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Author Topic: Is Tonal Music an Especially Gay Thing?  (Read 3373 times)

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Mogul

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Re: Is Tonal Music an Especially Gay Thing?
« Reply #7 on: Thu, Mar 30, 2006, 21:05 »

Certainly, a gay person conceives the music in a slightly other way than a straight one - but don't we all conceive an art work on our own, personal way? We shall consider the old problem with statistics: the differences between two groups might be less important than the differences within each group.

In the sphere of art, there is often a misconception of "what the artist actually wanted to express". Humans as we are tend to interprete any given work of art depending on their own experiences, feelings and general cultural background. Therefore one can never be sure that what one feels corresponds with "what the artist actually wanted to express" - so any attempt of too tight an interpretation is very risky.

It is indeed very probable that people with similar experiences might feel similar. The only question is, what might be of superiour influence to our emotions then - the level of education, social background or our gayness? Who knows, whether twink gay cowboys feel similar with an older paedophile in "Death in Venice" by Visconti?

:R
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Feral

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Re: Is Tonal Music an Especially Gay Thing?
« Reply #6 on: Thu, Mar 30, 2006, 20:27 »

As a part of a truly human heritage, music is accessible to everyone, of course. But it is not equally accessible to everyone. Str8 people and gay people are not at all the same thing, and str8 people listening to music which has been addressed to a gay audience will be at a subtle disadvantage. The same pertains to gay people listening to music addressed to a str8 audience.

Of course, a composer might deliberately choose to construct his music to address neither a gay nor a str8 audience, but all humanity. I question how successful such an attempt would be. Given the heterosexual predilection for defining the entire universe in their own terms, I especially question the ability of a str8 composer to do so.
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Mogul

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Re: Is Tonal Music an Especially Gay Thing?
« Reply #5 on: Thu, Mar 30, 2006, 19:44 »

Tchaikovski was not only gay, he was a "paederastes" in the Greek meaning of this word.  >:)  Out of some silly spleen he married once a young woman but has fled his wife after a couple of days - I'd say he was truly "afraid of women", when he once has seen one.  ;D

His music is beautyfull - I really LOVE the "Swan Lake", which is both lovely and dramatic. Indeed, there is so much playfullness, that a heterosexual man would probably not come upon to compose. On the other hand, there is much impressive music made by straight men -  but often solely "dramatic". =))

"Never let your sense of morals prevent you from doing what is right!" Salvor Hardin

K6

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Re: Is Tonal Music an Especially Gay Thing?
« Reply #4 on: Thu, Mar 30, 2006, 07:16 »


I`ve heard often that Tchaikovski was gay.And there is something which I cannot define and which I like in his music and as a gay.Though my
favourite classical composer is Rachmaninoff.

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Feral

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Re: Is Tonal Music an Especially Gay Thing?
« Reply #3 on: Thu, Mar 30, 2006, 05:27 »

My chief reaction to the articles was surprise that someone (in this case two different persons) not only came to the conclusion that there was something "different" about the ways gay composers might approach music that could specifically be compared to the way str8 composers do the same thing, but that they would actually SAY so in public.
Stonewall was a riot.

Mogul

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Re: Is Tonal Music an Especially Gay Thing?
« Reply #2 on: Wed, Mar 29, 2006, 15:24 »

Very interesting articles indeed. The thought that gays are especially often inclined to write soft and heart-breaking music is probably even true... Everyone can recognize the difference between Tchaikovsky and Beethoven - as in many other examples.

Alone, what furthergoing conclusions shall we make upon gaining these (delightfull) insights? Undoubtedly, the musical heritage of both gays and non-gays belongs to the entire humankind, and all we can claim is the knowledge of that irony about straight machos marching to the tones of gay music.  ;D
"Never let your sense of morals prevent you from doing what is right!" Salvor Hardin

Feral

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Is Tonal Music an Especially Gay Thing?
« Reply #1 on: Wed, Mar 29, 2006, 10:51 »

Blogger and Music Professor Eric Edberg has written an interesting post on gay music. He is, of course, not discussing the “thumpa thumpa thumpa” sort of music that I am accustomed to listening to. Rather, it’s that stuff that my classmates and I used to call “Classical Music,” even though we knew perfectly well it was Modernist and that there was nothing classical about it.

Is Tonal Music an Especially Gay Thing?

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Some years ago I had a conversation with someone who was quite skeptical of the idea that there was any point in looking into the personal lives of composers, especially their sexual orientation. Can music itself be straight or gay? If Handel or Schubert were gay, is there anything gay about the music itself? At the time, I didn't think there could be anything gay or straight about a piece of music itself, unless it had a specifically gay text.

But in the last couple of weeks I have found myself thinking about this question again. And while I don't know that I'd go so far as to say that there's such a thing as a gay musical language, I find myself coming to think that there may well be more of a connection between sexual orientation and a composer's choice of musical language than I had previous realized.
 

Professor Edberg references a newspaper column on much the same subject that is (to me at least) even more interesting.

Gay composers gave America its music

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Copland was one of a group of composers who, starting in the 1930s, cultivated a new nationalist - or at least populist modernist - style. And most of them were gay, including Virgil Thomson, Samuel Barber, Leonard Bernstein, David Diamond, Lou Harrison, Paul Bowles, Marc Blitzstein and Ned Rorem. (Though Bernstein married and sired children, he became openly homosexual after his wife’s death. Bowles married Jane Auer, but sexually, they went their separate ways.)

By contrast, most of the pricklier modernists, including Charles Ives, Elliott Carter and Roger Sessions, were straight.

The gay composers all knew one another and networked extensively. At the height of their collective influence, from the late 1930s to the early ‘50s, they were a potent force. Through their movie and ballet scores, notably, and knockoffs by others, they helped define in sound what it means to be an American.
 
Stonewall was a riot.
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