• Title: Queer Noises: Male and Female Homosexuality in Twentieth Century Music
  • Author: John Gill
  • Released: 1995-03-01
  • Language: English
  • Pages: 216
  • ISBN: 0816627185
  • ISBN13: 978-0816627189
  • ASIN: 0816627185
From Publishers Weekly British music critic Gill has penned a tell-all tome, although he's careful not to out anyone who hasn't already left clues waiting to be pieced together. Using a variety of primary and secondary sources, he pinpoints the contributions of gay musicians throughout the century, showing how their sexuality shaped their careers and their artistic visions. Curiously, during the Birth of the Blues, queer noises were resounding. Ma Rainey and Bessie Smith, both women of independent means, were quite open about and in hearty pursuit of their sexuality. But while the signature of the Jazz Age was musical improvisation, the line was drawn at homosexuality. One particularly hostile critic remarked that because Cecil Taylor was queer, he couldn't really play the piano ``properly.'' The advent of rock and roll coincided with the arrival of a monolithic music industry that actively sought to control its artists. It was not so long ago that a hint of homosexuality could threaten artists' livelihoods, yet today such major pop stars as k.d. lang and Elton John can be visibly gay without losing their audiences. This engaging musical survey--which also looks at opera, avant-garde and punk--deconstructs a century of repression and reclaims the contributions of gay musicians for the world to see.

Copyright 1995 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

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