WorldView Good Reads: Women Who Are Shaping the Global Music Scene
Published: March 30, 2022
March is Women’s History Month, a time to celebrate the contributions of women in history and contemporary society around the world. This month, we focus in particular on the women music-makers and lyricists of the global stage, and how they’ve used their instruments and voices to provide comfort, evoke compassion, create community and provoke thought (and action!) in a multitude of ways.
In the bombed-out buildings and underground shelters of Ukraine this past month, for instance, we’ve witnessed women musicians of all ages responding to the devastation with music, from playing farewell to a home on the piano to lifting spirits while sheltering with a violin. We saw seven-year-old Amelia using her voice first to distract others also taking shelter in Kyiv, and later to help raise $380,000 for humanitarian action. Music is a powerful instrument of resilience, and also a tool for empowerment in times of challenge.
Take a quick listening tour around the world this month as we explore women of the past and present who are shaping the global music scene as we know it today, often in quite provocative ways. While these musicians represent a wide range of musical traditions, please note that some of the songs featured in these links are more suitable for mature audiences and may not be representative of musical selections available in our youth programs.
- Explore The Divas of the Arab World in an exhibit from the Institut du Monde Arabe in Paris.
- In The Asian Pop Stars Taking Center Stage, explore challenges encountered and met by Asian and Asian-American artists in the West.
- Looking for a playlist to stream? Try Party in a Post: Scandinavian Women Musicians We Love.
- Find 9 Francophone Singers You Should Be Listening To, from Kampala to Montreal.
- Learn more about the Top 25 German Female Rappers named by Kulture Vultures.
- Discover the Iconic Italian Pop Divas You Need in Your Life.
- Encounter the Cape Verdean tradition of singing morna in Telling Cesária Évora’s Story on Film.
- Learn about 8 Women From Latin America’s Music History Who Don’t Get Enough Credit.
- In At War with Russian Oppression: A Brief History of Pussy Riot and Eastern Punk, explore a feminist band with a history of radical opposition.