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date: 21 October 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter shows that the methods used to approach queer musical subjects cannot adequately account for transsexual ones. To show this, I distinguish queer methods from transsexual methods, while acknowledging a continuum between those extremes. Queer aesthetic and interpretive models highlight a transcending of bodily and other material structures; transsexuality invests in the body. Transsexual studies situate embodiment and material conditions as primary sources of knowledge (or forms of “counterknowledge”), thereby providing new ways for musicologists to consider the meaning that musical structures hold. Likewise, transsexual artists become legible within musicology through an application of transsexual studies (notably including phenomenology and new materialisms) to music. Ultimately, by integrating transsexual epistemologies with queer ones, a new way of knowing music (a “trans* method”) is suggested.

Keywords: transsexuality, trans* music, embodiment, materiality, phenomenology, methodology, queer, epistemology, musical meaning

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