Composers with Disabilities and the Critical Reception of their Music
The Western classical tradition is composer-centered, and a surprising number of canonic composers have had profound experiences of disability that have shaped their work and its reception. Critical response to music by composers with disability have tracked changing conceptualizations of disability, as divine affliction, divine afflatus, medical pathology, and affirmative identity. Composers who are quite diverse in terms of historical period, nationality, and musical style (not to mention race, class, and gender), are thus linked by the common critical responses to their music in light of their disabilities. Landini, Delius and blindness; Beethoven, Smetana, Gabriela Frank, and deafness; Schumann, Ravel, Hikari Oe, Tobias Picker, and madness.
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