Home > Bibliography > Bibliography (English) > Organised Sound (1996-) > Vol. 9, No. 2. 2004 > Women and ‘Kraakgeluiden’: The participation of women (...)

Metzelaar, Helen

Women and ‘Kraakgeluiden’: The participation of women improvisers in the Dutch electronic music scene


Thursday 14 July 2005, by Leigh Landy

The field of electroacoustic improvisation in the Netherlands is largely male dominated. Flutist, improviser and composer Anne La Berge signalled this and other problems related to gender in ‘Kraakgeluiden’, a Dutch venue for improvisation in electroacoustic music. Four possible factors contributing to gender discrimination are proposed: the stereotypical gendered concept of an improviser, differences in communicative styles, the dominance of male networks, and music technology itself. This is followed by a consideration of gendered differences in music improvisation. It is posited that male improvisers often seek to establish a hierarchy among themselves, while women performers tend to project themselves less to the forefront. Women improvisers may traditionally have a different sense of autonomy, in adherence to gender norms. While music education might offer a means to change behaviour patterns, it appears that these gender norms are internalised at a surprisingly young age. While concentrating on electroacoustic improvisation, this essay also includes relevant experiences of other improvisers. Gender discrimination in electroacoustic music improvisation is a complex issue deserving more research.

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