cover of book

A Queerly Joyful Noise: Choral Musicking for Social Justice
by Julia "Jules" Balén
Rutgers University Press, 2017
Paper: 978-0-8135-8839-1 | eISBN: 978-0-8135-8840-7
Library of Congress Classification ML3917.U6B35 2017
Dewey Decimal Classification 782.508664

2018 Choice Outstanding Academic Title
Honorable Mention, 2019 Herndon Book Prize - (SEM-GST)

A Queerly Joyful Noise examines how choral singing can be both personally transformative and politically impactful. As they blend their different voices to create something beautiful, LGBTIQ singers stand together and make themselves heard. Comparing queer choral performances to the uses of group singing within the civil rights and labor movements, Julia “Jules” Balén maps the relationship between different forms of oppression and strategic musical forms of resistance. She also explores the potential this queer communal space creates for mobilizing progressive social action. 

A proud member of numerous queer choruses, Balén draws from years of firsthand observations, archival research, and extensive interviews to reveal how queer chorus members feel shared vulnerability, collective strength, and even moments of ecstasy when performing. A Queerly Joyful Noise serves as a testament to the power of music, intimately depicting how participation in a queer chorus is more than a pastime, but a meaningful form of protest through celebration.  

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