Scott Cantrell's recent article about sexuality and Americana music was posted on rec.music.classical.recordings. He quotes Nadine Hubb, who wrote The Queer Composition of America's Sound: Gay Modernists, American Music, and National Identity. I found it a bit difficult to parse out what Hubb is thinking versus what Cantrell is writing but here's one of several provocative and possibly offensive passages:
Indeed, Ives seems to have set up a kind of socio-cultural war between the edgier modernist composers, most of whom were straight, and the modernists (Copland et al.), most of whom were gay. The divide wasn't, and isn't, definitive, but it's surprising how easy it is to line up a dichotomy.
mmaroney responds to the article:
I can name at least one corresponding 'straight' composer that belongs in that group. Therefore, his conclusion that "most" in this group were gay is false. Additionally, he pads his 'gay' list with composers who simply aren't performed much today. It seems he's also purposely creating a grey area by introducing the term 'populist modernist' alongside just plain 'modernist' for obvious reasons. I mean, if he's going to stick Bowles in the list, I can counter with, say, Ferde Grofe.
I'm also struggling with the term "populist modernist." In this context, I think it is misleading at best. But as a label for Copland of where he fits in last century musical history, it's not bad. mmaroney also rebuts the statement "Melody and consonance were replaced by spiky disjunction, harmony by dissonance":
Of course, you don't 'replace' harmony with dissonance. That's just absurd. Even a dissonant chord is still a harmony (see jazz theory, Bruckner's symphonies and Barber's songs, all of which teem with "dissonance"). Unless he's using "harmony" in its more general sense, but that seems doubtful in this context, especially since he used the term 'consonance' immediately before.
Alistair Hinton gets the last word:
The catalogue of absurdities in this article is such as to shower insults and ignorance in all directions on American composers of all persuasions, musical, sexual and otherwise.