Sing Us a Song, Piano Woman: Female Fans and the Music of Tori Amos

Sing Us a Song, Piano Woman: Female Fans and the Music of Tori Amos

by Adrienne Trier-Bieniek


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Sing Us a Song, Piano Woman: Female Fans and the Music of Tori Amos explores the many-layered relationships female fans build with feminist musicians in general and with Tori Amos, in particular. Using original interview research with more than forty fans of Tori Amos, multiple observer-participant experiences at Amos’s concerts, and critical content analysis of Amos’s lyrics and larger body of work, Adrienne Trier-Bieniek utilizes a combination of gender, emotions, music, and activism to unravel the typecasts plaguing female fans. Trier-Bieniek aggressively challenges the popular culture stereotypes that have painted all female fans as screaming, crying teenage girls who are unable to control themselves when a favorite (generally male) performer occupies the stage.

In stunning contrast, admirers of Tori Amos comprise a more introspective category of fan. Sing Us a Song, Piano Woman examines the wide range of stories from these listeners, exploring how Amos’s female fans are unique because Amos places the experiences of women at the center of her music. Tori Amos’s fan base is considered devoted because of the deeply emotional, often healing, connection they have to her music, an aspect that has been overlooked, particularly in sociological and cultural research on gender, emotions and music.

Tori Amos’s female fans as a social phenomenon are vital for understanding the multi-layered relationships women can have with female singer/songwriters. At a time when superficial women dominate public media presentations, from the Kardashians to the “Real Housewives,” the relationship between Tori Amos and her fans illustrates the continuous search by women for female performers who challenge patriarchal standards in popular culture. Trier-Bieniek’s research serves as a springboard for further study of women in pop culture whose purpose is to empower and provoke their fans, as well as change society.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780810885509
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
Publication date: 06/16/2013
Pages: 186
Product dimensions: 6.20(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Adrienne Trier-Bieniek, PhD, is currently professor of sociology at Valencia College in Orlando, Florida. She has published in the journals Qualitative Research, Humanity and Society, is a contributor to The Art of Social Critique: Painting Mirrors of Social Life and has been a guest columnist for The Orlando Sentinel. Adrienne regularly contributes to organizations seeking advice or information on music and healing. Further information can be found at

Table of Contents

Foreword vii

Acknowledgments ix

Introduction 1

1 "Cock Rock" and "Teenybop": Finding Gender in Pop Music 15

2 Challenging the Pop Culture Portrait of Female Fans 33

3 Musical Healing 57

4 Sing Us a Song, Piano Woman 77

5 "I Felt Like I Should Do Something" 99

6 Moving Forward 117

Appendix: Methods, My Position as a Tori Amos Fan, and Further Information 131

Notes 149

Bibliography 157

Index 161

About the Author 169

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