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date: 08 August 2020

Abstract and Keywords

The new, interdisciplinary field of Disability Studies offers a sociopolitical analysis of disability, focusing on its social construction and shifting attention from biology to culture. Within music, disability has been shown to be a core feature of the musical identity of music makers (especially composers and performers), often an identity that is affirmatively claimed in the face of widespread stigma. It has also inflected reception of the lives and work of composers and performers. Although music is a famously nonrepresentational art form, scholars have shown that musical works represent disability in various ways. Furthermore, music has proven a fertile ground for exploring the contention within Disability Studies that disability (like gender) can be understood as a performance: something you do rather than something you are. In all of these ways, disability both shapes and is shaped by culture, including musical culture.

Keywords: disability, culture, performance, representation, identity

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