining in on the choruses nowadays - I've just noticed it, I think, the past couple of years.

I suppose I'm drifting from the topic - apologies - but I am going to hit Submit ... !


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Is singing now the preserve of women?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 20 Jan 18 - 01:49 PM

But I do think it is a guy thing. Guys want to live up to The Male Stereotype. Guys want to play big guitars and make lots of money as singer-songwriters. And it's hard to get rich singing songs that somebody else wrote, or that came from tradition.

I don't know how it is in the rest of the world, but men are no longer a majority in most universities in the U.S. - I think it's because getting an education is not part of The Male Stereotype.

-Joe-


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Is singing now the preserve of women?
From: GUEST,Peter
Date: 20 Jan 18 - 01:58 PM

My impression is organised groups such as community choirs are more likely to attract women than men. Doing a quick head count on a photo of the National Youth Folk Ensemble there are a few more girls than boys but not a massive majority. For floor singing at the clubs that I attend the men are still in the majority.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Is singing now the preserve of women?
From: GUEST,Guest Tim
Date: 20 Jan 18 - 03:33 PM

Not sure which sessions you go to but in the midlands I would say it’s 50/50, we have some great male and female voices, who cares anyway , I can be brought to tears by great singing of any gender


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Is singing now the preserve of women?
From: GUEST
Date: 20 Jan 18 - 03:58 PM

Agree with meself about the demise of chorus singing....and the putrid affectation of "oversinging" as detailed by Steve.
Chorus singing was the bedrock of the folk revival, more of a social movement than a genre......we are the worse for its loss https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5h9tVWJDMjs


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Is singing now the preserve of women?
From: GUEST,akenaton
Date: 20 Jan 18 - 04:23 PM

Sorry cant get link to take.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Is singing now the preserve of women?
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 20 Jan 18 - 04:43 PM

Re chorus singing: I think this varies from area to area. Where I live for several years underwent a longish period without sustained organised folk singing activities (Flourishing folk clubs) and so the practice of joining in almost died out.

One way we are overcoming this with our free concerts is while our group are not performing we're at the back of the room joining in the choruses lustily, and over a period of years this is gradually working. BTW the audience for these concerts is a strong mixture of passing visitors, general public and people in the local folk scene.

Whilst the concerts are held in a maritime museum and are maritime themed I'd say the proportions of performers are about 40% female, 60% male. We don't have any in-betweens or trans yet as far as I know but they would always be welcome.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Is singing now the preserve of women?
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 20 Jan 18 - 04:45 PM

Perhaps there are fewer SOLO male artists than there were, but there are a lot of bands which will be entirely or 70-80% male, and there may well be 3 or 4 of them who take it in turns to lead on singing with others harmonising or whatever. Thinking of bands like Breabach, Old Blind Dogs (where Johnny Hardie now does more of the singing than he used to in the early days) and various semi-pro bands who work to this formula.
As for choirs, am-dram musical companies and the like, unless it is a "male voice choir" women are always in the majority, but then you probably only need half the number of men to carry the tenor and bass parts. Just about every am-dram musical company I can think of is "looking for more men" - and now for the sour grapes, they can get in on audition with a barely in tune voice far more easily than women with a good voice, just because they are much sought-after!! Big wink emoji!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Is singing now the preserve of women?
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 21 Jan 18 - 08:54 PM

What a EXTREAM Disappointment this thread is...

i was reading a thread about Tamale Singers


Ahhh...the joyous street vendors of third-world countries.


Sincerely,
Gargoyle

Beneath a Paris elevated play the songs of three nations draws live ducks, clams, and rabbits into a cacophony of grains.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Is singing now the preserve of women?
From: Marje
Date: 22 Jan 18 - 12:06 PM

What seems to me to be the case is that male singers are much more likely to play guitar, and often regard accomplished guitar playing as more important than fine singing. Far more women sing unaccompanied, or accompanied by someone else on guitar.

So yes, bands are often predominantly male, but that's because of the instruments. Choirs (except for exclusively male-voice choirs) are always female-dominated. Put simply, far more women than men choose to sing, alone or with others, and consider the voice their main instrument. Far more men than women choose to play a guitar or other instrument and sing with it.

Marje


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Is singing now the preserve of women?
From: Brian Peters
Date: 22 Jan 18 - 12:20 PM

I think Marje has a good point about instruments. There is something special about women ballad singers in Scotland especially. I remember a session years ago at the National Festival where one after another got up to sing, and every one was a belter. Ray Fisher, Ellen Mitchell, Anne Neilson, were all there and all great. And I could add to that list Gordeanna McCulloch, Sylvia Barnes, Heather Heywood, Barbara Dymock, and Siobhan Miller. Perhaps they took their cue from Jeannie Robertson, Lizzie Higgins, Belle and Sheila Stewart, et al?

If you go back to the sources for the Child Ballads, or Cecil Sharp's Appalachian collection, you find that a lot of those ballads were collected from women too.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Is singing now the preserve of women?
From: meself
Date: 22 Jan 18 - 01:39 PM

A thing I've noticed - and it's not a recent development, meaning I noticed it fairly early in my life - is that men often don't get interested at all in singing till they ARE men - boys don't see it as a masculine accomplishment, so unless they just happen to be unusually fond of singing, it's not something they pursue. So, if they decide, as men, that they want to sing, they have a great deal of catching up to do. Same would apply to dance - and no doubt various of the other gentler arts and pursuits.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Is singing now the preserve of women?
From: GUEST
Date: 22 Jan 18 - 04:11 PM

Again I agree with "meself", but the Gaelic tradition does encourage singing through An Comunn Gàidhealach and the National Mod, where competitions for Male and Female of all ages are held.
The Mod has produced some very fine male singers over the years.
I have been fortunate enough to know several, the first of whom was my old science teacher Neil MacLean(Auld Neilly) in Dunoon Grammar School. He was Mod gold medallist and made several 78s. He used to sing for our class regularly......"put away the books boys, I feel a song coming on" :0)....a gentleman who's first greeting to each new pupil was...."and have you the Gaelic?"


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Is singing now the preserve of women?
From: GUEST,akenaton
Date: 22 Jan 18 - 04:13 PM

Sorry Joe Ake^


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Is singing now the preserve of women?
From: GUEST,RA
Date: 22 Jan 18 - 04:27 PM

One of the deleted 'trollgate' posts by someone else hinted that it's perhaps the case that females aren't as actively encouraged to take up musical instruments, as they are considered part of the male domain - and so, instead of playing instruments, they sing. I think also it could be that patriarchal structures dictate 'correct' and orthodox approaches to the playing of musical instruments, so when women play differently from that orthodoxy (for whatever reason) it is considered somehow 'wrong' or inferior to the playing of men, which is in turn discouraging.

I suppose that historically it'd have been even more pronounced - musical instruments might have been promoted for boys but not for girls and so those of a musical bent who had been societally ascribed to the latter category might have had no other sound-generating device available to them than the voice. That might help to explain the preponderance of great female Scottish ballad singers whom Brian lists... although I can think of a couple of Scottish ballad singers who were/are also instrumentalists (Elizabeth Stewart and Jane Turriff)...

Anyway, just some thoughts.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Is singing now the preserve of women?
From: GUEST,Jenn
Date: 22 Jan 18 - 08:21 PM

Some great young(ish) male singers to check out from Scotland (in no particular order).

I’m sure I’ve left folk out - and there are loads of brilliant Gaelic singers not on this list.

Hamish Napier
Scott Gardiner
Findlay Napier
Owen Sinclair
James Graham
Calum Alex MacMillan
Paul MacKenna
Ewan Robertson
Calum MacCrimmon
Luc McNally
Innes Watson
Innes White (heard great things about his New Voices)
Adam Holmes
Aidan Moodie
Cameron Nixon

They sing a mix of their own material and traditional songs. Interestingly pretty much all of the above list are singer/instrumentalists too.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Is singing now the preserve of women?
From: Johnny J
Date: 24 Jan 18 - 09:26 AM

BTW, just to confirm I'm responding to an anonymous post which I hope will be deleted soon and NOT the one above from Jenn.

Jenn, your list of names is good although, as I've suggested before, I think of most(not all) of the above as good all round performers as opposed to artists who are known first and foremost for their vocal abilities.
It's a subtle difference I know.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Is singing now the preserve of women?
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 24 Jan 18 - 01:40 PM

Agreed: there are maybe 6 or 7 in that list of Jenn's that I would class as "lead singer" in the band (one mainly solo or in a duo). The rest are very competent singers (and brilliant instrumentalists), but, as I said in my last post, take their turn at doing a song or 2 during a set, and provide back-up harmonies to the lead singer during other songs.

And in answer to "meself", I just think about the school choirs where my son went to school - about 2 pre-voice-break males out of 40 in the Junior Choir - definitely not cool! But the Senior Choir had plenty of male (now-broken)-voices. Why? Because they got out of some other boring lesson to go to choir practice!!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate
  Share Thread:
More...

Reply to Thread
Subject:  Help
From:
Preview   Automatic Linebreaks   Make a link ("blue clicky")


Mudcat time: 19 September 12:52 PM EDT

[ Home ]

All original material is copyright © 1998 by the Mudcat Café Music Foundation, Inc. All photos, music, images, etc. are copyright © by their rightful owners. Every effort is taken to attribute appropriate copyright to images, content, music, etc. We are not a copyright resource.