Spectrum Of Exoticism Analysis

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The Spectrum of Exoticism Ralph Locke defines exoticism as the use of non-Western elements such as groups, people, or places in Western music perceived as different in order to purposefully "Other" the other culture or subject, or label as different from one 's own (Locke 47). The spectrum of exoticism ranges from Pure Exoticism to Transcultural Composing, in which a fine line exists between these spectrums. Musical exoticism, in particular, is the process of borrowing foreign elements from music and merging those aspects in a way that is familiar to the audience in order to make a statement. Pure Exoticism intends to alienate another culture and its elements, while Transcultural Composing does not intend to "Other" another culture and instead, incorporates foreign elements into Western music. This paper will juxtapose Locke 's definition of exoticism using Georges Bizet 's opera Carmen and Benjamin Britten 's opera Death in Venice, placing each work on the spectrum of exoticism.…show more content…
Georges Bizet was a French composer in the 1800s who initially struggled professionally but later became well-known for his famous opera Carmen. After its initial premiere, Carmen was received poorly since the male lead, Don José, went after the "outsider," which was Carmen. Carmen was an alluring, Roma woman who violated social and operatic norms by singing and dancing to seduce Don José. She demonstrated "Othering" through her hypersexual behavior and seductiveness to lure in men. Don José served as an officer in the Spanish military and was engaged to a pure, innocent Frenchwoman. He became infatuated by the idealized version of Carmen, which failed to meet his expectations. Their lack of communication and disconnection resulted in Carmen leaving him for another man, and Don José murdering the woman he
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