|CHAPTER 28 of Martin Clayton, Trevor Herbert, and Richard Middleton, eds. The Cultural Study of Music: A Critical Introduction, Routledge, 2011, pp. 317-329.
Music, Gender, and Sexuality
FRED E. MAUS
The terms gender and sexuality contribute to analysis of social and psychological phenomena. In recent cultural theory, these terms reflect a concern with distinctions between natural or biological attributes of people, on one hand, and constructed, contingent, cultural, or historical attributes, on the other hand.
Gender refers to the classification of people and human traits as masculine, or feminine, or by related terms. Often, theorists of gender distinguish between gender, as culturally variable, and biological sex, understood as something physical, determined by chromosomes, hormones, morphology, and so on. By convention, the terms male and female, rather than masculine and feminine, mark differences of sex. (Biological sex, in this contrast between gender and sex, differs from sex in the sense of sexuality, as discussed below: the same word has different meanings.)
The difference between gender and sex is politically important, because gender, created and maintained socially rather than naturally, is subject to analysis in terms of cultural issues such as the distribution of power, and is subject to cultural change. If differences of biological sex are physical, they do not appear open to cultural change. However, boundaries between gender and sex, between the natural and the constructed, are controversial. At one extreme, Judith Butler, in Gender Trouble (2006), argues that scientific claims about sex difference should be understood politically, not as matters of objective scientific knowledge.
Sexuality refers to feelings, actions, and attributes involving erotic desires, feelings, and behavior. This vague definition reflects the vagueness of the concept, which, like the concept of gender, is contested. As with gender, recent cultural theory typically regards many aspects of sexuality as variable and constructed. In The History of Sexuality, Vol. 1 (1978), Foucault argued persuasively that sexuality comprises a range of practices that changes historically; most famously, he argued that the conceptualization of homosexuality in the late nineteenth century marked a ontological shift from sexual acts to sexual identities, from kinds of behavior to kinds of person.
Gender expresses itself in many different aspects of individual and social life. While sexuality may seem more narrowly defined, it has also been understood to express itself both directly, in consciously erotic thoughts, feelings, and actions, and indirectly, through various routes of displacement; the work of Sigmund Freud was crucial in expanding the range of phenomena that could be regarded as expressions of sexuality. The diffuse realization of gender and sexuality gives them extensive reach for understandings of many aspects of life and culture, though analytical applications of gender and sexuality are often controversial.
Beyond gender and sexuality, a complex interrelated vocabulary has developed. Feminism denotes a cluster of political movements. Most simply, one can say that feminism advocates for women. But this definition may require complication, to the extent that it endorses a biologically-determinate concept of woman or treats woman as a cross-culturally unified group. Feminism includes interpretive discourses as well as political activism. The academic field of women’s studies takes women as its subject matter; feminist studies implies, more strongly, an activist political stance. Gender studies implies a constructivist emphasis, and invites study of categories beyond femininity, especially masculinity.
In the late twentieth century, activists worked to replace the term homosexual, used since the late nineteenth century to denote same-sex eroticism, with other terms, especially gay and lesbian, terms of self-identification rather than diagnostic terms imposed by an external authority. Gay and lesbian often denote fixed identities, alongside heterosexual or straight. None of these identity terms include people sexually attracted to both men and women, bisexual people. A coalition of non-heterosexual people, that is, gay, lesbian, and bisexual people may be marked with the term GLB or LGB. With LGBT, the grouping expands to include transgender, a term for people who in various ways cross between sexes and/or genders. Thus, a gender-related term is added to a list of terms designating sexualities.
During the 1990s, queer gained currency . Originally an insult, the word has been reclaimed for self-identification. One goal in using the term queer is to refuse specific identity categories marked by terms such as straight, gay, or lesbian, indicating the diversity of desire and potentially including anyone of minority sexuality. While some people now describe themselves as queer, others continue to prefer self-description as gay or lesbian. The expanded term LGBTQ reflects this. In U.S. academic settings, the term queer studies, despite its origins in an intentionally provocative usage, is standard for an interdisciplinary range of studies focused on minority sexualities.
Scholarly studies of gender and sexuality have been more visible in the United States than elsewhere, reflecting a broader tendency to U.S. domination of feminist and queer politics. Further, within the U.S., gender studies and queer studies have often reflected middle-class white norms. Recent scholarly work has attempted to reduce such parochialism.
Relations between gender and sexuality are debatable. Some theories place sexuality at the center of the account of gender, as in the work of radical feminist Andrea Dworkin (2006), who argues that the power relations of heterosexual intercourse are fundamental to gender difference. Others emphasize the importance of distinguishing gender and sexuality, while acknowledging the interactions between the two; Gayle Rubin presents this alternative in her essay “Thinking Sex” (1993). Recently, many scholars have questioned the usefulness of discussions of gender and sexuality that do not also treat their intersections with race, class, nationality, and other social categories.
Contributions in the 1970s
Gender and sexuality did not become major topics in professional music scholarship until the late 1980s. But during the 1970s, feminist, lesbian-feminist, and gay liberation political movements, vigorous from the late 1960s on, already led to impressive interpretive and practical work on music. This work did not originate in academic music programs, but came from journalism, scholarly fields such as cultural studies, and practical music-making.
Through the 1970s, music critic Ellen Willis (2011) wrote brilliantly about topics such as male domination of rock, an alternative tradition of female and sometimes feminist musicians, the ambiguous accomplishments of early ”women’s music,” and the gender politics of punk. In 1978, Simon Frith and Angela McRobbie published a fine theoretical essay, “Rock and Sexuality” (Frith and McRobbie 2007). They reject the commonplace idea that “there is some sort of ‘natural’ sexuality which rock expresses,” arguing instead that “the most important ideological work done by rock is the construction of sexuality.” (43) They also argue that analysis of lyrics is inadequate to show how rock constructs sexuality, and that a full account must also discuss musical sound. (42) Already in 1978, a Foucauldian emphasis on the construction of sexuality contributes to interpretation of music, along with rejection of the alternative conception of a natural sexuality that is repressed or released through music.
Frith and McRobbie distinguish two kinds of popular music. Both are created and performed by men. Cock rock is “loud, rhythmically insistent, built round techniques of arousal and climax,” with “shouting and screaming” (44). Cock rock presents images of masculine sexuality, for consumption by men who identify with these images. In contrast, teenybop presents romantic images of masculine sexuality, for consumption by girls. In teenybop, boys are “sad, thoughtful, pretty and puppy-like” (45). Rock constructs males as collective and active, females as individual and passive, with regard to both musical production and sexual behavior. Male audiences, on this account, relate to performance by identifying with it, rather than understanding themselves as passive in relation to male musicians. Frith and McRobbie also complicate these oppositions, noting that both male and female listeners may find value in cock rock’s emphasis on the physicality of sex and teenybop’s complementary emphasis on feelings. The essay touches on many other topics – complex images of gender and sexuality in recent popular music, the importance of dance, the need to understand constructions of sexuality in the context of leisure and consumption, and more. (See Frith 2007 for his later comments on this essay.)
Richard Dyer’s 1979 essay “In Defense of Disco” (1992) notes that socialists generally disparage disco music because of its commodity character. However, disco contributes to the formation of gay identity, and Dyer suggests that it has subversive political potential. Dyer describes “the three important characteristics of disco.” He contrasts its eroticism with the phallic qualities of rock: “rock’s eroticism is thrusting, grinding,” whereas disco “restores eroticism to the whole of the body, and for both sexes, not just confining it to the penis” (153, 154). The romanticism of some disco emphasizes emotion, “the intensity of fleeting emotional contacts,” melancholy. Thus it proposes alternatives to the world of work and obligation. The materialism of disco, its lavish use of musical and technological resources, maintains contact with the actual world, refusing the transcendence offered by much art. Dyer suggests that, taken together, these attributes create experiences that could be the basis for a questioning of hegemonic sexual and economic practices.
In 1970, Pauline Oliveros, a composer of experimental music, published a brief article in The New York Times (Oliveros 1984, 47-49) . Addressing the question why there have been no great women composers, she replies that women historically “have been taught to despise activity outside of the domestic realm as unfeminine,” and have been valued for the obedience and support they offer to men. Oliveros observes that women presently have more opportunities to participate in professional musical life than before, although contemporary composers confront a musical culture that gives disproportionate attention to the past. She notes that preoccupation with “greatness” is harmful to appreciation of new compositional work.
Later texts by Oliveros deepen her explorations of gender and sexuality. In a grant proposal (1984, 132-37) she contrasts “active, purposeful creativity” and “receptive creativity, during which the artist is like a channel through which material flows and seems to shape itself” (132). Composers should balance “the analytical way and the intuitive way” (132). But Oliveros identifies a cultural bias toward the analytical, which draws support from gender associations: “traditionally, men are encouraged in self-determining, purposive activity, while women are encouraged to be receptive and dependent” (135). Gender stereotypes support a one-sided account of creativity that emphasizes masculine qualities. When creativity is misconstrued that way, it seems less available to women.
Oliveros also questions a one-sided account of listening. “Browsing in a psychology text, I came across the idea that music is a phallic phenomenon because it penetrates the body! … Come now, Freudians, one can receive music but also actively penetrate it, not to mention all the other finer variations” (1984, 113). Listening can have active and receptive aspects. “Maybe the psychologist assumed that only men (probably dead men) write music. According to a certain social paradigm, it follows then, that maybe only women should listen to it! Or eat it.” But the “social paradigm,” like the parallel account of creation as active, listening as passive, does not reflect experience. “That paradigm leaves out a large assortment of very fine variations in relationships. How many of you out there think you are in the minority? If everyone came out of the closet the world would change overnight” (113). For Oliveros, oppositions between active and passive are simplistic, whether applied to creativity, listening, gender, or sexuality. Oliveros recommends greater attention to experience, to counter stereotypes.
Some of Oliveros’s creative work also addresses interactions between activity and receptivity. Her verbal scores, collected as Deep Listening Pieces (1990), often ask participants to shift repeatedly between active and receptive roles. Most simply, Circle Sound Meditation (1978) asks participants to lie in a circle and, after relaxing, “listen then sound. Alternate between listening and sounding” (9). In The Tuning Meditation (1980), participants alternate between singing a pitch that originates in their imagination and, next, matching the note that someone else is singing. Such practices disrupt, and critique, the fixed roles of performer and audience. The active/passive contrast is fundamental to conventional ideas of gender roles and sexual roles; thus, participants in Oliveros’s Deep Listening Pieces enact subtle forms of gender and sexuality dissidence. (For much more on Oliveros, see Mockus 2007.)
During the 1970s in the United States, women’s music developed, shaped by feminist and lesbian politics, composed and performed by women, and primarily directed at female audiences. This remarkable application of feminist thought led soon to new record companies and music festivals (Mosbacher 2004)). The political character of women’s music accounted for its successes and its image as self-limiting. The music was primarily created by lesbians, for lesbian audiences, and despite the inclusion of African-American musicians, most performers and audiences were white (Hayes 2010). Practices such as the exclusion of men from concert audiences showed strong separatism.
However, stereotypes of women with acoustic guitars, singing simple protest songs and lesbian love songs, are inaccurate. Women’s music was stylistically eclectic and often skillful. An early, famous example, Cris Williamson’s “Waterfall” from 1975 (Williamson 2005), reflects on personal experience and offers advice, using images of water as models for life. A rainy day, she sings, can show you that life will be all right. “When you open up your life to the living / All things come spilling in on you.” Then, you will flow “like a river,” and you will need to “spill some over,” in “an endless waterfall.” The lyrics are persistently metaphorical, yet audiences understood and loved the song. The water that spills over could refer to weeping, perhaps a figure for access to one’s emotions. The water’s flow in and out, filling and spilling, is a non-phallic sexual image. Other feminist texts of the time also represent women’s experiences through images of water. In a 1976 novel, Rita Mae Brown writes, “When Carole groaned, ‘Now, Ilse, now,’ she felt that she had ridden out a tidal wave.” (1988, 77) More theoretically, Luce Irigaray (1985) argues that standard scientific and logical symbols represent solids well, but not fluids; she connects this directly to the psychic centrality of the phallus. Femininity, as fluidity, is unrepresentable or nonexistent.
At first, the keyboard-based music of “Waterfall” is slow, and the key is uncertain. The tonic clarifies; the music accelerates, then accelerates again to a repeating four-chord progression, a chorus-like section with momentum and a catchy melody. The music drops off, in a delicate ritardando; the first section repeats, just up to the point where the tonic was established, and then the chorus repeats. Along with the non-phallic lyrics, the music offers an image of gently increasing excitement, reaching a plateau, dropping back and then recovering the plateau; the goal is not an orgasmic crisis but a heightened vivacity. A final fadeout suggests that this pleasure has no inherent conclusion.
In France during the 1970s, outstanding feminist theorists such as Julia Kristeva and Luce Irigaray drew on psychoanalysis and philosophy. One such writer, Catherine Clément, published a book on opera in1978 (translated into English only in 1988, when musicological feminism began to appear in Anglophone settings.) Clément explores the deaths of female operatic characters, arguing that opera presents misogynist content in a seductive form. Clément’s book neglects music – it is basically about libretti. But it is an auspicious contribution to the feminist analysis of representations of women.
Later scholarly contributions
As already mentioned, discussions of music, gender, and sexuality did not play a significant role in professional music scholarship until the late 1980s. As this delay reveals, the music scholarship of the time was insular and socially disengaged; the same qualities account for the controversy around the eventual attempts to bring gender and sexuality into music scholarship. However, from the late 1980s on, research on gender and sexuality in relation to music has been a productive and exciting field, with excellent scholarship from professional music scholars and fruitful interaction between musicology and other fields such as cultural studies. By now, there is far too much valuable research to summarize, or to represent in a brief reading list. The rest of this chapter indicates the range of recent scholarly work by commenting on selected texts. In general, I emphasize theoretical contributions, though much fine work has appeared that is primarily empirical. And I emphasize work in which gender and/or sexuality are the central themes, though one welcome shift is that it is common, now, for such issues to be included along with many others in a musicological study.
Two excellent early anthologies, edited by Jane Bowers and Judith Tick, (1987) and by Ellen Koskoff (1987), exemplify a women’s studies approach to music, using careful research - historical in the first case, ethnographic in the second – to explore musical roles of women in many times and places. Since then, many superb studies of women in music have appeared. A fine essay by Marcia J. Citron, “Gender, Professionalism, and the Musical Canon” (1990) returns to Oliveros’s question about the scarcity of historical female composers. The creation of knowledge about women in music has flourished as an important part of music scholarship (see, for example, Tick 1997, Locke and Barr, eds., 1997, Kisliuk, 1998, Koskoff 2000, Whiteley 2000, Feldman and Gordon, eds., 2006, Cusick 2009, and much more). The excellent journal Women & Music, from 1997 on, has provided excellent resources on women in music as well as feminist and queer studies.
During the 1970s and 1980s, musicologists such as Joseph Kerman (1985) and Leo Treitler (1989) had urged music scholars to take up criticism, understood as an interpretive and evaluative discourse in contrast to a more empirical tradition of musicology. One branch of criticism, exemplified by Anthony Newcomb and others, interprets classical instrumental music through the concept of narrative. Susan McClary’s book Feminine Endings (2002) offers a sustained example of feminist music criticism, discussing Monteverdi, Bizet, Tchaikovsky and Beethoven, along with recent female musicians. By including chapters on Laurie Anderson and Madonna, McClary juxtaposes canonic male composers with a performance artist and a popular performer, proposing a critical approach that can cross generic boundaries.
Feminine Endings contrasts two ways of shaping time in music. Some music drives toward goals, creating desire for points of climax and resolution. Other music creates a sense of sustained pleasure. McClary finds, in both, powerful images of sensuality and sexuality, which listeners experience as their own, and she associates the two with gendered conceptions of sexuality – masculine and feminine respectively. Like Frith and McRobbie, McClary argues that music participates in the social construction of gender, in part by creating vivid, gendered musical images of sexual experience. A later essay on Schubert (2006) finds, in the non-teleological character of some of his music, a related resistance to goal-driven masculinity.
McClary’s advocacy of music that embodies feminine sensuality, or music that resists celebrations of masculinity, is provocative; but for some readers, it is problematic. McClary seems to commend female musicians for producing feminine music, and thereby to deny certain resources to women. Long before, Ellen Willis had questioned the absence of rock in “women’s music,” noting that “it is no accident that women musicians have been denied access to this powerful musical language” (2011, 143). Frith and McRobbie also noted that girls can find value in the physicality of rock music. (2007, 50)
In both opera and instrumental music, McClary identifies local stylistic markers of masculinity or femininity, such as evasive chromatic melodies that represent sly, seductive femininity. This approach resembles the topical analysis of Leonard Ratner (1980), or the musematic analysis of Philip Tagg, (2000) but focuses on gender and sexuality. In sonata form, McClary identifies a temporal and harmonic patterning of masculine and feminine music that communicates a narrative about the subordination of femininity, thus offering an instrumental analog of Clément’s work on misogynist narratives in opera.
Philip Brett (1997) made an impressive and challenging contribution to criticism when he entered the scholarly conversation about Franz Schubert's sexuality and its relation to his music. Maynard Solomon (1989) argued that Schubert may have been homosexual. Debate followed about the biographical claim and its relation to Schubert's music. Brett’s essay notes that, up to his own intervention, self-identified gay scholars have been absent from the debate, an astonishing fact. Brett describes his experiences playing Schubert’s music for piano, four hands, with a younger gay male friend; he savors the sexual implications of this duet collaboration, in which the two men are physically and musically close. Brett then offers a detailed description of the slow movement of Schubert’s four-hand Sonata in C (D. 812). The analysis identifies a contrast between superficial, conformist musical gestures and moments that suggest suppressed rage; near the end, violent emotions hold sway, briefly but impressively, before conventional closure hides them again. Brett notes that this emotional pattern is familiar to present-day gay men. With caution, Brett suggests that similar feelings may have figured in Schubert’s life. Still, Brett leaves no doubt that Schubert’s social life, sexuality, and feelings are difficult for us to reconstruct, and should be assumed to be different, in various ways, from those of his present-day admirers.
Brett’s essay, a model of circumspect historical thought, also restricts the claim it makes for its authority as music criticism: Brett states firmly that “criticism is radical in musicology because it is personal and has no authority whatsoever” (171). Some readers may be disturbed by this relativism; more importantly, Brett is unnerving, in a productive way, in his insistence that writing about music must be thoroughly open and honest.
Brett, McClary, and others have not only discussed classical music in relation to gender and sexuality, but have also turned their attention to professional discourse about music. They join critics like Kerman in arguing that conventional verbal resources of music scholars fail to address important experiential qualities, and they add that professional norms of objectivity make it difficult to articulate issues of gender and sexuality that are pervasive in musical experience. I make such arguments about music theory in “Masculine Discourse in Music Theory” (1993); in a related essay, Marion Guck (1994) writes of her experiences as a female music theorist drawn to experiential description. Such arguments suggest a far-reaching critique of musicological discourse as a defense mechanism, a way of evading aspects of musical experience.
What would bland discourse about music hide? McClary suggests that it hides the messages of gender ideology that music communicates. Another answer is that it hides the eroticism of musical experience. Suzanne Cusick, in a well-known essay (2006), explores relationships between her own lesbian sexuality and her musicality. She identifies both music and sexuality as areas where people give and receive pleasure, with intimacy and in relationships configured by power. In view of this broad parallel (or perhaps identity – Cusick wonders, eventually, whether music simply is sex), she compares her preferred sexual and musical experiences.
Power relationships emerge as the crucial variable: Cusick identifies the constructed notion of “woman” as “non-power,” and therefore, a relationship between two women as, perhaps, “a relationship based on non-power,” or with “a flow of power in both directions. No one in the relationship has been formed to be the power figure, although all can play at it.” (72) Similarly, Cusick states her preference for “musics which invite and allow me to participate or not as I choose, musics with which I experience a continuous circulation of power even when I let the music be ‘on top’” (76). And, as a performer, Cusick values moments when “power circulates freely across porous boundaries; the categories player and played, lover and beloved, dissolve” (78). Like Frith and McRobbie, Cusick sees that musical production and reception could be understood as a relationship in which music, or musicians, exert power over listeners; like Oliveros, she prefers to resist this “social paradigm” by seeking out more complex variations in which power relations may shift or become unclear.
There are alternatives, in theories and practices of sexuality, to Cusick’s emphasis on mutuality, non-power, and flexibility of roles. In general, Alan Sinfield (2004) has questioned the cultural habit of praising equality in sexual relationships. Leo Bersani (2010) would identify Cusick’s description of sexual experience as a “pastoralizing” account; Bersani counters such thinking with an account of sex as “self-shattering.” For Bersani, the experience of self-loss in sexuality accounts for its value. Drawing on Bersani, one can suggest alternative descriptions of musical experience that center on the value of being controlled or overwhelmed by music. I have worked on this approach, in different ways, in essays about Edward T. Cone and Hector Berlioz (2006, 2009).
Clément’s neglect of voice and singing has been offset by many subsequent studies. John Shepherd (1991) and Suzanne Cusick (1999), using examples from popular music, explore the construction of gender difference through vocal style. Elizabeth Wood’s essay on “Sapphonics” (2006) identifies a type of female operatic voice, rich and powerful in its lower register yet clear and strong in the upper register, with an awkward break between. Wood documents the historic affinity of lesbian musicians and opera fans with such voices, beloved for their “acceptance and integration of male and female” (32). Wayne Koestenbaum (1993) writes of the culture of “opera queens,” gay men whose love of opera centers on the diva; he offers personal descriptions of specific opera scenes, somewhat as Brett offered a personal account of Schubert’s music. In a related emphasis on physicality, a number of scholars have written recently on music and embodiment. Some of these studies explicitly thematize gender and/or sexuality, while others do not; for an overview, see Maus (2010).
In popular music studies, there have been rewarding studies of musicians in light of the relations between their gender and/or sexuality, their music, and their careers. In a few cases, scholars can write about popular musicians or musical movements explicitly identified with feminism, such as the riot grrrl movement of the 1990s (Leonard 2007). In other cases, when musicians have not called themselves feminists, scholars have nonetheless found proto-feminist positions in their work. Attention to female musicians has potential for significant revision of histories of popular music. Angela Davis’s study of women in blues (1998) counters the traditional emphasis on male blues performers, while finding many links between female blues singers and feminism. Jacqueline Warwick’s study of girl groups (2007) counters a conventional historical narrative that moves from early rock ‘n’ roll to the British invasion, with a gap between. In fact, much of the most popular music during that alleged gap was by girl groups; their neglect by historians reflects difficulty with taking young female performers, often black, and their young female audiences seriously.
There is a surprisingly large literature of political commentary on Madonna (for example, hooks 1992; Bordo 2004; Fouz-Hernández, and Jarman-Ivens 2004). Musical theater has also drawn brilliant commentary, in part because of gay and lesbian fandom (Miller 1998, Wolf 2002, Rogers 2008), Greater openness about sexuality has also permitted illuminating studies of LGBTQ popular musicians (Echols 1999, Gamson 2005, Randall 2008 and many more).
Important contributions have considered audiences of popular music in light of gender and sexuality. Lisa Rhodes (2005) discusses the culture of groupies, with attention to their love of music and their agency in seeking pleasure. Maria Pini’s study of women and rave culture (2001), in an unusual and skillful combination of resources, draws on ethnographic interviews along with feminist theory; she shows that rave offers women new kinds of subjectivity, parallel in some ways to subjectivities articulated in speculative feminist philosophy. Walter Hughes (1994), influenced by Bersani, suggests that gay men, dominated by the beat in the discos of the 1970s, experienced an unmaking of their subjectivities that permitted the creation of new identities. The resulting analysis is quite unlike Dyer’s. Tim Lawrence (2004), in a completely different style, has written an extraordinary interview-based history of discos in New York City during the 1970s, a crucial contribution to the history of sexuality in the U.S. Judith Peraino (2005) has offered an ambitiously broad synthesis of historical and contemporary relations between music and queer identity, covering classical music, popular music, and more.
Two excellent online resources direct readers to many additional materials on music, gender, and sexuality. The Committee on the status of Women of the Society for Music Theory maintains a bibliography of research in these areas. And the website of the LGBTQ Study Group of the American Musicological Society includes a full run of the group's fine newsletter, with reviews, articles, and more.
Significant gaps remain in the professional literature on music, gender, and sexuality. Several recent studies address constructions of masculinity, a welcome development that could be taken much further (Pederson 2000, Meintjes 2004, Jarman-Ivens 2007, Biddle and Gibson 2009). Issues of cross-dressing or complexities of gender presentation arise throughout discussions of music, gender, and sexuality. (Examples include Garber 1991, Muñoz 1999, Braga-Pinto 2002, Rodger 2004, Auslander 2006, Head 2006, Dreyfus 2010, Rodger 2010; but related issues are pervasive in the literature.) However, people who identify as transgender or transsexual have received little interpretation or representation in music scholarship (for exceptions, see Swedenburg 1997, Namaste 2000, Middleton 2006, Constansis 2008).
Perhaps the most striking absence has been the relative lack of work on sexuality and music in settings beyond classical music and mainstream Anglophone popular music. E. Patrick Johnson (2008) has gathered valuable material about gay black men and the choirs of Southern churches, The brief, descriptive studies in Whiteley and Rycenga (2006) are unusual in their geographical range, with chapters on popular music in Germany, Latin America, Israel, and Russia. Gayatri Gopinath (2005) has written usefully about the heterosexual masculinity of recent Anglo-Asian rock and dance music, in contrast to underground South Asian queer scenes. José Quiroga (2000) and Frances Negrón-Muntaner (2004) offer Latin American perspectives on a number of popular music topics, including bolero, Ricky Martin, Madonna, and West Side Story. Susan Thomas (2006) writes about representations of lesbians in recent Cuban popular song. There is need for much more work along these lines.
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