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The Impact Of Gender On Student’s Instrument Timbre Preferences And Instrument Choices

1423 words - 6 pages

I. Did you know that for boys, the flute is the fourth most popular choice, and females’ second most preferred instrument is the drums? Is this, in other’s mindset, a strange, unusual occurrence? Consider when an instrument is played, which gender most people picture playing such an instrument. Now what is the general age group of those who are visualizing a female playing the flute, or a male playing the tuba? In most cases, the gender typing of instruments tends to lean towards the older generation, but why is that?
According to the “Changing Roles of Women in the United States,” NOW, National Organization for Women was just created in 1966. Then in 1972, women began to run for ...view middle of the document...

There was a study that showed the evident imbalances of the preferences of male musicians especially in North East, UK. Even in live performances, gender stereotyping was obvious with a 71-male to 29-female representation percentage. The music industry had mostly more males producing and gaining contracts, while more females were involved with retail and distribution of such music. The 1970’s had more judgment of females being involved in music due to the still unyielding males in positions of power being of such a bias.
In 1976, Merrill was giving advice on how to advertise their choirs so that they wouldn’t go against the US amendment, which was on gender discrimination. So even though laws were instituted across the United States, many institutions and classrooms avoided such laws or strategically followed for the music programs benefit. When gender stereotyping studies were being studied at this time, bias for both the female and the male gender were obvious. Examples were violin (77% female), flute (91% female), and voice (70% female) while on the male side were guitar (73% male), percussion (73% male), and trumpet (67% male) were severe gender stereotyped in one direction or another. When a global study was done during this time, the results were even more so obvious. Instruments like the tuba, euphonium, and trombone were 83% or higher being played by males. Gender stereotyping during this time is beyond obvious in any classroom setting.
This section will be over the interview results involving instrument gender views of 1970’s, which I’ll be receiving soon. Then I’ll apply the results to back up my thesis. So to be continued. This is also the section I will pull in the above information to further prove the point of gender stereotyping over time.

III. During the 1980’s, only a decade later, a significant number of women held political positions, but in total only amounted to twelve percent in congress were not men. Many laws were in place like equal minimum pay for men and women during this time, but “typically” male jobs of this time, still had little female representation.
This section will be over the interview results involving society views of 1980’s, which I’ll be receiving soon. Then I’ll apply the results to back up my thesis. So to be continued.
In the 1980’s, studies on not only instrument preference but timbre preference on certain instruments as well. By use of octaves and the color tone of a certain instrument or instrument group, an unbiased decision can be made on actually instrument choice rather than including social stigma into the equation. This helped show the actually choices of beginning students which then shows if gender stereotypes were in place or only for certain instruments. By using the Instrument Timbre Preference Test, each timbre has a group that is designated for specific instruments. They are as listed:
Timbre A: Flute
Timbre B: Clarinet
Timbre C: Saxophone and French Horn
Timbre D: Oboe,...

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