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Hidden Harmonies - Women and Music in Popular Entertainment

Hidden Harmonies

Women and Music in Popular Entertainment

Edited by Paula J. Bishop & Kendra Preston Leonard
Series: American Made Music Series

Hardcover : 9781496845375, 234 pages, 10 b&w photographs, May 2023
Paperback : 9781496845382, 234 pages, 10 b&w photographs, May 2023

An exploration of the untold stories of lesser-known female musicians


Contributions by Christina Baade, Candace Bailey, Paula J. Bishop, Maribeth Clark, Brittany Greening, Tammy Kernodle, Kendra Preston Leonard, April L. Prince, Travis D. Stimeling, and Kristen M. Turner

For every star, there are hundreds of less-recognized women who contribute to musical communities, influencing their aesthetics and expanding opportunities available to women. Hidden Harmonies: Women and Music in Popular Entertainment focuses not on those whose names are best known nor most celebrated but on the women who had power in collective or subversive ways hidden from standard histories.

Contributors to Hidden Harmonies reexamine primary sources using feminist and queer methodologies as well as critical race theory in order to overcome previous, biased readings. The scholarship that results from such reexaminations explores topics from songwriters to the music of the civil rights movement and from whistling schools to musical influencers. These wide-ranging essays create a diverse and novel view of women's contribution to music and its production. With intelligence and care, Hidden Harmonies uncovers the fascinating figures behind decades of popular music.


"This collection of essays sheds light on a variety of fascinating female musicians and music enthusiasts, many who have not yet been studied in mainstream scholarly discourse. Musicologists, including myself, will warmly welcome the kind of work that this collection aims to do."

- Tracey E. W. Laird, Harry L., Corinne Bryant, and Cottie Beverly Slade Professor of Music at Agnes Scott College

"Hidden Harmonies contains important new research on women who have been under- or unrecognized in music and musicology. The scholars involved have created a deep sense of these women’s stories, musical lives, and the social worlds they navigated to make their music possible. Together, the chapters demonstrate the research and care it takes to include women in music history."

- Christa Anne Bentley, assistant professor of musicology at the University of Arkansas

"Addressing genres and topics less frequently covered in music research, this collection broadens
understanding of women's musical activities in the US (with one British exception), from the antebellum South through the Civi1 Rights movement of the 1960s-70s. Focusing not on composers and great works but instead looking outside cultural spotlights, the ten essays chronicle women's activities as, for example, organists and whistlers, and one chronicles the life of an Appalachian woman whose lyric notebooks were part of her search
for middle-class respectability. Some contributors show more ease discussing race than others."

- J. M. Edwards, CHOICE