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Music and Sexuality in BrittenSelected Essays$
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Philip Brett and George Haggerty

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780520246096

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520246096.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 23 September 2021

Britten's Dream

Britten's Dream

For Sue-Ellen Case

(p.106) Chapter Seven Britten's Dream
Music and Sexuality in Britten

Philip Brett

University of California Press

This chapter appraises the relevance of proposing and asserting meanings that are grounded in an inside awareness of the cultural conditions under which homosexual composers have functioned, which helps in identifying the symbolic and transhistorical significance of music, from a well-defined lens. Another plausible approach is to question the validity of “absolute music,” an unhistorical and oppressive notion. It is prudent to consider this notion in its cultural and historical context. Such efforts may be viewed as indulging essentialism, the use of which is elicited for the purpose of reducing a specific idea to a general one, so as to subvert the former. The chapter seeks to identify whose interest it is in to subvert/obscure such efforts, asserting that there exists an ingrained fear for certain ideas and knowledge among the musical community.

Keywords:   cultural condition, homosexual composer, transhistorical significance, unhistorical, essentialism, musical community

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