A Japanese geisha, a Middle Eastern caravan, a Hungarian-'Gypsy' fiddler, Carmen flinging a rose at Don Jose - portrayals of people and places that are considered somehow 'exotic' have been ubiquitous from 1700 to today, whether in opera, Broadway musicals, instrumental music, film scores, or in jazz and popular song. Often these portrayals are highly stereotypical but also powerful, indelible and touching - or troubling. Musical Exoticism surveys the vast and varied repertoire of Western musical works that evoke exotic locales. It relates trends in musical exoticism to other trends in music, such as programme music and avant-garde experimentation, as well as to broader historical developments such as nationalism and empire. Ralph P. Locke outlines major trends in exotic depiction from the Baroque era onward, and illustrates these trends through close study of numerous exotic works, including operas by Handel and Rameau, Mozart's 'Rondo alla turca', 'Madame Butterfly' and 'West Side Story'.
Ralph P. Locke is Professor of Musicology at Eastman School of Music, University of Rochester.
Part I: 1. Music, the world, and the critic; 2. Questions of value; 3. Exoticism with and without exotic style; 4. Who is 'Us'?: the national and/as the exotic, and the treatment of stereotypes; Part II: 5. Baroque portrayals of despots: ancient Babylon, Incan Peru; 6. A world of exotic styles, 1750-1880; 7. Exotic operas and two Spanish 'Gypsies'; 8. Imperialism and 'the exotic Orient'; 9. Exoticism in a modernist age (ca. 1890-1960); 10. Exoticism in a global age (ca. 1960 to today); 11. Epilogue: exotic works of the past, today.