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Access Type

Open Access Thesis

Document Type


Degree Program


Degree Type

Master of Music (M.M.)

Year Degree Awarded


Month Degree Awarded



Contemporary music analysts have generally downplayed the relevance of composer intent, a dismissal which ignores the potential for an enhanced expressive context afforded by composers' own assessments and also contributes to the silencing of already othered voices, such as in the case of queer and trans composers. Allowing the trans composer a voice in the reading of their work affirms the integral part of the trans experience that is self-determination. Over time, this project to tell trans stories evolved into a series of vignette-like analyses of trans composers’ works in which I use a methodology that incorporates the voices of living composers while building on and modifying the work of music theorists and queer theorists, and moving queer musicology towards a new trans musicology that includes non-binary genders. This thesis demonstrates my theoretical framework using interviews of six transgender composers to supplement my analyses of their works. By analyzing the work with the added context of the composer’s statements about their own music, my analyses paint more nuanced and complete pictures of the work that reinvest music analysis with the trans voice behind the composition.


First Advisor

Christopher White

Second Advisor

Marianna Ritchey