Theses Doctoral

Queer Composition. Subversive Strategies in Western Classical Music

Hiendl, Martin Alexander

This dissertation engages the question of what a queer aesthetics might look like in the context of contemporary music composition. Starting with a discussion of the problematics of β€œdefining” queer (aesthetic) practices, I look at Pauline Oliveros’ 𝘚𝘰𝘯π˜ͺ𝘀 π˜”π˜¦π˜₯π˜ͺ𝘡𝘒𝘡π˜ͺ𝘰𝘯𝘴, Julius Eastman’s 𝘎𝘒𝘺 𝘎𝘢𝘦𝘳𝘳π˜ͺ𝘭𝘭𝘒 and Neo HΓΌlcker’s 𝘈 𝘣𝘰π˜₯𝘺 𝘦𝘴𝘴𝘒𝘺. 𝘍π˜ͺ𝘀𝘡π˜ͺ𝘰𝘯, 𝘒𝘀𝘡𝘢𝘒𝘭𝘭𝘺 to uncover particular resistant and subversive strategies present in their works. In addition to a close examination of the original score materials, I look into queer theories and writings from fields other than music, such as dance/performance and the visual arts, in order to identify and apply some of the traits that could be called queer aesthetics (or practices/methodologies) to the field of contemporary music composition. Among the topics discussed will be considerations on time/timing, utopia/futurity, professionalism/failure, queer subject matter and form/format. Avoiding the trap of closing in on a canonization of queer music practices, it is the stated goal of this dissertation to expand the framework and contribute to a new understanding of what queer composition within the context of Western classical music might look like.


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Thesis Advisors
Lewis, George E.
D.M.A., Columbia University
Published Here
December 28, 2020