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Not Necessarily Drum Corps - Female Drummers

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Carla Azar (18:32 on the video above) was in Spirit of Atlanta's snareline back in the late 70s or early 80s, as was Beth Hardcastle Gottlieb (not on the video), who is the percussionist with Gary Sinise and the Lt. Dan Band. Beth's husband, Danny, (founding drummer of the Pat Methany Group) is the set drummer with the Lt. Dan Band.

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9 hours ago, oldsoprano said:

Carla Azar (18:32 on the video above) was in Spirit of Atlanta's snareline back in the late 70s or early 80s, as was Beth Hardcastle Gottlieb (not on the video), who is the percussionist with Gary Sinise and the Lt. Dan Band. Beth's husband, Danny, (founding drummer of the Pat Methany Group) is the set drummer with the Lt. Dan Band.

 

Azar is also rumored to be the inspiration for the Jeff Buckley song Last Goodbye. 

 

 

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Just a small irk, but this kind of reminds me of the controversy about saying things like "female scientist" or "female astronaut." It kind of strikes me as this is expected to be a rare and unusual thing. I get that the base rate probability is lower in females of being a drummer, but it sends a little bit of a message that I don't like.

 

I remember getting so angry at my bandmates in college for telling their friends, incredulously, how cool that she's a good drummer and she's a girl? Like, she's just a good drummer.

 

Signed, a female drummer.

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36 minutes ago, alphabetmonkey said:

Just a small irk, but this kind of reminds me of the controversy about saying things like "female scientist" or "female astronaut." It kind of strikes me as this is expected to be a rare and unusual thing. I get that the base rate probability is lower in females of being a drummer, but it sends a little bit of a message that I don't like.

 

I remember getting so angry at my bandmates in college for telling their friends, incredulously, how cool that she's a good drummer and she's a girl? Like, she's just a good drummer.

 

Signed, a female drummer.

Went to college in late 70s for “computer science” and probably little over 10% were female. Good friend was math major at another college slightly later and she was almost the only one. 
 
Slowly things changed...

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40 minutes ago, alphabetmonkey said:

Just a small irk, but this kind of reminds me of the controversy about saying things like "female scientist" or "female astronaut." It kind of strikes me as this is expected to be a rare and unusual thing. I get that the base rate probability is lower in females of being a drummer, but it sends a little bit of a message that I don't like.

 

I remember getting so angry at my bandmates in college for telling their friends, incredulously, how cool that she's a good drummer and she's a girl? Like, she's just a good drummer.

 

Signed, a female drummer.

Agreed.  When people stop making a "big deal" out of female anything (I am a male engineer and many of my colleagues were/are female), then we will have reached true parity between the sexes.

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6 hours ago, alphabetmonkey said:

Just a small irk, but this kind of reminds me of the controversy about saying things like "female scientist" or "female astronaut." It kind of strikes me as this is expected to be a rare and unusual thing. I get that the base rate probability is lower in females of being a drummer, but it sends a little bit of a message that I don't like.

 

I remember getting so angry at my bandmates in college for telling their friends, incredulously, how cool that she's a good drummer and she's a girl? Like, she's just a good drummer.

 

Signed, a female drummer.

I agree 1000%. At least in the mid to late 80's, we just didn't see that many females in the battery. I learned about Kelly Houpt and Carla Azar through Spirit and just talking to staff and such over the years. We had 2 females in my HS line and I encouraged both to come to Spirit camps. One actually did and she learned A LOT from it. Strangely in college at UA, we didn't have a female in the battery until my junior year. As Jim said, things have changed. I think it just took a little longer than it should have for females to get interested and be given a fair shake. There's literally no difference in talent level, only in numbers. 

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During the great Ronald Reagan Female Depression of 1985 (35 years ago), the Garfield Cadets' center snare was (gasp!) (shock!) f-f-female! Way to forge a path by unshackling yourself from the kitchen, Young Miss! (Diane, I think?) 😝

By the way, if you really want to hear how HOT that '85 drumline was, check out this amateur audio from Finals (drum feature starts around 3:00):

 

Edited by Tad_MMA

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11 hours ago, Weaklefthand4ever said:

I agree 1000%. At least in the mid to late 80's, we just didn't see that many females in the battery. I learned about Kelly Houpt and Carla Azar through Spirit and just talking to staff and such over the years. We had 2 females in my HS line and I encouraged both to come to Spirit camps. One actually did and she learned A LOT from it. Strangely in college at UA, we didn't have a female in the battery until my junior year. As Jim said, things have changed. I think it just took a little longer than it should have for females to get interested and be given a fair shake. There's literally no difference in talent level, only in numbers. 

Although Les Diplomates DCA championship drum line of 1973 was almost 50% female (including  female twins on tympani!), we never considered that a "big deal".  Other corps did, however, most notably Hurricanes, whose  best drum line run was halted at 4.  Of course, this was "senior" DC and might not count as part of this discussion.🙄

Edited by Bob P.
grammar

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35 minutes ago, Bob P. said:

Although Les Diplomates DCA championship drum line of 1973 was almost 50% female (including  female twins on tympani!), we never considered that a "big deal".  Other corps did, however, most notably Hurricanes, whose  best drum line run was halted at 4.  Of course, this was "senior" DC and might not count as part of this discussion.🙄

DCA counts lol. Even more today as the ages are getting younger and shows more closely approaching DCI level. 

We had a female base 1 at CV in 05'. I can't remember if she was there in 06'. Kelly Houpt marched renegades in 2005. 

Much ❤️ for DCA

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4 hours ago, Bob P. said:

There's literally no difference in talent level, only in numbers. 

A Comparison; The Representation of Male and Female Musicians

You are correct but you miss the point of these posts.

In no way were women being disparaged for their roles in playing an instrument previously considered as "male dominated".

They are being honored for their contribution to music which is worthy of respect and admiration.

Women who have previously participated in "drum corps" have gone on to successful careers in music but the number is still small for those who have gone on to be a
successful brass or drumming instrument performers.

Consider the following:

Santa Clara Vanguard on Twitter: Eliana Yamouni "I'm here to be a snare, not a girl snare drummer."
Girls March
August 11, 2018 · 
As promised: enjoy this interview of Eliana Yamouni on her musical journey and her experiences with the Santa Clara Vanguard snareline this summer!

 

_____________________________________________________________________________________________

The 50 Greatest Drummers of All Time (Modern Drummer Article)
Entries written by Adam Budofsky, Michael Dawson, and Michael Parillo
https://www.moderndrummer.com/article/march-2014-50-greatest-drummers-time/

None of the drummers listed are female.

_____________________________________________________________________________________________

100 Greatest Drummers of All Time (Rollingstone Drummer Article)
From rock thunder machines to punk powerhouses, we count down the kings and queens of slam
https://www.rollingstone.com/music/music-lists/100-greatest-drummers-of-all-time-77933/

Only a small number of the drummers represented are female.

97 Cindy Blackman In 1993
94 Meg White
90 Janet Weiss
58 Sheila Escovedo

_____________________________________________________________________________________________


Women and Drumming (x8drums Article Exerts)
https://www.x8drums.com/blog/women-and-drumming/

"The number of women drummers may be smaller in comparison to that of men, especially in modern, performance-based music, but there are plenty of women drummers who
can not only keep up with the boys, but who also are leading the way for young girls to express themselves through the magic of drumming and percussion."

"While the numbers of female drummers are still low, these modern women drummers and their forerunners like Karen Carpenter of The Carpenters or Moe Tucker of Velvet
Underground are making their own way and inspiring others to pick up the beat."

"According to different Native cultural legends, while the drum may have been an innately female instrument, women handed it over to the men in their tribes as a way
to help the men connect with earth, much in the same way the women felt connected. With the influence of outside cultures, it became easier for these tribes to adopt
the same practices of male dominance, even in drumming, and today, many Native cultures still keep drumming as a male-only spiritual and celebratory practice. However,
with the popularity of drumming on the rise, the number of women who are participating in drumming or drum circles outside of cultural boundaries is also rising,
recreating this important connection between drums, spirituality and femininity and bringing an equal perception to the role of women as drummers."

_____________________________________________________________________________________________

Orchestrated Sex: The Representation of Male and Female Musicians in World-Class Symphony Orchestras
https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2019.01760/full#tab1
Original Research ARTICLE 
Front. Psychol., 16 August 2019 | https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2019.01760

This study examines the representation of male and female musicians in world-class symphony orchestras. Personnel of 40 orchestras of three regions, the UK, Europe,
and the USA, and distributions of men and women across the four orchestral departments, strings, woodwind, brass, and percussion, are compared.


Data Collection Orchestral Membership

Modern symphony orchestras list an average of 100–120 musicians; though regional orchestras tend to be smaller than those based in major or capital cities. Overall,
across all instruments, a significant majority of the musicians of the orchestras reviewed were male (56.7%, p < 0.0001), but there were highly significant regional
differences in male-female proportions.

In the following sections, we present an objective analysis of the current representation of male and female musicians holding tenured positions in orchestras across
the world, and the instruments on which they perform.

Violin: women were numerically predominant in the violin sections (p < 0.000), but assignments of men and women to 1st and 2nd violin positions were not significantly
different (χ2 = 0.73, not sig.).

Flute: A majority of flautists were female (57.04%, p < 0.021).

Almost all harpists were female (p < 0.0000). A number of orchestras do not list contracted harpists, engaging players whenever repertoire necessitates.

Males predominated in all brass sections (p < 0.0001). Where women were present, they were typically found among French horns. In two orchestras, principals in the
trombone section were women. In one orchestra, the principal tuba was a woman.

No tympanists were female, and only 12.5% (p < 0.0001) of other percussionists were female.


Principal Chairs

Across the 40 orchestras reviewed, 83.2% of persons occupying Principal chairs were male, and 16.8% were women; 64.82% 


Length of Engagement

Men typically serve more years than women (mean duration for men of 19.3 years compared with 16.65 years for women, differences significant t = 6.26, df = 9, p <
0.0001). 


Women’s Presence in Orchestras in Relation to General Labor Market

See Table 3. Order of sex typing of orchestral instruments based on proportions of girls and boys receiving instrumental tuition on each instrument (ordered from data
of Hallam et al., 2008). 


Relation of Pre-conservatoire Students in Tuition to Representation of Sexes in Orchestras

See Figure 5. Growth trends in women’s orchestral membership during the period of 1970–2015 compared with growth trends in women’s presence in the overall workforce.

See Figure 6. Percentages of girls and boys receiving tuition on each orchestral instrument.


Instrument Choice

A prominent feature of young students’ choice of instruments that has received considerable attention is the characteristic preference by girls for higher-pitched,
smaller and lighter instruments, and boys for lower-pitched, larger, and heavier instruments (Hallam et al., 2008; De Vous, 2011), and this phenomenon is sharply
evidenced in Figure 6.


Review, Commentary, and Questions for Further Research

The comparative representation of men and women in professional orchestras is an issue of considerable complexity in which many disparate variables intersect. On prima
facie evidence, our review of 40 world-class orchestras shows that overall male musicians have a greater numerical presence, significantly outnumbering females by a
ratio of 60% males: 40% females.


Regional Differences in Sex Representation

Adjustments to the overall balance of sexes in orchestras can therefore only take effect over a relatively extended period of time.
 

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