The Queer Composition of America's Sound: Gay Modernists, American Music, and National Identity (Paperback)

The Queer Composition of America's Sound: Gay Modernists, American Music, and National Identity Cover Image
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In this vibrant and pioneering book, Nadine Hubbs shows how a gifted group of Manhattan-based gay composers were pivotal in creating a distinctive "American sound" and in the process served as architects of modern American identity. Focusing on a talented circle that included Aaron Copland, Virgil Thomson, Leonard Bernstein, Marc Blitzstein, Paul Bowles, David Diamond, and Ned Rorem, The Queer Composition of America's Sound homes in on the role of these artists' self-identification—especially with tonal music, French culture, and homosexuality—in the creation of a musical idiom that even today signifies "America" in commercials, movies, radio and television, and the concert hall.

About the Author

Nadine Hubbs is Associate Professor of Music and Women's Studies at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

Praise For…

“An ambitious, provocative and impressively documented work. . . .This book will rightly provoke heated discussion in musicological and queer-history circles.”
— Anthony Tommasini,

— Los Angeles Times

“This is an important book and, overall, a good read. Each of its four chapters contributes well to the book’s central task, which is to delineate how significantly the sexual orientation of Virgil Thomson and Aaron Copland, among others, figured in the evolution of an “American sound” suitable for America’s opera, ballet, and concert stages.”
— American Historical Review

“This book stands at the cusp of recent scholarship asserting the importance of sexual orientation to classical music. . . . Essential.”

“A wonderful resource made even better by clear writing, extensive (and extensively documented) research.”
— Left History

Product Details
ISBN: 9780520241855
ISBN-10: 0520241851
Publisher: University of California Press
Publication Date: October 18th, 2004
Pages: 293
Language: English