The piano and homosexuality

Posted by: GeorgeB

The piano and homosexuality - 02/07/13 06:53 PM

(In before "why does this issue matter" or before it becomes really off topic)


Is it a coincidence some of the best pianists: from Richter, to (apparently?) Lang Lang, to Kissin, Bernstein, Liberace, Artur Pizarro etc.... Are all gay?

Do you think there is any correlation? Does it matter?
Posted by: DameMyra

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/07/13 06:55 PM

No.And,no.
Posted by: CleverName

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/07/13 07:00 PM

Lang Lang's gay? Kissin's gay? Richter's gay? Didn't know that about any of them.
Posted by: Silverwood Pianos

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/07/13 07:00 PM

Originally Posted By: GeorgeB
(In before "why does this issue matter" or before it becomes really off topic)
Is it a coincidence some of the best pianists: from Richter, to (apparently?) Lang Lang, to Kissin, Bernstein, Liberace, Artur Pizarro etc.... Are all gay?
Do you think there is any correlation? Does it matter?


In a civilized society we do not distinguish nor do we discriminate based on religious beliefs, sexual orientation, skin colour ethnicity, age, or gender.

Here is the ruling from the wise men up in Albany appeals;

By judging a person not on their merits but by which group they belong to, this forms the basis for discrimination”
Posted by: GeorgeB

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/07/13 07:05 PM

And what's wrong with trying to find out more about if a certain trait is common amongst people who play the piano even if it is slightly taboo?
Posted by: Kreisler

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/07/13 07:11 PM

No, I just think the the arts are a safer community for being public about it, and so homosexuals who end up in the arts are more likely to have that fact known about them, and homosexuals who have a choice of careers might choose the arts over professions with less understanding communities.
Posted by: Silverwood Pianos

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/07/13 07:14 PM



Maybe they are all left handed. Maybe they all dye their hair.

Maybe they all eat hamburgers. Maybe they all wear Gucci jewellery.

Why do you care?

Find something important to concern yourself with in life because this isn’t it.
Posted by: beet31425

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/07/13 07:20 PM

I do think there is a legitimate question buried in here: is there a correlation between homosexuality and various forms of artistic sensibility, or is this just a media-induced perception? But I don't think it has anything to do with the piano per se, and this isn't a great topic for this forum.

(By the way, my understanding is that Richter's homosexuality is generally acknowledged, while Lang Lang and Kissin are idle speculation by the OP.)


-Jason
Posted by: Silverwood Pianos

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/07/13 07:22 PM


No the real question is this;

One more time. Why does it matter what they are or are not?
Posted by: FSO

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/07/13 07:23 PM

It's actually important to consider; we don't know what quite a lot of the brain does so...if we can draw correlations we can steadily build a more complete picture of what makes certain talents appear...um...it doesn't matter *socially*, but scientifically it would be remiss to ignore...no?
Posted by: JoelW

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/07/13 07:26 PM

LOL

No...
Posted by: Silverwood Pianos

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/07/13 07:30 PM


Originally Posted By: FSO
we don't know what quite a lot of the brain does so...


Well I can tell you what a few of the brains around here are not doing at the moment; being used constructively.

These performers are what they are. Their motivations for being a certain way are none of our business.

You know most of life is just simply about understanding.
Posted by: debrucey

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/07/13 07:55 PM

"In a civilized society we do not distinguish nor do we discriminate based on religious beliefs, sexual orientation, skin colour ethnicity, age, or gender."

But we do. We shouldn't, but we do. And it's not noble to act as if it doesn't happen as if that were the same as being politically correct. It is still the case that there are very few internationally renowned concert pianists who are black, for example. Whilst no decent person would judge a concert pianist on such a thing, its still an interesting conversation to have about the various social reasons as to why that might be the case.

I can understand why straight people who are either trying too hard to be politically correct or find it an uncomfortable subject would argue that such a conversation about gay pianists is uninteresting and not worth having. I, however, do find it interesting, to think about the various reasons for why there might be a higher percentage than normal of pianists who are gay, if indeed this is the case at all. Being at music college, this does seem to be the case, although I think it is more the case with singers. In my year, 9 out of the 12 tenors are gay. The other years are similar, and friends of mine in other colleges in the country have said that the numbers are similar where they are as well.
Estimates for how much of the general population are gay in some degree vary from 2% to 10% depending on which study you consult. Clearly there is some kind of disparity here. Does nobody think it might be even slightly interesting to pontificate on why this might be?
Posted by: Silverwood Pianos

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/07/13 08:06 PM


I have been in the music industry forty years. Lots of people in all walks of life are gay, lesbian, transgendered.

One experience at a particular college does not make a study sample worthy of consideration.

Would the thread be any better if we were discussing the disproportionate amount of Jewish people in finance?

How about all the black garbage collectors?

How about all of the left handed redheads of the world?

Do not let me prevent anyone from the joys of stereotyping. Carry on
Posted by: Michael_99

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/07/13 08:12 PM

Is it a coincidence some of the best pianists: from Richter, to (apparently?) Lang Lang, to Kissin, Bernstein, Liberace, Artur Pizarro etc.... Are all gay?

Well, some of the best pianist are straight and some of the best pianists are gay so that is normal.

You don't have to be gay or straight to play the piano.

To be able to play the piano you have to sit on a piano bench for 20 years practicing the piano.
Posted by: debrucey

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/07/13 08:14 PM

"Lots of people in all walks of life are gay, lesbian, transgendered."

Don't patronise me. You can't talk about inadequate study samples on one hand and on the other hand dismiss the difference between 5% and 75% as being one and the same under the generic label of 'lots of people'. You also confused 'one experience at one college' with 'many experiences at many colleges', possibly because it was relayed to you by a single person, but never mind.

If, to use one of your examples, say 75% of redheaded people were left handed, this WOULD be an extremely interesting thing, as it would suggest some kind of biological correlation, and merely acknowledging this fact is not to suggest that anyone should be judged in any way based on it. More to the point, if redheaded people being lefthanded was an already existing stereotype in peoples minds, this would make it doubly interesting. This has got nothing to do with stereotypING. This is to do with talking ABOUT stereotypes. How they arise, and whether or not there is any truth in them. This is not the same as being taken in by them.
Posted by: Michael_99

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/07/13 08:19 PM

Well, what is complex, is that in some cultures it is a no no for guys to make dresses or sew or being a mechanic is no no for women so culturally fewer people based on gender maybe less inclinied to try different things based on their cultural background.
Posted by: pianoloverus

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/07/13 08:27 PM

Originally Posted By: Silverwood Pianos

I have been in the music industry forty years. Lots of people in all walks of life are gay, lesbian, transgendered.

One experience at a particular college does not make a study sample worthy of consideration.

Would the thread be any better if we were discussing the disproportionate amount of Jewish people in finance?

How about all the black garbage collectors?

How about all of the left handed redheads of the world?

Do not let me prevent anyone from the joys of stereotyping. Carry on
But it's not stereotyping. "Stereotyping" usually has some negative connotation but that's not apparent in this thread.

For example, an incredibly high percentage of the great pianists were Jewish but few of the great composers were Jewish. Those are interesting facts I think. It raises questions about why one field and not the other?
Posted by: Keith D Kerman

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/07/13 08:51 PM

Anyone who does not have children has lots more time to practice. Straight, Gay, whatever. Less children = more practice = play piano better.
Posted by: ando

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/07/13 08:56 PM

Originally Posted By: debrucey
Does nobody think it might be even slightly interesting to pontificate on why this might be?


I don't think we necessarily want to "pontificate" on such a matter! Ponder, sure.
Posted by: debrucey

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/07/13 09:12 PM

Originally Posted By: ando
Originally Posted By: debrucey
Does nobody think it might be even slightly interesting to pontificate on why this might be?


I don't think we necessarily want to "pontificate" on such a matter! Ponder, sure.


LMAO! Whoops :P. In my defence, it's 2am here lol
Posted by: malkin

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/07/13 09:20 PM

Originally Posted By: debrucey
Originally Posted By: ando
Originally Posted By: debrucey
Does nobody think it might be even slightly interesting to pontificate on why this might be?


I don't think we necessarily want to "pontificate" on such a matter! Ponder, sure.


LMAO! Whoops :P. In my defence, it's 2am here lol


Someone might at any moment show up and "talk in a dogmatic and pompous manner" on the subject.
Posted by: argerichfan

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/07/13 09:22 PM

Originally Posted By: ando
Originally Posted By: debrucey
Does nobody think it might be even slightly interesting to pontificate on why this might be?


I don't think we necessarily want to "pontificate" on such a matter! Ponder, sure.

I did think 'pontificate' an interesting choice of word. Yet I certainly 'ponder' why it seems so many organists are gay. I went to school with a bunch of them, and I have known -and know of- several very high profile organists in the UK.

In the US it seems even more prevalent, not mentioning some of the more obvious examples which come to mind. (Some years ago I used to post on an organ forum -primarily US-based- and that was quite interesting.)
Posted by: Vasilievich

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/07/13 09:38 PM

Originally Posted By: GeorgeB


Do you think there is any correlation? Does it matter?


Many, many famous musicians and artists in general have had unusual sexual lives—gay, straight, asexual, bisexual or beastial. Whether or not there is an actual correlation is another question, but I think there are probably just as many people that would fall into those labels in any field. We just know more about the people in fields like art, music and acting because more people become famous in these professions, as opposed to a homosexual piano tuner. Does it matter? No, but it is invariably a part of who they are and thus probably indirectly influences the practice of their art in some way.
Posted by: CraigG

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/07/13 09:41 PM

Here are a few basic scientific tenets to consider when discussing a topic such as this:

1. Correlation does not imply causation. Sure, more artistic people may be homosexual (or maybe not, I don't know), but that does not imply that being homosexual causes artistic tendencies and it does not imply that an artistic talent may lead to homosexuality. More often than not there is a third, unseen variable which is influencing both observed traits.

2. Valid statements cannot be made based on personal observations (known as the Availability Heuristic). Just because one thinks of something or notices something does not imply any level of significance.

3. The plural of anecdote is not evidence. To say "my friends all agree" or "other people see this as well" are not valid arguments.

Personally, I think Kreisler's statement is likely very true. However, without any form of statistical survey or empirical data to compare against the general population, nobody can say for sure whether the incidence of homosexuality is in fact higher in the arts.
Posted by: Michael_99

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/07/13 09:56 PM

I love the post. I know 5 gay men who all have pianos and none of them play. They are out everynight socializing way too busy to sit on a piano bench to practice or play. Again, it is commitment - not kids or a wife!
Posted by: carey

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/07/13 10:14 PM

Originally Posted By: Silverwood Pianos

These performers are what they are. Their motivations for being a certain way are none of our business.


Their "motivations" for being gay? Seriously ????

But I agree - it is none of our business.
Posted by: FSO

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/07/13 10:39 PM

"It is none of our business" ... *cough* then what is? I must admit, I find it very strange how strong the anti-discrimination impulse is within the current climate, if you will. I mean, um, discrimination isn't a bad thing; it's our way of determining one from another. I mean, people may consider it none of their business as to the sexuality of another, but will *discriminate* against paedophiles; not allowing them to work in schools for instance. But that just makes sense, the masses cry...so why not disclose sexuality, gender, race et al.? If your friend was the only black person in the room and you were trying to direct another to engage them in conversation, why not say "oh, go talk to Peter over there, the black chap" rather than "oh, go talk to Peter over there, the one stood not quite North facing"? Discrimination makes sense; it is, I believe, the fear and inability of the public to accept discrimination that allows unduly *negative* discrimination to continue. Oh, um...it's also quite amusing to me how it's considered acceptable to be discriminatory so long as you are "one of them"...I appreciate that people are just trying to be fair to all, but discrimination isn't the enemy. I mean...explain how someone paralysed from the waist below can't run without being discriminatory towards the notion that there exist disabled people and I'll grant you my salutations. Treating people *equally* doesn't mean treating them the *same* and it seems folly to me that our terms of address shouldn't follow the same approach. Sorry, um, I don't mean to antagonise anyone but...if we live in fear of discrimination or discriminating...well, fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate... laugh
Xxx
Edit: Thank you, Carey, for swooping in on the "motivations" point before I did; I'm glad someone else picked up on that laugh
Posted by: Plowboy

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/07/13 10:55 PM

"There are only three kinds of pianists: Jewish pianists, homosexual pianists, and bad pianists."
-- Horowitz
Posted by: Horowitzian

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/07/13 11:08 PM

I fall into the latter category. laugh


If I recall correctly, there is some debate as to what Volodya actually meant when he said that.
Posted by: outo

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/08/13 01:27 AM

To put this into context: Would you expect career military men being homosexual? Probably not, yet studies show quite a few of them are, just not publicly. I would vote for correlation but would not expect to find causality. In some professions it's much easier to be public about your sexual orientation. Being homosexual might affect a person's career choice at some point.

Obviously no proper study exists on whether homosexuality is a benefit for a skill, and doubt it would be even possible to show such a connection.
Posted by: theJourney

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/08/13 03:05 AM

Originally Posted By: Kreisler
No, I just think the the arts are a safer community for being public about it, and so homosexuals who end up in the arts are more likely to have that fact known about them, and homosexuals who have a choice of careers might choose the arts over professions with less understanding communities.


Yes, the hairdresser/flower arranger answer. It sounds correct, reasonable and also completely politically correct.

One might also add in addition to the above observation that because homosexuals, even today, are presented with a personally urgent intellectual and emotional conundrum from a wee age in the realization that they are different to the suggestions made by the majority of default and ubiquitous cultural messaging (and that they are then forced to constantly make conscious decisions about what they do or do not do or say about themselves as opposed to just living spontaneously in freedom) that they become during the critical years of brain development sensitive to all kinds of differences and aware of the profound revelation in life that there are no absolutes and that everything is relative.

Heightened sensitivity and the artistic freedom that such precocious, personality-forming understanding brings tends to be helpful to be successful as a pianist.
Posted by: theJourney

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/08/13 03:19 AM

Originally Posted By: Silverwood Pianos

You know most of life is just simply about understanding.


Understanding does not come from creating taboos nor through exercising duress towards censure nor self-censure.

You are making the case that this topic should be declared VERBOTEN and that those daring to discuss it are guilty of some kind of implicit discrimination. However, I have only seen one single offensive comment on this thread:

Originally Posted By: Silverwood Pianos
These performers are what they are. Their motivations for being a certain way are none of our business.


This is the kind of discriminatory mis-understanding that needs to be nipped in the bud, not an open and honest discussion of the OP's open question.

Originally Posted By: FSO
It's actually important to consider; we don't know what quite a lot of the brain does so...if we can draw correlations we can steadily build a more complete picture of what makes certain talents appear...um...it doesn't matter *socially*, but scientifically it would be remiss to ignore...no?


Yes.
Posted by: theJourney

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/08/13 03:21 AM

Originally Posted By: FSO
"It is none of our business" ... *cough* then what is? I must admit, I find it very strange how strong the anti-discrimination impulse is within the current climate, if you will. I mean, um, discrimination isn't a bad thing; it's our way of determining one from another. I mean, people may consider it none of their business as to the sexuality of another, but will *discriminate* against paedophiles; not allowing them to work in schools for instance. But that just makes sense, the masses cry...so why not disclose sexuality, gender, race et al.? If your friend was the only black person in the room and you were trying to direct another to engage them in conversation, why not say "oh, go talk to Peter over there, the black chap" rather than "oh, go talk to Peter over there, the one stood not quite North facing"? Discrimination makes sense; it is, I believe, the fear and inability of the public to accept discrimination that allows unduly *negative* discrimination to continue. Oh, um...it's also quite amusing to me how it's considered acceptable to be discriminatory so long as you are "one of them"...I appreciate that people are just trying to be fair to all, but discrimination isn't the enemy. I mean...explain how someone paralysed from the waist below can't run without being discriminatory towards the notion that there exist disabled people and I'll grant you my salutations. Treating people *equally* doesn't mean treating them the *same* and it seems folly to me that our terms of address shouldn't follow the same approach. Sorry, um, I don't mean to antagonise anyone but...if we live in fear of discrimination or discriminating...well, fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate... laugh
Xxx
Edit: Thank you, Carey, for swooping in on the "motivations" point before I did; I'm glad someone else picked up on that laugh


+1
Posted by: izaldu

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/08/13 03:33 AM

Originally Posted By: Plowboy
"There are only three kinds of pianists: Jewish pianists, homosexual pianists, and bad pianists."
-- Horowitz


"Its not true that all ballet dancers are homosexual, i have met at least four in my lifetime that were not."

Rudolf Nureyev (apparently)
Posted by: Opus_Maximus

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/08/13 03:35 AM

I think this Stephen Hough blog "Gay pianists, can you tell?" may be of interest..

http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/culture/stephenhough/100006381/gay-pianists-can-you-tell/
Posted by: Derulux

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/08/13 04:11 AM

Originally Posted By: theJourney
Originally Posted By: Kreisler
No, I just think the the arts are a safer community for being public about it, and so homosexuals who end up in the arts are more likely to have that fact known about them, and homosexuals who have a choice of careers might choose the arts over professions with less understanding communities.


Yes, the hairdresser/flower arranger answer. It sounds correct, reasonable and also completely politically correct.

One might also add in addition to the above observation that because homosexuals, even today, are presented with a personally urgent intellectual and emotional conundrum from a wee age in the realization that they are different to the suggestions made by the majority of default and ubiquitous cultural messaging (and that they are then forced to constantly make conscious decisions about what they do or do not do or say about themselves as opposed to just living spontaneously in freedom) that they become during the critical years of brain development sensitive to all kinds of differences and aware of the profound revelation in life that there are no absolutes and that everything is relative.

Heightened sensitivity and the artistic freedom that such precocious, personality-forming understanding brings tends to be helpful to be successful as a pianist.

I think this is incredibly highbrow, uncommonly intelligent, and yet, inherently flawed. But let me be clear on what I think is flawed: your statement presupposes that only the homosexual community is faced with this kind of adversity, and hence, only the homosexual community can reach that super-sensitive place you've described in which such artistic genius, apparently, revels. This, I cannot say I agree with.

Our global society has come a long way towards accepting sexual orientation, but admittingly, still has a long way to go. So, I am not going to argue that your observations are flawed. I think there is a lot of truth in what you say. However, I think the conclusion you draw is falsely based on some unexamined/unknown bias.

Firstly, statistics doesn't agree with you. Using a 2012 Gallup Poll, 3.4% of the US population identifies as LGBT. If we consider an even cross-section of applicants for artistic endeavors, that would mean, for every 97 heterosexual students, there are 3 who are not. So, purely statistically speaking, it is far more likely for a gifted artist to come from the larger population than the smaller.

Of course, we could say that, perhaps, only 5% of heterosexuals go into artistic endeavors. Let's also say 100% of LGBT go into the arts, just so we can create a bias towards LGBT. That means for every 4.85 hetero artists, there are 3.4 LGBT. A much better ratio. This means, for every 59 hetero, there are 41 LGBT (out of 100). While the numbers are much closer, your average Las Vegas casino makes billions on ratios much smaller than this. So, it is still far more likely that a gifted artist will come from the hetero community than the LGBT community.


Secondly, we must examine your claim of emotional sensitivity as driven by adversity. I think there are many types of adversity that make one open to the sort of sensitivity that creates talented artists. Typically, this sensitivity is described as necessarily viewing yourself as "outside" society. This separation allows the artist to "look in" at society and see something they would like to describe/use/exploit in their art. This has been described of every artistic endeavor. The metaphor of Plato's Cave would be accurate to use here. I am sure you know it, so I won't bore you by repeating its applicability here.

To continue, this adversity can be drawn from many areas. You may lose one or both parents, be orphaned from the start, not fit in in school, get picked on, bullied, made fun of, have no luck in the dating world, fail at your dreams.. any number of things can provide that kind of sensitivity that creates an "outside" perspective. I don't think it is even remotely accurate to suggest that the homosexual community has a corner on the market.

As such, we must go back to the statistical analysis and derive the conclusion that it is far more likely a talented artist would come from the hetero community than the LGBT.

Now, why the assumption about LGBT? Well, this is much more speculative, but perhaps because such powerful and well-known people in the community are openly expressive of their orientation, we tend to get the sense that it applies to the artistic community as a whole, even if it does not. I also think that Kreisler's comment applies here, that LGBT individuals tend to be more outspoken and expressive of their beliefs in a community, like the arts, where it is more accepted and where their job doesn't hinder on their sexual orientation.

But none of that supports the argument that LGBT are somehow "inherently" better artists. I think such a concept shortchanges not only heterosexuals who are talented artists, but also every LGBT who worked their tails off to get where they are within the arts. You get to the top of the arts by busting your @$$ until you make it, not by your sexual preference.

Regarding Horowitz's original quote, I think it's flat-out wrong. It's racist and sexist. I'll provide two historical examples: Liszt and Mozart. They weren't Jewish, Russian, or gay, and to this day, they would seem to stand on the pinnacle of pianistic abilities.
Posted by: theJourney

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/08/13 05:07 AM

Originally Posted By: Derulux
I think this is incredibly highbrow, uncommonly intelligent, and yet, inherently flawed. But let me be clear on what I think is flawed: your statement presupposes that only the homosexual community is faced with this kind of adversity, and hence, only the homosexual community can reach that super-sensitive place you've described in which such artistic genius, apparently, revels. This, I cannot say I agree with.


No. That is a mistake in logic. My statement makes no such presupposition.

It is also not about "adversity" per se, but about the realization of children during their identity-forming, personality-molding, brain-developing years, without having asked for it or even wanting it, that they are not only different but, particularly in the case of homosexuality, perhaps even considered to be illicitly contrary to the very fabric of one or more or most cultural assumptions in the environment in which they are growing up.

The fact that many/most homosexuals raised in those countries celebrating the Western Music tradition are faced with this situation does not in any way imply that no others might also be faced with a kind of clash or misfit that forces them to be more sensitive, more aware, more consciously engaged by force rather than unconsciously relaxing in their unquestioned and unexamined perfect fit and thus potentially more artistically inclined and/or attracted to self-expression on the piano.

I have limited my statement to homosexuals, not LBT or even BLT. One could also discuss Korean foster children growing up on Iowa farms, unwanted black orphans from the USA being lovingly raised by their two gay Dutch daddies in Amsterdam, confirmed atheists being raised by Southern Baptists, awkward, effeminate straight boys being raised by rabid sports fans, etc. etc. However, the statistical problems you mention become even thornier.

There is another aspect that has not been discussed, which is this: in many, many places within the popular culture in which many boys -- straight and gay -- grow up in still today (or even more so today) it takes a lot of self-confidence, independence of thought or if you wish, " balls ", to even admit that you like classical music and the piano, let alone to actually ask for and receive and persevere through ten years of expensive lessons. Taking piano lessons in (junior) high school can cost you your friends, your quarterback position, your social status, your sexual attractiveness, your shot at homecoming king, etc. etc. If you already don't have one or more or any of those things, then the cost of indulging yourself with your passion for the piano is much lower. Outsiders have less to lose.
Posted by: theJourney

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/08/13 05:12 AM

Originally Posted By: Derulux
Regarding Horowitz's original quote, I think it's flat-out wrong. It's racist and sexist. I'll provide two historical examples: Liszt and Mozart. They weren't Jewish, Russian, or gay, and to this day, they would seem to stand on the pinnacle of pianistic abilities.


This goes without saying.

Lesson learned: Never take apocryphal quotes of campy, ironical, self-deprecating, confontational attempts at humor as a statement of fact.
Posted by: wr

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/08/13 06:59 AM

Originally Posted By: theJourney
Originally Posted By: Derulux
I think this is incredibly highbrow, uncommonly intelligent, and yet, inherently flawed. But let me be clear on what I think is flawed: your statement presupposes that only the homosexual community is faced with this kind of adversity, and hence, only the homosexual community can reach that super-sensitive place you've described in which such artistic genius, apparently, revels. This, I cannot say I agree with.


No. That is a mistake in logic. My statement makes no such presupposition.

It is also not about "adversity" per se, but about the realization of children during their identity-forming, personality-molding, brain-developing years, without having asked for it or even wanting it, that they are not only different but, particularly in the case of homosexuality, perhaps even considered to be illicitly contrary to the very fabric of one or more or most cultural assumptions in the environment in which they are growing up.

The fact that many/most homosexuals raised in those countries celebrating the Western Music tradition are faced with this situation does not in any way imply that no others might also be faced with a kind of clash or misfit that forces them to be more sensitive, more aware, more consciously engaged by force rather than unconsciously relaxing in their unquestioned and unexamined perfect fit and thus potentially more artistically inclined and/or attracted to self-expression on the piano.

I have limited my statement to homosexuals, not LBT or even BLT. One could also discuss Korean foster children growing up on Iowa farms, unwanted black orphans from the USA being lovingly raised by their two gay Dutch daddies in Amsterdam, confirmed atheists being raised by Southern Baptists, awkward, effeminate straight boys being raised by rabid sports fans, etc. etc. However, the statistical problems you mention become even thornier.

There is another aspect that has not been discussed, which is this: in many, many places within the popular culture in which many boys -- straight and gay -- grow up in still today (or even more so today) it takes a lot of self-confidence, independence of thought or if you wish, " balls ", to even admit that you like classical music and the piano, let alone to actually ask for and receive and persevere through ten years of expensive lessons. Taking piano lessons in (junior) high school can cost you your friends, your quarterback position, your social status, your sexual attractiveness, your shot at homecoming king, etc. etc. If you already don't have one or more or any of those things, then the cost of indulging yourself with your passion for the piano is much lower. Outsiders have less to lose.


It is worth pointing out, I think, that being "gifted" in anything also tends to make children feel different in some degree, regardless of their sexuality. There may be some kind of synergistic effect that happens with kids who are gifted and who also happen not to be heterosexual. It's like they get a double-whammy of identity issues on their plate to figure out, and often with not a lot of outside help. My sense is that being in that situation could force a kid into using their imagination in ways that also turn out to be artistically useful.
Posted by: Ian_G

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/08/13 07:14 AM

That's a good point, wr. Walking down the street singing, "Ich hatte viel Bekümmernis" will engender serious social adversity. If the incredulous hearers-by would learn that the offender is gay, well, I think that amounts in their minds to having encountered a gay alien.
Posted by: pianoloverus

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/08/13 07:22 AM

Originally Posted By: Derulux

Regarding Horowitz's original quote, I think it's flat-out wrong. It's racist and sexist. I'll provide two historical examples: Liszt and Mozart. They weren't Jewish, Russian, or gay, and to this day, they would seem to stand on the pinnacle of pianistic abilities.
Horowitz's statement was meant as a joke. It's just his way of saying a very significant percentage of good pianists are Jewish or gay. I think it's a given he didn't mean it in an absolute sense. His pianistic idol was Rachmaninov, and I'm sure he thought Liszt was very great.
Posted by: theJourney

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/08/13 09:13 AM

Originally Posted By: Derulux
But none of that supports the argument that LGBT are somehow "inherently" better artists.

I also would not make this kind of generalization.
Originally Posted By: Derulux

I think such a concept shortchanges not only heterosexuals who are talented artists, but also every LGBT who worked their tails off to get where they are within the arts. You get to the top of the arts by busting your @$$ until you make it, not by your sexual preference.




However, you make it sound as if " getting to the top " of the arts is like some kind of Mad Men career race. Especially given the materialistic connotations of a busted posterior written with two dollar signs. Arbeit ist zuss & success means material success, etc.

I would argue that there is often (usually? always?) something else or something more going on in becoming a top artist (whether recognized as such or not), such as: parents that are willing to sacrifice their own life for the potential artistic life of their child (Lang Lang anyone?), timing (being in the right place at the right time doing the right things), network/contacts, dumb luck, the right conservatory/teachers/mentors, the right opportunities, choosing a genre/period/composer that is in demand rather than your first love, etc.

Next of course are ephemeral things such as "aptitude", "talent", "character", "poise/charisma", "ability to connect", etc.

I had a Russian piano teacher who said there was a saying in Russian to the effect of "Troubles make your Soul and your playing is always a mirror into your Soul." She believed that truly great artists were made in the character crucible of "nobody knows the trouble I've seen...".

When you hear someone like Mikhail Pletnev play something as dead simple as Thaichowsky's Autumn, you can palpably hear and feel that his inner life has not just been a bed of roses.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xcmIKqyQYWA
Posted by: CleverName

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/08/13 11:55 AM

Originally Posted By: Silverwood Pianos

I have been in the music industry forty years. Lots of people in all walks of life are gay, lesbian, transgendered.

One experience at a particular college does not make a study sample worthy of consideration.

Would the thread be any better if we were discussing the disproportionate amount of Jewish people in finance?

How about all the black garbage collectors?

How about all of the left handed redheads of the world?

Do not let me prevent anyone from the joys of stereotyping. Carry on

Yes, talking about all of those things is important, and that's why we do it. We talk about why engineering and science schools are so heavily dominated by men, very few women appear. We acknowledge the achievement gap between predominantly black and predominantly white schools. Good lord, we have entire government funded organizations to study and discuss these matters. Your apparent taking offense at someone pointing out (simply pointing out!) that there seems to be a higher percentage of homosexuals in the arts (or, as Kreisler suggested, a higher percentage of openly homosexual individuals in the arts) than other industries is, frankly, just silly.
Posted by: wower

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/08/13 01:33 PM

Originally Posted By: GeorgeB
Do you think there is any correlation? Does it matter?


Normally I shy away from replying to such controversial topics but here I feel my position is so rare only because it is not said enough: I do not believe there is any earthly connection between the two. There is no link. No causality. I have absolutely no idea how one's orientation would ever affect one's skill at the keyboard. It's a complete non-issue for me. The subject bordering on a waste of time. And as such I will now return to enjoying music and practicing piano.
Posted by: carey

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/08/13 01:55 PM

Originally Posted By: CleverName

Your apparent taking offense at someone pointing out (simply pointing out!) that there seems to be a higher percentage of homosexuals in the arts (or, as Kreisler suggested, a higher percentage of openly homosexual individuals in the arts) than other industries is, frankly, just silly.


Obviously, for some folks, perception is reality. smile

ACTUALLY the original post simply referred to "some of the best pianists" - (i.e., Is it a coincidence some of the best pianists: from Richter, to (apparently?) Lang Lang, to Kissin, Bernstein, Liberace, Artur Pizarro etc.... Are all gay? Do you think there is any correlation? Does it matter?)

Somehow this thread evolved from discussing "Some of the best pianists" to "individuals in the arts in general."

As for the OP's original question:

"Do you think there is any correlation" (between playing the piano well and being gay???) NO

"Does it matter/" NO (why should it ?)

Posted by: CHAS

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/08/13 02:27 PM

Horowitz, who denied being homosexual,[24] once joked, "There are three kinds of pianists: Jewish pianists, homosexual pianists, and bad pianists."

Score = two out of three.

When you are always the last one picked to be on a team, staying home with the piano has more appeal.
Posted by: RonaldSteinway

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/08/13 02:49 PM

This is my thought why many good pianists are gay.

In order to play piano well, there are many qualities needed:

1. Sensitivity.
2. Physical agility and endurance (fingers movement, endurance to practice for a long time).
3. Strong thinking ability (like to figure out complex stuff).
4. Persistence and focus in reaching the goal
5. Meticulous and detail oriented .

Gay men have more chance to possess those required qualities, that is why many of them are more equipped to be good pianists. Females or Hetero men usually lack of one or more of the above components.
Posted by: carey

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/08/13 02:59 PM

Originally Posted By: RonaldSteinway

Gay men have more chance to possess those required qualities, that is why many of them are more equipped to be good pianists.


wow And why, pray tell, is that exactly????

On second thought........never mind.
Posted by: FSO

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/08/13 03:28 PM

No no, Carey, let RonaldSteinway explain, I assume, himself; which of those qualities do heterosexuals miss out on? And females...? Um...I'm not judging your assertions but...it strikes me that you're insinuating that gay men have the highest chance of being perfect human beings...you're making some pretty bold claims here laugh
Posted by: carey

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/08/13 03:47 PM

Originally Posted By: FSO
No no, Carey, let RonaldSteinway explain, I assume, himself; which of those qualities do heterosexuals miss out on? And females...? Um...I'm not judging your assertions but...it strikes me that you're insinuating that gay men have the highest chance of being perfect human beings...you're making some pretty bold claims here laugh


ha I didn't even want to acknowledge the "female" comment. Would any of our female PW members like to chime in here???? grin
Posted by: Old Man

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/08/13 04:17 PM

Originally Posted By: carey
Originally Posted By: FSO
No no, Carey, let RonaldSteinway explain, I assume, himself; which of those qualities do heterosexuals miss out on? And females...? Um...I'm not judging your assertions but...it strikes me that you're insinuating that gay men have the highest chance of being perfect human beings...you're making some pretty bold claims here laugh


ha I didn't even want to acknowledge the "female" comment. Would any of our female PW members like to chime in here???? grin


I think one of them just did. She even addressed you by name. grin
Posted by: Old Man

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/08/13 04:27 PM

Originally Posted By: CHAS
Horowitz, who denied being homosexual,[24] once joked, "There are three kinds of pianists: Jewish pianists, homosexual pianists, and bad pianists."

Score = two out of three.

When you are always the last one picked to be on a team, staying home with the piano has more appeal.

Yes, Rubinstein said that it was common knowledge among pianists that Horowitz was homosexual, but no one gave it a second thought.

Originally Posted By: debrucey
This has got nothing to do with stereotypING. This is to do with talking ABOUT stereotypes. How they arise, and whether or not there is any truth in them. This is not the same as being taken in by them.

Absolutely. Stereotypes are exploded and neutralized by discussing them, not by closing our eyes to them. And it's important to remember that stereotypes always contain a kernel of truth, no matter how distorted that truth may become over time.

A good example, (though unrelated to the topic at hand), is the old stereotype that blacks just love chicken and watermelon, as though this were some sort of genetic trait. Until fairly recently, the economic history of black Americans has required them to do a lot with very little, so finding inexpensive sources of protein (chicken), vegetables (greens of various types), and fruit (watermelon) would have been of paramount importance to them, as it would be to any poor family. These foods pack a lot of nutritional wallop, for relatively little money. This is called rational economic behavior, stretching a dollar, etc., and is not due to some innate craving for particular foods. Ironically, poor whites ate pretty much these same foods, yet managed to escape the stereotype. And that's because the essential truth within it was twisted to suit the malicious purposes of bigoted whites, who used it as one more opportunity to ridicule the life style of their fellow Americans who happened to be black.

IMO discussing stereotypes is a good thing. It allows us to break them down and separate the "truth part" from the "lie part". In the process, we can, perhaps, neutralize them entirely. But silence, I'm afraid, is simply acquiescence and only perpetuates the myth, or the "lie part".
Posted by: offnote

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/08/13 05:18 PM

***
Posted by: carey

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/08/13 07:21 PM

***
Posted by: carey

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/08/13 07:23 PM

Originally Posted By: Old Man
Originally Posted By: carey
Originally Posted By: FSO
No no, Carey, let RonaldSteinway explain, I assume, himself; which of those qualities do heterosexuals miss out on? And females...? Um...I'm not judging your assertions but...it strikes me that you're insinuating that gay men have the highest chance of being perfect human beings...you're making some pretty bold claims here laugh

ha I didn't even want to acknowledge the "female" comment. Would any of our female PW members like to chime in here???? grin

I think one of them just did. She even addressed you by name. grin

You got me on that one !! smile
Posted by: debrucey

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/08/13 07:54 PM

***
Posted by: JoelW

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/08/13 08:17 PM

This thread is idiotic.
Posted by: GeorgeB

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/08/13 08:20 PM

Originally Posted By: JoelW
This thread is idiotic.

Those words coming from you really made me laugh.
Posted by: CleverName

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/08/13 08:22 PM

Originally Posted By: Old Man
Originally Posted By: CHAS
Horowitz, who denied being homosexual,[24] once joked, "There are three kinds of pianists: Jewish pianists, homosexual pianists, and bad pianists."

Score = two out of three.

When you are always the last one picked to be on a team, staying home with the piano has more appeal.

Yes, Rubinstein said that it was common knowledge among pianists that Horowitz was homosexual, but no one gave it a second thought.

Originally Posted By: debrucey
This has got nothing to do with stereotypING. This is to do with talking ABOUT stereotypes. How they arise, and whether or not there is any truth in them. This is not the same as being taken in by them.

Absolutely. Stereotypes are exploded and neutralized by discussing them, not by closing our eyes to them. And it's important to remember that stereotypes always contain a kernel of truth, no matter how distorted that truth may become over time.

A good example, (though unrelated to the topic at hand), is the old stereotype that blacks just love chicken and watermelon, as though this were some sort of genetic trait. Until fairly recently, the economic history of black Americans has required them to do a lot with very little, so finding inexpensive sources of protein (chicken), vegetables (greens of various types), and fruit (watermelon) would have been of paramount importance to them, as it would be to any poor family. These foods pack a lot of nutritional wallop, for relatively little money. This is called rational economic behavior, stretching a dollar, etc., and is not due to some innate craving for particular foods. Ironically, poor whites ate pretty much these same foods, yet managed to escape the stereotype. And that's because the essential truth within it was twisted to suit the malicious purposes of bigoted whites, who used it as one more opportunity to ridicule the life style of their fellow Americans who happened to be black.

IMO discussing stereotypes is a good thing. It allows us to break them down and separate the "truth part" from the "lie part". In the process, we can, perhaps, neutralize them entirely. But silence, I'm afraid, is simply acquiescence and only perpetuates the myth, or the "lie part".

Thank you. You stated, far more eloquently, what I was trying to say.
Posted by: Kreisler

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/08/13 08:28 PM

Please don't quote inappropriate posts - it only encourages the trolls and takes twice as long to delete.
Posted by: ju5t1n-h

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/08/13 08:42 PM

This thread needs to be closed... moderators?
Posted by: Old Man

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/08/13 08:53 PM

Originally Posted By: carey
Originally Posted By: Old Man
Originally Posted By: carey
Originally Posted By: FSO
No no, Carey, let RonaldSteinway explain, I assume, himself; which of those qualities do heterosexuals miss out on? And females...? Um...I'm not judging your assertions but...it strikes me that you're insinuating that gay men have the highest chance of being perfect human beings...you're making some pretty bold claims here laugh

ha I didn't even want to acknowledge the "female" comment. Would any of our female PW members like to chime in here???? grin

I think one of them just did. She even addressed you by name. grin

You got me on that one !! smile

Actually, I had an unfair advantage. I had used the wrong pronoun on another thread, and then apologized. Her response was "Pfft, it happens", which endeared her to me forever. laugh
Posted by: Kreisler

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/08/13 08:55 PM

There's only been one moderator report so far, and I don't see a compelling reason to close it just yet. It's a dangerous topic, and my guess is the thread will go sour soon enough, but there are a few interesting ideas here and there, so I'll wait it out a bit longer.
Posted by: Old Man

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/08/13 08:59 PM

Originally Posted By: ju5t1n-h
This thread needs to be closed... moderators?
Why?

It will close of its own accord, like any other thread. So far, I think it's been interesting and 99% civil.
Posted by: argerichfan

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/08/13 09:15 PM

Originally Posted By: Kreisler
There's only been one moderator report so far...

Amazing, those wimps who whine to a moderator at something perceived as offensive. Why not just stay off the thread? And during my commute home from work I seem to have missed some excitement!

And there have been some interesting ideas here...
Posted by: FSO

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/08/13 09:26 PM

Words of your own have had similar enough effect on me, Old Man <3 Um...I rather like this thread; a lot of liberally minded enough people posting comments innocuously enough whilst worrying that their own wording or the wording of others might incite some form of homophobic revolt. I mean, um, this thread's hardly about to get out of hand; even the Horowitz quote became deconstructed so as to ensure all that no offence is being taken or received, transmitted or otherwise left lying around... laugh *and*, whilst the conservatively liberal may disagree, the thread began with a valid topic to which all the subsequent posts have pertained some degree of relevance; to close it at this juncture would be, in a way, to say that this is something that *shouldn't* be talked about...anyone who can't see the adverse long term effects of such needs binoculars...soo...um, thank you, Kreisler, for not blowing up the ship before it has a chance to sprig leaks and be abandoned.
Xxx
Posted by: pianoloverus

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/08/13 09:36 PM

Originally Posted By: argerichfan
Originally Posted By: Kreisler
There's only been one moderator report so far...

Amazing, those wimps who whine to a moderator at something perceived as offensive.
The moderator agreed that the post was offensive. He deleted it and called it inappropriate.
Posted by: argerichfan

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/08/13 09:37 PM

Originally Posted By: FSO
... whilst the conservatively liberal may disagree...

Not quite sure what that means... but considering your location, I should imagine you as quite socially liberal. wink
Posted by: argerichfan

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/08/13 09:40 PM

Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
The moderator agreed that the post was offensive. He deleted it and called it inappropriate.

Well of course I never saw it... but still curious.
Posted by: fledgehog

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/08/13 09:42 PM

I find it fascinating how easily some people take offense -- just because somebody said the word "gay" doesn't automatically make them homophobic or anti-gay. So far as I can tell, nothing in the OP is derogatory, insulting, or degrading. I think rather than getting all up in arms about "it shouldn't matter", we should all realize that no, it doesn't matter...but that doesn't mean it's not still an interesting correlation to study.

My own theory is that while male pianists are not more likely to be gay, gay men are more likely to be pianists. A lot of it has to do with the emotional sensitivity that many "alpha" type straight guys repress, or simply don't possess in the first place, and the fact that being a good performer requires a certain amount of outward flamboyancy. There are flamboyant straight men, and there are introverted gay men, I'm not trying to make any blanket statements here, but the point is that it's a fair point. It doesn't really matter, but it's still an interesting topic for idle discussion -- so long as people can realize the difference between discussing sexuality and being homophobic.
Posted by: FSO

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/08/13 09:52 PM

Originally Posted By: fledgehog
I think rather than getting all up in arms about "it shouldn't matter", we should all realize that no, it doesn't matter...but that doesn't mean it's not still an interesting correlation to study.

Perfectly defining for me what I mean by "conservatively liberal"; Um...it's...well, homing in on notions, questions or even words that merely border non-"politically correct" in an attempt to enforce a free and loving environment rather than allowing one to grow naturally...
Edit: and yes...um...you could arguably call me socially liberal but don't let on; it's an awfully weak position to start off at laugh
Posted by: carey

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/08/13 10:00 PM

Originally Posted By: argerichfan
Originally Posted By: Kreisler
There's only been one moderator report so far...

Amazing, those wimps who whine to a moderator at something perceived as offensive. Why not just stay off the thread? And during my commute home from work I seem to have missed some excitement!

Not really. smile
Posted by: Ridicolosamente

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/08/13 10:41 PM

Few thoughts:

1 -
Originally Posted By: fledgehog
My own theory is that while male pianists are not more likely to be gay, gay men are more likely to be pianists.
Interesting - kinda like "gymnastics doesn't make people short, short people make good gymnasts." But I don't think that necessarily applies here. Do fat people make better opera singers? I don't know - the yummy Jonas Kaufmann does pretty well for himself.

2 -
This topic comes up from time to time, and I always find it humorous how some enter conniption territory over such an innocent curiosity. "IT DOESN'T MATTER!!!1111" So Argerich likes (or liked...) her coffee and cigarettes, some pianists like french vanilla ice cream, and you know what? I would be interested to know if it turns out many "great" pianists like peanut butter on their bagels as much as I do? Why does it matter? I'm curious - stop getting so angry about it.

3 -
I also find it interesting that so many have chimed in - though no one has identified as gay. I am gay - and a very out-of-practice pianist smile I'm curious is all - NO IT DOESN'T MATTER!!!!111111

4-
As a gay man, I think there's credence to the suggested - it's simply easier to "be" gay in the arts. I'm out - but trust me that working in construction, it's not as comfortable to talk freely of my partner and love life. Things have improved, but it's still awkward for some. We'll get there...

-Daniel
Posted by: GeorgeB

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/08/13 10:50 PM

You can't compare being fat to being gay (no offence). You can lose weight more easily than to change your own instincts.
Posted by: argerichfan

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/08/13 11:03 PM

FSO, you quoted the wrong post. laugh
Posted by: FSO

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/08/13 11:13 PM

I don't plagiarise the future, it's not my style. GeorgeB...well, firstly you *can't* change instincts consciously, that's what makes them instincts, and secondly...um...don't you think fat people have an instinct for cake? laugh
Posted by: theJourney

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/09/13 02:15 AM

Originally Posted By: RonaldSteinway
This is my thought why many good pianists are gay.

In order to play piano well, there are many qualities needed:

1. Sensitivity.
2. Physical agility and endurance (fingers movement, endurance to practice for a long time).
3. Strong thinking ability (like to figure out complex stuff).
4. Persistence and focus in reaching the goal
5. Meticulous and detail oriented .

Gay men have more chance to possess those required qualities, that is why many of them are more equipped to be good pianists. Females or Hetero men usually lack of one or more of the above components.


I'm confused. If I look at your list, then I would say that women would have an advantage over men for the majority of the items on your list based on some of the inherent observed biological and evolutionary psychological differences between the sexes (which are considered just as taboo or even more so to discuss in some circles). Yet, we all know that over the past couple hundred of years there have been many more male master pianists with long and spectacular careers than female ones... Something else is clearly going on here. And I think we all know exactly what, too.

We are all products of our social environment.

Gay men can hide the fact that they are homosexual (or at least depend on those who enforce an oppressive and creepy "Don't Ask, Don't Tell!" mask of silence)

However, outside of the odd Isaac Bashevis Singer short story, women can't hide the fact that they are women.
Posted by: Fugue14

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/09/13 02:42 AM

Knowing someone's sexual orientation is about as relevant as knowing how thoroughly they wipe after a bowel movement.
Posted by: outo

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/09/13 03:01 AM

Originally Posted By: Fugue14
Knowing someone's sexual orientation is about as relevant as knowing how thoroughly they wipe after a bowel movement.


Both are important when looking for a mate I guess smile

For me this subject is interesting because I am a sociologist, not on personal level. But if I look at my personal experience: I have lots of friends and acquintances who are openly gay and a few who are still in the closet. They come from all areas of professional life. Only a couple are involved with arts. I also know some very good musicians and they are not gay. So I wonder how piano would be in any way special in this regard...

OH, and I now understand why I will never be a good piano player...it's my gender! grin
Posted by: izaldu

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/09/13 04:08 AM

Bottomline is , no one can spot a woman or a man playing a certain piece. I don't believe for a second anyone would undergo a 100 sample test and get consistent results guessing whether its a woman or a mn playing. Let alone a homosexual, gay or lesbian. Same chance of guessing that you would have if you had to guess whether the person playing is bald , blonde or has a big nose. I think this discussion is a bit like some of 20th century "classical" music. It s legit as it explores many paths just for the sake of finding out where they ll take us, and whether tehy will take us anywhere. . But after some discussion, you realize, when you arrive at the end of those paths, there s nothing to see there.
Posted by: theJourney

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/09/13 04:22 AM

Originally Posted By: izaldu
Bottomline is , no one can spot a woman or a man playing a certain piece. I don't believe for a second anyone would undergo a 100 sample test and get consistent results guessing whether its a woman or a mn playing.


This misses the point, I believe.

The question is not: "Can you hear the difference between all men and all women playing the piano while listening blindly?"

The question is: "Why have there been so few women master pianists (or women composers for that matter) with life long careers?"

This question is even more urgent when one realizes that in the course of the history of the piano many more women than men have been introduced to and trained on the instrument while a substantial portion of the classical sonata literature was even written with these women in mind.

The answer of course is that, in general, social norms required successful women pianists and composers to stop (or at least hide) their professional-level activities at such time as their father or husband, themselves blindly obeying social conventions, instructed them to do so.
Posted by: zapper

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/09/13 04:41 AM

Originally Posted By: argerichfan
Originally Posted By: Kreisler
There's only been one moderator report so far...

Amazing, those wimps who whine to a moderator at something perceived as offensive. Why not just stay off the thread? And during my commute home from work I seem to have missed some excitement!

And there have been some interesting ideas here...


Exactly right, Offnote's post was not offensive at all. It was very funny comment
Actually. Many here are very prudish or/and from the past as I see it. If you cannot stand
Open comments from everybody do not allow off topic threads at all and close this thread.
Posted by: wr

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/09/13 06:03 AM

Originally Posted By: zapper
Originally Posted By: argerichfan
Originally Posted By: Kreisler
There's only been one moderator report so far...

Amazing, those wimps who whine to a moderator at something perceived as offensive. Why not just stay off the thread? And during my commute home from work I seem to have missed some excitement!

And there have been some interesting ideas here...


Exactly right, Offnote's post was not offensive at all. It was very funny comment
Actually. Many here are very prudish or/and from the past as I see it. If you cannot stand
Open comments from everybody do not allow off topic threads at all and close this thread.


I don't remember the whole thing, but it struck me as inappropriate for this forum. Besides the crudeness of the double entendre (which IMO wasn't really all that funny or clever), the tone could have been read as being a bit malicious - it wasn't all that clear that the poster approved of the subject matter.

At any rate, this isn't the place for dirty jokes. It just isn't (and that has nothing to do with personal prudishness, as anybody who knows me in real life would tell you).
Posted by: debrucey

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/09/13 06:09 AM

Originally Posted By: Fugue14
Knowing someone's sexual orientation is about as relevant as knowing how thoroughly they wipe after a bowel movement.


That's extremely important to know. Especially if you're gay.
Posted by: CHAS

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/09/13 06:16 AM

Originally Posted By: Ridicolosamente
Few thoughts:

3 -
I also find it interesting that so many have chimed in - though no one has identified as gay. I am gay - and a very out-of-practice pianist smile I'm curious is all - NO IT DOESN'T MATTER!!!!11111

-Daniel


I quoted Horowitz and stated that I was two out of three. Did you think I am Jewish? smile
Posted by: debrucey

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/09/13 06:17 AM

I thought I implied pretty strongly that I'm of that persuasion lol
Posted by: JoelW

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/09/13 06:28 AM

Originally Posted By: fledgehog


My own theory is that while male pianists are not more likely to be gay, gay men are more likely to be pianists. A lot of it has to do with the emotional sensitivity that many "alpha" type straight guys repress, or simply don't possess in the first place, and the fact that being a good performer requires a certain amount of outward flamboyancy. There are flamboyant straight men, and there are introverted gay men, I'm not trying to make any blanket statements here, but the point is that it's a fair point. It doesn't really matter, but it's still an interesting topic for idle discussion -- so long as people can realize the difference between discussing sexuality and being homophobic.


Sorry but this is just plain wrong. A man's musical sensitivity has nothing to do with being gay. It has to do with being a good musician. Period.
Posted by: zapper

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/09/13 06:32 AM

Originally Posted By: wr
Originally Posted By: zapper
Originally Posted By: argerichfan
Originally Posted By: Kreisler
There's only been one moderator report so far...

Amazing, those wimps who whine to a moderator at something perceived as offensive. Why not just stay off the thread? And during my commute home from work I seem to have missed some excitement!

And there have been some interesting ideas here...


Exactly right, Offnote's post was not offensive at all. It was very funny comment
Actually. Many here are very prudish or/and from the past as I see it. If you cannot stand
Open comments from everybody do not allow off topic threads at all and close this thread.


At any rate, this isn't the place for dirty jokes. It just isn't (and that has nothing to do with personal prudishness, as anybody who knows me in real life would tell you).



Gush, explain to us how it was a dirty joke...and yes you are prudish.
Posted by: wr

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/09/13 06:36 AM

Originally Posted By: zapper
Originally Posted By: wr
Originally Posted By: zapper
Originally Posted By: argerichfan
Originally Posted By: Kreisler
There's only been one moderator report so far...

Amazing, those wimps who whine to a moderator at something perceived as offensive. Why not just stay off the thread? And during my commute home from work I seem to have missed some excitement!

And there have been some interesting ideas here...


Exactly right, Offnote's post was not offensive at all. It was very funny comment
Actually. Many here are very prudish or/and from the past as I see it. If you cannot stand
Open comments from everybody do not allow off topic threads at all and close this thread.


At any rate, this isn't the place for dirty jokes. It just isn't (and that has nothing to do with personal prudishness, as anybody who knows me in real life would tell you).



Gush, explain to us how it was a dirty joke...and yes you are prudish.


Nope, ain't gonna bite.
Posted by: theJourney

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/09/13 06:44 AM

Originally Posted By: JoelW
Sorry but this is just plain wrong. A man's musical sensitivity has nothing to do with being gay. It has to do with being a good musician. Period.


OK. And can you explain to us then what ALL the potential elements are that might make a man a good musician which, according to you determine a man's musical sensitivity?

Or, are some or all of those off limits for open discussion too because they don't match one's personal beliefs?

Reminds me somehow of the argument from the creationists that there has to be a god because of their belief in universal agency that everything has to proceed from or be created by something else....and then refuse to discuss who created god...and in turn who created her...
Posted by: JoelW

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/09/13 06:51 AM


I'm really tempted to have a philosophical discussion right now, but I won't.


Quote:
OK. And can you explain to us then what ALL the potential elements are that might make a man a good musician which, according to you determine a man's musical sensitivity?


What makes a good basketball player? Or a good runner? What about artists? What makes them good painters/sculptors etc.? Talent and dedication. Not race, gender or orientation.

Posted by: debrucey

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/09/13 06:54 AM

The 100m final at the olympics shows otherwise. Sure, it takes hard work and dedication to become a world class sprinter, but if you happen to have been born male and of African descent then you're at an advantage.
Posted by: JoelW

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/09/13 07:02 AM

Originally Posted By: debrucey
The 100m final at the olympics shows otherwise. Sure, it takes hard work and dedication to become a world class sprinter, but if you happen to have been born male and of African descent then you're at an advantage.


Okay, I admit that's true. Black people are generally the best physically built. The ratio of well-built blacks to equally well-built whites (or any other race) is pretty darn high I'd say.

But does anyone honestly believe that the same ratio applies for gays vs. straights when it comes to raw musical talent? Come on...
Posted by: debrucey

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/09/13 07:04 AM

I never said I believed that. I just object to your lack of willingness to at least question that hypothesis. There might be something in it, there might not. But you claim to already know the answer.
Posted by: JoelW

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/09/13 07:09 AM

Originally Posted By: debrucey
I never said I believed that. I just object to your lack of willingness to at least question that hypothesis. There might be something in it, there might not. But you claim to already know the answer.


I don't know anything for a 100% fact but the notion that gays naturally possess musical talent over straights just sounds so stupid to me.

And the reason why I object to that hypothesis is because there is no evidence to suggest that it's true.
Posted by: GeorgeB

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/09/13 07:16 AM

there's a different between sensitivity and musical raw talent.
nowhere in the original question was said "is being gay a sign you are more musically talented?"
Posted by: JoelW

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/09/13 07:22 AM

Originally Posted By: GeorgeB
there's a different between sensitivity and musical raw talent.
nowhere in the original question was said "is being gay a sign you are more musically talented?"


The capacity for sensitivity IS encompassed in one's talent.

Musical talent doesn't just mean being able to play a piece the fastest. It's the whole shebang, sensitivity included.
Posted by: FSO

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/09/13 07:26 AM

Males run faster, on average and, recordedly (come on, that *so* should be a word laugh ), at the extreme...that's a plain fact based on not only statistical data but biological (or mechanical, depending on your point of view) understanding. Um...African...less so bio-mechanically laugh but still so statistically. Piano-wise it would make sense to at least start out wondering whether there would be some difference; both are physical activities after all. A study (I forget which one, sue me laugh ) showed that males with typically low testosterone and females with typically high testosterone seem to be the most talented composers...also, um, male performers exhibited higher levels of testosterone than the average; for whatever reason (as we can't yet determine which causes {it's very likely causal but I'm open to the suggestion that hundreds sampled just happened to dodge the normal curve} the other), um, this would suggest female performers (who on the whole, for obvious reasons {don't make me go on about the whole progesterone malarky) would not match testosterone levels of a male with a similar background and as such would perform *differently* (not necessarily worse, as testosterone could always be a negative impact towards the quality performance, mind)...um...also, painters of both sexes show little to no (statistically insignificant differences) difference to the statistical norm...so...long story short, I think it *will* make a difference, but I couldn't say this with any degree of certainty. Sometimes I *could* tell though, when I'd hear piano through the walls way back in school...um...I'll put that down to luck though. We are made of these hormones; they shape how we think, how we feel, even how we perceive the world (for instance, oestragen will increase olfactory processing by a noticeable degree {this is the reason boys are so smelly :P [a flippant remark, please don't jump down my throat...fingers...meh laugh ]})...to outright say that how we think, feel and perceive the world will make no difference to how a pianist performs is to state, outright, that there is *no* personality in performance...I'm not on board laugh
Here endeth the lecture laugh
Xxx
Edit: Or not laugh Um...bringing it back to gays vs miserables (hohoho...no? *sigh* laugh ); as we don't know what makes homosexuality happen we *can't* know for sure whether there'd be a difference in the comparison...even if the reason is ephemeral (I totally believe in souls, despite having learnt about Science with a capital S...igh laugh )...that ephemerality would be where our personality comes from too and, then, we're back to all that litany I just spewed laugh
Posted by: wr

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/09/13 07:38 AM

This thread gave me the idea of looking at the list of pianists in the "Great Pianists of the 20th Century", the collection of 100 2-CD volumes on Philips. You know, just to get an idea of the statistics.

The first thing that crossed my mind, upon looking at the list, is that I just don't know that much about the sexuality of many of them. The second thought was that, knowing that many gay or lesbian pianists may have hidden the reality of their sexuality from the world (just like people in other fields), the surface indicators of marriage and children don't really count.

So, in the end, it didn't really tell me much, except that reliable data going back very far is probably not easily available.
Posted by: GeorgeB

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/09/13 07:38 AM

Originally Posted By: JoelW
Originally Posted By: GeorgeB
there's a different between sensitivity and musical raw talent.
nowhere in the original question was said "is being gay a sign you are more musically talented?"


The capacity for sensitivity IS encompassed in one's talent.

Musical talent doesn't just mean being able to play a piece the fastest. It's the whole shebang, sensitivity included.

talent encompasses several things beyond sensitivity, hence both words are not interchangeable.

Sherlock strikes again. The example he gave showed a trait which leads to success and success in that case was running fast. Once again, your point is irrelevant as nobody mentioned speed and the physical ability of one to play the piano was directly affected by homosexuality.
Posted by: GeorgeB

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/09/13 07:40 AM

FSO. Please don't take offense with what I am going to say. Can you please structure your post with a few spaces? it is quite hard to read one big long paragraph.
Posted by: JoelW

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/09/13 07:53 AM

Originally Posted By: GeorgeB

talent encompasses several things beyond sensitivity


Exactly. That's what I meant by "the whole shebang".

Quote:

Sherlock strikes again. The example he gave showed a trait which leads to success and success in that case was running fast.


Yeah, that example (which was one of three) wasn't a good one and I admitted it.

Quote:

Once again, your point is irrelevant as nobody mentioned speed and the physical ability of one to play the piano was directly affected by homosexuality.


Ironically, the above is actually irrelevant as it pertains to my admittedly faulty example.

Also, if you were to read my posts thoroughly before trying to knock me down, you'd know that I said this just a few posts up:

Musical talent doesn't just mean being able to play a piece the fastest. It's the whole shebang, sensitivity included.

Thus proving your above statement even more meaningless.
Posted by: theJourney

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/09/13 07:58 AM

Originally Posted By: JoelW

I'm really tempted to have a philosophical discussion right now, but I won't.


That pretty much summarizes the gist of your contribution to the thread so far.

Collecting one's marbles and threatening to go home is not the same thing as participating constructively on the thread.

Go on, give into temptation!
Posted by: JoelW

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/09/13 07:58 AM

Originally Posted By: GeorgeB
FSO. Please don't take offense with what I am going to say. Can you please structure your post with a few spaces? it is quite hard to read one big long paragraph.


Oh FSO... how did you do on English essays? smile
Posted by: JoelW

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/09/13 07:58 AM

Originally Posted By: theJourney
Originally Posted By: JoelW

I'm really tempted to have a philosophical discussion right now, but I won't.


That pretty much summarizes the gist of your contribution to the thread so far.

Collecting one's marbles and threatening to go home is not the same thing as participating constructively on the thread.

Go on, give into temptation!


Well actually, I've been participating.
Posted by: Minnesota Marty

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/09/13 08:04 AM

Hmmm - I've never considered whether a piano might be gay or straight. I'll have to ask the pianos I play. It's hard for a concert grand to be in the closet.
Posted by: theJourney

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/09/13 08:09 AM

Originally Posted By: JoelW
Originally Posted By: theJourney
Originally Posted By: JoelW

I'm really tempted to have a philosophical discussion right now, but I won't.


That pretty much summarizes the gist of your contribution to the thread so far.

Collecting one's marbles and threatening to go home is not the same thing as participating constructively on the thread.

Go on, give into temptation!


Well actually, I've been participating.


Saying in essence that the only thing that makes a good musician is being musical or that that which makes one musically sensitive is being a good musician or that those who are musically talented are musically talented because of their musical talent is to speak in tautologies.

To state categorically that the OP's question is irrelevant because you KNOW that sexual orientation has and cannot have any impact on the coincidence that there are any number of master pianists who have been revealed to have been gay is either to make a claim to secret knowledge or to state an unfounded opinion as fact and in its impact is but a variation on a theme stated by Silverwood et al.
Originally Posted By: JoelW
Originally Posted By: GeorgeB

talent encompasses several things beyond sensitivity


Exactly. That's what I meant by "the whole shebang".



I can't imagine a better example of " the whole shebang " than one's entire personal identity, which for homosexuals is intimately tied up with the developmental issues which were discussed up thread.
Posted by: JoelW

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/09/13 08:11 AM

I just don't think that liking men inherently makes you a better musician. The notion that "gays are more sensitive because of their hormone makeup, allowing for more sensitive musicality" just isn't convincing to me. By this logic, the majority of women are better musicians.
Posted by: GeorgeB

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/09/13 08:12 AM

Originally Posted By: JoelW
Originally Posted By: GeorgeB

talent encompasses several things beyond sensitivity


Exactly. That's what I meant by "the whole shebang".

Quote:

Sherlock strikes again. The example he gave showed a trait which leads to success and success in that case was running fast.


Yeah, that example (which was one of three) wasn't a good one and I admitted it.

Quote:

Once again, your point is irrelevant as nobody mentioned speed and the physical ability of one to play the piano was directly affected by homosexuality.


Ironically, the above is actually irrelevant as it pertains to my admittedly faulty example.

Also, if you were to read my posts thoroughly before trying to knock me down, you'd know that I said this just a few posts up:

Musical talent doesn't just mean being able to play a piece the fastest. It's the whole shebang, sensitivity included.

Thus proving your above statement even more meaningless.



Very conveniently, you missed out the bit that came after the first thing you quoted which makes a total difference to the point I was making .


And again, my point was that yours (about linking homosexuality to speed/physical ability) was irrelevant to the overall topic. Not really sure how quoting your point makes mine meaningless.
Posted by: theJourney

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/09/13 08:17 AM

Originally Posted By: JoelW
I just don't think that liking men inherently makes you a better musician. By this logic, the majority of women are better musicians.


This thread is not about " liking men ".
This thread is about holding an open discussion about the apparent preponderance of gay master pianists and trying to understand and develop insight into what factors may be in play here.

Rather than just typing rapid-fire, random, off-topic opinions, why not take the time to go back and carefully read the thread, think and reflect about what you have read, separate it from your pre-formed bias and dogmatic formulations and then re-join the discussion?
Posted by: GeorgeB

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/09/13 08:20 AM

Originally Posted By: theJourney
Originally Posted By: JoelW
I just don't think that liking men inherently makes you a better musician. By this logic, the majority of women are better musicians.


This thread is not about " liking men ".
This thread is about holding an open discussion about the apparent preponderance of gay master pianists and trying to understand and develop insight into what factors may be in play here.

This is more what I had in mind when I was thinking about creating this thread.
Posted by: JoelW

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/09/13 08:22 AM

Originally Posted By: GeorgeB



And again, my point was that yours (about link homosexuality to speed/physical ability) was irrelevant to the overall topic. Not really sure how quoting your point makes mine meaningless.


I just went over this. It was an admittedly bad example.

This 'who said what where' game is getting tiresome. If you're actually interested in communicating our opinions to each-other, and you feel that I do not understand your point, please organize your opinions into a single paragraph and I will respond accordingly.
Posted by: FSO

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/09/13 08:24 AM

Originally Posted By: JoelW
Oh FSO... how did you do on English essays? smile

First in my school...to get 0% for presentation in *all* exams (for which it's marked) laugh
Posted by: GeorgeB

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/09/13 08:31 AM

if I am actually interested? Lol.

I am interested in reading peoples opinions. But when the other person who is attempting to argue, cuts out bits which are essential to the point being made or makes random points with no plausible explanation to back them up, one will get nowhere trying to discuss
Posted by: JoelW

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/09/13 08:32 AM

Okay, George.
Posted by: zapper

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/09/13 08:40 AM

Originally Posted By: Kreisler
Please don't quote inappropriate posts - it only encourages the trolls and takes twice as long to delete.


gush, it's a shame moderators here cannot distinguish proper from non-proper post and they react on any idiot complaint...

p.s.
what happened with right to free speech in this country...
Posted by: debrucey

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/09/13 08:42 AM

Originally Posted By: zapper

what happened with right to free speech in this country...


That was a stupid thing to say.
Posted by: FSO

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/09/13 08:44 AM

*Very* clichéd, certainly... smile
Posted by: mermilylumpkin

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/09/13 08:51 AM

Was it Horowitz or Rubinstein or someone who once joked that all pianists are either Jewish, gay or bad?

At any rate, I will take a stab. I think that the best music, what we admire in virtuoso pianists, has a spiritual quality to it. It gives you a feeling that you have access to that artist's inner world, which contains this rich spectrum of feeling that includes joy and melancholy and grief and playfulness, and these feelings are realized moment to moment and note-by-note in the music. I think in order for a person to be able to express the full range of human feeling in music, he must have had some experiences in his life to get him in touch with what it is to really reckon with pain and look suffering in the eye. In buddhist thought, it's necessary to have an honest experience of pain in order to have an honest experience of happiness.

You could say of the Jewish people that they have an almost ancestral sense of suffering. Reminders of the pain of life are built into ceremonies and celebrations, such as stepping on the glass cup during the wedding ceremony. I think it would be impossible for a gay man to have gone through his life in the 20th century without a substantial measure of pain due to the lack of acceptance and understanding he would have received. Being gay in Gilels or Horowitz's time can only have been incredibly isolating, and no wonder that they would have created these beautiful, perfect musical worlds as a refuge from that.

If you're interested in further reading, here's a Telegraph article on homosexuality and pianists. http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/culture/stephenhough/100006381/gay-pianists-can-you-tell/
Posted by: FSO

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/09/13 09:02 AM

I was going to reference that! laugh Nice first post by the way...and welcome, if you're new.
Xxx
Posted by: theJourney

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/09/13 09:02 AM

Originally Posted By: debrucey
The 100m final at the olympics shows otherwise. Sure, it takes hard work and dedication to become a world class sprinter, but if you happen to have been born male and of African descent then you're at an advantage.


This is a salient point.

Thus far we have discussed four principal hypothoses for the apparent proponderance of gay master pianists:

1. Those that are gay feel more comfortable being in the arts and out in the arts and/or felt attracted to the piano.

2. Because they are flamboyant or because it is unusual for pianists to be homosexual we develop a false perceptional bias that there is a preponderance.

3. The psycho-social challenges of growing up gay make some take to piano practice as a refuge or to later avoid confrontation and troubles in many discriminatory professions and to avoid becoming a priest, hairdresser or flower arranger.

4. The unique, psycho-social adversity of growing up gay makes some precociously consciously aware and sensitive which translates into longer term advantage in playing the piano.

A fifth reason may be:

5. There are physical differences in the makeup of homosexual men ('s brains) which provide them with long term advantage in going far with the piano.

We know that there are differences between male and female brains:

Quote:

Men's brains tend to perform tasks predominantly with the left-side, which is the logical/rational side of the brain. Women, on the other hand, use both sides of their brains because a woman's brain has a larger corpus callosum, which means women can transfer data between the right and left hemispheres faster than men.


We also know that -- as an integrative art -- successful piano performance requires a unique integration of ratio and emotio and integration within the brain and between the brain and the body. Young males who start early piano practice tend to grow a larger corpus collosum, while females, who already have larger ones, tend to achieve less marked differentiation from piano study.
http://www.musicianbrain.com/papers/Hyde_MusicTraining_BrainPlasticity_nyas_04852.pdf

We also know from research of the Dutch neuroscientist Dick Swaab that there are physical differences between the brains of homosexual men and heterosexual men, and these differences are formed already in the uterus.

Quote:

Current evidence indicates that sexual differentiation of the human brain occurs during fetal and neonatal development and programs our gender identity—our feeling of being male or female and our sexual orientation as hetero-, homo-, or bisexual. This sexual differentiation process is accompanied by many structural and functional brain differences among these groups... the Savic laboratory detected a sex-differentiated activation of the anterior hypothalamus in heterosexual men (HeM) and heterosexual women (HeW) and a sex-atypical, almost reversed, pattern of activation in homosexual men (HoM) and homosexual women (HoW). The hypothalamus (Fig. 1) is a small brain area located under the anterior commissure that is involved in many different functions

http://www.pnas.org/content/105/30/10273.full

How many other differences there may be of which we are not aware is unknown. However, this one would not seem to be trivial given the fact that musical performance is a temporal art form where micro timing differences can make all the difference in the world:

Quote:

In 1990, we described the first brain difference related to sexual orientation in the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN)—the brain's “clock”—which in homosexual men is twice the size that it is in heterosexual men...
Posted by: JoelW

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/09/13 09:07 AM

Quote:

We also know from research of the Dutch neuroscientist Dick Swaab...




That's too good.
Posted by: stores

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/09/13 09:13 AM

Originally Posted By: JoelW
...the majority of women are better musicians.


I'd agree with that.
Posted by: stores

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/09/13 09:17 AM

Originally Posted By: zapper

what happened with right to free speech in this country...


Which country would that be?
Posted by: theJourney

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/09/13 09:18 AM

Originally Posted By: stores
Originally Posted By: JoelW
...the majority of women are better musicians.


I'd agree with that.


Well, what I will say is that -- despite the depressing dearth -- some of my favorite master pianists are indeed women...
Posted by: JoelW

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/09/13 09:18 AM

Originally Posted By: stores
Originally Posted By: zapper

what happened with right to free speech in this country...


Which country would that be?


Here, as opposed to there.
Posted by: stores

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/09/13 09:21 AM

Originally Posted By: JoelW
Originally Posted By: stores
Originally Posted By: zapper

what happened with right to free speech in this country...


Which country would that be?


Here, as opposed to there.


If, that is, you reside in the same country as zapper.
Posted by: stores

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/09/13 09:22 AM

Originally Posted By: theJourney
Originally Posted By: stores
Originally Posted By: JoelW
...the majority of women are better musicians.


I'd agree with that.


some of my favorite master pianists are indeed women...


Ditto.
Posted by: wayne33yrs

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/09/13 09:23 AM

Check out our Eric Satie, themed recital! Can you spot the 2 gays lol wink

http://www.pianoworld.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/1993720/1/Erik%20Satie%20Themed%20Recital.html

We all had the same amount of time to learn our pieces, and are all at different levels smile
Posted by: Numerian

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/09/13 09:29 AM

Stephen Hough is gay? Who would have thought? He doesn't act gay on stage. For that matter, Horowitz didn't act gay, and I sat about 15 feet away from him on stage for one of his concerts. Neither did Richter, but that was way back in the 60s and maybe I was too young or innocent to notice.

Perhaps if they put a sign on stage that said GAY PERFORMER, that would clarify these things. It might have helped when Richter, Gilels and Berman came over to the US if they had a sign that said CAUTION: COMMUNIST ON STAGE. Everyone would have known where these men stood politically. Or would we? They could have walked off stage and asked for political asylum, and some Soviet artists did. Sometimes, putting labels on artists doesn't help things.

Does anyone else feel this whole thread is getting silly? Do people honestly go to concerts by pianists and spend their time thinking about the sexual orientation of the performer? Even if a gay artist has suffered from a lifetime of repression, and is expressing that emotion in his playing, how are you, the listener, going to know this? All of us receive the emotional content of great music and notable performances in different ways, pertinent to our own lives, and only secondarily if at all do we think about the life of the performer (as in the case of someone like Geoffrey Helfgott). Probably the gayest pianist of them all, Liberace, understood this. As camped up as his costumes were, when it came to playing the piano, he made people forget about all that and just enjoy the music. I think it would be best all around if we just enjoyed the music of the many excellent pianists performing today, and not spend our time wondering what they are doing in their private lives.
Posted by: debrucey

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/09/13 09:35 AM

How is Liberace the gayest pianist of them all?
Posted by: FSO

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/09/13 09:37 AM

It's just discussion...it does no harm and, as such, can only be a good thing..right? Besides...when I hear music that fills me with love I may very well just happen to love the performer; I'm interested in those I love and can find even the dullest fact satisfying...so...um...would it be best if I just didn't think about those I love?
Posted by: JoelW

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/09/13 09:45 AM

Originally Posted By: debrucey
How is Liberace the gayest pianist of them all?


I think he just meant ''most flamboyant'' which is definitely true.
Posted by: theJourney

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/09/13 09:46 AM

Originally Posted By: Numerian
I think it would be best all around if we just enjoyed the music of the many excellent pianists performing today, and not spend our time wondering what they are doing in their private lives.


Indeed. Those pesky gays should go crawl back into their holes or step back into the darkness of their closet. Only if they have a trophy wife on their arm should they have the nerve to rub our noses in the details of their private lives.

Wonder why for centuries and still today that there is such a lively market in (auto)biographies from Josquin to Lang Lang if no one is really interested in the lives of great artists?
Posted by: theJourney

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/09/13 09:54 AM

Originally Posted By: debrucey
How is Liberace the gayest pianist of them all?


Since when is Liberace considered a classical master pianist? It is like putting another Las Vegas performer such as Tom Jones on the same list as Pavarotti...
Posted by: Numerian

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/09/13 10:00 AM

There are several threads in the archives about Liberace, in which his technical and artistic skills are discussed. It will always be a matter of opinion as to how good a pianist he was.
Posted by: debrucey

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/09/13 10:01 AM

Liberace was a hugely talented classical pianist actually. He just became famous for doing something else.
Posted by: zapper

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/09/13 10:09 AM

Originally Posted By: theJourney
Originally Posted By: Numerian
I think it would be best all around if we just enjoyed the music of the many excellent pianists performing today, and not spend our time wondering what they are doing in their private lives.


Indeed. Those pesky gays should go crawl back into their holes or step back into the darkness of their closet. Only if they have a trophy wife on their arm should they have the nerve to rub our noses in the details of their private lives.

Wonder why for centuries and still today that there is such a lively market in (auto)biographies from Josquin to Lang Lang if no one is really interested in the lives of great artists?


only little people are interested in someone else closet life...
Posted by: Silverwood Pianos

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/09/13 10:14 AM



Originally Posted By: zapper

only little people are interested in someone else closet life...


Correct; it is the prurient fixation with things that are of no concern.
Posted by: theJourney

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/09/13 10:16 AM

Originally Posted By: Numerian
Stephen Hough is gay? Who would have thought? He doesn't act gay on stage.


What do you mean exactly?
Are you sure?


Originally Posted By: Numerian

Perhaps if they put a sign on stage that said GAY PERFORMER, that would clarify these things. It might have helped when Richter, Gilels and Berman came over to the US if they had a sign that said CAUTION: COMMUNIST ON STAGE.


Interesting thought.

You could write entire books about the impact that composing and performing under the oppressive psycho-social contradictions that the communist regime had on Dimitri Shostakovich and what his real political persuasions were versus what was expedient. In fact, several books have been written on the subject. They are perhaps not so different from those of a closeted gay growing up under the oppressive contradictions of a straight society, that until very recently and only in a tiny fraction of the world, criminalized and demonized those who were bold enough to expose the truth about their human identity.
Posted by: theJourney

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/09/13 10:19 AM

Judge and condemn much?

Originally Posted By: zapper
only little people are interested in someone else closet life...


And if they are interested in someone else's non-closeted life?

Are all those people who read biographies of Mozart or Richter per definition " little people" ?
Posted by: FSO

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/09/13 10:32 AM

Originally Posted By: Silverwood Pianos


Originally Posted By: zapper

only little people are interested in someone else closet life...


Correct; it is the prurient fixation with things that are of no concern.

Well...I'll agree it may be rude to pry, but I thought most of the pianists disclosed their sexuality at one point or another. Oh...and let's not bring dwarfism into this mess laugh Of course, stating that it's prurient is entirely tautologous, but of no concern? I'm sure it was a great concern to those involved and, as those interested in music and its history, shouldn't that which concerns the titans of the discipline concern us too? I mean, um, do you indulge no curiosity? Do you hear of Scriabin's madness and just say "that's irrelevant with regard to the technical aspects of his compositions; do not tire me with details of his life, he is nothing but a vessel for my enjoyment, I don't care about him or anything he thinks now, please, tell me more about the spelling of that accidental..."... laugh Sorry, but, um, I can't imagine you're not a tiny bit interested in the influences (and by extension, lifestyles) of pianists and composers. If you aren't then forgive me and your point is fair enough for you but quite a lot of the rest of us care about *how* music is made, down to the finest detail.
Xxx
Posted by: R0B

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/09/13 10:43 AM

I often feel gay, but am not a homosexual.

Please give us our language back. frown
Posted by: debrucey

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/09/13 10:52 AM

R0B is the name of a gay sex shop in Manchester lol, how ironic.
Posted by: R0B

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/09/13 11:09 AM

I didn't notice it when I was in Manchester, three weeks ago.
But nothing would surprise me anymore ha
Posted by: wayne33yrs

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/09/13 11:24 AM

exellent! smile

Posted by: debrucey

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/09/13 11:24 AM

It's not on the high street haha
Posted by: wower

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/09/13 11:51 AM

Originally Posted By: stores
Originally Posted By: theJourney
Originally Posted By: stores
Originally Posted By: JoelW
...the majority of women are better musicians.


I'd agree with that.


some of my favorite master pianists are indeed women...


Ditto.


I was telling my girlfriend some months ago of this exact fact and she just rolled her eyes at me.
Posted by: Old Man

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/09/13 11:58 AM

Originally Posted By: Silverwood Pianos

Originally Posted By: zapper

only little people are interested in someone else closet life...

Correct; it is the prurient fixation with things that are of no concern.

Is this thread one of your own "prurient fixations"? You made your thoughts known to us two days ago, but you seem unable to resist making them known again. I respect your opinion, but what is the point? There are thousands of threads that should be more to your liking, so why waste time repeatedly identifying the fixations of us "little people"?

I would point out that this thread is less than 40 hours old, and has already garnered 2500 views and 150 replies. That is an amazing amount of traffic, so obviously there is interest in the topic. (Yes, yes, I'm sure it's all "prurient".) But I have to say that the thread has remained relatively on-topic, serious and thoughtful, and has not devolved into the sort of lewd snicker-fest that some may have feared.

You say the topic is not important, it doesn't matter, it's none of our concern, and you're right. But what thread does matter, and is important? Look through the list. I see nothing. Most of the topics in this forum are born of curiosity, and nothing more. Most discussions are of the have-you-ever-noticed variety, exactly like the personal conversations that people engage in all the time.

When you're unhappy at the party you're at, simply find a different party. It's not that difficult.
Posted by: FSO

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/09/13 12:26 PM

...Or get so liberally plastered that you awake next to the piano with the terrible thought "I can't...oh, please, no...what the heck happened last night?" as you see reams of Ludovico Einaudi scattered about the room laugh
Posted by: offnote

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/09/13 12:36 PM

Originally Posted By: stores
Originally Posted By: theJourney
Originally Posted By: stores
Originally Posted By: JoelW
...the majority of women are better musicians.


I'd agree with that.


some of my favorite master pianists are indeed women...


Ditto.


*Deleted*
Posted by: Fugue14

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/09/13 12:50 PM

Originally Posted By: debrucey
Originally Posted By: Fugue14
Knowing someone's sexual orientation is about as relevant as knowing how thoroughly they wipe after a bowel movement.


That's extremely important to know. Especially if you're gay.


I meant as a listener...
Posted by: offnote

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/09/13 12:50 PM

You wanna talk about artists backstage life yet you don't understand what it takes to be a great artist and you are ofended easily by the same things you're curious about. It takes drugs, dirty sex, alcohol and more - all the topics you forbid to talk about on this forum. Get real and look into mirror...
Posted by: Steve Chandler

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/09/13 01:03 PM

Wow 16 pages in less than 2 days, incredible. This topic is obviously of great interest. I understand those who say that sexual orientation is none of my business. What gay men do behind closed doors gives me the creeps. However, I fully respect and support their right to express their affection as they choose (though if it's in public they may be subject to legal action) and make lifelong commitments (get married). However, I disagree that it's none of our business. These are (were) public figures and there's no doubt that their sexual orientation affected their artistic personae. Prior to this thread I didn't know that Richter and Hough were gay. It doesn't change my appreciation for their prodigious talents.

Obviously this is speculation for me, but think about it, a young gay teen won't be distracted into chasing girls as an adolescent and may also be terrified of chasing other boys. That leaves more time for practicing. The stress of having that secret may allow them to gain greater emotional experience which may inform their interpretations of the repertoire. More time to practice and a heavier emotional weight strikes me as a recipe for great pianism if you add in the other necessities, talent, drive to succeed, and opportunity. Given that Jews also faced discrimination and have a culture of success the Horowitz quote takes on significant potential of exposing truth. I have seen capable young boys give up piano perhaps because they thought it was a gay activity.

So I believe the question is a very interesting one and I especially appreciate that the vast majority of this discussion has been either intelligent, light hearted humor or both. To get all PC and say that sexual orientation has no bearing on artistic ability is to diminish the impact of sexual orientation on artistic growth and experience. If we can't discuss the matter as adults for fear of offending someone then we can't explore some of the most important aspects of the human experience.

I thought Stephen Hough's blog was intelligent and forthright. Exactly what we need more of. Thanks for posting the link.
Posted by: FSO

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/09/13 01:39 PM

Originally Posted By: Steve Chandler
What gay men do behind closed doors gives me the creeps. [...] If we can't discuss the matter as adults for fear of offending someone then we can't explore some of the most important aspects of the human experience.

I can't agree more with your latter statement...and your former one reminds me enough to say how sorry I feel for homophobics (inadequate though the term may be); increasingly so, homophobics, racists, anti-Semites etc. become less able to express how they feel and are taught or otherwise told to feel shameful and wicked for their thoughts...um...almost ironic (but not quite) laugh I commend you for having the courage to say outright how you feel. The fact that you bolstered your position by nearly stating that it's an irrational "creeps" and that you respect the life experiences of others despite these creeping sensations slightly diminishes the almost impossible struggle against prejudice (homophobic rights, anyone? laugh )...um...also, you expressed yourself in, with regards to this topic, possibly the most mature and considerate manner I've yet come across...in short, in my opinion, excellent post; gold star. Fortunately, I don't share your affliction (to put it dramatically), but I heavily respect your standpoint (in that you've actually given it some decent thought) and you as a person.
Posted by: Bob Newbie

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/09/13 01:45 PM

The question is.. is it classical music? or piano & classical lessons?
are their any jazz(gay)players?
Posted by: wayne33yrs

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/09/13 02:00 PM

Sure..... a ginger gay, playing Jazz wink

Posted by: Old Man

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/09/13 05:11 PM

Originally Posted By: FSO
Originally Posted By: Steve Chandler
What gay men do behind closed doors gives me the creeps. [...] If we can't discuss the matter as adults for fear of offending someone then we can't explore some of the most important aspects of the human experience.

I can't agree more with your latter statement...and your former one reminds me enough to say how sorry I feel for homophobics (inadequate though the term may be); increasingly so, homophobics, racists, anti-Semites etc. become less able to express how they feel and are taught or otherwise told to feel shameful and wicked for their thoughts...um...almost ironic (but not quite) laugh I commend you for having the courage to say outright how you feel. The fact that you bolstered your position by nearly stating that it's an irrational "creeps" and that you respect the life experiences of others despite these creeping sensations slightly diminishes the almost impossible struggle against prejudice (homophobic rights, anyone? laugh )...um...also, you expressed yourself in, with regards to this topic, possibly the most mature and considerate manner I've yet come across...in short, in my opinion, excellent post; gold star. Fortunately, I don't share your affliction (to put it dramatically), but I heavily respect your standpoint (in that you've actually given it some decent thought) and you as a person.

FSO, I have to disagree with your characterization of Steve Chandler's comment as homophobic. One may quibble with his choice of words, but I think he's simply expressing his own orientation, which is straight. I suspect that many gays might call what straight men and women do in the bedroom "creepy" as well. It's not a judgement of them as human beings, but of their sexual activities, and merely expresses the "yuck factor" that those on both ends of the spectrum feel when imagining the sexual life of the other.

But that is a far cry from homophobia. There are too many true homophobes walking around, especially here in the states, to devalue the meaning of the word by applying it too broadly. I've encountered many in my lifetime, and they view gays as sick, perverted, depraved human beings who choose their orientation, choose their life style, and fully deserve any and every tribulation that may ever befall them. There are many areas in this country, where a gay man is risking life and limb to even think of having a drink in a "straight" bar, assuming that his orientation might possibly be revealed to other customers. This is true homophobia, and it can be a deadly serious business.

We are all walking cauldrons of emotions and feelings, shaped by an assortment of biases and prejudices, whether we admit it or not. I will plead guilty myself to the same "affliction" you diagnosed Mr. Chandler with. I even find it unsettling (preferable to "creepy"? grin) to see men showing affection in public. It's not their problem, it's my own. Yet there is no way I can simply wish away that reaction, any more than I can wish away my reaction to a Brahms symphony. But what I can do is recognize it as irrational, as a prejudice that's part of me, and rely on reason to guide my beliefs. I fully support gay rights, including gay marriage, because my head tells me it's the right thing to do, even if my gut may occasionally balk a little. smile
Posted by: debrucey

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/09/13 06:40 PM

There is no yuck factor for me about what straight people do in the privacy of their bedrooms. I'm at worst ambivalent about it. But I suppose I can understand why some people might find it odd to think about if they aren't that way inclined. The idea however of being unsettled merely by the sight of two people showing affection for each other (or rather certain specific types of people more than others) I can't understand at all. I agree that homophobia is probably a bit strong a word for that, but you're right, it's definitely irrational, and I hate when people try and defend it.
Posted by: JoelW

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/09/13 06:54 PM

Originally Posted By: debrucey
There is no yuck factor for me about what straight people do in the privacy of their bedrooms. I'm at worst ambivalent about it. But I suppose I can understand why some people might find it odd to think about if they aren't that way inclined. The idea however of being unsettled merely by the sight of two people showing affection for each other (or rather certain specific types of people more than others) I can't understand at all. I agree that homophobia is probably a bit strong a word for that, but you're right, it's definitely irrational, and I hate when people try and defend it.


Who cares? If someone is grossed out by it, let them be.
Posted by: debrucey

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/09/13 07:08 PM

It must be nice to live in your own little world where nothing affects anything else.
Posted by: FSO

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/09/13 07:09 PM

Originally Posted By: Old Man
FSO, I have to disagree with your characterization of Steve Chandler's comment as homophobic. One may quibble with his choice of words, but I think he's simply expressing his own orientation, which is straight. I suspect that many gays might call what straight men and women do in the bedroom "creepy" as well. It's not a judgement of them as human beings, but of their sexual activities, and merely expresses the "yuck factor" that those on both ends of the spectrum feel when imagining the sexual life of the other.

But that is a far cry from homophobia. There are too many true homophobes walking around, especially here in the states, to devalue the meaning of the word by applying it too broadly. I've encountered many in my lifetime, and they view gays as sick, perverted, depraved human beings who choose their orientation, choose their life style, and fully deserve any and every tribulation that may ever befall them. There are many areas in this country, where a gay man is risking life and limb to even think of having a drink in a "straight" bar, assuming that his orientation might possibly be revealed to other customers. This is true homophobia, and it can be a deadly serious business.

We are all walking cauldrons of emotions and feelings, shaped by an assortment of biases and prejudices, whether we admit it or not. I will plead guilty myself to the same "affliction" you diagnosed Mr. Chandler with. I even find it unsettling (preferable to "creepy"? grin) to see men showing affection in public. It's not their problem, it's my own. Yet there is no way I can simply wish away that reaction, any more than I can wish away my reaction to a Brahms symphony. But what I can do is recognize it as irrational, as a prejudice that's part of me, and rely on reason to guide my beliefs. I fully support gay rights, including gay marriage, because my head tells me it's the right thing to do, even if my gut may occasionally balk a little. smile

See I...we...sorry, I *really* didn't make myself clear; I perhaps stated too lightly how *inadequate* the term homophobe is...that there is merely one word to encompass any degree of unsettlement is abominable and leads to just this kind of thing laugh Um...it's strange though; quite a lot of straight men seem to like seeing homosexual *women* snogging away...which would suggest it's more about attraction than whether the...um...activities are similarly choreographed...but...then surely they would hate seeing heterosexuals out together as half of the couple should be creeping them out...I just think it's one of "those things". Um...perhaps I read too much into Steve's comment, in which case I apologise...see, I'm anti-prejudice but you're under the misapprehension that that's what you are...if you don't like broccoli but have tried it enough times you can't be prejudiced; it's only having had no experience (or too little) that pops you into that category. Now, um, if it makes your stomach balk a bit, that's fine, it just is. I can keep waffling but I'm sure you've got it by now...oh, and just so you know, the LGBT get the royal stuffing kicked out of them world over; I've been assaulted and, at the lower end, had the right Michael taken out of me for what many would call my "choices". laugh Just saying, um, I do know what some *very* whatever-phobic people can get up to.
Posted by: debrucey

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/09/13 07:11 PM

Why do you write 'um' and '...' so much?
Posted by: JoelW

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/09/13 07:31 PM

Originally Posted By: debrucey
It must be nice to live in your own little world where nothing affects anything else.


If you think people getting grossed out by homosexual PDA is "irrational" then you're the one living in your own little world, buddy. I'm not prejudiced against gays. I believe in equal rights too, but when I see gay PDA I can't help but feel a little stirred. It's a natural reaction I have, and I'm not the only one.
Posted by: Michael_99

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/09/13 07:36 PM

Creeping out! The funny thing is that probably the worst swear word is what women do for men and gay men to each other.
Posted by: JoelW

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/09/13 07:37 PM

Originally Posted By: Michael_99
Creeping out! The funny thing is that probably the worst swear word is what women do for men and gay men to each other.


?
Posted by: argerichfan

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/09/13 07:48 PM

Originally Posted By: debrucey
Why do you write 'um' and '...' so much?

Because his posts seem merely confused.

During my years in the UK I escaped London for Brighton frequently, but never met anyone quite as flowery as FSO. I was there for one reason, no apologies for that, and no games or silly complications involved.

Fortified with a decent breakfast, the Anglo-Catholic Sunday service at St. Bartholomew's was giddily High Church, the smoky incense rendering irrelevant the need for a shower.
Posted by: debrucey

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/09/13 07:50 PM

Originally Posted By: JoelW
Originally Posted By: debrucey
It must be nice to live in your own little world where nothing affects anything else.


If you think people getting grossed out by homosexual PDA is "irrational" then you're the one living in your own little world, buddy. I'm not prejudiced against gays. I believe in equal rights too, but when I see gay PDA I can't help but feel a little stirred. It's a natural reaction I have, and I'm not the only one.


Yes, well thats because it's widespread. That doesn't mean it's not irrational.
Posted by: debrucey

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/09/13 08:06 PM

Originally Posted By: Michael_99
Creeping out! The funny thing is that probably the worst swear word is what women do for men and gay men to each other.


What word is that?
Posted by: JoelW

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/09/13 08:06 PM

Originally Posted By: debrucey
Originally Posted By: JoelW
Originally Posted By: debrucey
It must be nice to live in your own little world where nothing affects anything else.


If you think people getting grossed out by homosexual PDA is "irrational" then you're the one living in your own little world, buddy. I'm not prejudiced against gays. I believe in equal rights too, but when I see gay PDA I can't help but feel a little stirred. It's a natural reaction I have, and I'm not the only one.


Yes, well thats because it's widespread. That doesn't mean it's not irrational.


You have no argument unless you prove why it's irrational.

You can't say it's "irrational" just because you don't like it. That's the exact kind of logic homophobes use against gays.
Posted by: debrucey

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/09/13 08:13 PM

Lmao, if you say so.
Posted by: FSO

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/09/13 08:18 PM

Originally Posted By: JoelW
You have no argument unless you prove why it's irrational.

Not sure that's true...but...how about, as everyone seems inclined to say, its nun off you're businiss? laugh I mean, the only reason to fear something is if it's perceived to be a large threat and disgust comes from an inherent understanding of tiny threats (repulsive smells, for instance, indicate rotting which in turn indicates potentially harmful bacteria)...um...what threats do homosexuals pose? We also find disgust in a social sense; microscopic threats to the community produced by individuals. Um...so...is the threat that we notice a very slight diminishing of the gene pool? That's all I can imagine and even that's at a stretch...but anyway, your point is invalid; fear of spiders is widespread and irrational. There *are* poisonous spiders (well...none here laugh )...so you reckon you have to *prove* the fear of spiders is irrational, otherwise there's no argument for it to be so? Hmm...not holding up somewhere I believe...
Edit: Argerichfan; aww! That's unseemly sweet (to me at least)..I can hack being confused if I get to be flowery ^>^ Debussyist; because I'm, irrevocably and deep down, a pillock...is that a good enough answer?
Posted by: FSO

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/09/13 08:22 PM

So...where do we stand on the spiders thing?
Posted by: JoelW

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/09/13 08:26 PM

God I feel like such a #$*%ing idiot right now. I was associating "irrational" with "unnatural". My apologies, Debrucey.
Posted by: wr

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/09/13 09:28 PM

The "yuck factor" seems to me to be conditioning, rather than innate, i.e., genetic. What might be innate is a lack of interest, rather than an aversion. And, many times, what has been conditioned can also be de-conditioned if one really wants to - it can be "wished away", so to speak. But that takes work, and may not be worth the effort for many people.
Posted by: Kreisler

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/09/13 10:45 PM

I don't think "yuck factor" is really the right word. It's not about "yuck," and it's not even about sexuality. It's about discomfort with things that are unfamiliar.

Three quick stories from personal experience:

I used to feel uncomfortable around homosexuals. I grew up in the bible belt, homosexuality was extremely underground in my hometown. But in college, the luck of the draw gave me a gay roommate and one night he and his friends invited me out to the movies. I must have had an awkward, terrified look on my face, because one of his friends quickly said "by the way, all of us are gay and I have AIDS, and we totally understand if you don't want to go." I made a quick joke: "Two conditions: you have to promise not to bleed on me and you have to introduce me to all the cute girls you know as your 'single straight friend'." I made four new, good friends that night, overcame my discomfort in a matter of months, and have never felt the least bit uncomfortable around homosexuals since.

Like many, I also used to feel a bit uncomfortable in hospitals and nursing homes. But as luck would have it, I spent my junior high and high school years getting my hair cut by a barber who just happened to have his barbershop in a hospital (my parents knew him so that's where they took me.) Also, to make extra money, I used to do variety/magic shows in nursing homes with a couple of friends. I also got a job in college doing food service at an assisted living facility. I got used to being in hospitals and around sick people and to this day, despite having had some bad experiences in hospitals, I don't think twice about walking in the door. (Which is also good since my wife works at a hospital!)

Interestingly enough, about 9 years ago, I was invited to play a fundraiser at the home of a board member for the orchestra I was in. They were in the process of raising $30 million for a new arts facility. For the first time in my life, I found myself in a room with fifty millionaires. And I felt really uncomfortable. Having grownup in a lower-middle class family, I didn't understand these people and the world they lived in. To me, they seemed arrogant, self-important, lazy, and unfeeling. Over the course of a couple years, I got to know some of them and discovered that none of them were any of those things. They were wonderful people who, aside from the money, were really no different than people like me.
Posted by: Old Man

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/09/13 11:57 PM

Originally Posted By: debrucey
There is no yuck factor for me about what straight people do in the privacy of their bedrooms. I'm at worst ambivalent about it. But I suppose I can understand why some people might find it odd to think about if they aren't that way inclined. The idea however of being unsettled merely by the sight of two people showing affection for each other (or rather certain specific types of people more than others) I can't understand at all. I agree that homophobia is probably a bit strong a word for that, but you're right, it's definitely irrational, and I hate when people try and defend it.

debrucey, I'm sorry for using the term "yuck factor". That was way too strong a way of describing discomfort. I was thinking more of "strange", "foreign", or "unsettling" (to use your word). After all, sexual orientation involves feelings of attraction toward a specific gender, so it would make sense that both straights and gays might find the habits of the other to be strange, or difficult to understand. But "yuck" is a bit over the top.

As far as being "unsettled" by seeing open displays of affection, that is probably due to simple cultural conditioning, as wr already pointed out. I only brought it up to point out that all of us have inexplicable reactions to things that we cannot control. The key is to recognize these irrational feelings and reactions, and use our rational side to declare our independence from them. I'm sure that in another generation or two, no one will be unsettled by any of this, and discussions such as this will seem quaint. grin
Posted by: debrucey

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/10/13 03:33 AM

I hope so haha
Posted by: Numerian

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/10/13 08:18 AM

Millionaires! Yuck. How could you stand it. You know they carry that 1% virus.
Posted by: Old Man

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/10/13 09:59 AM

Originally Posted By: FSO
See I...we...sorry, I *really* didn't make myself clear; I perhaps stated too lightly how *inadequate* the term homophobe is...that there is merely one word to encompass any degree of unsettlement is abominable and leads to just this kind of thing laugh Um...it's strange though; quite a lot of straight men seem to like seeing homosexual *women* snogging away...which would suggest it's more about attraction than whether the...um...activities are similarly choreographed...but...then surely they would hate seeing heterosexuals out together as half of the couple should be creeping them out...I just think it's one of "those things". Um...perhaps I read too much into Steve's comment, in which case I apologise...see, I'm anti-prejudice but you're under the misapprehension that that's what you are...if you don't like broccoli but have tried it enough times you can't be prejudiced; it's only having had no experience (or too little) that pops you into that category. Now, um, if it makes your stomach balk a bit, that's fine, it just is. I can keep waffling but I'm sure you've got it by now...oh, and just so you know, the LGBT get the royal stuffing kicked out of them world over; I've been assaulted and, at the lower end, had the right Michael taken out of me for what many would call my "choices". laugh Just saying, um, I do know what some *very* whatever-phobic people can get up to.

Yes, the word is certainly inadequate, but I now understand what you meant. Thanks for the clarification. Since I agreed 100% with what Steve was saying, it was disconcerting to then see his words labeled "homophobic". The ol' defense mechanism kicked in, and well, there you have it.

I know that "the road to heck is paved with good intentions", but I hope that until we old guys fade away, good will still counts for something. smile

(And I can't believe the software editor just changed "h*ll" to "heck"! mad)
Posted by: JoelW

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/10/13 10:01 AM

Originally Posted By: Old Man


(And I can't believe the software editor just changed "h*ll" to "heck"! mad)



Yeah, that really doesn't make sense. You can say it on TV, but not on PW? Hmmmm...
Posted by: wayne33yrs

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/10/13 11:15 AM

lol smile

Posted by: debrucey

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/10/13 11:20 AM

I love Gimme Gimme Gimme laugh
Posted by: carey

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/10/13 02:37 PM

Originally Posted By: JoelW
Originally Posted By: Old Man


(And I can't believe the software editor just changed "h*ll" to "heck"! mad)



Yeah, that really doesn't make sense. You can say it on TV, but not on PW? Hmmmm...


Consider the possibilities.....

"Go to heck!!"
"Burn in heck"
"When heck freezes over"
"A cold day in heck"
"Heaven and heck"
"Been to heck and back"
"One heck of a pianist" (well perhaps this one isn't so strange)

But I digress...... grin
Posted by: Old Man

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/10/13 03:56 PM

Originally Posted By: carey
Originally Posted By: JoelW
Originally Posted By: Old Man


(And I can't believe the software editor just changed "h*ll" to "heck"! mad)



Yeah, that really doesn't make sense. You can say it on TV, but not on PW? Hmmmm...


Consider the possibilities.....

"Go to heck!!"
"Burn in heck"
"When heck freezes over"
"A cold day in heck"
"Heaven and heck"
"Been to heck and back"
"One heck of a pianist" (well perhaps this one isn't so strange)

But I digress...... grin


ha

A further digression.

"The gates of heck"
"Heck on earth"
"Heck, Michigan"

and ... dare I? ... I dare

"Heck hath no fury like a woman scorned."
Posted by: Mark...

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/10/13 04:32 PM

Don't laugh...

I sometimes wonder, if as a straight male I need to find a feminine side in order to bring out a better more musical sound. It's hard to describe.
Posted by: carey

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/10/13 04:33 PM

Originally Posted By: Old Man

and ... dare I? ... I dare
"Heck hath no fury like a woman scorned."

Heck yes !!!! thumb
Posted by: ando

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/10/13 05:48 PM

Originally Posted By: Old Man
Originally Posted By: carey
Originally Posted By: JoelW
Originally Posted By: Old Man


(And I can't believe the software editor just changed "h*ll" to "heck"! mad)



Yeah, that really doesn't make sense. You can say it on TV, but not on PW? Hmmmm...


Consider the possibilities.....

"Go to heck!!"
"Burn in heck"
"When heck freezes over"
"A cold day in heck"
"Heaven and heck"
"Been to heck and back"
"One heck of a pianist" (well perhaps this one isn't so strange)

But I digress...... grin


ha

A further digression.

"The gates of heck"
"Heck on earth"
"Heck, Michigan"

and ... dare I? ... I dare

"Heck hath no fury like a woman scorned."


I was reading an interesting book about Heckenistic Greece the other day..
Posted by: BruceD

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/10/13 07:45 PM

Originally Posted By: ando
Originally Posted By: Old Man
Originally Posted By: carey
Originally Posted By: JoelW
Originally Posted By: Old Man


(And I can't believe the software editor just changed "h*ll" to "heck"! mad)



Yeah, that really doesn't make sense. You can say it on TV, but not on PW? Hmmmm...


Consider the possibilities.....

"Go to heck!!"
"Burn in heck"
"When heck freezes over"
"A cold day in heck"
"Heaven and heck"
"Been to heck and back"
"One heck of a pianist" (well perhaps this one isn't so strange)

But I digress...... grin


ha

A further digression.

"The gates of heck"
"Heck on earth"
"Heck, Michigan"

and ... dare I? ... I dare

"Heck hath no fury like a woman scorned."


I was reading an interesting book about Heckenistic Greece the other day..


What did it have to say about Hecken of Troy? smile
Posted by: Old Man

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/11/13 12:05 AM

Originally Posted By: BruceD
Originally Posted By: ando
Originally Posted By: Old Man
Originally Posted By: carey
Originally Posted By: JoelW
Originally Posted By: Old Man


(And I can't believe the software editor just changed "h*ll" to "heck"! mad)



Yeah, that really doesn't make sense. You can say it on TV, but not on PW? Hmmmm...


Consider the possibilities.....

"Go to heck!!"
"Burn in heck"
"When heck freezes over"
"A cold day in heck"
"Heaven and heck"
"Been to heck and back"
"One heck of a pianist" (well perhaps this one isn't so strange)

But I digress...... grin


ha

A further digression.

"The gates of heck"
"Heck on earth"
"Heck, Michigan"

and ... dare I? ... I dare

"Heck hath no fury like a woman scorned."


I was reading an interesting book about Heckenistic Greece the other day..


What did it have to say about Hecken of Troy? smile

thumb

Is this what we've become?? I think Kreisler's prophecy of several pages ago has finally come to pass.

"...my guess is the thread will go sour soon enough."

Perhaps not quite soon enough.

laugh laugh
Posted by: jdhampton924

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/11/13 11:12 AM

Originally Posted By: debrucey
"In a civilized society we do not distinguish nor do we discriminate based on religious beliefs, sexual orientation, skin colour ethnicity, age, or gender."

But we do. We shouldn't, but we do. And it's not noble to act as if it doesn't happen as if that were the same as being politically correct. It is still the case that there are very few internationally renowned concert pianists who are black, for example. Whilst no decent person would judge a concert pianist on such a thing, its still an interesting conversation to have about the various social reasons as to why that might be the case.

I can understand why straight people who are either trying too hard to be politically correct or find it an uncomfortable subject would argue that such a conversation about gay pianists is uninteresting and not worth having. I, however, do find it interesting, to think about the various reasons for why there might be a higher percentage than normal of pianists who are gay, if indeed this is the case at all. Being at music college, this does seem to be the case, although I think it is more the case with singers. In my year, 9 out of the 12 tenors are gay. The other years are similar, and friends of mine in other colleges in the country have said that the numbers are similar where they are as well.
Estimates for how much of the general population are gay in some degree vary from 2% to 10% depending on which study you consult. Clearly there is some kind of disparity here. Does nobody think it might be even slightly interesting to pontificate on why this might be?


Your post interested,

When I lived in Chicago, and went to school there it seemed there were two groups. The students from Asia, who were about half of all the pianists and seemed to group together, and Everyone else. In the everyone else category, most of the guys were gay. 8/10 or something like that.

As I finish my undergrad, after my own problems kept me from school for a few years. I now got to school in Central indiana. Out of all the pianist, which is a much more unsegregated group those numbers seem to be in the reverse. In fact here, most of the pianist are ultra conservative people who would prefer to stay at home.
Posted by: Rostosky

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/11/13 01:45 PM

Originally Posted By: Mark...
Don't laugh...

I sometimes wonder, if as a straight male I need to find a feminine side in order to bring out a better more musical sound. It's hard to describe.



Unfortunately it is funny that you should say that, because the other day i was just musing the possibility of breast augmentation surgery in both the male and female pianist as a method of not looking at ones hands whilst playing, if ( I mused) the implants were of a suitable size it would indeed be difficult to see ones hands while at the piano and may well be helpful.

The only downside I could think of is that every mouthfull of pie one consumed would have to go "the long way round" from plate to mouth, but saying that , even that may be beneficial in those amongst us that eat to fast anyways?
Posted by: asthecrowflies

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/11/13 06:39 PM

I'd love to get a poll of the gender & orientation break outs of PW posters. I think we'd find a higher proportion of homos here than in the general public. Much higher.

I think it's funny that some people think that the subject of gay pianists is a prurient one. In fact, I think of it as exactly the opposite - it's a search for identify amongst those of us who seek to understand our place in the world, through the lens of people "like us" whom we respect. Also, to better understand how lucky we are in this day and age, and how fortunate we weren't born in an earlier era. I can't help but think about what it must have been growing up as Van Cliburn, or Pletnev, or Richter, or Glenn Gould. Can't help but think if they channeled their frustrations into their music, and htat helped to take away the pain of being different.

Also Nelson Freire. I wonder, hey, if he were straight, would he still be best buds with Martha? One of my favorite Martha stories is of her and Nelson at a Horowitz performance of the Rach 3, holding hands, enraptured. It conjures a sublime happiness that I can only explain by associating it with my own memories of feeling truly safe in my own skin confiding in a female friend in those tormented teen years. Of course, Martha is a whole 'nother story - she is to many gay male pianists what Cher is to ordinary gays of a certain age. Or Judy. Or Madonna.

Anyway, I know I'm late to the party, and maybe this thread is just dying embers now, but just thought i'd weigh in!


PS. Debrucey. Your largely ignored joke about wiping was the funniest thing I've read in ages. I spit my drink all over my laptop when i read that. Magnificent.
Posted by: JoelW

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/11/13 06:52 PM

Originally Posted By: asthecrowflies
PS. Debrucey. Your largely ignored joke about wiping was the funniest thing I've read in ages. I spit my drink all over my laptop when i read that. Magnificent.


That was Fugue14's joke.
Posted by: asthecrowflies

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/11/13 07:07 PM

Originally Posted By: JoelW
Originally Posted By: asthecrowflies
PS. Debrucey. Your largely ignored joke about wiping was the funniest thing I've read in ages. I spit my drink all over my laptop when i read that. Magnificent.


That was Fugue14's joke.


Haha, no, that wasn't the joke, he just was making an analogy... debrucey was too clever by half & turned the analogy on its head.
Posted by: CWPiano

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/11/13 08:43 PM

I think the subject of society's perception of homosexuals and professions associated with it is something we can't ignore as the impact is very real. Allow me to illustrate with my own experience.

I have mentioned this before in Piano Teachers' Forum that I started piano very late at 17 years old. A main reason for this is because my parents were vehemently against giving me piano lessons despite repeated requests from me. I come from a traditional Indonesian Chinese family and males are traditionally expected to go into 'macho' professions such as doctor, lawyer, engineer, businessman, etc. Music is viewed as a 'sissy' profession because of this skewed belief that males who learn music will turn gay. And a lot of musicians are gay, so it kind of reinforced this point.

So only when I was 17 when I had some savings I started piano lessons. Needless to say, this exasperated my parents to no end. My mother pleaded me to stop learning because she was genuinely afraid I would turn gay. She also said her aerobic mates were making fun of her because she had a son who learns piano and only gays or girls learn piano (I am not making this up). Imagine the bombshell when I told them I wanted to pursue music full time. But well, I soldiered on and along the way I fell in love, married, and now have a son. At least this alleviated their major concern that I was gay, eh.

So, I am wondering after what I had gone through. How many potential musicians out there are denied chance to pursue their dreams because of society's objection. The large number of musicians who are gay, could it be because the straights are denied a chance to study music?
Posted by: Ferdinand

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/12/13 12:21 AM

Originally Posted By: asthecrowflies
I'd love to get a poll of the gender & orientation break outs of PW posters. I think we'd find a higher proportion of homos here than in the general public. Much higher.

I think it's funny that some people think that the subject of gay pianists is a prurient one. In fact, I think of it as exactly the opposite - it's a search for identify amongst those of us who seek to understand our place in the world, through the lens of people "like us" whom we respect. Also, to better understand how lucky we are in this day and age, and how fortunate we weren't born in an earlier era. I can't help but think about what it must have been growing up as Van Cliburn, or Pletnev, or Richter, or Glenn Gould. Can't help but think if they channeled their frustrations into their music, and htat helped to take away the pain of being different.
...

Are you implying that Gould was gay? I don't think he was. Or do you mean just that he grew up being "different"? That is certainly so. However, it's debatable whether someone like Gould "in this day and age" would have a less painful or frustrating experience of growing up compared to decades past.
Posted by: Whizbang

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/12/13 12:24 AM

Originally Posted By: CWPiano
I think the subject of society's perception of homosexuals and professions associated with it is something we can't ignore as the impact is very real. Allow me to illustrate with my own experience.

...


Geez. A breath of fresh air on this thread.

I think there are most certainly cultural differences. Around the turn of the 20th century, in the US, the piano was definitely view as a girl's instrument--that is, if I'm to believe statements I've read by Gershwin and Morton.

In the US, at least, and to my impression, which may be very flawed, the piano as an instrument no longer has that stigma (say, compared to the flute), though perhaps classical music might. Certainly, music isn't viewed as manly as a pastime as, oh, football, but I never got the sense growing up that it came with a particular effeminate stigma. But I wasn't a part of that music study subculture.

While the plural of anecdote isn't evidence, I find that most of the (predominantly mainland) Chinese people I work with (in tech) want their kids to study an instrument, including piano, regardless of sex.

What, would you posit, is the difference, in this regard, if any, between mainland and HK Chinese culture and Indonesian Chinese culture?
Posted by: theJourney

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/12/13 02:39 AM

Originally Posted By: Whizbang
I think there are most certainly cultural differences. Around the turn of the 20th century, in the US, the piano was definitely view as a girl's instrument--that is, if I'm to believe statements I've read by Gershwin and Morton.

In the US, at least, and to my impression, which may be very flawed, the piano as an instrument no longer has that stigma (say, compared to the flute), though perhaps classical music might. Certainly, music isn't viewed as manly as a pastime as, oh, football, but I never got the sense growing up that it came with a particular effeminate stigma. But I wasn't a part of that music study subculture.


Don't kid yourself. Guitar is cool. Piano not so much.

In what is likely a majority of small town America in the " outlaying rural areas " between the two coasts, classical piano is still definitely seen by the general culture as " gay " , " sissy " or " for girls ". A boy with any kind of social standing might as well put a pink tu tu on and hang a sign on his back " kick me here ".

What has changed is that there are now more kids who, through everything from the fact that the fastest growing religion in the US today is " no affiliation ", mass media changes with from matter-of-fact Will and Grace episodes through Glee through " it will get better " youtube videos, etc. don't feel perhaps as isolated, alone or estranged or suicidal from fear and bullying and outright assault.

http://www.itgetsbetter.org/

On my street in Amsterdam with lots of families and an estimated 30+ maintained pianos in the homes, not one boy has dared to take piano lessons over the past 15 years. Drums yes. Guitar yes. Those are the bold and daring choices. The safe choices of the popular boys? Field Hockey or Soccer. Period.
Posted by: Horowitzian

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/12/13 04:23 AM

Right, every Smalltown USA is an @$$backerds hicktown. How you came to that wild generalization, I've no idea.
Posted by: chopin_r_us

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/12/13 04:36 AM

heck, you're right Old Man. Is the software from the Bible Belt (@$$backerds hicktown)? In which case I'm surprised discussions like this are allowed. Hey! It doesn't do heck with a capital! Not only prudish but ungrammatical to boot.
Posted by: theJourney

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/12/13 06:14 AM

Originally Posted By: Horowitzian
Right, every Smalltown USA is an @$$backerds hicktown. How you came to that wild generalization, I've no idea.


As far I can see, you are the only one making that statement.

Having a different idea in your head is one thing. But it would be more interesting to hear you lay out a rebuttal in the form of a substantive contribution. At the very least have the intellectual honesty and graciousness to quote accurately what your fellow interlocutors have actually stated rather than missattributing them or making up your own hyperbolic strawmen.
Posted by: wr

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/12/13 06:51 AM

Originally Posted By: theJourney

In what is likely a majority of small town America in the " outlaying rural areas " between the two coasts, classical piano is still definitely seen by the general culture as " gay " , " sissy " or " for girls ". A boy with any kind of social standing might as well put a pink tu tu on and hang a sign on his back " kick me here ".



Having grown up in that sort of environment, I can say, backed up with experience, that you are somewhat right, but there are still many variables at play in how any individual kid will be treated. For one thing, the character of those communities are not all identically repressive and vicious, although there's no doubt they are usually far more conservative than big cities.

But there are many variables involved with an individual kid, too. Simply having an engaging and warm personality can dramatically affect how things go, for example.
Posted by: theJourney

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/12/13 07:08 AM

Originally Posted By: wr
Having grown up in that sort of environment, I can say, backed up with experience, that you are somewhat right, but there are still many variables at play in how any individual kid will be treated. For one thing, the character of those communities are not all identically repressive and vicious, although there's no doubt they are usually far more conservative than big cities.

But there are many variables involved with an individual kid, too. Simply having an engaging and warm personality can dramatically affect how things go, for example.


Indeed. Attractive, empathetic extroverts with charm and poise can get away with murder. Also, those strong, independent kids with an irrepressible love of l'art pour l'art who don't give a damn what others think can create for themselves more freedom of choice than those who are more gregarious social animals, despite the details of any specific limitations inherent in their local situation -- assuming there are competent piano teachers on hand and a household budget that can support such extravagance.
Posted by: wr

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/12/13 07:13 AM

Originally Posted By: Whizbang


I think there are most certainly cultural differences. Around the turn of the 20th century, in the US, the piano was definitely view as a girl's instrument--that is, if I'm to believe statements I've read by Gershwin and Morton.

In the US, at least, and to my impression, which may be very flawed, the piano as an instrument no longer has that stigma (say, compared to the flute), though perhaps classical music might. Certainly, music isn't viewed as manly as a pastime as, oh, football, but I never got the sense growing up that it came with a particular effeminate stigma. But I wasn't a part of that music study subculture.



I think one reason the piano no longer has that "stigma" is that the piano is no longer even there in most middle-class homes, and it certainly doesn't play the same kind of social role it once did. Its role as a center for socialization has long since been supplanted by the Weber grill and sports on the giant flat-screen TV, which I think are usually "guy" things.
Posted by: wr

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/12/13 07:32 AM

Originally Posted By: CWPiano


So, I am wondering after what I had gone through. How many potential musicians out there are denied chance to pursue their dreams because of society's objection. The large number of musicians who are gay, could it be because the straights are denied a chance to study music?


That's a very good point, I think.

But you have to also factor in that a certain number of gays avoiding being identified as gay (known as being "in the closet") will also avoid the pursuit of "gay" careers like classical music, and will instead take up ditch digging or medicine or tech or whatever, instead of their real love.

I also find it extremely odd that interest and careers in classical music are specifically associated with "gay", but the same is not true in pop music, even though there are pop musicians who are gay and out about it. What's that all about?
Posted by: theJourney

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/12/13 07:32 AM

Originally Posted By: wr
I think one reason the piano no longer has that "stigma" is that the piano is no longer even there in most middle-class homes, and it certainly doesn't play the same kind of social role it once did. Its role as a center for socialization has long since been supplanted by the Weber grill and sports on the giant flat-screen TV, which I think are usually "guy" things.



Interesting. Forgotten is not the same as despised...

After the singing of " Happy Birthday to you", a couple mad rounds of Guitar Hero is about as close as many households will ever have come to actually have made music together at home.
Posted by: theJourney

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/12/13 07:45 AM

Originally Posted By: wr
But you have to also factor in that a certain number of gays avoiding being identified as gay (known as being "in the closet") will also avoid the pursuit of "gay" careers like classical music, and will instead take up ditch digging or medicine or tech or whatever, instead of their real love.

I also find it extremely odd that interest and careers in classical music are specifically associated with "gay", but the same is not true in pop music, even though there are pop musicians who are gay and out about it. What's that all about?


Pop music is heroic, accessible, ubiquitous, forward-looking, free, open and relevant.

Classical music is passe, fussy, formal, confining, prissy, closed and irrelevant.

Liberace is the limp-wristed hood ornament on the classical piano vehicle in the public's unconscious mind's eye.

Elton John, despite the funny eyeglasses and the husband, has us humming the tunes rather than rolling our eyes.
Posted by: carey

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/12/13 09:39 AM

Originally Posted By: theJourney

Pop music is heroic, accessible, ubiquitous, forward-looking, free, open and relevant.

Relevant to what???? Most of it may be relevant for the moment - but it quickly becomes passe, largely forgotten, and replaced by something else with a similarly short lifespan. That's why I personally don't follow it anymore.
Quote:
Classical music is passe, fussy, formal, confining, prissy, closed and irrelevant.

Sure, whatever - but it seems to have great "staying" power amongst those who make the effort to understand and appreciate it.
Quote:
Liberace is the limp-wristed hood ornament on the classical piano vehicle in the public's unconscious mind's eye.
Elton John, despite the funny eyeglasses and the husband, has us humming the tunes rather than rolling our eyes.

Society has changed dramatically (did I say DRAMATICALLY ?) since the 1950's. As timed marched on, even Liberace became more flamboyant and over the top in his public persona - without losing his appeal to general audiences. And, anyway, the "public" that you are referring to is dying off - and most young folks today don't even have a clue who Liberace was.
Posted by: theJourney

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/12/13 10:49 AM

Originally Posted By: carey
Originally Posted By: theJourney

Pop music is heroic, accessible, ubiquitous, forward-looking, free, open and relevant.

Relevant to what???? Most of it may be relevant for the moment - but it quickly becomes passe, largely forgotten, and replaced by something else with a similarly short lifespan. That's why I personally don't follow it anymore.

Relevant to whom: billions of listeners whose (low) expectations are met and for whom pop music is exactly what the doctor ordered.

When what we call classical music was being written, in Vienna for example at the end of the 18th century, there was also a constant, fickle demand for the latest, greatest new music just as there is with what we call pop music today. Mozart had to deal with going from being the toast of the town to being a has been during the same length of time that the careers of Neil Sedaka or Barry Manilow were still going strong. Scary.
Originally Posted By: carey

Quote:
Classical music is passe, fussy, formal, confining, prissy, closed and irrelevant.

Sure, whatever - but it seems to have great "staying" power amongst those who make the effort to understand and appreciate it.


Some has, and some hasn't. There is more art music from the past that has been relegated to the great junk heap of history than there is literature that has survived in the active repertoire.

However, people don't live in the past and they don't live in the future, they live in the here and now. The music that is most relevant today -- to the largest percentage of living people in the history of the world that have been able to enjoy professional music -- is pop. Outside of perhaps China the group of people that you and I belong to, classical music liefhabbers und kenners, to those of us in the West, is getting relatively smaller and smaller.

And, I forgot to mention " elitist ". To the extent that anti-intellectualism, populism and a distrust of elites colors a culture or national debates, classical music's position will continue to be marginalized.

Originally Posted By: carey

Quote:
Liberace is the limp-wristed hood ornament on the classical piano vehicle in the public's unconscious mind's eye.
Elton John, despite the funny eyeglasses and the husband, has us humming the tunes rather than rolling our eyes.

Society has changed dramatically (did I say DRAMATICALLY ?) since the 1950's. As timed marched on, even Liberace became more flamboyant and over the top in his public persona - without losing his appeal to general audiences. And, anyway, the "public" that you are referring to is dying off - and most young folks today don't even have a clue who Liberace was.



Unfortunately the public that is patronizing classical music also seems increasingly to be dying off.

What I will say is that, judging from the audience composition at the concerts of his that I attended, Lang Lang is today's "classical rock star pianist" generating a lot of excitement and inspiration for a lot of young aspiring classical pianists.
Posted by: carey

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/12/13 11:44 AM

Originally Posted By: theJourney
Originally Posted By: carey
Originally Posted By: theJourney

Pop music is heroic, accessible, ubiquitous, forward-looking, free, open and relevant.

Relevant to what???? Most of it may be relevant for the moment - but it quickly becomes passe, largely forgotten, and replaced by something else with a similarly short lifespan. That's why I personally don't follow it anymore.

Relevant to whom: billions of listeners whose (low) expectations are met and for whom pop music is exactly what the doctor ordered.


What - Whom - Whatever.

And quite frankly, it reflects the lack of decent music education programs in the schools. But, I agree it is a losing battle.

Quote:
When what we call classical music was being written, in Vienna for example at the end of the 18th century, there was also a constant, fickle demand for the latest, greatest new music just as there is with what we call pop music today. Mozart had to deal with going from being the toast of the town to being a has been during the same length of time that the careers of Neil Sedaka or Barry Manilow were still going strong. Scary.
Except for the fact that Mozart's music has survived - and will probably continue to survive. Sedaka and Maniow on the other hand......

Originally Posted By: carey

Quote:
Classical music is passe, fussy, formal, confining, prissy, closed and irrelevant.

Sure, whatever - but it seems to have great "staying" power amongst those who make the effort to understand and appreciate it.


Quote:
Some has, and some hasn't. There is more art music from the past that has been relegated to the great junk heap of history than there is literature that has survived in the active repertoire.


The works that have survived in the active repertoire probably deserved to survive...although there are a few that I could probably do without... ha

Quote:
However, people don't live in the past and they don't live in the future, they live in the here and now. The music that is most relevant today -- to the largest percentage of living people in the history of the world that have been able to enjoy professional music -- is pop. Outside of perhaps China the group of people that you and I belong to, classical music liefhabbers und kenners, to those of us in the West, is getting relatively smaller and smaller.

And, I forgot to mention " elitist ". To the extent that anti-intellectualism, populism and a distrust of elites colors a culture or national debates, classical music's position will continue to be marginalized.

Sad but true.
Originally Posted By: carey

Quote:
Liberace is the limp-wristed hood ornament on the classical piano vehicle in the public's unconscious mind's eye.
Elton John, despite the funny eyeglasses and the husband, has us humming the tunes rather than rolling our eyes.

Society has changed dramatically (did I say DRAMATICALLY ?) since the 1950's. As timed marched on, even Liberace became more flamboyant and over the top in his public persona - without losing his appeal to general audiences. And, anyway, the "public" that you are referring to is dying off - and most young folks today don't even have a clue who Liberace was.
Quote:
Unfortunately the public that is patronizing classical music also seems increasingly to be dying off.

Seems they've been dying off for the past 50 years - yet there always appears to be a new crop of "blue hairs" filling the seats at symphony concerts to replace the ones that have departed. We're probably good for another 50 years or so !!
Quote:
What I will say is that, judging from the audience composition at the concerts of his that I attended, Lang Lang is today's "classical rock star pianist" generating a lot of excitement and inspiration for a lot of young aspiring classical pianists.

Good point - I was going to mention LL myself. Interestingly, classical ballet is another art form that seems to be catching on with the younger generation. At least that's the case in our city.
Posted by: Pogorelich.

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/12/13 03:40 PM

Why ... just why have people been saying classical music is dying? That same garbage has been said for the past 70 years. It hasn't happened yet, and it won't happen.

It's people who really believe that bullshit who are contributing nothing but gloomy and untrue words. Instead, do something about it. Produce good quality music, play outreach concerts. Something. Stop dumbing down audiences and calling classical music elitist. What good does that do?
Posted by: Pogorelich.

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/12/13 03:51 PM

And the reason why older people tend to make up most of the audiences is simply because they are retired and have more time to go. Btw, in Europe the ages are quite varied. Why? Because the majority of people aren't workaholics.

Just because more people prefer the vomit that constitutes pop music today doesn't decrease the value of classical music and it certainly doesn't make it irrelevant. Have human emotions become irrelevant? Unless that happens, art will never be irrelevant.
Posted by: Rostosky

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/12/13 04:00 PM

well said pogorelich. And definately true in the UK as well, there has been many examples of the young and alienated getting to grips with classical music and this has elevated some out of very bad situations.

There is a youtube video of bellamy from "supergroup" Muse, allthough muse may not be well known here OR everyones cup of tea, their success is not in question, my point here is that the video is showing him playing a chopin nocturne, and from comments I have read on other sites the consensus from muse lovers, is that this just goes to show how talented he is,

what they do not show, is any mockery of classical music from MUse lovers.

Folk are always ready to see what they call the "bad aspects" of the young, ie pop music,txt speak, etc etc etc, But, it has oft been shown that given half a chance the young can and do appreciate classical music just like the rest of us.

The televising of last night at the proms invariably shows a young and highly appreciative audience at the front of the stage.
Posted by: carey

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/12/13 04:13 PM

Originally Posted By: Pogorelich.
Why ... just why have people been saying classical music is dying? That same garbage has been said for the past 70 years. It hasn't happened yet, and it won't happen.

It's people who really believe that bullshit who are contributing nothing but gloomy and untrue words. Instead, do something about it. Produce good quality music, play outreach concerts. Something. Stop dumbing down audiences and calling classical music elitist. What good does that do?

No good at all !! And that's why talented, dedicated, young musicians like you will continue to fight and make sure that classical music prospers !!! Go for it !!!! thumb
Posted by: JoelW

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/12/13 04:21 PM

I don't even understand why anyone would think that classical music is dying anyway. Just because it isn't pop doesn't mean it's going to die. Ironically, it's the other way around. And besides, classical music and its followers is a sub-culture. Just like any other non-pop genre. The other big one I can think of is jazz.

Classical dying? Hahahaha, no.
Posted by: argerichfan

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/12/13 04:37 PM

Originally Posted By: Rostosky

The televising of last night at the proms invariably shows a young and highly appreciative audience at the front of the stage.

And a few years ago you could have seen me there!

I was heartened several weeks ago to sit amongst a young and very vibrant audience at a performance of Messiaen's Turangalila. (Okay, perhaps it's a slightly hipper piece of music than, say, a Schumann symphony.)
Posted by: Hank Drake

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/12/13 05:01 PM

I'm not going to get into the question of hetero vs. homo pianists, which I've discussed before.

But in relation to the aging of Classical music's audience - there's certainly no evidence of it in Cleveland. Severance Hall is filled with younger people, thanks to an aggressive outreach program to area college students. Indeed, the oldest audience I've seen at Severance lately was for a Roberta Flack concert.
Posted by: Tim Adrianson

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/12/13 05:12 PM

I agree with you totally, Pogo -- there continues to be a significant body of younger people who still ARE interested in classical music, and those people are far more knowing and talented in performance than, say, 40 - 50 years ago. Just to maintain continuity in this thread, I think it WAS unquestionable that, here in the US, classical music WAS seen as the province of homosexuals by a great contingent of the middle-class community; and I think it WAS unquestionable that homosexuality WAS seen as irredeemably evil; at best, a source of shame. But I emphasize the WAS's because it seems to me that these paradigms have changed completely over my lifetime. Without getting into it, I speak from personal experience here.
Posted by: Brad Hoehne

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/12/13 05:14 PM

For what it's worth, I had a master class with Earl Wild, who was gay, and he strongly implied (which was all you could do in those days) that Maurice Ravel (who had had met in his younger days) was.
Posted by: argerichfan

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/12/13 05:37 PM

Originally Posted By: Brad Hoehne
For what it's worth, I had a master class with Earl Wild, who was gay, and he strongly implied (which was all you could do in those days) that Maurice Ravel (who had had met in his younger days) was.

You will find quite a bit of info about Ravel and other musicians in the book 'Queer Episodes in Music and Modern Identity'. Take a preview here.
Posted by: pianoloverus

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/12/13 05:45 PM

I can only speak about my own experiences going to mostly piano recitals in NYC for many decades since I came here for college. A very big percentage of the audience has always the 60+ age group. The main venues I have gone to are Carnegie Hall and Mannes.

I certainly do not think great art will ever die out or become irrelevant, but I do think that the number of young people going to concerts is quite small and perhaps decreasing. Certainly at the schools I taught at for many years the interest in classical music was extremely small.

Hopefully the huge increase in interest in Western classical music in Asia and interest in Europe will make up for what seems to be a lack of interest in the U.S.
Posted by: carey

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/12/13 06:31 PM

Originally Posted By: Tim Adrianson
Just to maintain continuity in this thread, I think it WAS unquestionable that, here in the US, classical music WAS seen as the province of homosexuals by a great contingent of the middle-class community;


Tim - where in the world did you get that impression????

Quote:
and I think it WAS unquestionable that homosexuality WAS seen as irredeemably evil; at best, a source of shame.
But I emphasize the WAS's because it seems to me that these paradigms have changed completely over my lifetime. Without getting into it, I speak from personal experience here.


I'm not sure that the first paradigm was ever really the case - and I don't think the second paradigm has really changed all that much. There certainly is greater tolerance - but it's not universal - which is unfortunate.
Posted by: carey

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/12/13 06:40 PM

Originally Posted By: JoelW
I don't even understand why anyone would think that classical music is dying anyway. Just because it isn't pop doesn't mean it's going to die. Ironically, it's the other way around. And besides, classical music and its followers is a sub-culture. Just like any other non-pop genre. The other big one I can think of is jazz.

Classical dying? Hahahaha, no.

Perhaps - but some symphony orchestras in the US are struggling to stay afloat - seeking new business models - and dumbing down their product to appeal to a wider audience. Classical music may indeed be a subculture - but it is challenging to sustain.
Posted by: wr

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/12/13 06:45 PM

Originally Posted By: Pogorelich.
Why ... just why have people been saying classical music is dying? That same garbage has been said for the past 70 years. It hasn't happened yet, and it won't happen.



In the US, the most visible and easily verifiable reason is that some orchestras have gone under without being replaced.

And in my experience, the average age of the audience at recitals is getting older and older, and those who aren't old seem to be Asian music students. The broad range of middle-aged people I used to see seems to have almost completely disappeared.

And, in my experience, the percentage of households with a piano and someone who can play a bit of classical music on it is also much lower than it once was. And of the pianos I do see, a certain number of them are purely status symbols that don't get regular use.

So, those are some reasons people say classical music is dying. There are also reasons to say it is not dying, but that wasn't your question.
Posted by: JoelW

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/12/13 06:56 PM

Originally Posted By: carey
Originally Posted By: JoelW
I don't even understand why anyone would think that classical music is dying anyway. Just because it isn't pop doesn't mean it's going to die. Ironically, it's the other way around. And besides, classical music and its followers is a sub-culture. Just like any other non-pop genre. The other big one I can think of is jazz.

Classical dying? Hahahaha, no.

Perhaps - but some symphony orchestras in the US are struggling to stay afloat - seeking new business models - and dumbing down their product to appeal to a wider audience. Classical music may indeed be a subculture - but it is challenging to sustain.


I suppose. But the scores will always be there, as well as the recordings. The musicians will always be there too, whether they're playing for a living or not. Concert going is wonderful, but it's definitely not why I love classical music. If the concerts went away, as awful as that'd be, I would still be a devoted fan.
Posted by: carey

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/12/13 07:01 PM

Originally Posted By: JoelW
Originally Posted By: carey
Originally Posted By: JoelW
I don't even understand why anyone would think that classical music is dying anyway. Just because it isn't pop doesn't mean it's going to die. Ironically, it's the other way around. And besides, classical music and its followers is a sub-culture. Just like any other non-pop genre. The other big one I can think of is jazz. Classical dying? Hahahaha, no.

Perhaps - but some symphony orchestras in the US are struggling to stay afloat - seeking new business models - and dumbing down their product to appeal to a wider audience. Classical music may indeed be a subculture - but it is challenging to sustain.
I supposed. But the scores will always be there, as well as our the recordings. The musicians will always be there too, whether they're playing for a living or not. Concert going is wonderful, but it's definitely not why I love classical music. If the concerts went away, as awful as that'd be, I would still be a devoted fan.


But of course !!!!! grin
Posted by: CWPiano

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/13/13 12:37 AM

Originally Posted By: Whizbang
Originally Posted By: CWPiano
I think the subject of society's perception of homosexuals and professions associated with it is something we can't ignore as the impact is very real. Allow me to illustrate with my own experience.

...


Geez. A breath of fresh air on this thread.

I think there are most certainly cultural differences. Around the turn of the 20th century, in the US, the piano was definitely view as a girl's instrument--that is, if I'm to believe statements I've read by Gershwin and Morton.

In the US, at least, and to my impression, which may be very flawed, the piano as an instrument no longer has that stigma (say, compared to the flute), though perhaps classical music might. Certainly, music isn't viewed as manly as a pastime as, oh, football, but I never got the sense growing up that it came with a particular effeminate stigma. But I wasn't a part of that music study subculture.

While the plural of anecdote isn't evidence, I find that most of the (predominantly mainland) Chinese people I work with (in tech) want their kids to study an instrument, including piano, regardless of sex.

What, would you posit, is the difference, in this regard, if any, between mainland and HK Chinese culture and Indonesian Chinese culture?


Yes, in Hong Kong and Singapore (where I work now), males are more free to learn piano. This is because the learning in these two cities are very much exam-driven and there are actual academic incentives to learn piano. In Hongkong, grade 8 and Diplomas can be converted to credit to improve one's chances to gain admission into college (similar to UK). In Singapore, being able to play piano at a good standard could make admission into the good schools easier as there is always a shortage of good young pianists for extra curricular activities. So, you see, practicality in the end outweighs social stigma.

Unfortunately though, although males are more free to learn piano, there is still a stigma associated with music profession itself and many parents are still reluctant to let their sons to become a musician because it is regarded as one of the lesser professions. Whenever I attend a seminar or masterclass, majority of teachers attending are still very much females.
Posted by: theJourney

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/13/13 01:16 AM

Originally Posted By: Pogorelich.
Why ... just why have people been saying classical music is dying? That same garbage has been said for the past 70 years. It hasn't happened yet, and it won't happen.

It's people who really believe that bullshit who are contributing nothing but gloomy and untrue words. Instead, do something about it. Produce good quality music, play outreach concerts. Something. Stop dumbing down audiences and calling classical music elitist. What good does that do?


Postivism and Optimism are one thing. But history, reality, current trends and the facts are ignored or manipulated at risk of our own peril.

The factual history of the 1000 years of Western classical music is that it was and is created by and for the elites; the history of the creation, sponsorship, patronage and usage of classical music is in fact littered with often oppressive, unenlightened, anti-social elites.

Much of the classical music that was being commissioned (e.g. operas of John Adams) in the giddy 80's and 90's of the previous century, those years of gross materialism and crass commercialism, was also being paid for by modern day robber barons (venture capitalists) desperately wanting to depict themselves as actually being humane and listened to by affluent audiences.

Any art form that in reality requires 10 years of carefully cultivated attention or study to really appreciate rather than just attending $200 a head concerts in order to " see and be seen " with the right crowds and to sleep through, catching up unobtrusively on nap time after a hard day's work is certainly elitist from the point of view of your average citizen who mostly listens to Sky Radio to and from work on their daily commute and who doens't have $200 to their name at the end of each month.
Posted by: theJourney

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/13/13 01:37 AM

Originally Posted By: Hank Drake
the oldest audience I've seen at Severance lately was for a Roberta Flack concert.


LOL

Originally Posted By: Tim Adrianson
Just to maintain continuity in this thread, I think it WAS unquestionable that, here in the US, classical music WAS seen as the province of homosexuals by a great contingent of the middle-class community; and I think it WAS unquestionable that homosexuality WAS seen as irredeemably evil; at best, a source of shame. But I emphasize the WAS's because it seems to me that these paradigms have changed completely over my lifetime. Without getting into it, I speak from personal experience here.


Hmmm. Well, from friends, acquaintances and relatives living in small farming communities today, what I can say is is that playing Star Wars medleys on the trombone in marching band during half time because you are too small to be a linebacker anyway is OK. Tinkling out Haydn sonatas on your grandmother's spinet is definitely NOT OK and is GAY.
Posted by: carey

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/13/13 02:10 AM

Originally Posted By: theJourney

Originally Posted By: Tim Adrianson
Just to maintain continuity in this thread, I think it WAS unquestionable that, here in the US, classical music WAS seen as the province of homosexuals by a great contingent of the middle-class community; and I think it WAS unquestionable that homosexuality WAS seen as irredeemably evil; at best, a source of shame. But I emphasize the WAS's because it seems to me that these paradigms have changed completely over my lifetime. Without getting into it, I speak from personal experience here.


Hmmm. Well, from friends, acquaintances and relatives living in small farming communities today, what I can say is is that playing Star Wars medleys on the trombone in marching band during half time because you are too small to be a linebacker anyway is OK. Tinkling out Haydn sonatas on your grandmother's spinet is definitely NOT OK and is GAY.


It certainly was MORE THAN OK and not considered GAY back when I taught piano at a Nebraska college in the 1970's to scores of small town farm kids who performed in the marching band in addition to tinkling the ivories. Many of them went back to their small communities and enjoyed successful careers as school music teachers. Perhaps the residents of Nebraska are more enlightened than those of other mid-western states. grin
Posted by: theJourney

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/13/13 03:16 AM

Originally Posted By: carey
It certainly was MORE THAN OK and not considered GAY back when I taught piano at a Nebraska college in the 1970's to scores of small town farm kids who performed in the marching band in addition to tinkling the ivories. Many of them went back to their small communities and enjoyed successful careers as school music teachers. Perhaps the residents of Nebraska are more enlightened than those of other mid-western states. grin



My impression was always that Iowa and Minnesota were more progressive than Nebraska....and all kids were above average....

Well, you don't say how many of those budding pianists were girls versus how many were straight boys versus something more ambiguous....

Aren't near as many decent music teacher jobs these days what with school district consolidations, elimination of music teaching in curricula, use of temps and state-employee and national teacher union bashing, etc. etc....some of the same concerns as mentioned by CWPiano are in play here as well...

One explanation could be that the piano has even less acceptance today than in the 1970's in many of these communities where during the past 40 years five hours of passive television per day and computer games and social media gossiping have taken over from community activities. School sports have been elevated to an even more exalted position above everything else, including academics...if you can't hit it, throw it, kick it, bounce it or sink it ( or smoke it, sniff it, snort it or swallow it ) then for too many rural boys it is not important...

My impression is that the word " gay " is also devolving to refer to something else than (exclusively) " homosexual ". "That is so gay!" seems to be slang for "not socially desirable, different"
Posted by: stores

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/13/13 03:27 AM

Originally Posted By: theJourney
Originally Posted By: Pogorelich.
Why ... just why have people been saying classical music is dying? That same garbage has been said for the past 70 years. It hasn't happened yet, and it won't happen.

It's people who really believe that bullshit who are contributing nothing but gloomy and untrue words. Instead, do something about it. Produce good quality music, play outreach concerts. Something. Stop dumbing down audiences and calling classical music elitist. What good does that do?


Postivism and Optimism are one thing. But history, reality, current trends and the facts are ignored or manipulated at risk of our own peril.

The factual history of the 1000 years of Western classical music is that it was and is created by and for the elites; the history of the creation, sponsorship, patronage and usage of classical music is in fact littered with often oppressive, unenlightened, anti-social elites.

Much of the classical music that was being commissioned (e.g. operas of John Adams) in the giddy 80's and 90's of the previous century, those years of gross materialism and crass commercialism, was also being paid for by modern day robber barons (venture capitalists) desperately wanting to depict themselves as actually being humane and listened to by affluent audiences.

Any art form that in reality requires 10 years of carefully cultivated attention or study to really appreciate rather than just attending $200 a head concerts in order to " see and be seen " with the right crowds and to sleep through, catching up unobtrusively on nap time after a hard day's work is certainly elitist from the point of view of your average citizen who mostly listens to Sky Radio to and from work on their daily commute and who doens't have $200 to their name at the end of each month.


I'm sorry, but there's a lot of blah blah blah in there that simply holds no water. You've swallowed the pill wholly, Journey. As a result, you're part of the problem.
Posted by: theJourney

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/13/13 03:33 AM

Originally Posted By: stores
Originally Posted By: theJourney
Originally Posted By: Pogorelich.
Why ... just why have people been saying classical music is dying? That same garbage has been said for the past 70 years. It hasn't happened yet, and it won't happen.

It's people who really believe that bullshit who are contributing nothing but gloomy and untrue words. Instead, do something about it. Produce good quality music, play outreach concerts. Something. Stop dumbing down audiences and calling classical music elitist. What good does that do?


Postivism and Optimism are one thing. But history, reality, current trends and the facts are ignored or manipulated at risk of our own peril.

The factual history of the 1000 years of Western classical music is that it was and is created by and for the elites; the history of the creation, sponsorship, patronage and usage of classical music is in fact littered with often oppressive, unenlightened, anti-social elites.

Much of the classical music that was being commissioned (e.g. operas of John Adams) in the giddy 80's and 90's of the previous century, those years of gross materialism and crass commercialism, was also being paid for by modern day robber barons (venture capitalists) desperately wanting to depict themselves as actually being humane and listened to by affluent audiences.

Any art form that in reality requires 10 years of carefully cultivated attention or study to really appreciate rather than just attending $200 a head concerts in order to " see and be seen " with the right crowds and to sleep through, catching up unobtrusively on nap time after a hard day's work is certainly elitist from the point of view of your average citizen who mostly listens to Sky Radio to and from work on their daily commute and who doens't have $200 to their name at the end of each month.


I'm sorry, but there's a lot of blah blah blah in there that simply holds no water. You've swallowed the pill wholly, Journey. As a result, you're part of the problem.


Au contraire. I would say that knowledge makes us more capable of shaping the future. After all, "Those who do not know history are condemned to repeat it." -- Edmund Burke
Posted by: stores

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/13/13 03:45 AM

Originally Posted By: theJourney
Originally Posted By: stores
Originally Posted By: theJourney
Originally Posted By: Pogorelich.
Why ... just why have people been saying classical music is dying? That same garbage has been said for the past 70 years. It hasn't happened yet, and it won't happen.

It's people who really believe that bullshit who are contributing nothing but gloomy and untrue words. Instead, do something about it. Produce good quality music, play outreach concerts. Something. Stop dumbing down audiences and calling classical music elitist. What good does that do?


Postivism and Optimism are one thing. But history, reality, current trends and the facts are ignored or manipulated at risk of our own peril.

The factual history of the 1000 years of Western classical music is that it was and is created by and for the elites; the history of the creation, sponsorship, patronage and usage of classical music is in fact littered with often oppressive, unenlightened, anti-social elites.

Much of the classical music that was being commissioned (e.g. operas of John Adams) in the giddy 80's and 90's of the previous century, those years of gross materialism and crass commercialism, was also being paid for by modern day robber barons (venture capitalists) desperately wanting to depict themselves as actually being humane and listened to by affluent audiences.

Any art form that in reality requires 10 years of carefully cultivated attention or study to really appreciate rather than just attending $200 a head concerts in order to " see and be seen " with the right crowds and to sleep through, catching up unobtrusively on nap time after a hard day's work is certainly elitist from the point of view of your average citizen who mostly listens to Sky Radio to and from work on their daily commute and who doens't have $200 to their name at the end of each month.


I'm sorry, but there's a lot of blah blah blah in there that simply holds no water. You've swallowed the pill wholly, Journey. As a result, you're part of the problem.


Au contraire. I would say that knowledge makes us more capable of shaping the future. After all, "Those who do not know history are condemned to repeat it." -- Edmund Burke



You are quite correct about knowledge, however, this sentence... "The factual history of the 1000 years of Western classical music is that it was and is created by and for the elites"... should stop every reader and make them question your "knowledge". I'll not reply further. I no longer debate on this forum (have neither the time nor the interest), but when I see something that's wrong then I will say so.
Posted by: theJourney

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/13/13 03:50 AM

Originally Posted By: stores
You are quite correct about knowledge, however, this sentence... "The factual history of the 1000 years of Western classical music is that it was and is created by and for the elites"... should stop every reader and make them question your "knowledge". I'll not reply further. I no longer debate on this forum (have neither the time nor the interest), but when I see something that's wrong then I will say so.


You might want to read a good text on the History of Western Music. Richard Taruskin's The Oxford History of Western Music would be a good start.

Stating that it is your opinion that something is wrong while hastily pre-announcing that it is your intention to " hit and run " on the thread without explaining yourself is not the same thing as providing evidence or cogent arguments for why you believe that something is wrong.
Posted by: Pogorelich.

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/13/13 09:34 AM

Originally Posted By: theJourney


Postivism and Optimism are one thing. But history, reality, current trends and the facts are ignored or manipulated at risk of our own peril.

The factual history of the 1000 years of Western classical music is that it was and is created by and for the elites; the history of the creation, sponsorship, patronage and usage of classical music is in fact littered with often oppressive, unenlightened, anti-social elites.

Much of the classical music that was being commissioned (e.g. operas of John Adams) in the giddy 80's and 90's of the previous century, those years of gross materialism and crass commercialism, was also being paid for by modern day robber barons (venture capitalists) desperately wanting to depict themselves as actually being humane and listened to by affluent audiences.

Any art form that in reality requires 10 years of carefully cultivated attention or study to really appreciate rather than just attending $200 a head concerts in order to " see and be seen " with the right crowds and to sleep through, catching up unobtrusively on nap time after a hard day's work is certainly elitist from the point of view of your average citizen who mostly listens to Sky Radio to and from work on their daily commute and who doens't have $200 to their name at the end of each month.


I'm sorry, but what was 1,000 years ago was 1,000 years ago. Sure, it may have been created for the "elites" back then, but some things have changed by now wouldn't you say? Are all of us elite? I live in a basement, for god's sake, with 3 other people, can't afford a car or to own a piano. Thank god I have full scholarship, otherwise I wouldn't be able to go to school either. I try to play somewhat decently... classical music. I don't own any designer clothes. The most expensive thing I own is probably my leather jacket. Am I elite? If so, that's a whole new definition for me, hahaha!

It requites 10 years of careful study or you won't enjoy it? How can you not see what's wrong with that statement? I've played for SO many audiences without a classical background who absolutely LOVED the concerts. And love going to concerts. There are a lot of things being done now, for audiences to have a more meaningful musical experience at concerts. Talking, short examples from the piece, etc. Not even mentioning the "light classics" or "pop's concerts", where they play a movement of something or only play Gershwin.................................

I agree that yes, sometimes people only go to be seen there and for a chance to wear that prada dress, and probably don't enjoy the concert at all, but it's not always like that. I played concerts in Europe that were sold out, and for some of them I can't even remember seeing anyone past 60. In North America, too - there are a lot of music lovers, and they don't have to fit into your two stereotypical categories - either filthy rich or with extensive musical background.

As a stereotype, yes it's there.. no one can argue with that. But there are stuffy, elitist people in every field. So what?
Posted by: carey

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/13/13 09:44 AM

Originally Posted By: theJourney

My impression is that the word " gay " is also devolving to refer to something else than (exclusively) " homosexual ". "That is so gay!" seems to be slang for "not socially desirable, different"


Well - if so - then that's an entirely different discussion.
Posted by: Kreisler

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/13/13 10:41 AM

And a reading of Taruskin (or Grout, or any other music history text) will reveal that in various eras, music was created:

For the church.
For the court.
For the people.

In fact, that last category is rather large and doesn't cater to elites. For example:

The public Bach/Abel subscription concerts in England.

The choral tradition championed by Handel, Mendelssohn, and Brahms.

The enormous amount of music written by 19th century composers for amateur musicians (including Schumann and Mendelssohn, as well as lesser-known composers like Kirchner, Gurlitt, Turk, Gade, Heller, etc...) All of this in response to the rise of the middle class in the wake of the French revolution and the access to instruments made less expensive by better manufacturing techniques as a part of the industrial revolution.

As for music being made "by" the elites, some of the greatest did not come from elite stock. Beethoven and Brahms come to mind. Even Schoenberg came from a rather humble family.

Originally Posted By: theJourney
Originally Posted By: stores
You are quite correct about knowledge, however, this sentence... "The factual history of the 1000 years of Western classical music is that it was and is created by and for the elites"... should stop every reader and make them question your "knowledge". I'll not reply further. I no longer debate on this forum (have neither the time nor the interest), but when I see something that's wrong then I will say so.


You might want to read a good text on the History of Western Music. Richard Taruskin's The Oxford History of Western Music would be a good start.

Stating that it is your opinion that something is wrong while hastily pre-announcing that it is your intention to " hit and run " on the thread without explaining yourself is not the same thing as providing evidence or cogent arguments for why you believe that something is wrong.
Posted by: theJourney

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/13/13 10:48 AM

Quote:

ELITE
a singular or plural in construction : the choice part : cream <the elite of the entertainment world>
b singular or plural in construction : the best of a class <superachievers who dominate the computer elite — Marilyn Chase>
c singular or plural in construction : the socially superior part of society <how the French-speaking elite…was changing — Economist>
d : a group of persons who by virtue of position or education exercise much power or influence <members of the ruling elite>
e : a member of such an elite —usually used in plural <the elites … , pursuing their studies in Europe — Robert Wernick>



Originally Posted By: Pogorelich.

I'm sorry, but what was 1,000 years ago was 1,000 years ago. Sure, it may have been created for the "elites" back then, but some things have changed by now wouldn't you say? Are all of us elite? I live in a basement, for god's sake, with 3 other people, can't afford a car or to own a piano. Thank god I have full scholarship, otherwise I wouldn't be able to go to school either. I try to play somewhat decently... classical music. I don't own any designer clothes. The most expensive thing I own is probably my leather jacket. Am I elite? If so, that's a whole new definition for me, hahaha!


Not just 1000 years ago but during the entire history of Western Classical Music which is only 1000 years long, since the advent of notation.

Classical music is per definition an elite, literary genre.
Quote:

until very recent times, and in some ways up until today, literacy and its fruits have been the possession -- the closely guarded and privileging (even life-saving) possession -- of social elites: ecclesiastical, political, military, hereditary, meritocratic, professional, economic, educational, academic, fashionable, even criminal. What else, after all makes high art high?

Things have changed dramatically in the last 100 years (you are actually allowed to play for pay as a woman) and since the 1960's, in particular now with new technology and the ability to work one job and make music on the side that even those who cannot read and write musical notation can still create (classical) music.

Elite doesn't mean just those who are financially elite.
You are academically and professionally elite because you have had years of demanding, specialist training to do something that to most people is most certainly impossible: play the piano as a kind of museum curator of old or even ancient music.

You may or may not later be financially elite or be elite in terms of your influence on classical music -- only time will tell.

The fact that you and your roommates are, as a figure of speech, starving now is partly a question of supply and demand (supply: too many largely interchangeable reenactors of dead music competing with free or inexpensive reference recordings of very high calibre and demand: too few interested, paying audience members). Also because you are likely not creating new art music for a high paying patron or commercial market niche but are simply performing other (dead) people's creative works.
Posted by: woodog

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/13/13 10:49 AM

Originally Posted By: asthecrowflies
I'd love to get a poll of the gender & orientation break outs of PW posters. I think we'd find a higher proportion of homos here than in the general public. Much higher.

I think it's funny that some people think that the subject of gay pianists is a prurient one. In fact, I think of it as exactly the opposite - it's a search for identify amongst those of us who seek to understand our place in the world, through the lens of people "like us" whom we respect. Also, to better understand how lucky we are in this day and age, and how fortunate we weren't born in an earlier era. I can't help but think about what it must have been growing up as Van Cliburn, or Pletnev, or Richter, or Glenn Gould. Can't help but think if they channeled their frustrations into their music, and htat helped to take away the pain of being different.

... a sublime happiness that I can only explain by associating it with my own memories of feeling truly safe in my own skin confiding in a female friend in those tormented teen years.

Anyway, I know I'm late to the party, and maybe this thread is just dying embers now, but just thought i'd weigh in!


PS. Debrucey. Your largely ignored joke about wiping was the funniest thing I've read in ages. I spit my drink all over my laptop when i read that. Magnificent.


Your post really touched me. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

I now live in Bowling Green, KY (not known as a bastion of liberal thought, home of Rand Paul), but grew up in Camden, SC, a town of about 12,000 at the time.

One of my earliest memories of reading was a sign at the laundromat 'For White Customers Only'.

My partner Greg (we would be married if that were possible where we lived, but it is not) and I were discussing this thread and how religion is only mentioned obliquely. That in itself is fascinating.

As to 'this day and age', Greg and I were talking about how much easier it is to be gay, but I think ease (my perspective only) has - partly - to do with weathering the storm that came about when you decided to be honest, letting those who would impede my life fall away (or telling them point blank to get lost) and embracing those people, situations, religions (Unitarian Universalism) that encourage honesty.

I'm not just out of the closet, I'm out of the house, across the street and in the neighbor's yard.

Tormented teen years... geez... I thought I was the only gay person in the 1970s as I came of age... went through the casting out of demons at a pentacostal church for a cure, undergoing this internal spiritual battle/torment (daily, hourly!! incessantly!!!) until my early 20's. SO unnecessary!!

The final push where I lost my religion was in 1994 when I was dismissed as the music minister at a United Methodist Church after I was publicly outed because of a legal custody/visitation battle to see my son, then 3 years old.

It was a dark, dark time but it was probably one of the best things that ever happened to me as a friend asked the following question:

'Why are you so intent on hanging out with people who will NEVER accept you the way you are?'.

I wish I had known some people I admired were gay. Even in the early 80's in music history classes there was talk of Constanza and Mozart, but nary a mention of Peter Pears when speaking of Benjamin Britton, or only in passing as a tenor for whom he wrote music.

I wanted to play the piano from as far back as I can remember, and my mother, an EXCELLENT pianist, would not teach me. Even though I've never discussed this with her, but I wonder if some of that was to 'dissuade the gay' in me, even though I didn't think of myself in those terms at the time.

At 11 I taught myself for two years until my grandmother volunteered to pay for lessons. I was teased unmercifully in middle and high school (physically assaulted as well as verbally) and so I decided to learn martial arts - partly to have something in my life I could consider 'butch', but mostly because I loved the show 'Kung Fu' and had all of these mental scenarios where I would beat up my tormentors, some of whom I had crushes on, btw. I discovered I was quite good at karate (studying through my 20s and earning black belts), and the physical abuse stopped early on (never had to fight after starting Karate), but the verbal abuse didn't.

I took up piano because, like Karate, Bicycling, audio equipment, automobile mechanics, ... I was INTERESTED in it. Still am. Still study.

This thread is a healing one. It's a good thing.

Forrest

p.s. yes, Debrucey, it was funny!
Posted by: theJourney

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/13/13 11:27 AM

Originally Posted By: Kreisler
And a reading of Taruskin (or Grout, or any other music history text) will reveal that in various eras, music was created:

For the church.
For the court.
For the people.

In fact, that last category is rather large and doesn't cater to elites. For example:

The public Bach/Abel subscription concerts in England.

The choral tradition championed by Handel, Mendelssohn, and Brahms.

The enormous amount of music written by 19th century composers for amateur musicians (including Schumann and Mendelssohn, as well as lesser-known composers like Kirchner, Gurlitt, Turk, Gade, Heller, etc...) All of this in response to the rise of the middle class in the wake of the French revolution and the access to instruments made less expensive by better manufacturing techniques as a part of the industrial revolution.

As for music being made "by" the elites, some of the greatest did not come from elite stock. Beethoven and Brahms come to mind. Even Schoenberg came from a rather humble family.

Well, the definition of elite does not limit itself to the church or the court.

You provide excellent examples. The advent of music publishing, the piano, the middle class, the choral tradition and widespread amateur music making certainly did increase the size of the group of largely elite people who made and listened to classical music (a group which since the advent of the radio and phonograph followed by the elimination of universal music education seems to have been again in decline.) However, I would argue that by and large this has still been an elite group.

What would you say the national coverage was of those listening to the Bach/Abel subscription concerts in England (versus say the reach of popular music today)? What was the socio-economic background of those people attending? They sound rather like a chique, fashionable, elite, event organized by some rather well-off people with rarified elite artistic qualifications (following Abel's return of working 10 years at court orchestra:

Quote:

In those concerts, many celebrated guest artists appeared, and many works of Haydn received their first English performance.
For ten years the concerts were organized by Mrs. Theresa Cornelys, a retired Venetian opera singer who owned a concert hall at Carlisle House in Soho Square, then the height of fashionable events.


The heyday of the piano -- during which in those homes that had the financial and cultural wherewithal it was ensured that every marriable daughter was taking piano lessons -- was, considered over the last 1000 years, a relatively short-lived phenomenon. Don't underestimate the standing of these households either. The five servant girls working in such a household were almost certainly not taking piano lessons. And, to keep the thread again on track, the boys of the house were often not either.

Beethoven and Brahms were certainly writing by and large for an elite audience. Mendelssohn was from quite an elite family. Handel was writing for such an elite audience that his old-fashioned opera company went bust and he innovated with his oratoria, stroking the ego of a rather elite English mercantile audience.

As to Heller. I can't believe you brought him into this discussion. smile
Posted by: Tim Adrianson

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/13/13 11:51 AM

Morning, carey -- I feel like I owe you an answer, since your reaction seems to be one of total incredulity. Very briefly put, I got that impression because of the way in which I was treated. However, I feel the need to define some time-periods here, by way of explanation. My elementary and high-school education was in the late 50's - mid 60's in a Catholic middle-class setting in the Midwest. The "conventional wisdom" towards classical music at that time tended to be what I refer to as "reverse elitism" -- the attitude that people who listened predominantly to classical music were snobs, putting on airs -- and that "The Arts" in general did NOT need to be cultivated. However, there was virtually no connection made between classical music and homosexuality -- the latter was simply off the map as a consideration; it was only the province of enclaves in a few large cities.

That all changed in the late '60s and early '70s, which spawned an enormous shift in middle-class perception. It was in that time-period of the sexual revolution that many began to realize more fully the link between "The Arts" and homosexuality -- and I would continue to insist that homosexuality was still seen as a shameful thing at that time. The only change was a lot more open sniggering and dwelling upon who was and wasn't "one of THEM". I, unfortunately, was regarded as "one of THEM" -- and treated that way; at arm's length; not within smelling distance; even by my own family.

Actually, I'm not surprised at your incredulity, particularly with your subsequent post about teaching in Nebraska. I believe the late '60s and '70s, as bad as they were in some aspects, did also knock a lot of middle-class America off its smug schneid, and droves of people, in a sincere sense, began to more fully appreciate the value of the Arts, and the discipline necessary to do it well. And not just the elite, but many, many others as well. Personally, I'm glad for your experience.
Posted by: Pogorelich.

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/13/13 02:48 PM

So what would you say about golf, journey? Same logic would apply there.

I don't feel like beating a dead horse. Btw my roommates aren't musicians.

Also, I'm not striving to be a solo performer.
Posted by: carey

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/13/13 02:51 PM

Originally Posted By: Tim Adrianson
Morning, carey -- I feel like I owe you an answer, since your reaction seems to be one of total incredulity. Very briefly put, I got that impression because of the way in which I was treated. However, I feel the need to define some time-periods here, by way of explanation. My elementary and high-school education was in the late 50's - mid 60's in a Catholic middle-class setting in the Midwest. The "conventional wisdom" towards classical music at that time tended to be what I refer to as "reverse elitism" -- the attitude that people who listened predominantly to classical music were snobs, putting on airs -- and that "The Arts" in general did NOT need to be cultivated. However, there was virtually no connection made between classical music and homosexuality -- the latter was simply off the map as a consideration; it was only the province of enclaves in a few large cities.

That all changed in the late '60s and early '70s, which spawned an enormous shift in middle-class perception. It was in that time-period of the sexual revolution that many began to realize more fully the link between "The Arts" and homosexuality -- and I would continue to insist that homosexuality was still seen as a shameful thing at that time. The only change was a lot more open sniggering and dwelling upon who was and wasn't "one of THEM". I, unfortunately, was regarded as "one of THEM" -- and treated that way; at arm's length; not within smelling distance; even by my own family.

Actually, I'm not surprised at your incredulity, particularly with your subsequent post about teaching in Nebraska. I believe the late '60s and '70s, as bad as they were in some aspects, did also knock a lot of middle-class America off its smug schneid, and droves of people, in a sincere sense, began to more fully appreciate the value of the Arts, and the discipline necessary to do it well. And not just the elite, but many, many others as well. Personally, I'm glad for your experience.

Tim - Thank you for your very thoughtful and sensitive post. Certainly helps to put things in perspective. While you and I are approximately the same age, I grew up in California (San Diego and LA) and attended public school. Over the years I observed and experienced the same general attitudes that you address in your post. Let's face it. Any kid who departs from the "norm" is viewed with suspicion. I was the guy who would stay in and practice Chopin while the neighborhood kids played football. I got a lot of grief for that - until my musical skills (such as they were back then) eventually provided me with recognition and leadership opportunities in high school. The guys who previously razzed me backed off. Perhaps they grew up a bit themselves. When I got to college in the mid-60's I was in a supportive, nurturing environment with other dedicated young musicians. But even then, a career in music was perceived by many in the general school population as a "less than" and not particularly "masculine" option to pursue. The Nebraska college teaching experience in the mid-70's was wonderful. Fortunately I was able to transition from teaching to a long career in arts administration. Even now, however, when I tell people what I did all those years (and that I still play classical piano) all I get in return are blank stares. Folks who aren't involved in the arts don't always "get it" - and that's fine, because, quite frankly, I still don't completely "get" things like football - and my spouse of 38 years, bless her heart, is a football fanatic !! Go figure !!
Posted by: theJourney

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/13/13 04:00 PM

Originally Posted By: Pogorelich.
So what would you say about golf, journey? Same logic would apply there.

I don't feel like beating a dead horse. Btw my roommates aren't musicians.

Also, I'm not striving to be a solo performer.


In at least one example, golf's socio-geographic coordinates are opposite to those of homosexuality.

If you play golf in Iowa (which is very laid back and has more public golf courses per capita compared to just about anywhere on the planet), then golf is not an elite pursuit but is about driving a golf cart twice around the same 9 hole, corn-field golf course, finishing before your 24 can case of Miller Light is empty.

If you play golf around Amsterdam, then it is very much an elite pursuit: you have trained under a good pro, you are required to have a state issued license proving you can play, you have a handicap and are improving it, you have an expensive club membership or are on the waiting list and you play golf because your kind of people, or that group you aspire to, play golf.

Everything is relative.
Posted by: Kimsie

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/13/13 05:56 PM

Hi Forrest,

Thanks for sharing. I thought about PMing you but I guess I will add this to the thread, which doesn't have that much to do with piano anymore anyway. I consider myself to be a conservative Christian and if there were two subjects I didn't want to know anything about, they were mental illness and homosexuality, but God had other plans. Now we have a son with schizophrenia (for 9 years) and I am no longer avoiding the issue of homosexuality, either. How did this happen? Our son (not the one who has schizophrenia) has a teacher who is gay.

I was praying for this teacher (just in general, not because he is gay) and I felt convicted that if I was praying for him I should try to understand him, so I went on the internet and read the stories of a lot of gay people and tried to imagine what it would be like to be them. It was really great, but this happened over a period of several months because it was stressful for me, especially at first. Now I feel that all conservative Christians should make an effort to try to understand what it is to be gay and I feel saddened when I hear my friends saying things that show such a lack of understanding. I have spoken with a couple of people about it, but this is a really tough area. Well, that's enough for the thread, but if you want to correspond, you could PM me.

Kim
Posted by: debrucey

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/13/13 06:52 PM

If only all religious people were as open minded as you.
Posted by: Pogorelich.

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/13/13 07:34 PM

Yes. My point is that elitist attitude is everywhere, in everything to a certain extent.

I will post something that isserlis wrote later tonight. It will say it better than I can.
Posted by: Pogorelich.

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/13/13 10:41 PM

Quote:
About a week ago, I read in the Independent a (rather approving) article reporting on a speech made by someone from Universal Classics, warning that classical music was in grave danger unless it shed its 'stuffy, elitist image'. Now, perhaps I'm wrong to argue with this; perhaps I'm stuffy and elitist myself - but I certainly don't FEEL it! And I HATE reading this time and time again in the papers; it's such a self-fulfilling prophecy. There are certainly some stuffy people in our profession (as in most professions); but they're generally not the musicians... So I wrote the following letter. I reprint it here, not because I thought it was particularly good, but because it was edited for reasons of space; fair enough, and at least they printed it - but it did make it somewhat self-contradictory. So here it is as I wrote it:


I'm surprised to read as news the fact that Mr Hole has warned of the 'danger to classical music' unless it sheds its 'stuffy, elitist image'. (I can't believe that he used those words, but I was not there when he gave the speech in question.) For years, people have been warning of classical music's imminent demise if it fails to sharpen up its image. During those years, countless performers, whose noble determination to 'break down barriers' was matched only by their even greater determination to generate publicity for themselves (unfortunately, in most cases unaccompanied by any special musical talent), have fallen by the wayside; meanwhile, the careers of Messrs Bach, Mozart, Beethoven etc have carried on regardless, transforming people's lives everywhere.

Mr Hole is absolutely right to seek ways to sell the records he produces, of course, and has done fine work so doing, in an industry that has sunk rather low. But for musicians, the point is not to think of ways of selling ourselves - but actually to get on with the wonderful task of playing great music, and playing it well. If audiences tend to be older, that is because older people have more time (and perhaps more need) to listen to the huge symphonies of Beethoven, Bruckner and Mahler (for instance) that address through music the central questions of our existence.

Having said that, it is a tragedy that musical education is so neglected in this country (and many others). As Mr Hole points out, countries such as Venezuela, which offer their young people the chance to study classical music, produce extraordinary results - not only in terms of musical performance, but in producing a whole society of young people who are personally fulfilled and passionately committed to the profession they love. We should follow their example - not for classical music's sake, but for our own.

- Isserlis
Posted by: sophial

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/13/13 10:48 PM

excellent, thanks for posting that!
Posted by: Michael_99

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/13/13 11:36 PM

We used to have record stores that also sold movies. They have all done. Video store are gone. I don't do business over the internet. I can buy printed music at the music store but that is about it. utube is my only access to the outside world. Most book stores are done. What a new world in a very short time. Most of the movie theatres have closed because the new projectors necessary costs over a million for each theatre.
Posted by: theJourney

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/14/13 02:32 AM

Excellent post, Pogorelich.

Quote:

The current Chavez administration has been the most generous patron of El Sistema so far, footing almost its entire annual operating budget as well as additional capital projects.


If the hope for widespread appreciation of and education in classical music is that the people of America and the Netherlands and other Western Nations all freely choose to cozy up to Communist Cuba and elect an authoritarian strongman to become more like Chavez' Venezuela, able to expand and fund classical music populism undemocratically, then we are farther from saving classical music from its long predicted demise (or from becoming even more elitist than it ever was) than I thought...! In fact, that means that classical music is most certainly doomed given that both the US and the Netherlands are governed by uber-citizen-corporations that preach the "free" market gospel that says " if there ain't money in it for us, and a lot of it, then we ain't gonna do it." The fact that fully 30% of all American children grow up in debilitating poverty today is about the only thing that the US has in common with Venezuela.

Who is going to get all the petty little local school boards to agree? Who is going to get taxes raised on homeowners? Implementing and funding and keeping something like " El Sistema " going nationwide in the US would never come about as long as "social services" might as well be a dirty swear word and and no one ever mentions " the poor" and there is no national education policy, no national curriculum, no standardized testing, no federal financing of schools and nobody that can get Congress to do anything that corporations haven't bought fair and square to happen in their own interest. Even the record companies are losing interest in classical:

Quote:

In the 1970's, classical music accounted for 20 percent of record sales in Japan, its most avid market, 10 percent in Western Europe, and 5 percent in North America. As the medium of commercial recording switched from the mid-1980s from LP to CD, and the American market share for classical record sales stabilized at approximately 3 percent (about the same as Jazz, increasingly regarded and described as ' America's classical music'), its status was relegated to that of " niche " product serving a tiny, closed-off clientele whose needs could be met with reissues rather than costly new recordings of the standard repertoire. Major symphony orchestras, especially in the US, found themselves without recording contracts, with serious consequences for the incomes of their personnel. Major labels began concentrating on 'crossover' projects, in which the most popular classical performers collaborated with artists from other walks of musical life in an effort to achieve sales that might transcend the limits of the classical ' niche '. The huge fees that such artists commanded virtually squeezed others out of the recording budget altogether. Classical music seemed destined to become the culture industry's ' basket case'. "


The reason that we have so many wonderful examples in the classical literature to enjoy today is because in the past there were elites that were commissioning them, playing them and preserving them, by force as it were.

Today we have chosen a different model for music which says that whatever is the most popular, whatever has the ability to connect with the largest and thus lowest common denominator of passive demand from listeners, not for art but for crass entertainment (and often using the same scientific insights into the innate weaknesses of our unconscious psychology to manipulate the listener in the same way that Madison Avenue advertisements manipulate us), is what deserves to win in our "holy 'free' market" where isolated, selfish, individual consumers of markets to exploit have taken the place of informed and responsible citizens of communities. Thereby taking the perfectly logical choice of also eliminating universal music education in many or most local schools as superfluous. " Kids should learn to get a job to fend for themselves and to buy stuff. All other education -- especially teaching critical thinking skills -- is a waste of my money and may be even dangerous."

I would say: " We made our bed and now we have to lie in it."

This vision achieving success in Venezuela is utopia for us since we as a society do not share the stated values....

Quote:

"Music has to be recognized as an agent of social development, in the highest sense because it transmits the highest values - solidarity, harmony, mutual compassion. And it has the ability to unite an entire community, and to express sublime feelings"


The reason that homosexuals can marry in the State of Iowa is not because there was a populist vote to grant them their civil rights but because there was a group of elite State Supreme Court Judges with a conscience that decided to read and interpret the State Constitution with intellectual honesty and compassion and to do the right thing. In fact, afterwards, the Judges were voted out by a popular vote as punishment and retribution from the Iowan hoi polloi.

Classical Music will also only be saved when the elites that govern us, in recognition of the great treasure that classical music and active music making has for the entire culture, decide that it has to happen and make it happen.
Posted by: wr

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/14/13 07:06 AM

Originally Posted By: Pogorelich.
Quote:
About a week ago, I read in the Independent a (rather approving) article reporting on a speech made by someone from Universal Classics, warning that classical music was in grave danger unless it shed its 'stuffy, elitist image'. Now, perhaps I'm wrong to argue with this; perhaps I'm stuffy and elitist myself - but I certainly don't FEEL it! And I HATE reading this time and time again in the papers; it's such a self-fulfilling prophecy. There are certainly some stuffy people in our profession (as in most professions); but they're generally not the musicians... So I wrote the following letter. I reprint it here, not because I thought it was particularly good, but because it was edited for reasons of space; fair enough, and at least they printed it - but it did make it somewhat self-contradictory. So here it is as I wrote it:


I'm surprised to read as news the fact that Mr Hole has warned of the 'danger to classical music' unless it sheds its 'stuffy, elitist image'. (I can't believe that he used those words, but I was not there when he gave the speech in question.) For years, people have been warning of classical music's imminent demise if it fails to sharpen up its image. During those years, countless performers, whose noble determination to 'break down barriers' was matched only by their even greater determination to generate publicity for themselves (unfortunately, in most cases unaccompanied by any special musical talent), have fallen by the wayside; meanwhile, the careers of Messrs Bach, Mozart, Beethoven etc have carried on regardless, transforming people's lives everywhere.

Mr Hole is absolutely right to seek ways to sell the records he produces, of course, and has done fine work so doing, in an industry that has sunk rather low. But for musicians, the point is not to think of ways of selling ourselves - but actually to get on with the wonderful task of playing great music, and playing it well. If audiences tend to be older, that is because older people have more time (and perhaps more need) to listen to the huge symphonies of Beethoven, Bruckner and Mahler (for instance) that address through music the central questions of our existence.

Having said that, it is a tragedy that musical education is so neglected in this country (and many others). As Mr Hole points out, countries such as Venezuela, which offer their young people the chance to study classical music, produce extraordinary results - not only in terms of musical performance, but in producing a whole society of young people who are personally fulfilled and passionately committed to the profession they love. We should follow their example - not for classical music's sake, but for our own.

- Isserlis


Mr. Isserlis may not be stuffy, and he may not be elitist, but he certainly is one of the elite classical performers in the world today (and with good reason - he's a wonderful musician).

I don't recall many people saying that classical music was in danger of imminent demise - it seems to me that they have more often been talking about a fairly long-term process of how it is receding into an ever less important role in the culture, as well as a redefining of what classical music is.

Of course, recording company executives are in a bind, but their concerns don't necessarily represent the overall picture. But there's no doubt that the huge changes in the recording industry are having a big effect on classical music. I'm old enough to remember when various recording labels had some artistic cachet, quaint as that idea might seem to younger people who have never experienced it. And it really made a very large difference in an artist's career to get signed on with certain companies, in a way that no longer seems to matter all that much.

More and more, artists and organizations seem to be going "indie". Which is fine, except that if there are thousands of indies vying for the attention of any one person who loves classical music, how does that person find what they really want to hear? There's not enough time in the day to check out all of it.

In a funny way, it's almost like going back to the limitations of the pre-electronic days, when your local circumstances determined what your exposure might be.
Posted by: Lemon Pledge

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/14/13 07:43 AM

Hey this turned out to be an interesting thread!

Many here are attributing the demise of classical music's popularity to its "stuffy and elitist image." I'll get around to "stuffy" later, but it's completely backwards wrong (imo) to suggest that the consumption of classical music is waning due to its elitist image. At least in America.

Let's face it, elite is a fun thing to be, or to pretend to be, or to imagine becoming. An enormous number of people, particularly of the middle classes, aspire and strive towards elite status in one form or another (wealth, social standing, taste, power, whatever.) Classical music consumption has declined in America over the past 5 or 6 decades precisely because it used to be symbol of elite status but no longer is. Two generations ago, a man could use his philharmonic subscription and his Beethoven LPs to signal that he was smarter/better educated/more refined/richer/generally superior to his neighbor who liked Pat Boone. This doesn't work anymore. A few people still try it but they look clueless doing it. This is a positive development, even though it's bad news for orchestra fundraisers.

The aspirational aspects of classical music have left the West and migrated to the East. When I was a music student in the mid-90s, Korean women made up a good portion of the piano class, maybe 25%. It was explained to me (sometimes by the women themselves) that a piano degree from a prestigious US school could enhance a young woman's social standing and improve her marriage prospects, i.e. bring her a more elite status. (Of course, not all of them were there for that reason.) After the initial foreign-ness of this wore off, I came to think: that's cool, it's great that there are some people on the planet for whom attending a conservatory is a rational economic decision. I don't know whether this is still true in Korea.

I don't know anything about China, but if there are really 100 million kids studying piano there, I have to guess it has a lot do with a huge, growing, rapidly improving and stratifying middle class sorting out its status cues.
Posted by: izaldu

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/14/13 08:35 AM

Talking of elites, getting musical education for children in Europe can be done cheaply.You can download music for free (if that s your choice) in many sites all over the net. A huge catalog of classical music. It 's not the world of classical music that s dumbing down people, to this day i think whoever is involved in classical does it out of own genuine interest. Classical music doesn't really pay unless you're one of the few top guys. IT 's stuff like MTV that dumds down people. Lower standards of education, the culture of immediateness, the mediocrity of world leaders ... all that that s been discussed so many times.
Having said that, i saw Gergiev with the Mariinsky a month ago. 94 eur for a 2 hour show, rest of the tickets rangede from 68 eur (very few) to 142 eur. You just cannot expect people to pay that much for a 2 hour concert on a frequent basis.
Posted by: wr

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/15/13 07:48 AM

Originally Posted By: Whizbang


In the US, at least, and to my impression, which may be very flawed, the piano as an instrument no longer has that stigma (say, compared to the flute), though perhaps classical music might.



This is a bit tardy (not to mention OT), but I remembered that bit about the flute, and recalled hearing that Captain "Sully" Sullenberg, who famously ditched a passenger jet in the Hudson without loss of life, was a flute player as a kid, in his middle school and high school bands in the late 1960s. And this was in north Texas. Yikes!! It seems he must have always had an ample amount of "intestinal fortitude".
Posted by: debrucey

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/15/13 08:10 AM

Every male flautist I know is gay, lol. Mind you, I suppose I'd be more likely to know the gay ones than the straight ones.
Posted by: Old Man

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/15/13 08:49 AM

Originally Posted By: wr
Originally Posted By: Whizbang


In the US, at least, and to my impression, which may be very flawed, the piano as an instrument no longer has that stigma (say, compared to the flute), though perhaps classical music might.



This is a bit tardy (not to mention OT), but I remembered that bit about the flute, and recalled hearing that Captain "Sully" Sullenberg, who famously ditched a passenger jet in the Hudson without loss of life, was a flute player as a kid, in his middle school and high school bands in the late 1960s. And this was in north Texas. Yikes!! It seems he must have always had an ample amount of "intestinal fortitude".

The late actor, Patrick Swayze, was also a Texas boy, and studied ballet (double "yikes"!). In a 1984 interview, he said, "People thought I must be gay. To keep from getting beat up, I studied fighting. I grew my hair long, in redneck Texas, mind you, then went around waiting for someone to throw a punch. I became a very angry young man."

We Americans toss the word "liberty" around a lot. But I'm not sure how much liberty we really have if you cannot pursue what you love without an "ample amount of 'intestinal fortitude'". How one's private bedroom activity becomes the world's business is beyond comprehension.
Posted by: theJourney

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/15/13 09:19 AM

Originally Posted By: debrucey
Every male flautist I know is gay, lol. Mind you, I suppose I'd be more likely to know the gay ones than the straight ones.


With regards to knowing gay flautists the first question that springs to mind is: in the Biblical sense?

I actually am friends with a male flautist (one who even builds his own instruments mind you) who is not gay. Of course he is perhaps compensated by another woman I studied with who is a lesbian flautist.
Posted by: debrucey

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/15/13 09:56 AM

Well, to my knowledge I don't think I've ever 'known' a straight flautist haha
Posted by: Pogorelich.

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/15/13 10:00 AM

Izaldu, it's definitely worth seeing gergiev for that much money. What did they play?
Posted by: woodog

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/15/13 10:05 AM

Originally Posted By: Old Man

We Americans toss the word "liberty" around a lot. But I'm not sure how much liberty we really have if you cannot pursue what you love without an "ample amount of 'intestinal fortitude'". How one's private bedroom activity becomes the world's business is beyond comprehension.


If you really think about it, the world's heterosexual behavior has long been the 'world's business'. You don't think about it because it's ubiquitous.

Us gay folk are just beginning to catch up to the mainstream, and that's discomforting for the majority.

When I visit a place like Wilton Manors, Florida (US) which is GAY GAY GAY... and see real estate ads with two men holding hands looking at a backyard pool, or eat in a restaurant where everyone else around me can be assumed to be gay without much room for error, that is a paradigm shift for me as a resident of south central Kentucky, where radio, TV, billboards, office conversation... EVERYTHING (pretty much) has a heterosexual spin to it.

I see young people holding hands, wedding rings, wedding announcement, bridal showers, suggestive coffee advertisement, hugs as couples part, all the love songs bombarding us from the radio, not to mention the E.D. ads - as the grizzled man in the pickup truck pulls into the driveway and greets his blushing and coy bride - 'this is your time of life... BE READY!!

well, you would think they would be ashamed shoving that down my throat (see? does that statement make you feel odd somehow?)

I can visit a university music department and expect (well, these days yes, not so much in the 70's) that my sexuality, while not the majority, is certainly not uncomfortable (or, barring comfort, unfamiliar) for the folks around me.

As a black belt visiting a martial arts dojo, not quite so much. :-)

There's a reason I continue to study piano but do not continue to pursue Karate**, even though I love them both.

As gayness becomes more of a non-issue, I won't be surprised when more heterosexual males become pianists, or at least 'piano-literate'.

Forrest

**well, the consequences of poor technique in Karate are a bit more dramatic... there IS that. :-)
Posted by: theJourney

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/15/13 10:44 AM

Originally Posted By: debrucey
Well, to my knowledge I don't think I've ever 'known' a straight flautist haha


LOL
Posted by: theJourney

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/15/13 11:43 AM

Originally Posted By: woodog
As gayness becomes more of a non-issue, I won't be surprised when more heterosexual males become pianists, or at least 'piano-literate'.


Well, well, now we are finally back full circle to some of the assumptions surrounding the initial question on the thread.

I know quite a few male pianists in and around Amsterdam, which is about as non-homophobic of a place as you can get in Europe. I know classical pianists, jazz pianists, cocktail bar pianists, good pianists, bad pianists, professionals, amateurs, students, adult returners, adult beginners, conservatory students, teachers, retired teachers, young, old, ...

The homosexuals are definitely in the minority in my unscientific sample although perhaps slightly above the estimated percentages for the population as a whole.

I don't think that there is anything gay about the piano.

I think that generalized labeling of male pianists as gay says more about the person doing the labeling and the cultural bias that they are immersed in. So, yes, if the piano were not dying out in general, I would agree with you that as cultural attitudes of gay=evil and classical piano = gay change that more straight boys might take up the piano. I think that most of them will will just buy guitar hero instead (or maybe even a real guitar).

I do still think that it is a valid question why so many extraordinarily successful master pianists in the 20th century were gay. The answer seems to have been given by Kreisler: be because they were allowed to be (for many of the early ones, as long as they put on a charade or remained largely in the closet).

What a wonderful world when everyone would be allowed to choose in freedom and to do what he or she is talented and passionate about while still being able to be honest about and true to theselves.
Posted by: carey

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/15/13 01:12 PM

Originally Posted By: Old Man
We Americans toss the word "liberty" around a lot. But I'm not sure how much liberty we really have if you cannot pursue what you love without an "ample amount of 'intestinal fortitude'". How one's private bedroom activity becomes the world's business is beyond comprehension.


Probably because it's no longer primarily confined to the bedroom - and more and more heterosexual folk are being challenged to co-exist with the gay community in their daily lives. Sadly, human nature being what it is, some deal well with this - and others don't.

As for pursuing the things you love - I say "go for it."
Posted by: carey

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/15/13 01:16 PM

Originally Posted By: theJourney
I don't think that there is anything gay about the piano.

I think that generalized labeling of male pianists as gay says more about the person doing the labeling and the cultural bias that they are immersed in.....

What a wonderful world when everyone would be allowed to choose in freedom and to do what he or she is talented and passionate about while still being able to be honest about and true to themselves.


Well said !!!!! thumb
Posted by: JoelW

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/15/13 02:06 PM

Originally Posted By: carey
Originally Posted By: Old Man
We Americans toss the word "liberty" around a lot. But I'm not sure how much liberty we really have if you cannot pursue what you love without an "ample amount of 'intestinal fortitude'". How one's private bedroom activity becomes the world's business is beyond comprehension.


Probably because it's no longer primarily confined to the bedroom - and more and more heterosexual folk are being challenged to co-exist with the gay community in their daily lives. Sadly, human nature being what it is, some deal well with this - and others don't.


As for pursuing the things you love - I say "go for it."


I think it also has to do with the fact that a lot of the gay community has a "We're gay and you better like it!" sort of mentality and come across very loud-mouthed and pushy.
Posted by: Horowitzian

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/15/13 02:08 PM

I doubt all of them are like that. There's usually a loud, hardline minority in every group of people.
Posted by: landorrano

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/15/13 03:50 PM

Originally Posted By: theJourney


What a wonderful world when everyone would be allowed to choose in freedom and to do what he or she is talented and passionate about while still being able to be honest about and true to theselves.


Everyone is free to choose and to be, in my opinion.

As far as homosexuality goes and as with many other things in life, what is most difficult is inside a person, not what other people think of you or how they react. Interior conflict is to a great extent unavoidable, it is through such episodes that one grows.

There is always an element of choice, one chooses one way over another, grosso modo bisexuality or homosexuality; but both options are part of human nature and one is necessarily repressing certain feelings or desires to give a fuller being to others. Sexuality is the stage for very strong feelings, from the earliest age on.

Everyone is free to choose and to be, but in life you have to have cojones and know how to assume your choices and your acts.
Posted by: theJourney

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/15/13 05:30 PM

Originally Posted By: landorrano
As far as homosexuality goes and as with many other things in life, what is most difficult is inside a person, not what other people think of you or how they react. Interior conflict is to a great extent unavoidable, it is through such episodes that one grows.

Well, yes, what happens inside is important. On the other hand, if you are being excluded, assaulted, discriminated against, shunned, or murdered simply because of who you are, you might think that those things are more difficult than your internal thoughts for the day.
Originally Posted By: landorrano

There is always an element of choice, one chooses one way over another, grosso modo bisexuality or homosexuality; but both options are part of human nature and one is necessarily repressing certain feelings or desires to give a fuller being to others. Sexuality is the stage for very strong feelings, from the earliest age on.

Everyone is free to choose and to be, but in life you have to have cojones and know how to assume your choices and your acts.


Well, I certainly can't argue with cojones helping with life, although at least half of the human race needs to cope with an alternative, don't they? And, honestly, testosterone can sometimes be more trouble than it is worth.

In terms of freely choosing, I was referring to whether or not one could choose to study the piano and still be true to your personal identity, not whether one could choose one's sexual orientation.

It would be very interesting to hear you or Silverwood Pianos or one of the other contributors to this thread share how you chose your sexuality...

One can only assume that you are naturally attracted equally to both sexes...Did you then make a list of 'pros' and 'cons'? Did you "date" across the spectrum and compare notes? Very curious to hear about your process... I'm sure I am not alone in my eagerness to hear all about it as I have yet to meet anyone who "chose" their sexuality.

Please enlighten us!
Posted by: landorrano

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/15/13 05:39 PM

Originally Posted By: theJourney


It would be very interesting to hear you or Silverwood Pianos or one of the other contributors to this thread share how you chose your sexuality...

I have yet to meet anyone who "chose" their sexuality.

Please enlighten us!


If that would be interesting to you cheers but that will have to be on another forum!

As for choosing their sexuality, that is to say, straight or gay, in my opinion all human beings do.
Posted by: theJourney

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/15/13 05:46 PM

Originally Posted By: landorrano
Originally Posted By: theJourney


It would be very interesting to hear you or Silverwood Pianos or one of the other contributors to this thread share how you chose your sexuality...

I have yet to meet anyone who "chose" their sexuality.

Please enlighten us!


If that would be interesting to you cheers but that will have to be on another forum!

As for choosing their sexuality, that is to say, straight or gay, in my opinion all human beings do.


Well, I respect your opinion. However, your opinion seems to be in direct opposition to both the objective, hard science on the subject as well as the personal experience of millions (billions?) of other human beings...

You are indeed special!
Posted by: landorrano

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/15/13 05:48 PM

Originally Posted By: theJourney
However, your opinion seems to be in direct opposition to both the objective, hard science on the subject as well as the personal experience of millions (billions?) of other human beings...


Hard science of sexuality? That's either a contradiction ... or a pun !
Posted by: JoelW

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/15/13 05:56 PM

Originally Posted By: landorrano
As for choosing their sexuality, that is to say, straight or gay, in my opinion all human beings do.


No.
Posted by: theJourney

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/15/13 05:56 PM

There have been more developments in our objective understanding of the brain and human beings' in utero development in the past +/- 48 months than in the entire history of the world. And, unless you believe in speculative bronze age myths, fairy tales or magic, you must admit that you, including your sexuality, are your brain and body.

We all carry biases within us. Fortunately, however, the lights are gradually coming on and we don't have to live by superstition and false beliefs anymore...unless we choose to.
Posted by: debrucey

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/15/13 05:58 PM

When there is evidence bearing on a subject, personal opinion is not of interest.
Posted by: JoelW

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/15/13 05:59 PM

Originally Posted By: theJourney
There have been more developments in our objective understanding of the brain and human beings' in utero development in the past +/- 48 months than in the entire history of the world. And, unless you believe in speculative bronze age myths, fairy tales or magic, you must admit that you, including your sexuality, are your brain and body.

We all carry biases within us. Fortunately, however, the lights are gradually coming on and we don't have to live by superstition and false beliefs anymore...unless we choose to.


lol...
Posted by: landorrano

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/15/13 06:02 PM

Originally Posted By: theJourney
you must admit that you, including your sexuality, are your brain and body.


You, including your brain and your body (and your piano!) are your sexuality.
Posted by: JoelW

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/15/13 06:02 PM

Originally Posted By: debrucey
When there is evidence bearing on a subject, personal opinion is not of interest.


Even if there wasn't any scientific evidence, it's still pretty obvious that we don't choose our orientation. I started getting feelings of infatuation at a very young age. Funny how I never felt that way about any males. Did I, as a little tot, decide that I wasn't going to be attracted to males? ...
Posted by: theJourney

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/15/13 06:08 PM

Originally Posted By: landorrano
Originally Posted By: theJourney
you must admit that you, including your sexuality, are your brain and body.


You, including your brain and your body (and your piano!) are your sexuality.



How very Darwinian of you!
And to think I am managing quite well thank you very much with an-under-six-footer....
Posted by: landorrano

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/15/13 06:13 PM

Originally Posted By: JoelW
I stated getting feelings of infatuation at a very young age.


Apparently you mean infatuation with girls. But so it is with all boys, even if later in life they don't remember.

Quote:
Funny how I never felt that way about any males.
Do you really believe that you know today what you felt as a child?

Originally Posted By: JoelW
Did I, as a little tot, decide that I wasn't going to be attracted to males? ...


You seem to be quite young, you will certainly be surprised at many attractions that you feel along the long road of life, and at how you will in the future interpret feelings that you had in your youth.
Posted by: landorrano

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/15/13 06:18 PM

Originally Posted By: theJourney

And to think I am managing quite well thank you very much with an-under-six-footer....


Ah, apparently you have an upright !
Posted by: theJourney

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/15/13 06:20 PM

Not right now, no.
Posted by: JoelW

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/15/13 06:30 PM

Originally Posted By: landorrano
Do you really believe that you know today what you felt as a child?


Uhhh yeah... probably because I have memory. That might be it. You know what, *snap*, by golly that is it! Who would have thought?
Posted by: daviel

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/15/13 07:11 PM

How many of you would trade in your present sexual "preference" to become a wealthy concert pianist?
Posted by: Old Man

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/15/13 08:44 PM

Originally Posted By: landorrano

As for choosing their sexuality, that is to say, straight or gay, in my opinion all human beings do.

Surely you jest.

I've never met a single person who "chose" their sexual orientation, and I'm a couple of weeks shy of 63. I was attracted to girls at age 5, and yes, I have very clear memories of that, because those thoughts occupied most of my childhood fantasies. (OK, maybe they still do.) grin So what sort of "choice" could I have been making at the age of 5, when I had never even heard the word "sex"?

And what about the millions of gay people in this world? Are they a mass of raving masochists, who "choose" to be gay so they can enjoy being insulted, ridiculed, and beaten to a pulp? Society may be more tolerant of homosexuality today, but it still remains one tough slog, so the idea that anyone would choose to be gay is ludicrous. Any more than I chose to be straight, or chose to have blue eyes.

By extension, would you also say that left-handed people choose to be lefties so they can struggle their entire lives with appliances made for the rest of us? Frankly, I'm stunned by your comment.
Posted by: argerichfan

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/15/13 09:19 PM

Originally Posted By: Old Man
Originally Posted By: landorrano

As for choosing their sexuality, that is to say, straight or gay, in my opinion all human beings do.

And what about the millions of gay people in this world? Are they a mass of raving masochists, who "choose" to be gay so they can enjoy being insulted, ridiculed, and beaten to a pulp? Society may be more tolerant of homosexuality today, but it still remains one tough slog, so the idea that anyone would choose to be gay is ludicrous.

With due respect landorrano, I would have to agree with Old Man. His post certainly makes more intuitive sense.
Posted by: Michael_99

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/15/13 10:36 PM

Old Man,
Nicely spoken.
Posted by: Diane...

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/16/13 01:08 AM

Originally Posted By: Old Man
Originally Posted By: landorrano

As for choosing their sexuality, that is to say, straight or gay, in my opinion all human beings do.

Surely you jest.

I've never met a single person who "chose" their sexual orientation, and I'm a couple of weeks shy of 63. I was attracted to girls at age 5, and yes, I have very clear memories of that, because those thoughts occupied most of my childhood fantasies. (OK, maybe they still do.) grin So what sort of "choice" could I have been making at the age of 5, when I had never even heard the word "sex"?

And what about the millions of gay people in this world? Are they a mass of raving masochists, who "choose" to be gay so they can enjoy being insulted, ridiculed, and beaten to a pulp? Society may be more tolerant of homosexuality today, but it still remains one tough slog, so the idea that anyone would choose to be gay is ludicrous. Any more than I chose to be straight, or chose to have blue eyes.

By extension, would you also say that left-handed people choose to be lefties so they can struggle their entire lives with appliances made for the rest of us? Frankly, I'm stunned by your comment.


I don't agree with the Old man!
Homosexuality gets forced down my throat! They tell me that all gays are nice people, they are loving, they are kind,... & bla bla bla . . . Well I remember the first time someone told me what homosexuals do. I said "They put their "WHAT" into another guys "WHAT"??? I was shocked cause I thought, maybe homosexuals missed sex education class. grin So poop came from that place and I just couldn't wrap my thinking around the strangeness of "doing" that to someones' . . . Each to his own, but I ummmm well, . . . well, I still can't and won't go for that. Nor should I have to!

I watch a tv program where this guy had a love interest in his "sister"! She didn't like how he was acting around here, so the guy went for help from a councellor and solved his stronge desires for his sister. She didn't have the same feelings he did!

Anyways, there are some of us (me) who will never understand how men want men or how woman want woman. It's not that we are "homophobic" just like if I don't want to take "illegal drugs" makes me "drugaphobic"! I don't want to get high, I have a right to not do drugs if I chose not to. I have had people try to force me to take drugs & verbally abuse me for not going ahead with it. Call me a goody 2 shoes but leave me be!! . I personally just won't agree with homosexuallity, nor should I be forced to. I think when a man lays with a woman, a baby is produced. When a man lays with a man, nothing is produced. It just doesn't sit right with me. I don't understand it, so please . . . don't force it down my throat! I'm not beating up gays, I'm just not comfortable with the whole . . . with the whole, thought of it!

Thank you for understanding my side. I have a right to not accept it. Please don't verbally abuse me for having a different view of this than you do!

I play the piano. What I do in my bedroom is my business!

Posted by: argerichfan

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/16/13 01:22 AM

Originally Posted By: Diane...

What I do in my bedroom is my business!

Well then please take your self-satisfied, blissful, ignorant, and intolerant stupidity somewhere else. I don't give a crap what you do in your bedroom.

Just go away. Most of your posts on this board have frankly disgusted me anyway.
Posted by: Orange Soda King

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/16/13 01:27 AM

Originally Posted By: Diane...
Well I remember the first time someone told me what homosexuals do. I said "They put their "WHAT" into another guys "WHAT"??? I was shocked cause I thought, maybe homosexuals missed sex education class. grin So poop came from that place


You DO know what comes out of the "regular" place, right?
Posted by: Nikolas

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/16/13 01:35 AM

Originally Posted By: Diane...
Thank you for understanding my side. I have a right to not accept it. Please don't verbally abuse me for having a different view of this than you do!
Then what on earth are you doing here?!?!

The one minute you don't like it when someone creates a blood thread about Valentines day in the teachers forum and you vent in there complaining...

And then you come here in someone's thread to proclaim that you don't accept the way of life of others?!?!

Quote:
I play the piano. What I do in my bedroom is my business!
As is the business of anyone else here or in the world. Why should you care?
Posted by: JoelW

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/16/13 02:01 AM

Can a mod please close this thread already?
Posted by: argerichfan

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/16/13 02:15 AM

Originally Posted By: Orange Soda King

You DO know what comes out of the "regular" place, right?

Yes, her post. Though the 'regular' stuff must be pleasantly fragrant compared to what Diane posted.

This thread was going very well until the turd-in-the-punchbowl arrived to add that extra spice to our otherwise civil discussion.

And good night.
Posted by: theJourney

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/16/13 02:34 AM

Originally Posted By: Diane...
I don't agree with the Old man!
Homosexuality gets forced down my throat! They tell me that all gays are nice people, they are loving, they are kind,... & bla bla bla . . . Well I remember the first time someone told me what homosexuals do. I said "They put their "WHAT" into another guys "WHAT"??? I was shocked cause I thought, maybe homosexuals missed sex education class. grin So poop came from that place and I just couldn't wrap my thinking around the strangeness of "doing" that to someones' . . . Each to his own, but I ummmm well, . . . well, I still can't and won't go for that. Nor should I have to!

I watch a tv program where this guy had a love interest in his "sister"! She didn't like how he was acting around here, so the guy went for help from a councellor and solved his stronge desires for his sister. She didn't have the same feelings he did!

Anyways, there are some of us (me) who will never understand how men want men or how woman want woman. It's not that we are "homophobic" just like if I don't want to take "illegal drugs" makes me "drugaphobic"! I don't want to get high, I have a right to not do drugs if I chose not to. I have had people try to force me to take drugs & verbally abuse me for not going ahead with it. Call me a goody 2 shoes but leave me be!! . I personally just won't agree with homosexuallity, nor should I be forced to. I think when a man lays with a woman, a baby is produced. When a man lays with a man, nothing is produced. It just doesn't sit right with me. I don't understand it, so please . . . don't force it down my throat! I'm not beating up gays, I'm just not comfortable with the whole . . . with the whole, thought of it!

Thank you for understanding my side. I have a right to not accept it. Please don't verbally abuse me for having a different view of this than you do!

I play the piano. What I do in my bedroom is my business!



I am sure that this post is representative for any number of forum members who have the self-control to bite their lip, count to ten and avoid posting it on a public forum. Thank you for posting, Diane! It demonstrates why there is so much more work to be done to move our societies from being based on ignorance and hatred instead of love and mutual understanding. I imagine that you are doing the best you can and I have compassion for you as a human being.

Freud would have a hay day with the subconscious-revealing fact that the some of the most rabidly intolerant and homophobic people seem to absolutely love the phrase " forced down my throat ". What's that about anyway?

You seem to be suffering from quite some muddled thinking. Comparing homosexuals to hard drug users makes no logical sense.

As to procreation, actually, the overwhelming majority of all heterosexual sex has nothing to do with producing a baby, just like homosexual sex. It has to do with love and sharing and reveling in "God-given" pleasure.

Goody two shoes because of your bigotry? Hmmm. We wouldn't call you a " goody 2 shoes " if you came on here to proclaim that all Asian-Canadians should be forced to live in ghetto work camps or sent back to where their ancestors came from. So, why would exposing your bigotry towards homosexuals & suggesting that they have no right to be visible in society to avoid impacting your sensibilities make you good?

Interestingly enough, the sodomy laws that for years were on the books (next to the laws legalizing slavery, marginalizing women and prohibiting whites from marrying inferior "coloreds", etc.) all across North America and are still on the books in such lovely, freedom-loving places such as Iran and Saudia Arabia, prohibit all sex between men and women that takes place in the throat and in the other WHAT?. Yet, among teen and young adult heterosexuals, especially on the North American continent, promiscuous casual hookups and throat sex are as common as the common cold and sex in the other WHAT? also has resilient popularity. Yet many homosexuals may have only strictly monogamous decades-long relationships and neither one in their repertoire of sexual behavior. One does not necessarily lead to the other.

You are confusing things and are letting the primitive disgust programming of your reptilian brain and your strange focus on sex acts override your human, humane and rational-thinking pre-frontal cortex. You are in turn choosing to cling to ignorance and beliefs that are bigoted and discriminatory.

There is a difference between a person's innate, "God-given", sexual orientation and one's sexual practices.

Do you honestly believe that if a law were passed making it illegal for you to be heterosexual, that you could simply go to a counselor and, after a few sessions you would be "cured" and sexually attracted to and aroused by women? Is that an underlying fear that feeds your stridency?

But no one is forcing you to be homosexual.
No one is forcing you to have obsessive, uncontrollable prurient thoughts about others' sex lives (although you are one of the very few to choose to even bring them up actually).
No one is forcing you to have a " gay marriage ".
No one is forcing you to have jet black skin.
No one is forcing you to be a Canadian Native American or Inuit.
No one is forcing you to be left-handed, or blind or born without legs.

What people can reasonably expect, however, is that you respect all of the above groups of people for what and who they are and that you work on yourself instead of tearing others down through a childish disgust reaction and bigoted social conditioning.


And, if that is too much to ask, then you might want to follow my mother's advice and "if you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all."
Posted by: debrucey

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/16/13 03:04 AM

It's funny how many arguments against homosexuality, when scrutinised, turn out to be nothing more than 'eeeeeeeew bumsex'. There are far more heterosexuals who engage in the activity which disgusts you. The pure statistics make it so.

As for making babies, well, what you say is also true of the elderly and the infertile, and people who don't want children. There are enough human beings in the world already, why should we be judging the validity of someones love for another human being on whether or not they could produce another mouth for the world to feed?
Posted by: chopin_r_us

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/16/13 03:07 AM

Originally Posted By: JoelW
Can a mod please close this thread already?
Oi! This is daily reading for many of us bystanders. Mods, let's stick with the free speech.
Posted by: Nikolas

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/16/13 03:14 AM

Originally Posted By: chopin_r_us
Originally Posted By: JoelW
Can a mod please close this thread already?
Oi! This is daily reading for many of us bystanders. Mods, let's stick with the free speech.
LOL!
Posted by: theJourney

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/16/13 03:16 AM

Originally Posted By: chopin_r_us
Originally Posted By: JoelW
Can a mod please close this thread already?
Oi! This is daily reading for many of us bystanders. Mods, let's stick with the free speech.


I would hate to think that Diane, in her stated desire not to be confronted with a subject which, because of her internal world she personally finds uncomfortable, just as one or two others explicitly stated, would successfully have the thread closed and the discussion censored due to purposefully posting content the effect of which is an attempt to drag the thread into the gutter.

That kind of behavior should not be rewarded.
Posted by: FSO

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/16/13 03:32 AM

You either believe in absolute freedom (which would require a fundamental belief in "speculative bronze age myths, fairy tales or magic" if you're to trust the coldly deterministic principles of physics {or, um, if we're to go to a quantum level, you *could* believe that sentience is that which organises the seemingly random quantum chance factor [which gets you in a whole mess of trouble]} as well) or you believe in determinism. Um...so...if you believe in the latter, Diane had no less choice in writing her post than homosexuals do their orientation, but if you believe in the former you have to accept that sexuality is chosen; hopefully you can understand wherein an opinion so different to your own may lie. I mean, I don't think Diane's post was altogether too awful a thing to say (though, um, the usage of "verbally abuse" ticked my pedantic side grin, though it shouldn't); perhaps she (forgive the assumption) simply gave more information of her views than most and depicted them in a manner less...socially acceptable. I'm certainly willing to give her the benefit of the doubt, but that's my choice. Or not, who knows? laugh Oh, um...Joel (if you've read this far wink ), your faith in memory is, I'm afraid to suggest, perhaps ill informed; there's such marvels as repression and amnesia to take into account, but, assuming nothing severe is occurring, there's also http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hindsight_bias to deal with...I mean, um, this piques my interest as perhaps we *are* all born without sexuality and "choose" it early in development (based on what I daren't suggest grin)before planting memories of always having been that way (and removing those that contradict it)...um...I don't necessarily believe this laugh but it's an interesting view to consider...I'm not trying to force anything down your throat (or anywhere else), just trying to cast a new light into this shadow-play.
Xxx
Posted by: wr

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/16/13 03:38 AM

Originally Posted By: FSO
You either believe in absolute freedom (which would require a fundamental belief in "speculative bronze age myths, fairy tales or magic" if you're to trust the coldly deterministic principles of physics {or, um, if we're to go to a quantum level, you *could* believe that sentience is that which organises the seemingly random quantum chance factor [which gets you in a whole mess of trouble]} as well) or you believe in determinism.


You left out another choice, which is not to believe.
Posted by: Nikolas

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/16/13 03:40 AM

FSO: Hem... Are you equating the sexual orientation of a person, with the inability to click on 'preview' instead 'post' or to just wait up a few secs to think? I sure hope not! wink
Posted by: FSO

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/16/13 03:43 AM

Originally Posted By: wr

You left out another choice, which is not to believe.

Ach, I forgot to account for the whole nihilistic and philosophically disenchanted demographic...you...you...grr laugh
Posted by: Ian_G

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/16/13 04:19 AM

About the choice factor, I side with Schopenhauer: Der Mensch kann wohl tun, was er will, aber er kann nicht wollen, was er will. [A man can do as he wills, but he can't will as he wills].
Posted by: Michael_99

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/16/13 04:40 AM

Diane...

I remember the first time I learned what women do for men, oral sex. I couldn't believe it.


Homosexuality gets forced down my throat!

No, no, oral sex is not homosexuality. It is straight men that ask women to perform oral sex.

They tell me that all gays are nice people, they are loving, they are kind,... & bla bla bla . . . Well I remember the first time someone told me what homosexuals do.

Lots of heterosexual males love anal sex with women.


Well, as a women, you don't have to go that far.

Anyways, there are some of us (me) who will never understand how men want men or how woman want woman. It's not that we are "homophobic" just like if I don't want to take "illegal drugs" makes me "drugaphobic"! I don't want to get high, I have a right to not do drugs if I chose not to. I have had people try to force me to take drugs & verbally abuse me for not going ahead with it. Call me a goody 2 shoes but leave me be!! . I personally just won't agree with homosexuallity, nor should I be forced to. I think when a man lays with a woman, a baby is produced.

In an overpopulated world women are free to lay with a man and produce offspring everytime no matter how poor they are.

Women are also free to do as men say under most religions.

When a man lays with a man, nothing is produced. It just doesn't sit right with me.

There are millions of men who want to make women pregnant and make lots of babies whether or not they want to marry them or support them and I am comfortable with that because women have to say yes, and they do all the time. It is a woman's right to say yes or no. That is her right.

I don't understand it either, so like you I don't like anything forced down my throat because it forces me to gag.

I don't understand it, so please . . . don't force it down my throat!

Most women don't beat up gays because they love gay men. Sadly, millions of men beat up women so much so that the world has safe houses for women all over the world.

Most women aren't comfortable with the whole thought of it, because until recently women couldn't get divorced and when women got divorced, even thought they were faithful to their husband, and washed his dirty laundry for the lifetime of the marriage, they were left only with memories of the marriage and nothing else, penniless -- but now, of course, women under the law are entitled to half the assets of the marriage, so that a old women of many children, and no pension, they are able to support themselves because the husband has to share the wealth of the marriage with the wife.


I thank you and know that you know my side and I am blessed that women have really, gained under the law since the 1970s. The world is a better place for women now and, too, gays are a better place because of changes in the law.

So I do appreciate how thankful you are about how women have gained under the law and you have a right to accept it.

Today what anyone does in their bedroom is nobody's business. Also, because women are no longer left penniless after marriage, they are often left with enough money after a divorce to buy a piano - - that wouldn't have happened if women didn't get rights under the laws. So enjoy your piano like I do and play it everyday.
Posted by: theJourney

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/16/13 05:14 AM

Originally Posted By: FSO
You either believe in absolute freedom (which would require a fundamental belief in "speculative bronze age myths, fairy tales or magic" if you're to trust the coldly deterministic principles of physics {or, um, if we're to go to a quantum level, you *could* believe that sentience is that which organises the seemingly random quantum chance factor [which gets you in a whole mess of trouble]} as well) or you believe in determinism. Um...so...if you believe in the latter, Diane had no less choice in writing her post than homosexuals do their orientation, but if you believe in the former you have to accept that sexuality is chosen; hopefully you can understand wherein an opinion so different to your own may lie.

Indubitably. The two extreme positions are certainly both possible, but to suggest that they are the only options represents a failure in critical thinking which is known as a false dichotomy. In fact, human truths are often found in the gray areas between extremist thinking.

As I stated earlier, I do think that Diane is doing the best that she can given her unique, personal situation and the social environment of which she is an integral part. I also offer her my well-meant compassion; a compassion which she unfortunately appears to withhold from those she deems as being irreconcilably different to her.

At the same time this matter is not simply an individual matter (what I do in my own bedroom, what you do in your own bedroom) but a social matter (how we treat each other, the respect we show for each other, the fact of our existence as the most complex social animal on the face of the earth that we are all interconnected whether we like it or not) and a political matter (do we believe in enshrining the paradigm of freedom and equal human rights and equal opportunity or should the majority be able to oppress and abuse the minority).

At the same time it is one of evolving societal values as we get further and further from our barbaric past: Does the value of "freedom of religion" become perverted into " tyranny of the opinionated" or "punishment for blasphemy against my god and beliefs"? Does it trump, for example, observation, facts and the scientific method, our continual growth in knowledge as a species going two steps forward and one step backwards in improving our insight into how the world really works and the reality-based thinking that has made our civilization possible since the Renaissance?


Originally Posted By: FSO

I mean, I don't think Diane's post was altogether too awful a thing to say (though, um, the usage of "verbally abuse" ticked my pedantic side grin, though it shouldn't); perhaps she (forgive the assumption) simply gave more information of her views than most and depicted them in a manner less...socially acceptable. I'm certainly willing to give her the benefit of the doubt, but that's my choice. Or not, who knows? laugh Oh, um...Joel (if you've read this far wink ), your faith in memory is, I'm afraid to suggest, perhaps ill informed; there's such marvels as repression and amnesia to take into account, but, assuming nothing severe is occurring, there's also http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hindsight_bias to deal with...I mean, um, this piques my interest as perhaps we *are* all born without sexuality and "choose" it early in development (based on what I daren't suggest grin)before planting memories of always having been that way (and removing those that contradict it)...um...I don't necessarily believe this laugh but it's an interesting view to consider...I'm not trying to force anything down your throat (or anywhere else), just trying to cast a new light into this shadow-play.
Xxx


The evidence now emerging from neuro-scientific research appears to point unequivocally towards the finding that the early time when we choose our gender and to have brown or blue eyes and to "like men" or "like women" as Joel puts it, is while we are swimming around in the womb; in our mother's uterus.

Talk about precocious decision makers, the lot of us!

For those who find 250 posts too daunting to go wading through, I direct you to an earlier post regarding the scientific evidence for this:

Originally Posted By: theJourney
Originally Posted By: debrucey
The 100m final at the olympics shows otherwise. Sure, it takes hard work and dedication to become a world class sprinter, but if you happen to have been born male and of African descent then you're at an advantage.


This is a salient point.

Thus far we have discussed four principal hypothoses for the apparent proponderance of gay master pianists:

1. Those that are gay feel more comfortable being in the arts and out in the arts and/or felt attracted to the piano.

2. Because they are flamboyant or because it is unusual for pianists to be homosexual we develop a false perceptional bias that there is a preponderance.

3. The psycho-social challenges of growing up gay make some take to piano practice as a refuge or to later avoid confrontation and troubles in many discriminatory professions and to avoid becoming a priest, hairdresser or flower arranger.

4. The unique, psycho-social adversity of growing up gay makes some precociously consciously aware and sensitive which translates into longer term advantage in playing the piano.

A fifth reason may be:

5. There are physical differences in the makeup of homosexual men ('s brains) which provide them with long term advantage in going far with the piano.

We know that there are differences between male and female brains:

Quote:

Men's brains tend to perform tasks predominantly with the left-side, which is the logical/rational side of the brain. Women, on the other hand, use both sides of their brains because a woman's brain has a larger corpus callosum, which means women can transfer data between the right and left hemispheres faster than men.


We also know that -- as an integrative art -- successful piano performance requires a unique integration of ratio and emotio and integration within the brain and between the brain and the body. Young males who start early piano practice tend to grow a larger corpus collosum, while females, who already have larger ones, tend to achieve less marked differentiation from piano study.
http://www.musicianbrain.com/papers/Hyde_MusicTraining_BrainPlasticity_nyas_04852.pdf

We also know from research of the Dutch neuroscientist Dick Swaab that there are physical differences between the brains of homosexual men and heterosexual men, and these differences are formed already in the uterus.

Quote:

Current evidence indicates that sexual differentiation of the human brain occurs during fetal and neonatal development and programs our gender identity—our feeling of being male or female and our sexual orientation as hetero-, homo-, or bisexual. This sexual differentiation process is accompanied by many structural and functional brain differences among these groups... the Savic laboratory detected a sex-differentiated activation of the anterior hypothalamus in heterosexual men (HeM) and heterosexual women (HeW) and a sex-atypical, almost reversed, pattern of activation in homosexual men (HoM) and homosexual women (HoW). The hypothalamus (Fig. 1) is a small brain area located under the anterior commissure that is involved in many different functions

http://www.pnas.org/content/105/30/10273.full

How many other differences there may be of which we are not aware is unknown. However, this one would not seem to be trivial given the fact that musical performance is a temporal art form where micro timing differences can make all the difference in the world:

Quote:

In 1990, we described the first brain difference related to sexual orientation in the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN)—the brain's “clock”—which in homosexual men is twice the size that it is in heterosexual men...
Posted by: FSO

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/16/13 07:10 AM

Urgh...I agree with you for the most part. Yes, the dichotomy is simplified falsehood; just as "human truths", as you put it, are sometimes false. It's pretty much all that separates epistemology from logic after all. Um...the problem is, without being condescending to the majority here, I'm unsure as to how tense the grip of the general public is regarding the higher echelons of philisophical research; if you try to learn Nietzche before Plato you're going to end up with egg on and around your face. Your faith in science is nice...but, um, you must admit that *any* theory based on inference, regardless of the amount of evidence, is potentially wrong(for example: Newton-Einstein). Not that you're necessarily so in this case (though I've never before heard of "choosing" eye colour; I thought it was all to do with alleles or some other kind of fish {unless you mean to imply that chiasmata are sentient...um...if so, I'll actually get on board with your direction here laugh }); testosterone/oestragen flushes during pregnancy are well known about and, obviously, affect the development of the brain before it has time to even think about starting a complex memory system....truths and facts though, remember, are not the same thing; music cannot be expressed precisely in words and quite the reverse...um...what I mean to say is that the mind may not be 100% corporeal (no particular glands mentioned wink ); science may one day find out *everything* about the brain and what does when, and that will be *fact*, but the *truth* of the matter may be that the cause of corporeal substance may, in reality (in the traditional sense) be ethereal...or not, we can *never* know laugh
Xxx
Posted by: wr

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/16/13 07:40 AM

Originally Posted By: Ian_G
About the choice factor, I side with Schopenhauer: Der Mensch kann wohl tun, was er will, aber er kann nicht wollen, was er will. [A man can do as he wills, but he can't will as he wills].


That's actually sort of cute - I like it. Not that I had any choice but to like it...
Posted by: wr

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/16/13 07:45 AM

Originally Posted By: theJourney


As I stated earlier, I do think that Diane is doing the best that she can given her unique, personal situation and the social environment of which she is an integral part.



"Doing the best one can" is a lovely positive spin on "doing the only thing one can". And that's the best I can do.
Posted by: theJourney

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/16/13 09:45 AM

Originally Posted By: FSO
Your faith in science is nice...but, um, you must admit that *any* theory based on inference, regardless of the amount of evidence, is potentially wrong(for example: Newton-Einstein). Not that you're necessarily so in this case (though I've never before heard of "choosing" eye colour; I thought it was all to do with alleles or some other kind of fish {unless you mean to imply that chiasmata are sentient...um...if so, I'll actually get on board with your direction here laugh }); testosterone/oestragen flushes during pregnancy are well known about and, obviously, affect the development of the brain before it has time to even think about starting a complex memory system....truths and facts though, remember, are not the same thing; music cannot be expressed precisely in words and quite the reverse...um...what I mean to say is that the mind may not be 100% corporeal (no particular glands mentioned wink ); science may one day find out *everything* about the brain and what does when, and that will be *fact*, but the *truth* of the matter may be that the cause of corporeal substance may, in reality (in the traditional sense) be ethereal...or not, we can *never* know laugh
Xxx


Reading your posts with all the nested parentheses and brackets feels sometimes like reading a computer program written in LISP, and no that is not meant to be a gay slur.

I used the word "choose" when what I really should have used was " ' choose ' " in an attempt to imply irony and the lack of any real choice, although I refuse to 100% rule out sentience anywhere it might possibly be found, including in small places such as chiasmata.

Epigenetics can be a bit mind-blowing. Yes, it is somewhat disconcerting to realize that some of our most fundamental aspects of sexuality, personal identity, temperament and personality characteristics might have to do with whether or not our grandmother was under some kind of stress in her life and whether or not our mother had hot flashes or listened to a lot of Tchakovsky while were in the womb. If I were a pregnant woman in this day and age I would be absolutely terrified of the profound responsibility one has during those 9 months and how seemingly tiny things of no import you do or don't do can completely change the buns in the oven.

Most of us don't have any explicit, conscious memories before approximately the age of 2-3, but that doesn't mean that our subconscious mind doesn't have them. However, current research indicates that after your first month after birth you can't change your sexual orientation any more than you can change your gender or your eye colo(u)r.

There is a saying that "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." A corollary to that may be that "everything we don't yet understand (and may never come to understand) about the human brain can be conveniently labelled 'ethereal'" (which also has very Victorian British "let's pull some teeth and hold a seance!" connotations).

Of course you and Kurt Goedel are right about any formal system being per definition incomplete and unprovable as being correct. However, my faith in science is born of experience, practicality and convenience. Science has worked very well for the world and works very well for me, within the relevant range of what we ask from it. Compared to superstition, magical thinking, false beliefs and blind faith in myths, it is positively fantastic, for example when building bridges or healing sick people.

Our qualia regarding music may be as impossible to put into words or as inadequate as the flowery descriptions of the taste of wine or our experience of " blue-ness". However, during the past 20 years there have been enormous advances in our understanding of listening grammar and exactly how the elements of e.g. melodic contour, cadence, anticipation, prediction, surprise, etc. interact with our dopamine reward system. Just as there are scientists that create artificially flavored junk food loaded with fat, sugar, salt and irresistible melanges of manipulative, space-age flavouring-agents that turn people into defenseless, consuming zombies snarfing down entire boxes of crap in one sitting, there are also scientists that create pop songs or jingles that are maximized to burrow themselves into our brains like so many mind worms from some sci-fi B-film. In this case, what your subjective experience is of the music is subordinate to the control it has over you. This is certainly what the ancients understood well when they warned society of the dangerous influence on man's character and on society as a whole of the wrong kind of music. This is also why we neglect classical music at risk of our own peril.
Posted by: The Hound

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/16/13 09:51 AM

This has been an interesting thread to read. Aside from the inevitable but thankfully small number of bigoted/immature responses, many of the contributions have been thoughtful and perspicacious, particularly those from theJourney.

The discussion puts me in mind of a similar one I saw on a forum for Doctor Who, analysing why there is a noticable disproportionate amount of gay fans of the show. Apart from the campness of the programme in the old days (before it was resurrected in recent years), one of the prevailing theories was that the nature of the Doctor as an alien outsider, a lonely figure, makes him an appealing character to that particular demographic. This ties in with one suggestion from earlier about great artists being outside society, looking in, and the potential increased sensitivity and perspective that comes with that.

I suspect that this does indeed play a role in the number of prominent gay pianists. I also suspect that, while this number is probably indeed disproportionate, our perception of this is (as has also been suggested in the thread) slightly exaggerated because it's easier for pianists to be open about their sexuality than for people in other prominent professions, say sportsmen/women for example. Perhaps also there's a degree of confirmation bias, in that we expect there to be more gay pianists and thus notice when they are more than we do the opposite.

Nonetheless, certain life experiences are conducive to certain personalities and dispositions, and I think it does follow that we might see a large number of gay musicians. It does not logically follow, of course, that being gay makes one an inherently better artist/musician than being straight. Merely that the challenges faced by growing up gay might mean a statistically higher number of such people ending up with artistic dispositions.
Posted by: FSO

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/16/13 11:04 AM

Epigenetics just leads you to saying "because The Big Bang, so there" grin I have a big problem with science and technology in general; the people using it can't hack it. I mean, um, there are those who become obsessed with it (which is semi-acceptable), those who through the ridiculous sterilisation of their homes raise their spawn in clinical environments, giving them barely any immune resistance at all (which is flat out unfortunate), um, there's the dependance some form with devices and social software and all the while the cough of the book is getting weaker by the day...I don't know...um, science has helped create a lot, but...I fear it's almost stripping us of our humanity (which I know is a ludicrous and self-evidently false statement, but you get the point laugh ). Music as an art is one of the few hopes I have of people retaining some kind of purpose in life, some form of feeling (put in the most dramatic way possible), but the impression I get from those around is that music as an art form is dying; music as a pleasant noise is ever on the rise (though this is nothing new, of course). I fear (getting a little more on topic grin) that if we could pinpoint the exact parts of the brain that make someone homosexual...well, um, isn't that just fuel for homophobics to say "look, we were right all along, they *are* different, ewww!"? I think....um...schools should have a lesson along the lines of "just plain good manners and decorum"; we've come a long way but I think social evolution needs to take place in a major way before technological. I mean, um, we can put people on the moon yet there's still harsh intolerance out there regarding things that, millenia ago, were considered not only fine but virtuous even! I don't know...doesn't that seem silly?
Posted by: debrucey

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/16/13 11:38 AM

It seems very silly. Mainly because it's not really clear what the mascaraed arse you are on about.
Posted by: chopin_r_us

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/16/13 12:34 PM

Originally Posted By: wr
Originally Posted By: Ian_G
About the choice factor, I side with Schopenhauer: Der Mensch kann wohl tun, was er will, aber er kann nicht wollen, was er will. [A man can do as he wills, but he can't will as he wills].


That's actually sort of cute - I like it. Not that I had any choice but to like it...

He also said never give your wife the credit card.
Posted by: Pogorelich.

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/16/13 12:43 PM

Oh dear god, that Diane woman is still here? Everyone, ignore her - it's pointless to argue with someone who has such an unusually distorted view of reality. You have to laugh at people like that. It's an example of how north america needs to maybe redesign their education system and rethink some of the insipid values they "shove down people's throats", to put it eloquently.

Ugh.
Posted by: JoelW

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/16/13 12:58 PM

Waffles! Tasty waffles with lots of sirup.
Posted by: theJourney

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/16/13 01:53 PM

someone has hacked my account and is posting in my name.
Posted by: Pogorelich.

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/16/13 02:44 PM

Originally Posted By: theJourney
someone has hacked my account and is posting in my name.


Seriously?
Posted by: woodog

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/16/13 03:51 PM

Originally Posted By: theJourney
someone has hacked my account and is posting in my name.


What does he charge? I would like him to write for me!

Forrest
Posted by: argerichfan

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/16/13 06:57 PM

Originally Posted By: JoelW
Waffles! Tasty waffles with lots of sirup.

No doubt behind the 8 ball here.
Posted by: ChopinAddict

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/16/13 07:00 PM

Originally Posted By: theJourney
someone has hacked my account and is posting in my name.


I think you should change your password immediately...
Posted by: JoelW

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/16/13 09:13 PM

Originally Posted By: argerichfan
Originally Posted By: JoelW
Waffles! Tasty waffles with lots of sirup.

No doubt behind the 8 ball here.


I don't really see how this phrase applies but okay. ha
Posted by: Kimsie

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/16/13 10:08 PM

Originally Posted By: landorrano

As for choosing their sexuality, that is to say, straight or gay, in my opinion all human beings do.


Having spoken with a couple of people close to me who thought that this was true, it is my belief that the people who have the most difficulty understanding that a person can actually have a sexual orientation that they would not have chosen are people who have felt attracted to both sexes, perhaps with a brief attraction to someone of the same sex, and been able to overcome the attraction to the same sex. I think it is easier for completely straight people to understand that someone can be gay than for some bisexual-to-some-degree people who feel that they have been able to make a choice, and so believe that everyone else can, too.
Posted by: Michael_99

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/17/13 12:20 AM

Millions of men and women live as straight or gay people, but that is quite different from attaction. That is why women can be hurt or men can be hurt. The woman marries a guy who lives as a straight man and dates women and marries a women and usually by 40 he realizes he wants to be who really is, so he tells his wife he has always been attracted to men and thought he could live as a straight man but now he wants a divorce and wants to live as a gay man. Those women are pretty upset being dumped by a husband and having kids and now at 40 they have to adjust to the new father/husband and sort of start over. Were they lied to? Religion can influence their decisions and sometimes play a small role in some cases. So you can believe what you want to believe about choice.
Posted by: Nikolas

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/17/13 12:30 AM

Ok...

While we're at it, here's a question for you (hpyothetical scenario of course):

If my wife dumbed me for another woman, I'd feel fine. I would not feel threatened in any way, because I'd know that it was impossible to fight the competition. I'd lose with dignity knowing that I did nothing wrong. She just prefers women.

My friends (both genders) say that they would feel devastated in such a case.

How do you feel about this?
Posted by: Michael_99

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/17/13 01:41 AM

The active word is 'honesty'. If a woman has always been attracted to women but decides to marry a guy because she likes him, does she have to mention to the guy that she has always been attracted to women - how specific does she have to be to her husband to be?

The reality is that people marry for sex, money, love, power, position, status, immigration, to have children, etc.
Posted by: FSO

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/17/13 08:58 AM

Originally Posted By: Nikolas
How do you feel about this?

This happened to my uncle, actually; it devastated him by some fairly large degree. I personally don't really understand it (I feel similarly to you, I mean, um, if you love someone and can't offer them all of their needs, shouldn't you be happy to find someone who could?)...
Posted by: adak

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/17/13 02:52 PM

Originally Posted By: FSO
Originally Posted By: Nikolas
How do you feel about this?

This happened to my uncle, actually; it devastated him by some fairly large degree. I personally don't really understand it (I feel similarly to you, I mean, um, if you love someone and can't offer them all of their needs, shouldn't you be happy to find someone who could?)...



If his wife was a lesbian all along then she should have married a woman in the first place instead of leading your uncle along all these years.
Posted by: Nikolas

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/17/13 02:58 PM

Originally Posted By: adak
Originally Posted By: FSO
Originally Posted By: Nikolas
How do you feel about this?

This happened to my uncle, actually; it devastated him by some fairly large degree. I personally don't really understand it (I feel similarly to you, I mean, um, if you love someone and can't offer them all of their needs, shouldn't you be happy to find someone who could?)...



If his wife was a lesbian all along then she should have married a woman in the first place instead of leading your uncle along all these years.
How do you know she was leading his uncle? For all we know she could've been confused all along... Or realized her lesbian side later in life.
Posted by: debrucey

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/17/13 03:11 PM

Originally Posted By: adak
Originally Posted By: FSO
Originally Posted By: Nikolas
How do you feel about this?

This happened to my uncle, actually; it devastated him by some fairly large degree. I personally don't really understand it (I feel similarly to you, I mean, um, if you love someone and can't offer them all of their needs, shouldn't you be happy to find someone who could?)...



If his wife was a lesbian all along then she should have married a woman in the first place instead of leading your uncle along all these years.


Haha well yes she should have, but there are many social and psychological factors in todays world why she might not have done that.
Posted by: BruceD

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/17/13 03:18 PM

It amazes me to see how many people think that issues raised in this thread are simplistically black or white!

Regards,
Posted by: chopin_r_us

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/17/13 03:27 PM

Originally Posted By: BruceD
It amazes me to see how many people think that issues raised in this thread are simplistically black or white!
Oh no, not racism now?
Posted by: BruceD

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/17/13 07:30 PM

Originally Posted By: chopin_r_us
Originally Posted By: BruceD
It amazes me to see how many people think that issues raised in this thread are simplistically black or white!
Oh no, not racism now?


That was not funny.
Posted by: carey

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/17/13 07:58 PM

Originally Posted By: BruceD
Originally Posted By: chopin_r_us
Originally Posted By: BruceD
It amazes me to see how many people think that issues raised in this thread are simplistically black or white!
Oh no, not racism now?


That was not funny.


No - it's not funny. And Bruce's original point was well taken.

It amazes me also how many people seem incapable of seeing, comprehending and appreciating the "grey" in life. Either they can't wrap their brains around complex issues, or in an effort to make sense of the world they conveniently (and simplistically) choose to put issues (and groups of people) in little boxes. Of course, this has been the case throughout history. You'd think we'd learn.
Posted by: argerichfan

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/17/13 08:13 PM

Originally Posted By: carey

It amazes me also how many people seem incapable of seeing, comprehending and appreciating the "grey" in life. Either they can't wrap their brains around complex issues, or in an effort to make sense of the world they conveniently (and simplistically) choose to put issues (and groups of people) in little boxes. Of course, this has been the case throughout history. You'd think we'd learn.

Very well said, carey, and thanks for that.

Otherwise, I tend to find FSO's posts a bit opaque and rather unpenetrable. I think I get where he is coming from, and if indeed he is anti-science, then he is certainly in US Republican territory.
Posted by: FSO

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/17/13 08:33 PM

Hmm...maybe I wasn't clear...ho hum, no harm done laugh Carey...I assume you find Immanuel Kant over-simplifies things which his poor little head can't get to grips with? wink
Posted by: carey

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/18/13 12:42 AM

Originally Posted By: FSO
Carey...I assume you find Immanuel Kant over-simplifies things which his poor little head can't get to grips with? wink

But of course !! grin
To be fair, however, at least he gave it his best shot.
Posted by: theJourney

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/18/13 04:09 AM

Originally Posted By: theJourney
someone has hacked my account and is posting in my name.


Problem solved.
Posted by: theJourney

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/18/13 04:23 AM

Originally Posted By: FSO
Music as an art is one of the few hopes I have of people retaining some kind of purpose in life, some form of feeling (put in the most dramatic way possible), but the impression I get from those around is that music as an art form is dying; music as a pleasant noise is ever on the rise (though this is nothing new, of course).


I love romantics!

Your apprehension about science is understandable.
Your lament about music and classical music is well motivated.

The question of course is: does increased scientific understanding of how music " pushes our buttons " preclude the enjoyment of classical music or the further development of profound classical music that makes us " filled with purpose and feeling "?

For example, we are gaining new insights into how quiet prayer can be psychologically healing, stress and anxiety reducing and " good for the brain " for the one doing the contemplation and praying, even while other studies show that the efficacy of prayer is zero, making no statistical difference in the outcomes for that or for whom one is praying. Does that mean that the religious should not bother praying or does it mean that the non-religious should start praying?

At the moment, some of the most profound insights into how we actually listen to music, how our brains parse music like another language (which started in academia surrounding 20th century classical post-modernism and the reaction to modernist classical music, e.g. 12 tones, serialism, etc., that nobody could, would or wanted to listen to) and how it interacts with our psychological reward systems have now been co-opted by advertising executives, Hollywood movie producers, department store marketing executives and pop music producers. Why? Well, because it makes them lots of money.

However, this does not mean that these same insights cannot be used to some degree or another by contemporary composers of classical or art-music works. The problem of course lies in what makes art music art music? There is an expectation that it should be pushing the envelope or doing more than crassly press psychological buttons like so many Lay's potato chips (or the music that sells them). And, part of what makes art music art music is that it makes necessary, higher-order assumptions about the sophistication, education, motivation, experience, open-mindedness, etc. of listeners. As our society (with children raised on a steady diet of TV, MTV, video games, 24/7 smartphone multimedia connection, etc.) moves more towards: low discipline, passive consumption versus active participation, little appreciation for delayed gratification, everything fast, short attention spans, expectations of frequent and discrete stimulation, no universal childhood education in music, etc. then the question is if art music must not also change. Not necessarily dumb down, but meet halfway such as Jacob ter Veldhuis (JacobTV) is doing. Or should future classical music become even more of an elite bastion separate from society, like a Monastery on the hill, than it has been in the past?


Originally Posted By: FSO

I fear (getting a little more on topic grin) that if we could pinpoint the exact parts of the brain that make someone homosexual...well, um, isn't that just fuel for homophobics to say "look, we were right all along, they *are* different, ewww!"? I think....um...schools should have a lesson along the lines of "just plain good manners and decorum"; we've come a long way but I think social evolution needs to take place in a major way before technological. I mean, um, we can put people on the moon yet there's still harsh intolerance out there regarding things that, millenia ago, were considered not only fine but virtuous even! I don't know...doesn't that seem silly?


Well, when Dick Swaab presented his findings about " the homosexual brain " people were marching in the streets in protest. The fear is that if you can already tell if your baby is homosexual in the womb, that the next step will be that, in many places in the world, women will be offered abortions to avoid having a gay son. Or a lesbian daughter -- that is if they haven't already long aborted knowing that their baby would be a girl which is tragically commonplace in India, China and in many other countries.

So, the blade of science can cut two ways.

On the one hand, the fight for equal human rights should be supported by the evidence that homosexuals cannot do anything to change their sexual orientation. They can only express it, suppress it or hide it just like they can't change their eye color they can only mask them with contact lenses until their eyes have become so dry that they can't go on anymore.

On the other hand, with the right (wrong?) governments and the right (wrong?) culture the same knowledge could be used to "purge" homosexuality from the human race as if it were the same thing as a grave congenital defect. Lest we forget, eugenics was all the rage in some places just over half a century ago, especially in the United States before WWII. It is not the science that has gone bad, but what we do with the science.

If all homosexuals were eliminated from the face of the planet, I shudder to think what that would mean for the arts in general and the piano in particular, given how many artists have been homosexual. On the other hand, could it be possible that the reason so many homosexuals have become artists in the past is not because they are homosexual, but because of homophobia?

As we are learning with the ongoing ecological and human health disaster that is being wrought by genetically modified corn, messing with billions of years of evolution can be a very dangerous thing to do indeed. There are evolutionary psychologists who posit that the reason that homosexuality has been selected for as an evolutionary advantage over millions of years (despite homosexuals not being able to directly procreate in isolation) is because of the positive impact it had on humanity, families and communities. Gay uncles with no children of their own had the time, energy and bandwidth to conceive and develop those things that enrich our life beyond "hunting, gathering, eating, defecating & breeding" that make us human, not just animals, while they also played a supportive role in ensuring that their nieces and nephews had extra help in life to survive and thrive.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100204144551.htm
Posted by: Nikolas

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/18/13 04:24 AM

Originally Posted By: theJourney
Originally Posted By: theJourney
someone has hacked my account and is posting in my name.


Problem solved.
What? Came back to your senses? [/joke]

If it was indeed hacked, I'm glad that the problem is solved in any case! smile
Posted by: theJourney

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/18/13 05:24 AM

Originally Posted By: carey
Originally Posted By: FSO
Carey...I assume you find Immanuel Kant over-simplifies things which his poor little head can't get to grips with? wink

But of course !! grin
To be fair, however, at least he gave it his best shot.


I can't argue with Kant 'cause I couldn't get through it all.

Tangentially relevant to the topic at hand, the NYT published a short essay today on the topic of ethnocentrism. It refers to the culinary practices of some cultures which put the idea of having someone with whom you disagree " forced down your throat " in a completely different light. It also discusses the difficulty of using reason when discussing matters of mores and morals.

Although the saying we often use in everyday life is

"I'll believe it when I see it.",

the way our minds really work tends to be more along the lines of

"I'll see it when I believe it."

http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/02/17/on-ethnocentrism/
Posted by: wr

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/18/13 06:56 AM

Originally Posted By: Michael_99
Millions of men and women live as straight or gay people, but that is quite different from attaction. That is why women can be hurt or men can be hurt. The woman marries a guy who lives as a straight man and dates women and marries a women and usually by 40 he realizes he wants to be who really is, so he tells his wife he has always been attracted to men and thought he could live as a straight man but now he wants a divorce and wants to live as a gay man. Those women are pretty upset being dumped by a husband and having kids and now at 40 they have to adjust to the new father/husband and sort of start over. Were they lied to? Religion can influence their decisions and sometimes play a small role in some cases. So you can believe what you want to believe about choice.


Many years ago I was acquainted with a gay guy who had earlier been trying to live the straight life, and was so strenuously committed to it that he ended up fathering five children. Later, after it became clear to him that he was gay, he attempted to sue the Catholic church for child support, on the basis that they had brainwashed him into making babies, more or less from childhood. I thought he had a pretty good argument, but unfortunately the case didn't gain any traction in court.
Posted by: FSO

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/18/13 07:09 AM

Originally Posted By: theJourney
It is not the science that has gone bad, but what we do with the science.

I entirely agree...with pretty much the rest of this post too. Just...I would rather be amazed by the world than understand it, you know? I mean, um...it's like magic; understanding *how* it's done is cool in a way (and so I completely understand how an appreciation for the elegance in how the world is constituted can exist) but is much less likely to yield a feeling of awe...no? As with all opinions, of course, it is only relatively correct to those that hold it and so I apologise for stating myself so firmly; be under no disillusion, um, I feel no different about the personableness for those who feel differently...I mean, my soulmate believes that all we are is governed by neuroscientific principles; part of what makes a great commune is understanding that others experience and think of the world entirely differently and trying to experience as they experience...so, um, for future reference, if it ever feels as though I'm trying to force my opinion on you or otherwise threatening your position, I'm not; I'm just trying to get to know you in this unfortunately hostile (to me wink ) form of sharing ^>^
Posted by: Exalted Wombat

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/18/13 07:21 AM

Originally Posted By: theJourney

For example, we are gaining new insights into how quiet prayer can be psychologically healing, stress and anxiety reducing and " good for the brain " for the one doing the contemplation and praying, even while other studies show that the efficacy of prayer is zero, making no statistical difference in the outcomes for that or for whom one is praying. Does that mean that the religious should not bother praying or does it mean that the non-religious should start praying?


It means that the healing effect of prayer should be compared with that of other sorts of quiet meditation, lacking religious overtones. Counting sheep may be as efficacious as counting angels.
Posted by: SlatterFan

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/18/13 08:40 AM

Originally Posted By: theJourney
On the one hand, the fight for equal human rights should be supported by the evidence that homosexuals cannot do anything to change their sexual orientation. They can only express it, suppress it or hide it just like they can't change their eye color they can only mask them with contact lenses until their eyes have become so dry that they can't go on anymore.

I suspect that many people besides myself disagree with that, and argue that whether or not homosexuality involves conscious choice is irrelevant to the need for everyone to respect and accept each other. I believe that if people choose to be in a relationship together, that should be respected, end of story, assuming that the relationship is age-appropriate rather than, for example, a 40-year-old dating a 14-year-old. Based on what I have read (as a layperson), it does seem that sexual orientation is probably not a matter of choice, I agree, but I don't see that that should have any bearing on the case for acceptance and equality.

"Hmmm, well, because there seems to be good evidence that you can't help being the way you are, we'll accept you and treat you equally."

That attitude invites a well-deserved, sarcastic, "Gee, thanks a lot!", does it not? Because there seems an embedded implication that if one's sexuality were a matter of choice, the offer of equality might be withdrawn. I think in general that the whole business of a majority deciding to bestow acceptance/equality on a minority, as if making a gift, is not a good thing. I have found your posts carefully considered and interesting, and I agree with a lot of what you say, but I needed to take exception to this part.
Posted by: Ralph

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/18/13 09:18 AM

#1 I thought this thread would be closed within hours of starting.

#2 then I read some very interesting view points and ideas.

#3 Now I find myself not really caring one way or the other. It has be come a non-issue.

#4 Please make it stop. The free association and tangental thinking is giving me a headache.
Posted by: theJourney

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/18/13 10:40 AM

Originally Posted By: FSO
Originally Posted By: theJourney
It is not the science that has gone bad, but what we do with the science.

I entirely agree...with pretty much the rest of this post too. Just...I would rather be amazed by the world than understand it, you know? I mean, um...it's like magic; understanding *how* it's done is cool in a way (and so I completely understand how an appreciation for the elegance in how the world is constituted can exist) but is much less likely to yield a feeling of awe...no?

Again, I would argue that "being in awe " of the world versus (better) "understanding it" is a false dichotomy. You can have both. However, the source and nature of your amazement will likely become deeper or more cerebral like peeling an onion and having seemingly another smaller onion to go or opening a Russian Matryoshka doll and being presented with another doll.

Seeing a magician saw through a young blonde or transform a lighted cigarette into a live dove taking flight might generate a sense of awe within a spectator. However, to then understand how the trick is performed, and, more importantly, what the inherent perceptual and psychological limitations are of the human mind that allow such tricks to be successfully performed on us can generate a much more profound sense of awe than the cheap trick itself. Once we understand these perceptual and psychological limitations, then yet another level of awe-inducing realization appears on the horizon informing us that we never, ever really completely see reality, but only a limited, simplified, modeled construct, a subjective interpretation informed more by our previous experiences, beliefs and biases, inferred and computed by our brain. How much more jaw-droppingly awe-inspiring and thought-provoking is that than simply the sight of some bloke pulling a rabbit out of his top hat?

You can look up at the stars at night and enjoy a sense of awe of the sublime beauty and you might imagine god sitting up there on his throne looking down at you. Then, later as your curiosity leads you to learn something of cosmology you discover the nature of stars, the numbers, the sizes, distances, time frames, etc. etc. You realize that there are 100 thousand million stars in the Milky Way alone and outside that, there are millions upon millions of other galaxies to boot! Your level of awe goes up exponentially!!

It depends on how you look at it, I suppose. "Awe" is probably one of my primary motivations for listening to and performing classical music. However, the more I know, the more my sense of awe seems to increase, though irrevocably transformed: until dementia sets in you can never retrieve your lost innocence.

Originally Posted By: FSO

As with all opinions, of course, it is only relatively correct to those that hold it and so I apologise for stating myself so firmly; be under no disillusion, um, I feel no different about the personableness for those who feel differently...I mean, my soulmate believes that all we are is governed by neuroscientific principles; part of what makes a great commune is understanding that others experience and think of the world entirely differently and trying to experience as they experience...so, um, for future reference, if it ever feels as though I'm trying to force my opinion on you or otherwise threatening your position, I'm not; I'm just trying to get to know you in this unfortunately hostile (to me wink ) form of sharing ^>^


No need for apologies.

Well, I can imagine that the more that a given personality type leverages feeling, sensing or intuiting, the more dis-satisfying that the logical, rational, descriptive, cerebral descriptions of phenomena could be that often emerge when the curtain is pushed aside and we see what is behind them.

Pesky technology, typing to each other as a species that normally gets 70% of the information value from a conversation with someone from visual non-verbal gestures. On the other hand, without these internet fora we might never be having these group conversations ... we have to accept the limitations together with the new gifts...until pianoworld or a competitor offers to use technology widely available today such as google hangouts.
Posted by: FSO

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/18/13 02:25 PM

You *do* make a very convincing argument, I'll certainly grant you that much laugh But we are talking of two very different forms of awe here...I'm not sure, in all honesty, that they can be compared. But, um, just FYI I used to study maths at university; I have a firm appreciation for the elegance in the rational...pushing aside the psychological curtain entails, not necessarily but always with the risk of, fear, you must agree?
Posted by: Old Man

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/18/13 05:00 PM

Originally Posted By: Ralph
#1 I thought this thread would be closed within hours of starting.

#2 then I read some very interesting view points and ideas.

#3 Now I find myself not really caring one way or the other. It has be come a non-issue.

#4 Please make it stop. The free association and tangental thinking is giving me a headache.

You know how to make it stop. Select a different thread.

The headache will subside when you stop knocking your head against the wall.
Posted by: theJourney

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/18/13 06:28 PM

Originally Posted By: SlatterFan
Originally Posted By: theJourney
On the one hand, the fight for equal human rights should be supported by the evidence that homosexuals cannot do anything to change their sexual orientation. They can only express it, suppress it or hide it just like they can't change their eye color they can only mask them with contact lenses until their eyes have become so dry that they can't go on anymore.

I suspect that many people besides myself disagree with that, and argue that whether or not homosexuality involves conscious choice is irrelevant to the need for everyone to respect and accept each other. I believe that if people choose to be in a relationship together, that should be respected, end of story, assuming that the relationship is age-appropriate rather than, for example, a 40-year-old dating a 14-year-old. Based on what I have read (as a layperson), it does seem that sexual orientation is probably not a matter of choice, I agree, but I don't see that that should have any bearing on the case for acceptance and equality.

"Hmmm, well, because there seems to be good evidence that you can't help being the way you are, we'll accept you and treat you equally."

That attitude invites a well-deserved, sarcastic, "Gee, thanks a lot!", does it not? Because there seems an embedded implication that if one's sexuality were a matter of choice, the offer of equality might be withdrawn. I think in general that the whole business of a majority deciding to bestow acceptance/equality on a minority, as if making a gift, is not a good thing. I have found your posts carefully considered and interesting, and I agree with a lot of what you say, but I needed to take exception to this part.


I actually agree with you. In an ideal world within an open, tolerant secular society consisting of informed, educated, responsible and engaged citizens with a well-functioning democracy of majority rule with careful protection of minority rights, separation of church and state and with freedom and equal opportunity and respect for all that should be the way it works: "if people choose to be in a relationship together, that should be respected, end of story."

Unfortunately, compared to the Western societies that most of us live in, the above description is utopia. Therefore, we have to recognize where we are now, understand what some of the key blocks are towards achieving the kind of free and open society we want to live in and then think about the best strategies, tactics and methods of communication in order to achieve the desired societal change.

One side of this is being respected by your family and community. Another aspect is having the legal protections and rights. Take the US for example, as just one country among many in the West. Separation between church and state is a real muddle. There is no real difference between religious marriage and civil marriage and, in fact, country preachers with no civil status can legally marry people (unlike in various other western countries where only a government official can marry you civilly after which you can optionally choose to go get married in a church which only is valid for you and your religion.) There is also the DOMA, a federal law saying that legally married homosexuals may not be recognized nor enjoy any federal marriage benefits. At the same time 10 states have constitutional amendments to explicitly prohibit or take back equal human rights of marriage for gays. These are laws that were passed more or less democratically and which in almost every case the majority opinion was informed by religious conviction or emotional appeals masquerading as religious or conservative conviction.

One of the most common reasons given by people when asked why they believe that homosexuals, like black slaves and women before them, should not have equal rights is that they have been told that it is against their religion. During the past century a majority of Americans have nominally self-identified as christian. Many Christian sects within Christ-ianity, (which might better be called St. Paul-inanity considering the outsized impact that Saul of Tarsus had on forming the organized religion and considering how little Jesus' teachings of poverty, love and compassion are valued by his self-proclaimed followers today) are often preached to in churches that homosexuality is not only bad and sinful, but that it is a bad choice, like choosing to become an adulturer, a bank robber or a mass murderer is a bad choice. This is why there are any number of sham clinics that exist to "cure" homosexuals. It is also why some deeply religious parents can shun their children and kick them out of their homes if they dare to share their personal identity with them. And why an estimated 40% of all teen suicides are gay kids. And, this is why many of these laws get passed.

However, when people finally realize how many people around them that they know or love are homosexual, that their son or neighbor or teacher or grocer or whomever is gay and that this is not a matter of spiteful choice and " lifestyle " (as if it were the same as getting a season ticket to baseball or not) but how you are made by God, then there can be nothing more sinful about being born as a gay person than being born a woman or being born black. The Bible says next to nothing about homosexuality but gives all kinds of advice to slave-holders and indicates that women (often multiple women simultaneously) are the property or chattel of their husbands, yet we now reject both slavery and misogyny. Suddenly the discussion is not about evil and sin and choices but about what you described: accepting and respecting another human being who just happens to be different than you -- instead of being guilty oneself of loudly fomenting irrational and unfounded hatred, bigotry or discrimination.

Here is an interesting article on the subject:
http://weblogs.nrc.nl/swaab/2009/02/24/homosexuality-not-a-choice/

Or, alternatively, see exhibit B in the post below which can be summarized as follows:

"What I do in my bedroom is MY business and what YOU do in your bedroom is MY business too!"

I rest my case.

Posted by: Diane...

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/19/13 12:50 AM

Originally Posted By: Diane...
Originally Posted By: Old Man
Originally Posted By: landorrano

As for choosing their sexuality, that is to say, straight or gay, in my opinion all human beings do.

Surely you jest.

I've never met a single person who "chose" their sexual orientation, and I'm a couple of weeks shy of 63. I was attracted to girls at age 5, and yes, I have very clear memories of that, because those thoughts occupied most of my childhood fantasies. (OK, maybe they still do.) grin So what sort of "choice" could I have been making at the age of 5, when I had never even heard the word "sex"?

And what about the millions of gay people in this world? Are they a mass of raving masochists, who "choose" to be gay so they can enjoy being insulted, ridiculed, and beaten to a pulp? Society may be more tolerant of homosexuality today, but it still remains one tough slog, so the idea that anyone would choose to be gay is ludicrous. Any more than I chose to be straight, or chose to have blue eyes.

By extension, would you also say that left-handed people choose to be lefties so they can struggle their entire lives with appliances made for the rest of us? Frankly, I'm stunned by your comment.


I don't agree with the Old man!
Homosexuality gets forced down my throat! They tell me that all gays are nice people, they are loving, they are kind,... & bla bla bla . . . Well I remember the first time someone told me what homosexuals do. I said "They put their "WHAT" into another guys "WHAT"??? I was shocked cause I thought, maybe homosexuals missed sex education class. grin So poop came from that place and I just couldn't wrap my thinking around the strangeness of "doing" that to someones' . . . Each to his own, but I ummmm well, . . . well, I still can't and won't go for that. Nor should I have to!

I watch a tv program where this guy had a love interest in his "sister"! She didn't like how he was acting around here, so the guy went for help from a councellor and solved his stronge desires for his sister. She didn't have the same feelings he did!

Anyways, there are some of us (me) who will never understand how men want men or how woman want woman. It's not that we are "homophobic" just like if I don't want to take "illegal drugs" makes me "drugaphobic"! I don't want to get high, I have a right to not do drugs if I chose not to. I have had people try to force me to take drugs & verbally abuse me for not going ahead with it. Call me a goody 2 shoes but leave me be!! . I personally just won't agree with homosexuallity, nor should I be forced to. I think when a man lays with a woman, a baby is produced. When a man lays with a man, nothing is produced. It just doesn't sit right with me. I don't understand it, so please . . . don't force it down my throat! I'm not beating up gays, I'm just not comfortable with the whole . . . with the whole, thought of it!

Thank you for understanding my side. I have a right to not accept it. Please don't verbally abuse me for having a different view of this than you do!

I play the piano. What I do in my bedroom is my business!



Yikes! Some of you certainly have a lot of time on your hands. I just got back from being out of town and, well, this thread has certainly turned into a "bummer" thread! grin (pun intended. Sorry, ...I couldn't resist!)

Anyways, I read through all the so-called "tolerate" comments. I read and read and am still NOT convinced. (Some of you have "wayyyyy" too much time on your hands!!!!) I still find that homosexuality is strange and unnatural. I still believe that "homosexuality" is unnatural! You who are most intolerant yet claim to be tolerate, well some of you just got down right "mean"! Debating is good, name calling is, well. . . first grade! Childish!!! Anyways, all because I have a different view!!! That's fine! So much for "tolerance"!

Anyways, I don't believe that someone can't help being a homosexual... is wrong.!

A guy I know, announced to me that he was tired of the "gay" lifestyle. He found that anal sex was painful and said he no longer wanted that lifestyle. He changed his lifestyle back to being "straight" because he wanted to change.

And Ellen Degeneres' lesbian girlfriend, Anne Heche, left Ellen, and turning her back on homosexuality, and is happily married to cameraman Coley Laffoon.

So yes, homosexuals "can" change their chose and go straight.

So if anyone wants to be gay, it's your business what you do in your bedroom. Just that if you decide that lifestyle isn't for you, you aren't stuck in it. You can go straight. No shame in going straight!

Let's hear it for "Freedom of Speech"!
Yes, "Freedom of Speech" is for ME too!
Posted by: carey

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/19/13 01:52 AM

Originally Posted By: Diane...

Let's hear it for "Freedom of Speech"!
Yes, "Freedom of Speech" is for ME too!

No one is denying you your "Freedom of Speech" - and, yes, you certainly are entitled to your "different view." However, that doesn't mean others must agree with you.
Posted by: JoelW

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/19/13 01:55 AM

Originally Posted By: Diane...
Originally Posted By: Diane...
Originally Posted By: Old Man
Originally Posted By: landorrano

As for choosing their sexuality, that is to say, straight or gay, in my opinion all human beings do.

Surely you jest.

I've never met a single person who "chose" their sexual orientation, and I'm a couple of weeks shy of 63. I was attracted to girls at age 5, and yes, I have very clear memories of that, because those thoughts occupied most of my childhood fantasies. (OK, maybe they still do.) grin So what sort of "choice" could I have been making at the age of 5, when I had never even heard the word "sex"?

And what about the millions of gay people in this world? Are they a mass of raving masochists, who "choose" to be gay so they can enjoy being insulted, ridiculed, and beaten to a pulp? Society may be more tolerant of homosexuality today, but it still remains one tough slog, so the idea that anyone would choose to be gay is ludicrous. Any more than I chose to be straight, or chose to have blue eyes.

By extension, would you also say that left-handed people choose to be lefties so they can struggle their entire lives with appliances made for the rest of us? Frankly, I'm stunned by your comment.


I don't agree with the Old man!
Homosexuality gets forced down my throat! They tell me that all gays are nice people, they are loving, they are kind,... & bla bla bla . . . Well I remember the first time someone told me what homosexuals do. I said "They put their "WHAT" into another guys "WHAT"??? I was shocked cause I thought, maybe homosexuals missed sex education class. grin So poop came from that place and I just couldn't wrap my thinking around the strangeness of "doing" that to someones' . . . Each to his own, but I ummmm well, . . . well, I still can't and won't go for that. Nor should I have to!

I watch a tv program where this guy had a love interest in his "sister"! She didn't like how he was acting around here, so the guy went for help from a councellor and solved his stronge desires for his sister. She didn't have the same feelings he did!

Anyways, there are some of us (me) who will never understand how men want men or how woman want woman. It's not that we are "homophobic" just like if I don't want to take "illegal drugs" makes me "drugaphobic"! I don't want to get high, I have a right to not do drugs if I chose not to. I have had people try to force me to take drugs & verbally abuse me for not going ahead with it. Call me a goody 2 shoes but leave me be!! . I personally just won't agree with homosexuallity, nor should I be forced to. I think when a man lays with a woman, a baby is produced. When a man lays with a man, nothing is produced. It just doesn't sit right with me. I don't understand it, so please . . . don't force it down my throat! I'm not beating up gays, I'm just not comfortable with the whole . . . with the whole, thought of it!

Thank you for understanding my side. I have a right to not accept it. Please don't verbally abuse me for having a different view of this than you do!

I play the piano. What I do in my bedroom is my business!



Yikes! Some of you certainly have a lot of time on your hands. I just got back from being out of town and, well, this thread has certainly turned into a "bummer" thread! grin (pun intended. Sorry, ...I couldn't resist!)

Anyways, I read through all the so-called "tolerate" comments. I read and read and am still NOT convinced. (Some of you have "wayyyyy" too much time on your hands!!!!) I still find that homosexuality is strange and unnatural. I still believe that "homosexuality" is unnatural! You who are most intolerant yet claim to be tolerate, well some of you just got down right "mean"! Debating is good, name calling is, well. . . first grade! Childish!!! Anyways, all because I have a different view!!! That's fine! So much for "tolerance"!

Anyways, I don't believe that someone can't help being a homosexual... is wrong.!

A guy I know, announced to me that he was tired of the "gay" lifestyle. He found that anal sex was painful and said he no longer wanted that lifestyle. He changed his lifestyle back to being "straight" because he wanted to change.

And Ellen Degeneres' lesbian girlfriend, Anne Heche, left Ellen, and turning her back on homosexuality, and is happily married to cameraman Coley Laffoon.

So yes, homosexuals "can" change their chose and go straight.

So if anyone wants to be gay, it's your business what you do in your bedroom. Just that if you decide that lifestyle isn't for you, you aren't stuck in it. You can go straight. No shame in going straight!

Let's hear it for "Freedom of Speech"!
Yes, "Freedom of Speech" is for ME too!




I don't think gays and straights are ONLY that way by birth. I think there are many reasons for why someone might have a certain sexuality, I just think that most of the time, our orientation is hard-wired into our brains from birth (non-choice). But I do think there are openly sexual people out there who are really indifferent when it comes to preference and may switch back and forth when they please.

I won't comment on your personal issues with members here on PW because I have no idea who you are or your history here.
Posted by: Nikolas

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/19/13 02:19 AM

Originally Posted By: Diane...
Yikes! Some of you certainly have a lot of time on your hands. I just got back from being out of town and, well, this thread has certainly turned into a "bummer" thread! grin (pun intended. Sorry, ...I couldn't resist!)
Your silly pun is nothing more than an indication that you don't care for anything else but for pushing down our throat your views and opinions!

Quote:
Anyways, I read through all the so-called "tolerate" comments. I read and read and am still NOT convinced. (Some of you have "wayyyyy" too much time on your hands!!!!) I still find that homosexuality is strange and unnatural. I still believe that "homosexuality" is unnatural! You who are most intolerant yet claim to be tolerate, well some of you just got down right "mean"! Debating is good, name calling is, well. . . first grade! Childish!!! Anyways, all because I have a different view!!! That's fine! So much for "tolerance"!
What seems to be eluding you is that it's not about tolerance. What if a poster is gay? In that case it's not about tolerance but his/her way of life! so way to go again on missing any kind of logic!

Quote:
Anyways, I don't believe that someone can't help being a homosexual... is wrong.!
By all means, I believe in the great big turtle, to where the earth stands! grin you can believe anything you want. You cannot come in hear to insult others!

Quote:
A guy I know, announced to me that he was tired of the "gay" lifestyle. He found that anal sex was painful and said he no longer wanted that lifestyle. He changed his lifestyle back to being "straight" because he wanted to change.
Well done on him. I also know someone who after a while decided that he didn't need any females in his life, but men and changed to being homosexual. What does that prove?

Quote:
And Ellen Degeneres' lesbian girlfriend, Anne Heche, left Ellen, and turning her back on homosexuality, and is happily married to cameraman Coley Laffoon.

So yes, homosexuals "can" change their chose and go straight.

So if anyone wants to be gay, it's your business what you do in your bedroom. Just that if you decide that lifestyle isn't for you, you aren't stuck in it. You can go straight. No shame in going straight!
Oh... this is what you mean.

Oh ok...

If you think you can change your totally insulting way of thinking and posting, and while you're at it, perhaps leave the threads that are not for you, the by all means do so. Although I suspect that you're not capable of doing so!

Moreover I should note that any "straight" person can also change his/her mind and go "homosexual", right? Why didn't you mention that?

Quote:
Let's hear it for "Freedom of Speech"!
Yes, "Freedom of Speech" is for ME too!
Freedom, in every sense of the word stops where the next persons freedom starts. Do you really want to get into this discussion now?

Really, all you've been doing for the past couple of weeks (and in older times, but I've not been following you) is to troll, complaint and create problems.

what the heck are you doing in this thread anyway? Preaching? Promoting your business and your views? Cause I don't see anyone promoting anything really. I do see people defending their views but most importantly their own choices to you! Get the difference?
Posted by: FSO

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/19/13 02:21 AM

Diane...I would posit that the people you mentioned may be bisexual (or otherwise polysexual); in debates of this nature it's most commonly homosexuals focused on because they can't, as Joel put it, switch back and forth...um...so they kind of *have* to be "out" to be happy (well...fulfilled at least; not much promises happiness really laugh ). Many polysexuals ascribe to being either straight or gay as, for some, it's just plain easier and, for many others, um, the whole "bi thing" isn't really talked about as much as the "gay thing" so, feeling attraction for a member of the same sex, falsely identify as gay through no intent of deception. I'm kind of interested in your opinion on asexuals; is that unnatural? I mean, um, are popes (and other members of particular faiths) unnatural in your eyes (not that popes are necessarily asexual; some will merely curb their impulses as a result of their position)? Also...um...there are quite a few instances of homosexual relations in animals...what are your opinions on this? I don't mean to come across as antagonising, in case you feel I'm attacking you, I'm genuinely curious without any backdrop of malice smile Oh, and RE: that guy you know...I mean, um, I'm simplifying a fair amount, but just because a pair of lovely heels kills your feet doesn't mean you don't want them, maybe it just means you have to stop wearing them *despite* the fact that they suit you perfectly.
Xxx
Posted by: theJourney

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/19/13 02:40 AM

Originally Posted By: FSO
You *do* make a very convincing argument, I'll certainly grant you that much laugh But we are talking of two very different forms of awe here...I'm not sure, in all honesty, that they can be compared. But, um, just FYI I used to study maths at university; I have a firm appreciation for the elegance in the rational...pushing aside the psychological curtain entails, not necessarily but always with the risk of, fear, you must agree?


Could you expand on this thought?
Posted by: FSO

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/19/13 03:04 AM

I could...and shall laugh I mean, incursive and reflexive thoughts can easily go astray; too many nihilists have gone the way of the dodo because of things very much along this line. Um...I terrified seven shades of **censored** out of myself when I plumbed my psychological depths. I'm better for it, and happier, I'll grant you...but it's still scary. I know that's not what you were talking about, however understanding things about how we think is very liable to setting us thinking about all forms of what we think also...I mean, um, it takes a very firm person, in my mind, to study art and not look at a painting differently to how they did before; our own minds are the clearest studies we could hope for...so...there's always the risk of (hence the absence of necessity) a never ending doubt freight-train plowing right into your brain tunnel...isn't there?
Posted by: theJourney

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/19/13 04:21 AM

I understood that Nietzsche went mad from tertiary syphilis rather than his head exploding from recursive nihilism.

It has been said: "A life without risk is a life not lived."

A doubt freight train plowing through one's mind is one possible response.

Another possibility is allowing ourselves to be free to go with the flow, to act, react and interact in, to and within the world around us spontaneously, without judgement, without fear and without believing too seriously in the artificial, mental boundaries constructed in our minds that unnecessarily separate us from the rest of this great jiggling and wobbling collection of quantum phenomena we call home and of which we are ultimately one.
Posted by: izaldu

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/19/13 04:46 AM

Wow, going downhill with no brakes. So Diane expresses her view and gets bombed with insults. The advocates of tolerance turned into fanatics. Let's promote equality, as long as you don 't disagree with me, is that how itt works?
Everyone has a right to not like anyone else. And as long as one respects them and abide the law the way one feels he/she should be respected , that's fine. In this day and age, there is plenty of information and lietrature on the matters. If someone for any reason feels put off (to put it mildly) by homosexuality, who has the right to insult him?
By the way, im totally cool with homosexuality. To discriminate people for their sexual orientation is obviously unacceptable. I believe people don t chose it whatever anyone says. I have a very close relative whose life was made miserable for being gay in the wrong environment, sop i kow what i am talking about. But i am not cool with people telling me what or what not to like. I am sick of people pusihing homosexuality (not pointing fingers towards this forum) down my throat to paraphrase Diane, because that is happening where i am, constantly. Funny that a gay friend of mine feels the same about it. Gays have been forced to live in some kind of ghetto for so long, and now that they can break out, a part of that community is trying to ghetto themselves again.

Respect and civility doesn't mean acceptance. Civility, in fact, consists mainly in accepting the things you don't like.
Posted by: stores

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/19/13 04:47 AM

Originally Posted By: Diane...

So if anyone wants to be gay, it's your business what you do in your bedroom. Just that if you decide that lifestyle isn't for you, you aren't stuck in it. You can go straight. No shame in going straight!





So, Diane, if it's not your business what another does in the bedroom, why even comment? It matters greatly to you. That's all too obvious. Don't try to coat your hatred, because it makes you appear more ignorant than you already are. You act as if you're offended that people jumped you for your opinion(s). You're entitled to believe whatever you want to believe... no one is going to deny you that... but when you open your mouth and put yourself out there, then you've just opened yourself up to every critic in the world. Your little "bummer" remark (which I'm sure you giggled at as you typed it), is disgusting and you absolutely COULD have resisted. Grow up. As you do, attempt to acquire a tolerance for others that doesn't state that someone else is wrong simply because they don't live their life the same way that you do.
Posted by: debrucey

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/19/13 05:00 AM

Everyone has the right to insult and criticise everyone. And I can think of no better reason than because someone expressed horrible views. You can think and believe what you want, you can express what you want. That is free speech. But if you choose to express what you think and believe in a public forum, you are not allowed to use the defence of free speech to shield yourself from criticism or the consequences of saying what you said. No idea has any reason to be respected merely because it is somoene's opinion.

By the way Diane, there are many homosexuals who never have anal sex. They are still homosexuals. There are many heterosexuals who do have anal sex (as I said before, in raw numbers far more than there are homosexuals). This does not make them homosexuals. Why do some people find it so hard to separate sexuality from the sexual act?
Posted by: theJourney

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/19/13 05:35 AM

Originally Posted By: izaldu
Wow, going downhill with no brakes. So Diane expresses her view and gets bombed with insults. The advocates of tolerance turned into fanatics. Let's promote equality, as long as you don 't disagree with me, is that how itt works?
Everyone has a right to not like anyone else. And as long as one respects them and abide the law the way one feels he/she should be respected , that's fine. In this day and age, there is plenty of information and lietrature on the matters. If someone for any reason feels put off (to put it mildly) by homosexuality, who has the right to insult him?
By the way, im totally cool with homosexuality. To discriminate people for their sexual orientation is obviously unacceptable. I believe people don t chose it whatever anyone says. I have a very close relative whose life was made miserable for being gay in the wrong environment, sop i kow what i am talking about. But i am not cool with people telling me what or what not to like. I am sick of people pusihing homosexuality (not pointing fingers towards this forum) down my throat to paraphrase Diane, because that is happening where i am, constantly. Funny that a gay friend of mine feels the same about it. Gays have been forced to live in some kind of ghetto for so long, and now that they can break out, a part of that community is trying to ghetto themselves again.

Respect and civility doesn't mean acceptance. Civility, in fact, consists mainly in accepting the things you don't like.


Deja vu all over again actually from a few pages back.

If the internet had been invented in the 1940's or 1950's we might be having a discussion about "The piano and the Negro" arguing whether or not it was acceptable for blacks to force themselves down our throat by wanting to play music outside of segregated honky-tonk establishments or the odd jazz club, or gasp, expect to eat and drink in the same restaurants we do and travel in the same bus seats. Or we might be posting on a thread "The piano and the little woman" arguing whether it would ever be acceptable for a married woman to work outside of the home, or to keep composing or teaching after marriage or to post on internet fora without the permission of her husband.

Do we still think that freedom of speech should mean that it would be socially acceptable for us today to come on this forum and say that negros (or a common slur in its place) are unnatural or otherwise inferior and that you are just sick and tired of their uppity attitude of wanting to be visible and treated equally being forced down your throat? Or that in your opinion, Diane has no right to post here since she is a woman and therefore, without question, hopelessly lacking the kind of wisdom that only the man of the house can possess and therefore should submit herself to her husband's authority or only speak when spoken to?

Of course not, people would be all over them. However, these were common and socially accepted opinions and accepted free speech just a little over half a century ago in the United States. Now they come across as being bigoted and offensive and people who hold these opinions often have the good sense to keep them to themselves.

The point is that although the freedom of speech goes very far in the United States, including venturing into hate speech territory that is illegal in many countries with different histories and different views on dangers of hate speech, when one states his or her opinion one cannot then expect to stifle the free speech rights of those who react.
Posted by: Exalted Wombat

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/19/13 05:39 AM

Originally Posted By: BruceD
Originally Posted By: chopin_r_us
Originally Posted By: BruceD
It amazes me to see how many people think that issues raised in this thread are simplistically black or white!
Oh no, not racism now?


That was not funny.

Yes it was! We don't have to knee-jerk at the word "racism". It can take a joke.

And, puns aside, also very true. We're talking as if there's a general rule - homosexuality is either innate or a preference. Isn't it more likely that there's a spectrum, and some people are mobile within it?
Posted by: wr

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/19/13 05:41 AM

Originally Posted By: debrucey
Why do some people find it so hard to separate sexuality from the sexual act?


Indeed - sexual activity isn't even required in order to think of oneself as homosexual, heterosexual, bisexual, omnisexual, or whatever. It's about how one feels and perceives and identifies, and not only about what one actually does with other people. For example, I would guess that many, perhaps most, people have a pretty good idea of the nature of their sexuality before they start having any sex at all. And it is also clear that many, perhaps most, people are able to go through the motions of sex in ways that don't match their sexuality (which can be confusing to everyone involved).
Posted by: Exalted Wombat

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/19/13 05:58 AM

Originally Posted By: Nikolas
Originally Posted By: Diane...
Yikes! Some of you certainly have a lot of time on your hands. I just got back from being out of town and, well, this thread has certainly turned into a "bummer" thread! grin (pun intended. Sorry, ...I couldn't resist!)
Your silly pun is nothing more than an indication that you don't care for anything else but for pushing down our throat your views and opinions!


Diane is very convinced that HER way is right. Her arguments come straight from fundamentalist Christian pamphlets (did she, personally, know this reformed homosexual?). And, of course, she's welcome to express them. And we're welcome to mock them.
Posted by: wr

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/19/13 06:04 AM

It is pretty funny when people to get all tangled up with "freedom of speech" stuff in a moderated forum. You do not have the freedom to say just anything you want here - read the rules.

And, in fact, you do not have that freedom in many other places, both virtual and real. For example, the famously liberal speech clause in the US constitution's 1st amendment would seem to allow absolutely anything to be said any time and any place within its jurisdiction, but in actual practice it doesn't work out that way. Not even close.

And then there is the curious idea that somebody can say whatever and that "free speech" somehow protects them from any consequences for having said it. Where does that come from? It's a pretty weird (and frankly, very childish) idea, IMO.
Posted by: Exalted Wombat

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/19/13 06:05 AM

Originally Posted By: theJourney
The fear is that if you can already tell if your baby is homosexual in the womb, that the next step will be that, in many places in the world, women will be offered abortions to avoid having a gay son.


That's an easy one. When the vile perversion is detected, immediately take out not just the foetus but both parents. It's their fault for having the defective genes in the first place. Kinder just to remove them from any danger of further breeding.
Posted by: wr

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/19/13 06:25 AM

Originally Posted By: izaldu
Wow, going downhill with no brakes. So Diane expresses her view and gets bombed with insults. The advocates of tolerance turned into fanatics. Let's promote equality, as long as you don 't disagree with me, is that how itt works?


You are confused. There's no equivalence between Diane's opinion and the lives of real people. Being gay isn't merely an opinion about things, you know.

If there was some gay person here making a knowingly offensive fuss about how totally gross straight sex was (you stick it there?!?!?) and they didn't want to even know about it, or, better yet, they didn't even want know that straights exist, THEN you'd have some degree of equivalency.
Posted by: theJourney

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/19/13 06:28 AM

Originally Posted By: wr
It is pretty funny when people to get all tangled up with "freedom of speech" stuff in a moderated forum. You do not have the freedom to say just anything you want here - read the rules.

Indeed. For those of who have been banned and banished by the powers that be for speaking uncomfortable truths this is as clear as day.
Originally Posted By: wr
And then there is the curious idea that somebody can say whatever and that "free speech" somehow protects them from any consequences for having said it. Where does that come from? It's a pretty weird (and frankly, very childish) idea, IMO.

Well said.
Posted by: wr

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/19/13 06:28 AM

Originally Posted By: Exalted Wombat
Originally Posted By: BruceD
Originally Posted By: chopin_r_us
Originally Posted By: BruceD
It amazes me to see how many people think that issues raised in this thread are simplistically black or white!
Oh no, not racism now?


That was not funny.

Yes it was! We don't have to knee-jerk at the word "racism". It can take a joke.



No, it wasn't funny, and not because of some knee-jerk about racism. It was not funny because it trivialized Bruce's worthwhile comment.
Posted by: izaldu

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/19/13 06:38 AM

Originally Posted By: theJourney



Deja vu all over again actually from a few pages back.


Do we still think that freedom of speech should mean that it would be socially acceptable for us today to come on this forum ...



You are right about freedom of speech, but where do you draw the line? In my opinion, way beyond the referred post. There are plenty of statements in it that can be denied through evidence that's available to anyone. That would make more sense to me than the answers she s been given. Anyway my point is that all you can ask for is for people to accept homosexuality or heterosexuality. To live with ti and respect it. But i think it's reasonable to consider that there are some people (many or few, that s not the point) who do not like the idea of any other orientation that is not theirs. People should nt be blamed for their thoughts. Notr while they re just that, thoughts.
Posted by: maxmila

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/19/13 06:48 AM

Originally Posted By: Exalted Wombat

Diane is very convinced that HER way is right. Her arguments come straight from fundamentalist Christian pamphlets (did she, personally, know this reformed homosexual?). And, of course, she's welcome to express them. And we're welcome to mock them.


Right and the more uninformed the arguments, the easier to do so.
That's just to remember that not all the opinions are born equal.
Posted by: wr

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/19/13 07:01 AM

Originally Posted By: izaldu
People should nt be blamed for their thoughts. Notr while they re just that, thoughts.


People definitely should be held responsible for their thoughts, if those thoughts are hurtful to other people and are, in fact, firmly held opinions that are publicly expressed as their point of view on something, rather than just being transitory blips in consciousness.
Posted by: theJourney

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/19/13 07:02 AM

Originally Posted By: izaldu
Originally Posted By: theJourney

Deja vu all over again actually from a few pages back.

Do we still think that freedom of speech should mean that it would be socially acceptable for us today to come on this forum ...

You are right about freedom of speech, but where do you draw the line?

How long is a piece of string?

We are social animals. What is socially acceptable depends on society and is constantly in flux, and hopefully progressively evolving us in a direction opposite to barbarism and our primitive caves. Who is society? We are.

To find out where the line is, I guess the best way is to open your mouth.
Originally Posted By: izaldu

In my opinion, way beyond the referred post. There are plenty of statements in it that can be denied through evidence that's available to anyone. That would make more sense to me than the answers she s been given.

That was tried earlier up thread to which she responded that she was unconvinced. Using rationality to change biases about mores is notoriously difficult.
Originally Posted By: izaldu

Anyway my point is that all you can ask for is for people to accept homosexuality or heterosexuality. To live with ti and respect it. But i think it's reasonable to consider that there are some people (many or few, that s not the point) who do not like the idea of any other orientation that is not theirs. And you should not blmae people for thoughts.


I don't see anyone "blaming" Diane for her likes and dislikes nor her thoughts (in fact I earlier expressed my compassion for her). I do see a variety of critical reactions to rather offensive statements that Diane made in the form of posts including her attempt to then stifle the freedom of others to react to her statements, thereby trying to call attention to herself and cast herself as a victim and stifle and suppress others.

One of my grandfathers was racist until the day he died. In his later years he discovered that his old one-liners didn't get the kind of reaction he was used to. In fact, quite the opposite. The day he died his racism died with him.

It is possible that nothing will ever change Diane's mind or the mind of certain others reading but not posting. But, one day, she, like all of us, will be dead and I can only hope that, just like for my grandfather, those personal opinions that might be considered by some to be ignorant and bigoted (and her strange compulsion to graphically communicate them), will die with her as new generations of reality-embracing, compassionate, inclusive, justice-promoting social human beings take all of our place on this planet.
Posted by: SlatterFan

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/19/13 07:16 AM

Originally Posted By: theJourney
However, when people finally realize how many people around them that they know or love are homosexual, that their son or neighbor or teacher or grocer or whomever is gay and that this is not a matter of spiteful choice and " lifestyle " (as if it were the same as getting a season ticket to baseball or not) but how you are made by God, then there can be nothing more sinful about being born as a gay person than being born a woman or being born black.

(Readers: Please click on 'Re: theJourney' in the bar at the top of my post to read the whole of the post I am replying to, but I think the above snippet conveys the crux.)

Many thanks for your generously detailed reply. I had forgotten how deeply-rooted the notion of "sin" is in some circles, and how "choice" intertwines with that. Looking at things more pragmatically now, I understand your earlier post more clearly, and I agree with your reasoning.
Posted by: Exalted Wombat

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/19/13 08:19 AM

Originally Posted By: wr
People definitely should be held responsible for their thoughts, if those thoughts are hurtful to other people and are, in fact, firmly held opinions that are publicly expressed as their point of view on something, rather than just being transitory blips in consciousness.


Be careful! This tends towards: "What you do or say offends me, therefore you must not do or say it!"

Just make sure YOU aren't weirder than the people you criticise! I find it strange and perverted that members of some religious sects truly believe that they are eating a wafer that has literally become human flesh. But I have no power or wish to stop them doing it.
Posted by: Michael_99

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/19/13 08:22 AM

That is why churches/religion are full of homos because it is the only safe, respectable place in which to hide from the world.

In the 1970s steambaths were full of priests except on Sundays.
Posted by: Exalted Wombat

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/19/13 09:05 AM

Originally Posted By: Michael_99
That is why churches/religion are full of homos because it is the only safe, respectable place in which to hide from the world.


And wear frocks :-) Yes, the fact that so many priests are homosexual adds even more humour to the gay marriage debate. I'm reminded of Tom Lehrer's "Political satire became obsolete when Henry Kissinger was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize". It's all become so unreal, all you can do is laugh.

Quote:

In the 1970s steambaths were full of priests except on Sundays.


If you say so!
Posted by: debrucey

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/19/13 09:27 AM

I wasn't aware there were so many priests who are homosexual
Posted by: Exalted Wombat

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/19/13 10:06 AM

Originally Posted By: debrucey
I wasn't aware there were so many priests who are homosexual


Ah well, you are now!
Posted by: debrucey

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/19/13 10:16 AM

Sources?
Posted by: Exalted Wombat

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/19/13 10:20 AM

Personal observation.
Posted by: Nikolas

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/19/13 10:29 AM

Originally Posted By: Exalted Wombat
Personal observation.
You must be spending A LOT of time at random churches and all that then! grin
Posted by: Exalted Wombat

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/19/13 10:33 AM

Yes, I suppose musicians get to visit more different churches than most people.
Posted by: Nikolas

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/19/13 10:39 AM

Whoops...

Well... This is what I get for being in a country full of orthodox churches: Sunday service does NOT include playing hymns with an organ.

So I've never ever seen a keyboard instrument on a churches and it rarely comes to mind that a musician could be spending every Sunday at church for financial reasons, or music reasons, or other...

Sorry about my little joke...
Posted by: Diane...

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/19/13 10:48 AM

Originally Posted By: theJourney
. . . just like for my grandfather,


Well, . . . lucky for YOU . . . he wasn't gay!

Just sayin' grin
Posted by: Exalted Wombat

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/19/13 10:49 AM

I've never taken a church job, because I don't believe. But churches of many sorts often host performances here in the UK.
Posted by: Old Man

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/19/13 11:01 AM

Originally Posted By: debrucey
I wasn't aware there were so many priests who are homosexual

I can't prove it, but I too believe it's true.

I spent 4 1/2 years in a Franciscan seminary. Although 4 of those years were in a minor seminary (high school), I can vouch for the fact that there was a good deal of homosexual activity going on. Every year a group of our classmates would suddenly vanish (we jokingly referred to this as "spring cleaning"), because they'd been busted.

And while many will say that sexual orientation isn't fully developed in high school, I definitely agree with Michael that an all-male environment would have great appeal to a kid who was gay, or struggling with the thought that he might be. And many of the priests who taught us seemed to be gay also, but here again, this is conjecture on my part. Besides the usual stereotypical mannerisms, some of them seemed to be fond of getting their hands on the students. Nothing overtly inappropriate, but a few always seemed to find a way to start a conversation with you in the hallway, and then start rubbing your neck, back, shoulder, etc., and frankly, this did tend to creep me out.

What's funny is that some of my closest friends turned out to be gay, and I had been clueless about that throughout high school. It wasn't until we hit college that they "came out" and brought me up to speed. We were all getting ready to bail out anyway, for various reasons, so I guess they figured it was time to "break my bubble". We had quite a few chuckles at my expense. shocked Just proves through what a narrow prism we view our fellow human beings, even when they're our best friends.
Posted by: Nikolas

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/19/13 11:06 AM

Here's a thought:

If we agree that a person needs sex in their life (regardless if it's a male or a female), then given some specific situations they are bound to develop some (occasional and in regards to the specific situation) tendencies...

Church is one instance, were females are not exactly equal.
Jail is another instance, were homosexuality, as far as I know thrives.
Same sex high schools, seem to also have similar problems, though not as advanced (though old man just mentioned this, so I'm not too sure it's not as advanced after all).


We do need to differentiate between the necessary sexual activity, the sexual activity and sexual preferences. Someone mentioned it a couple of pages ago, but it's worth repeating!
Posted by: beet31425

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/19/13 11:13 AM

It used to be the case that if a thread digressed on non-music topics for a long time, it was shut down. And if it was at all offensive or politically/culturally incendiary, it was shut down all the sooner. With the idea that there are other places on the internet for such discussions.

I wonder if there's been a change in philosophy on the part of the moderators?

I think I'm already starting to see the baleful influence of this thread on others. Irrelevant hot-topic cultural references are on the rise.


-Jason
Posted by: FSO

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/19/13 11:16 AM

I'm sorry Nikolas...but "necessary" sexual activity?
Posted by: theJourney

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/19/13 11:18 AM

Irrelevant?

Hrrumph.
Posted by: Nikolas

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/19/13 11:20 AM

Originally Posted By: FSO
I'm sorry Nikolas...but "necessary" sexual activity?
I said that "If we agree that a person needs sex in their life".

"Necessary sex" I mean when someone is forced to have sex with someone they under normal circumstances wouldn't want to.

Take for example paid sex...
Posted by: Old Man

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/19/13 11:20 AM

Originally Posted By: Nikolas
Same sex high schools, seem to also have similar problems, though not as advanced (though old man just mentioned this, so I'm not too sure it's not as advanced after all).

This was not just a same-sex high school. We lived there 24x7, except for Christmas holiday and summers. Couldn't step outside the 105 acre campus, or you were subject to expulsion. So this was a true "lock down". And that's what made it more "advanced". smile
Posted by: Nikolas

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/19/13 11:21 AM

Originally Posted By: Old Man
Originally Posted By: Nikolas
Same sex high schools, seem to also have similar problems, though not as advanced (though old man just mentioned this, so I'm not too sure it's not as advanced after all).

This was not just a same-sex high school. We lived there 24x7, except for Christmas holiday and summers. Couldn't step outside the 105 acre campus, or you were subject to expulsion. So this was a true "lock down". And that's what made it more "advanced". smile
Ah... so pretty much a jail then... :-/ Ok... That's more clear!
Posted by: debrucey

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/19/13 11:22 AM

Originally Posted By: Diane...
Originally Posted By: theJourney
. . . just like for my grandfather,


Well, . . . lucky for YOU . . . he wasn't gay!

Just sayin' grin



Gay people have children. In fact, if you were gay in the time that my grandfather was a young man, it was probably quite likely that you would.
Posted by: debrucey

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/19/13 11:26 AM

Some form of sex is 'necessary' in the sense that our urge for it is instinctive and suppressing it can be psychologically harmful. Not necessary in the same way that breathing is of course.
Posted by: Exalted Wombat

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/19/13 11:29 AM

Yup. That line worked for me too :-)
Posted by: theJourney

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/19/13 11:38 AM

Originally Posted By: Diane...
Originally Posted By: theJourney
. . . just like for my grandfather,


Well, . . . lucky for YOU . . . he wasn't gay!

Just sayin' grin



How would you know?

Homosexuals can be racist too you see.

I suppose we will never know if he was also gay.

It was quite common in that day and age for people to be forced to spend their entire lives living a lie...
Posted by: asthecrowflies

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/19/13 12:38 PM

In an attempt to bring this thread back to relevance... how about some amazing performances by some illustrious homos:

Pletnev (borrowed from another thread):


Hough being kinda-sorta-gay:


And a classic double homo performance:
Posted by: debrucey

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/19/13 12:55 PM

I was under the impression that Pletnev is a paedophile...
Posted by: Exalted Wombat

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/19/13 12:57 PM

Not to mention the arch-homo;
http://youtu.be/dioRwB4RvrQ

and one FOR the homos:
http://youtu.be/T_kJFFhN8mo
Posted by: Nikolas

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/19/13 01:57 PM

YAY for Greek external organs! grin
Posted by: debrucey

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/19/13 02:04 PM

Originally Posted By: Nikolas
YAY for Greek external organs! grin


I think they tend to be rather on the small side :P
Posted by: Michael_99

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/19/13 03:23 PM

Well, churches don't pay property tax and they run bingos and all sorts of musical events, jazz, sufi dances, election and polling stations, teen dances in small town where the teenages hid their liquor in parking lot! With the high cost of daycare at $50 per child per day in Canada, every church there seems to be running daycares and ESL courses. I am just saying; I take no issue. Property taxes in western Canada runs 3 to 4 thousand at least per year for a average community sized lot - ie church lot.
Posted by: Michael_99

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/19/13 03:30 PM

Jail is another instance, were homosexuality, as far as I know thrives.

Situational homosexuality exists eveywhere, jail, military, isolated mining camps, remote religous retreats, I guess anywhere men work and live where women are non-existent.
Posted by: Michael_99

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/19/13 03:41 PM

Gay people have children. In fact, if you were gay in the time that my grandfather was a young man, it was probably quite likely that you would.

Yes, it was common, and still is to marry a women and have guys on the side. I have known Indian parents to tell their gay sons to go to India and get a wife and bring her back.

Isn't that what choice is all about, you choose to marry a wife then at 40 you decide to come out and divorce your wife and partner up with a young man your oldest son's age, you being 40 and the young man is 23. Plenty of example of that. Middleaged women don't take it well trying finding a second husband after having 3 kids and looking for a job after the divorce,
Posted by: Michael_99

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/19/13 05:03 PM

You can't compare being fat to being gay (no offence).

I weighed 240, pure fat at 58 - got guys to teach me baskeball
and played eventually play 4 times a week. I wasn't good when you start at 58, but I "ran in circles" on the court and now weight 150-160. As an aside, my blood pressure is way down - so weightloss can help.
Posted by: wr

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/19/13 08:01 PM

Originally Posted By: Michael_99
Gay people have children. In fact, if you were gay in the time that my grandfather was a young man, it was probably quite likely that you would.

Yes, it was common, and still is to marry a women and have guys on the side. I have known Indian parents to tell their gay sons to go to India and get a wife and bring her back.

Isn't that what choice is all about, you choose to marry a wife then at 40 you decide to come out and divorce your wife and partner up with a young man your oldest son's age, you being 40 and the young man is 23. Plenty of example of that. Middleaged women don't take it well trying finding a second husband after having 3 kids and looking for a job after the divorce,


In the US, around half of all marriages end in divorce - I suspect that not all of them involve guys who have figured out they are gay after being married for a while. In fact, I think it is fairly atypical. And, of course, women can and do initiate divorces for various reasons, too (including figuring out they are lesbian), which can be just as devastating to the husband as a divorce can be to a wife.

Of the divorces that do involve a gay man, I don't see any strong pattern of the guy hooking up with a much younger guys afterwards. I can think of four guys I've known over the years who realized they were gay after being married and having children, and only one seemed to have a particular interest in guys younger the he was (but they weren't nearly as young as his son, BTW). I also used to know one gay guy (who happened to be a fairly well-known concert pianist and teacher) who had a "convenience marriage" with a lesbian. They had a child, and amicably separated after the child was fully grown.

So, no, I don't think your description of it is particularly what choice is all about.
Posted by: Kreisler

Re: The piano and homosexuality - 02/19/13 08:27 PM

I think I'll close this down now. I think the original topic (whatever it was) has been pretty well exhausted. The character of the current discussion is probably more appropriate for a forum on GLBT social issues.

Meanwhile, there's a new post on Bach that's definitely appropriate for a piano forum. That thread has only 10 replies. This one has 411.