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Men that Knit – Gender roles

December 1, 2006

Link: Real Men Knit – You Tube 

Go ahead.  Watch it and come back.

I got this from the Lionbrand newsletter. I still think it’s weird that we associate stupidity (when you watch the video it will make sense) with being “male”. I’m just glad that people are feeling more free to cross gender sterotypes and enjoy what they like.

We find gender sterotypes in music all the time. It’s a novelty to find a female tuba player and a male flautist. Maybe those lines will disappear some day too.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. December 1, 2006 11:16 am

    I am noticing more and more male flautists, both in literature (go Misty Lackey) and in real life. Maybe they all ended up at Columbia but it’s really cool. My roommate at music camp one summer was a Tuba girl. I also know String Bass and a few trumpets and trombones. I’m a bassoonist, so go figure.

    Do you remember that article on blind auditions at (I think) NY Phil a short while back?

    *sigh* I do think the orchestra world is getting better, but I really don’t know what I’m talking about as I’ve been out of that world for the past .. er.. this is embarrassing.. nine years. I miss it, but unless a new bassoon fell from the sky I have nothing to play with.

    You are yet another reason why I wish I lived in OR. Best of luck with finals and concerts and such. :)

    (ps your style sheet is displaying funky in firefox today.. it’s probably just me)

  2. December 1, 2006 1:51 pm

    Definately have to agree with you on the gender stereotypes in music. One of my best friends here is a female tubist, and she’s the only female low brass.

  3. Jodie permalink
    December 1, 2006 5:57 pm

    Thanks for the heads up Penny. I fixed it by using a link instead of the embedded You Tube thing. It didn’t want to fit. I didn’t know you were a bassoonist! I’m glad that you’ve noticed less stereotypes with instruments, I’ve definitely had more experiences in line with Erin.

    What do you think creates these? Is it more prevalent in Band or Orchestra?

  4. Gray permalink
    December 5, 2006 3:09 pm

    Confessions of a male flautist

    The first thing you should know is that I always really, REALLY wanted to play the violin. In third grade my parents strenuously rejected that path for me because, as they recount now, the rental fees were higher and I would probably break it (New England Yankee family). My parents were relieved that I didn’t choose trumpet because of the volume, but I didn’t want to be like all the other boys and be one of 53 million male brass players in elementary school. So I chose clarinet. I liked it and was first chair in the band by the second half of fourth grade in our K-6 school.

    By the time I entered ninth grade I assumed that I would be a professional classical clarinetist. I was in many music groups- school, county, and so on . About 3/4 of the clarinet players were girls, which at that age I truly appreciated, but there was no feminine stigma like that attached to flute players. We had female tuba, baritone, trombone, and French horn players, but not a single male flautist. Even wildly effeminate guy (my close friend) disdained flute for oboe.

    My life changed on the first day of high school when I was informed that any wind player in the band, orchestra, or any other school group was required, REQUIRED to play in the football band. There was absolutely no way that I would play my beautiful Buffet, hand selected on the docks of New York in a coming-of-age expedition with my teacher, an alternate second clarinetist at the Met. There was no appeal. My musical career was over.

    The morning of the first football game my younger sister saved the day. Over breakfast she told me to simply take her awful school flute instead of my beautiful Buffet. “It’s just like the second register of the clarinet” she said. To this day that comment remains the extend of my formal training in modern flute. I almost kissed her, but I was not quite 14, so I just said thanks.

    I showed up at the game, found some flute parts in the band room, and to the great amusement of one and all conspicuously joined the flute section and leaned to play on the job, so to speak. I never once played clarinet at a football game. I had a blast as the football flute player. I was the only male flautist in my high school all four years,

    I was in a couple of early music groups and leaned to play renaissance and baroque flutes formally. I play a variety of early and traditional instruments now, but baroque flute is my main instrument. I would describe myself as a semiprofessional player now, earning enough money from music to support my music and instrument habit. I love my flutes, and am old enough to know to kiss my sister and tell her thank you now and then.

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