Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Although women have long been a part of the musical landscape, with composers such as Anna Amalia, Princess of Prussia and sister of Frederick The Great writing music in the 1700s and, more recently, Germaine Tailleferre of Les Six (which included Erik Satie) who worked with Jean Cocteau, as well as composing for the theatre and dance troupes, it was in the 1900s, with the commencement of the Big Band and Swing era, that all-women bands began to emerge.
But it was with the advent of Rock and Roll that groups comprised of women began to flourish. As evidenced by numerous compilations, particulary of garage bands, during the 1960s many women were playing in bands, although few were signed to major labels and so did not come to the forefront of public attention. However, records by all girl bands on smaller, regional labels are being rediscovered and are highly prized by collectors today. For instance, Feminine Complex released their self-titled album in the 1960s; in the 1990s it was rereleased on CD by independent label Teen Beat. One of the strangest groups from the 60s is undoubtably The Shaggs, a group of sisters who, with limited mastery of their instruments, as well as song structures, ended up creating their own, unique, musical language and are revered as 'outsider' musicians today, with a devoted cult following.
Punk, a progression in some ways of the garage rock of the 1960s, naturally included all-women bands just as garage rock had in the 1960s and opened the door wider for women with a desire to perform, spawning groups such as the Raincoats, the Slits, and Lilliput. Some well known all-women bands had men in the band at times, particularly but not limited to drummers.
Although it could be debated whether the existance of all-women bands is inherently political or not, many groups comprised of women have set forth with a political aim in mind. Particularly in the 1990s, Riot grrrl groups such as Bratmobile and Bikini Kill have addressed feminist and political issues they feel are inherent to the all-women band. All-women Queercore bands, such as Team Dresch, also write songs dealing with matters specific to women and their position in society.
Courtney Love, leader of Hole, has said that it's impossible to find a female bass guitarist. This is belied by her own former bassist Melissa Auf der Maur, famous bassists such as Tina Weymouth of Talking Heads and Tom Tom Club, Me'shell Ndegeocello, D'Arcy Wretzky of the Smashing Pumpkins, and Kim Deal of the Pixies and the Breeders. Regardless of her view, it is doubtful that it would be difficult to find women playing any manner of instrument today, as all-women bands continue to proliferate.
The contents of this article is licensed from www.wikipedia.org under the GNU Free Documentation License. Click here to see the transparent copy and copyright details