TEACHING SINGING TO BOYS AND TEENAGERS: The Young Male Voice and the Problem of Masculinity

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The first empirical study to examine the complicated relationship between voice and masculinity for young male singers.


“. . . raises important questions about the definition and signification of the ‘boy voice’ in relation to the projection and perception of legitimate masculinity for young males engaging in a vocal performance. . . . provides valuable insights into the commercial imaging and marketing of boy singers, as well as detailing the significant role of the specific audience in determining how the high male voice is received and interpreted. . . . This is an invaluable study. . . . Martin Ashley’s groundbreaking study contributes significantly to deepening our understanding about the impact of masculinities on boys’ lives and the urgent need to continue to address the impact of compulsory heterosexuality, homophobia and femiphobia in terms of their capacity to limit boys’ broader participation in the curriculum and more specifically in Arts Education.” - Prof. Wayne Martino, University of Western Ontario

“. . . will enhance the knowledge of those working in “masculinity” as well as those working on the acoustics and physiology of the human vocal instrument.” – Prof. David Howard, University of York

“. . . very well-written . . . the author communicates his enthusiasm in a way that will draw in other readers . . .” - Prof. Janet Mills, Royal College of Music

Table of Contents

List of Figures and Tables
Foreword by Prof. Wayne Martino
1. Introduction: Why this Study?
2. Methodology: How the Work Was Done
3. Masculinity and Performance
4. The Young Male Performer
5. The Young Male Voice: Physiology
6. The Young Male Voice: Perception
7. Cute Boys Losing Innocence
8. Serious Boys at Work
9. Wild Boys Gaining Credibility
10. Prospects

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