Two recent books by Julia “Jules” Balén and André de Quadros are situated in a growing area of ethnomusicological research on choral singing and social change, with Balén's A Queerly Joyful Noise more narrowly focused on gay and lesbian choruses and de Quadros's Focus consolidating approaches to choral music throughout the world, including, but certainly not limited to, LGBTQ ensembles.

Ethnomusicological study of the gay choral movement has only taken hold in the last ten to fifteen years. Along with other scholars working in this area, Balén and de Quadros contend that social change has been at the heart of the movement since its inception in the mid- to late 1970s. In addition to their LGBTQ activism, choruses also function as safe spaces for singers shunned by family and friends after coming out. The formation of the San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus (SFGMC) in October 1978—an ensemble commonly representing the...

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