How High Should Boys Sing?: Gender, Authenticity and Credibility in the Young Male Voice

M. Ashley

Research output: Book/ReportBook

13 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

'A boy sings...a beautiful thing' (www.boychoirs.org), but is it? What kinds of boy, singing what kinds of music and to whom? Martin Ashley presents a unique consideration of boys' singing that shows the high voice to be historically, culturally and physiologically more problematic even than is commonly assumed. Through Ashley's extensive conversations with young performers and analysis of their reception by 'peer audiences', the research reveals that the common supposition that 'boys don't want to sound like girls' is far from adequate in explaining the 'missing males' syndrome that can perplex choir directors. The book intertwines the study of singing with the study of identity to create a rich resource for musicians, scholars, teachers and all those concerned with young male involvement in music through singing. The conclusions of the book will challenge many attitudes and unconsidered positions through its argument that many boys actually want to sing but are discouraged by a failure of the adult world to understand the boy mind. Ashley intends the book to stand as an indictment of much complacency and myopia with regard to the young male voice. A substantial grant from the Arts and Humanities Research Council has enabled the production of a multi-media resource for schools, choirs and youth organizations called Boys Keep Singing. Based on the contents of this book, the resource shows how, once the interest of boys is captured in primary schools, their singing can be sustained and developed through the difficult but vital early secondary years of ages 11 - 14, about which this book says so much. The resource is lavishly illustrated by short films of boys singing, supported by interviews with boys and their teachers, and a wealth of of animated diagrams and cartoons. It is available to schools and organizations involved in musical education through registration at www.boys-keep-singing.com.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationAldershot
PublisherAshgate
Number of pages194
ISBN (Print)9780754664758
Publication statusPublished - 21 Sep 2009

Fingerprint

Boys
Authenticity
Credibility
Resources
Music
Registration
Supposition
Primary School
Wealth
Performer
Sound
Musicians
Cartoon
Reception
Art
Peers
Indictment
Multimedia
Diagrams
Beautiful Things

Keywords

  • Boys
  • Singing
  • Young male voice

Cite this

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abstract = "'A boy sings...a beautiful thing' (www.boychoirs.org), but is it? What kinds of boy, singing what kinds of music and to whom? Martin Ashley presents a unique consideration of boys' singing that shows the high voice to be historically, culturally and physiologically more problematic even than is commonly assumed. Through Ashley's extensive conversations with young performers and analysis of their reception by 'peer audiences', the research reveals that the common supposition that 'boys don't want to sound like girls' is far from adequate in explaining the 'missing males' syndrome that can perplex choir directors. The book intertwines the study of singing with the study of identity to create a rich resource for musicians, scholars, teachers and all those concerned with young male involvement in music through singing. The conclusions of the book will challenge many attitudes and unconsidered positions through its argument that many boys actually want to sing but are discouraged by a failure of the adult world to understand the boy mind. Ashley intends the book to stand as an indictment of much complacency and myopia with regard to the young male voice. A substantial grant from the Arts and Humanities Research Council has enabled the production of a multi-media resource for schools, choirs and youth organizations called Boys Keep Singing. Based on the contents of this book, the resource shows how, once the interest of boys is captured in primary schools, their singing can be sustained and developed through the difficult but vital early secondary years of ages 11 - 14, about which this book says so much. The resource is lavishly illustrated by short films of boys singing, supported by interviews with boys and their teachers, and a wealth of of animated diagrams and cartoons. It is available to schools and organizations involved in musical education through registration at www.boys-keep-singing.com.",
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How High Should Boys Sing?: Gender, Authenticity and Credibility in the Young Male Voice. / Ashley, M.

Aldershot : Ashgate, 2009. 194 p.

Research output: Book/ReportBook

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