The following sample essay on Marcia Citron The works of a composer are not the only factor used to determine canonization; culture and gender play a large part in this process. Citron shows how the Western art canon is the result of a complex mixture of opinions, traditions, and interests that often go unacknowledged and unchallenged. The term’canon’ was applied to music in last twenty years, defined as a “specified group or body of related works.” 1It is debatable as to whether works are incorporated into the canon as a pre-existent concept or if the canon is only significant through the application of these works into a articulate and expressed repertoire.

The canon is restricting in that it set the criterion for works that are to be included or discounted as marked repertoire. There is a categorization process that takes place in the development of the canon. This process places works into an appropriate group and eliminates those that do not fit the mould of what has been deemed culturally acceptable.

Much new music is not accepted into reportorial canons, because the canons of the past have set high standards that do not allow for the conception and recognition of new music. These standards of repertoire are defined by cultural groups that are considered dominant on the basis of class, race, gender, age, occupation, nationality, and religious orientation. However, the canon is restricted, because the ideals set by one particular social group may not be appropriate for another; therefore, it is not representative of the whole, rather it merely represents the opinion of an individual group.

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These individuals often change, presenting a change in the standards of the canon as well as a transformation of the value of the canon as a whole. Textbooks and academic curriculum also influence the construction of the canon. “Textbooks emphasize specific works and composers” on which instructors and students rely on as a source of musical inform…

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Marcia Citron. (2019, Dec 05). Retrieved from

Marcia Citron
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