Judith A. Peraino

in Listening to the Sirens

Published by University of California Press

Published in print October 2005 | ISBN: 9780520215870
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520921740 | DOI:

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This chapter provides an introduction to diverse styles of music under the rubrics of Foucault's four technologies to show the persistent, yet varied, use of music throughout history, and also describes Odysseus and the Sirens. Odysseus had a technique for asking these questions; one could even say it was a musical technique. It involved careful preparation with his crew, and a surefire means of disciplining himself as he listened to the Sirens sing. But rather than trying to read the song of the Sirens, the chapter highlights what the song's function might be: to invite an imagining of what things would be like if they were different. The fact that the Sirens are reported in myth as singing suggests that the imagining works best in musical form. A series of case studies, using Foucault's four technologies as a framework for examining how music functions as a technique in the conceptualization, configuration, and representation of queer subjectivity and identity, are also presented.

Keywords: Odysseus; Sirens; queer subjectivity; queer identity; music

Chapter.  3877 words. 

Subjects: Musicology and Music History

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