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In my M&V article How Essential is the Difference (a response to Patric Standford's The Essential Difference) I wrote :

'... no listener, male or female, attending, for example, a chamber recital comprising one string quartet each by Bartók, Maconchy, Bacewicz and Shostakovich without knowing the composers' identities or having heard any of the works previously, is likely to be able to identify which works were the products of masculine minds and which those of feminine ones, any more than they would be able to tell how many males and how many females were in the ensemble without prior knowledge.

Mr Standford chose not to expand his thoughts into consideration of the homosexual mind as distinct from the heterosexual one (male or female in either case); had he done so, what conclusions might be drawn from the content of -- and male or female homosexual or heterosexual reactions to -- the music of Szymanowski and Tchaikovsky as against that of Rakhmaninov and Elgar, for example? None on which any reliance could be placed, it would seem.'

The fact is that our neuroscientific understanding is not yet developed to anywhere near the point at which useful and instructive conclusion can be formed about the significance or otherwise of 'sexuality' in the context of the art of musical composition, for all that the proselytising 'gender studies' brigade would have us believe otherwise; our grasp of how emotions work is not much farther forward, either.

To attempt, therefore, to draw any kinds of conclusions about the effects of particular sexuality on a composer's creative work is, at best, premature.

Copyright © 18 March 2004 Alistair Hinton, UK





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