The Queer Composition of America's Sound: Gay Modernists, American Music, and National Identity / Edition 1

The Queer Composition of America's Sound: Gay Modernists, American Music, and National Identity / Edition 1

by Nadine Hubbs
     
 


"In this remarkable book, Nadine Hubbs demonstrates that our understanding of modernist American culture will remain impoverished so long as we ignore the gay social networks and patronage and distinctly queer sensibilities and idioms that influenced (to varying degrees) the work of the great modernist composers Aaron Copland, Virgil Thomson, Samuel Barber, Ned… See more details below

Overview


"In this remarkable book, Nadine Hubbs demonstrates that our understanding of modernist American culture will remain impoverished so long as we ignore the gay social networks and patronage and distinctly queer sensibilities and idioms that influenced (to varying degrees) the work of the great modernist composers Aaron Copland, Virgil Thomson, Samuel Barber, Ned Rorem, and Leonard Bernstein, among others. Deeply learned, theoretically sophisticated, and powerfully argued, this is a landmark study, which is sure to inspire a new generation of work drawing together and advancing the insights of musicology, feminist and queer theory, and American cultural history."—George Chauncey, University of Chicago, author of Gay New York

"What does music have to do with homosexuality, or homosexuality with music? That is the question Hubbs explores through a breathtakingly original history of the mid-twentieth-century gay American composers who produced "America's sound." Hubbs shows how sexual desire, aesthetic practice, and social identity shape one another and define specific forms of human consciousness. Her recovery of the homosexual roots of American musical modernism is ultimately a study in the sexuality of culture itself."—David M. Halperin, author of One Hundred Years of Homosexuality and Saint Foucault

"Nadine Hubbs's courageous and important book seeks both to recover the historical significance of the prewar American modernists and to confront some of the reasons behind the relegation of their work to the closet. Compellingly argued and beautifully written, Queer Composition will no doubt raise controversy, but it will be required reading for musicologists, Americanists, and queer theorists."—Susan McClary, author of Conventional Wisdom: The Content of Musical Form

"Hubbs's graceful, shrewd, and nuanced book is the best account yet of the queer sources of much modern American music—and American culture—and a compelling contribution to music history, gay and lesbian studies, and American studies."—Michael Sherry, History, Northwestern University, author of In the Shadow of War: The United States Since the 1930’s

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780520241848
Publisher:
University of California Press
Publication date:
10/18/2004
Pages:
293
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.75(d)
Lexile:
1810L (what's this?)

Table of Contents

Introduction : composing oneself1
1Modernist abstraction and the abstract art : Four saints and the queer composition of America's sound19
2Being musical : gender, sexuality, and musical identity in twentieth-century America64
Intermezzo : my dear Freddy : identity excesses and evasions chez Paul Bowles103
3A French connection : modernist codes in the musical closet117
4Queerness, eruption, bursting : U.S. musical modernism at midcentury152
Coda : Composing oneself (reprise)175

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