Pedagogical Resources for Antiracist Teaching

Statement of Purpose

The purpose of the Columbia University Music Department Antiracist Pedagogy Resource Page is to provide teachers of undergraduate courses about Western music with a starting point for applying equity-based antiracist approaches and perspectives in the classroom in an accessible and adaptable format. This resource is intended for incorporation into existing courses and in the development of new courses. This bibliography builds on similar endeavors of wider-ranging antiracist materials across Columbia and beyond, but with a focus on the study of Western music. This bibliography encompasses musical cultures that have shaped Western thought such as Western art music, popular music, blues and jazz, and indigenous music; together, they form and reflect the West’s history of colonial conquest, circulation, diaspora, appropriation and hybridity.

We have limited each section to approximately twenty-five entries, with emphasis placed on shorter readings. It is not intended to be comprehensive; instead, the constrained scope will serve as a curated, approachable entry point for applying inclusive and antiracist instruction in music at the undergraduate level. This document will always remain a work in progress; it will undergo periodic revision in order to stay relevant and to incorporate varying approaches and perspectives. 

This document was compiled and edited by Gabrielle Ferrari, Katherine Balch, Audrey Amsellem, Calder Hannan, and Jesse Chevan, with the support of the Department of Music. Special thanks are owed to Professor Ana M. Ochoa for her continuing guidance and support, to Professor George Lewis for initiating and contributing to the project, and to graduate students and faculty, especially Ellie Hisama and Seth Cluett, who submitted recommendations throughout the process. We are grateful to David C. Newtown for creating and formatting the webpage.

All citations appear in Chicago Manual of Style, 17th ed., Author-Date
Citation + keywords

  • Keyword order: Subdiscipline (pedagogy, music theory, ethnomusicology, composition, music appreciation). Topic (gender, Schenker, etc). Genre (jazz, classical, etc). Era. Reading length.
  • Reading length keywords include: blog, essay collection, personal history, podcast, YouTube video, resource database, short read, long read, medium read.
  • Suggested subdiscipline, topic, and genre keywords include: analysis, appropriation, Black music, case study, curriculum, choir, composition, coded language, colonialism, copyright, critical race theory, decolonial theory, disability, DJ’s, embodiment, empire, ethnomusicology, experimentalism, FAQs, feminism, funding, gender, gospel, guided listening, hip hop, history, historical musicology, hybridity, improvisation, indigenous music, institutions, inclusion, interculturality, intersectionality, jazz, labor, lyrics, libretto, minstrelsy, methodology, music majors, music technology, music theory, music industry, multicentricity, multiculturalism, Native American, non-western music, opera, overview, pedagogy,  philosophy, poetics, popular music, pre-collegiate, postcolonial theory, queer theory, race, reception, representation, repatriation, recorded music, rhythm and meter, Schenker, sacred music, sexuality, sound studies, student participation, timbre, tonality, transcription, troubador, voice.
  • Era keywords include: Early music, 16th century, 17th century, 18th century, 19th century, 20th century, 21st century.
  • Quoted keywords are specific to terminology used by the author of the given text.

Entries that are open source contain a hyperlink. Entries that are under copyright have to be accessed through your library services. Browse using the source-type headings, or search using keywords. Entries relevant to more than one section are cross-listed under all relevant headings.

Introductory Readings

The aim of this section is to provide background and a foundation for the rest of the bibliography, comprising works within and outside music education.


Bradley, Deborah. 2006. “Music Education, Multiculturalism, and Anti-Racism — Can we Talk?” Action, Criticism & Theory for Music Education 5, no. 2: 2-30.

  • Pedagogy. Decolonial theory. Multiculturalism. Coded language. Case study. Pre-collegiate. Choir. “Framing Race.” Medium read.

Dei, George J. Sefa. 1995. “Integrative Anti-Racism: Intersection of Race, Class, and Gender.” Race, Gender & Class 2 no. 3: 11-30.

  • Pedagogy. Intersectionality. “Integrative anti-racism.” “Six points of educational relevance: history, culture, identity, representation, community, power and knowledge.” Short read. 

Florian, Lani. 2015. “Conceptualizing Inclusive Pedagogy: The Inclusive Pedagogical Approach in Action.” International Perspectives on Inclusive Education, Vol. 7: Inclusive Pedagogy Across the Curriculum, 11-24. United Kingdom: Emerald Group Publishing.

  • Pedagogy. Student participation. Case study. Pre-collegiate. Short read. 

Freire, Paulo. 1972. Pedagogy of the Oppressed. New York: Herder & Herder.

  • Pedagogy. Background. Philosophy. Methodology. Decolonial Theory. Marx. “Banking model of education.” “Dialogical Action.” Long Read. 

Giroux, Henry. 2011. On Critical Pedagogy. New York: Continuum International Publishing Group.

  • Pedagogy. Methodology. Background. 21st century. Paulo Freire. Globalization. Cultural Politics. Long Read. 

Hess, Juliet. 2015. “‘Upping the Anti-’: The Value of an Anti-Racist Theoretical Framework in Music Education.” Action, Criticism & Theory for Music Education 14, no.1: 66-92.

  • Pedagogy. Multicentricity. Multiculturalism. Student participation. Case study. Pre-collegiate. Short read. 

hooks, bell. 1994. Teaching to Transgress: Education as the Practice of Freedom. New York: Routledge.

  • Pedagogy.  Feminism. Intersectionality. Student participation. “Holistic education.” “Engaged pedagogy.” Essay collection. Long read. 

hooks, bell. 2003. Teaching Community: A Pedagogy of Hope. New York: Routledge.

  • Pedagogy. Background. Feminism.  Intersectionality. Student participation. Personal history. “Teaching race.” Long read. 

Sathy, Viji, and Kelly Hogan. 2019. “How to make your teaching more inclusive.” The Chronicle for Higher Education, July 22, 2019.

  • Pedagogy. FAQs. Student participation. Short read.

 BibTeX - Introductory Readings

Antiracist Critiques of Music Studies

This section details recent and ongoing discussions within music academia on antiracist reforms. These critiques and conversations touch on all facets of music academia: curricular design, research, publishing, academic life, labor, and institutional power.


Bradley, Deborah. 2015. “Hidden in Plain Sight: Race and Racism in Music Education.” In The Oxford Handbook of Social Justice in Music Education, edited by Cathy Benedict, Patrick Schmidt, Gary Spruce, and Paul Woodford, 190–203. New York: Oxford University Press.

  • Pedagogy. Multiculturalism. Institutions. Pre-Collegiate. “Colorblind racism.” Short read.

Brown, Danielle. 2020. “An Open Letter on Racism in Music Studies.” My People Tell Stories, July 2020. 

  • Ethnomusicology. Personal history. Inclusion. Institutions. Short read. 

Ewell, Philip A. 2020. “Music Theory and the White Racial Frame.Music Theory Online 26, no. 2. 

  • Historical Musicology. Music theory. Critical race theory. Pedagogy. Inclusion. Institutions. Schenker. Methodology. Coded language. FAQs. “White racial frame.” 18th century. 19th century. Medium read. 

De Clercq, Trevor. 2020. “A Music Theory Curriculum for the 99%.Engaging Students: Essays in Music Pedagogy 7, September 2, 2020. 

  • Pedagogy. Music theory. Popular music. Curriculum. “Common Core.” Short read. 

Ramsey, Guthrie. 2004. “The Pot Liquor Principle: Developing a Black Music Criticism in American Music Studies.” Journal of Black Studies 35, no 2: 210-223.

  •  Historical musicology. Personal history. Black music. Inclusion. Institutions. “Social Race, Cultural Race, Discursive Race.” Short read.

Hisama, Ellie M. 2000. “Life Outside the Canon? A Walk on the Wild Side,” Music Theory Online 6 no. 3. 

  • Music theory. Personal history. Feminism. Popular music. 20th century. Short read. 

Kajikawa, Loren. 2019. “The Possessive Investment in Classical Music: Confronting Legacies of White Supremacy in U.S. Schools and Departments of Music.” In Seeing Race Again, edited by Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw, Luke Charles Harris, Daniel Martinez HoSang, and George Lipsitz, 155–74. Berkeley: University of California Press.

  • Decolonial Theory. Black music. Funding. Institutions. Short read. 

Lavengood, Megan L. 2020. “Bespoke Music Theory: A Modular Core Curriculum Designed for Audio Engineers, Classical Violinists, and Everyone in Between.” Engaging Students: Essays in Music Pedagogy 7, September 2, 2020.

  • Curriculum. Pedagogy. Music Theory. Popular Music. Music technology. “Modular core curriculum.” Short read. 

Madrid, Alejandro. 2017. “Diversity, Tokenism, Non-Canonical Musics, and the Crisis of the Humanities in U.S. Academia.” Journal of Music History Pedagogy 7, no. 2: 124-29.

  • Historical Musicology. Curriculum. Decolonial theory. Non-western music. Short read. 

Melaku, Tsedale M. and Angie Beeman. “Academia Isn’t a Safe Haven for Conservations About Race and Racism,” Harvard Business Review, June 25, 2020.

  • Personal history. Institutions. Inclusion. Intersectionality. Labor. Short read. 

Molk, Dave. 2019. “Teaching Inequality: Consequences of Traditional Music Theory Pedagogy.” NewMusicBox USA, December 11, 2019.

  • Music theory. “Universal language.” Short read.

Morrison, Matthew D. 2019. “Race, Blacksound, and the (Re)Making of Musicological Discourse.” Journal of the American Musicological Society 72 no. 3: 781-823.

  • Historical Musicology. Minstrelsy. “Blacksound.” Race. Popular music. 19th century. 20th century. Long read. 

Walker, Margaret E. 2020. “Towards a Decolonized Music History Curriculum.” Journal of Music History Pedagogy 10, no. 1: 1-19.

  • Historical Musicology. Curriculum. Decolonial theory. Institutions. Short read.

Vágnerová, L., & García Molina, A. 2018. “Academic Labor and Music Curricula.” Current Musicology 102.

  • Curriculum. Decolonial theory. Labor. Institutions. Reform. Medium read.

 BibTeX - Antiracist Critiques

Developing an Antiracist Music Course

This section gives examples of, and provides tools to develop, antiracist syllabi and lesson plans.


Attas, Robin. 2018. “Uncovering and Teaching the Process of Analysis to Undergraduate Music Theory Students.” College Music Symposium, 58, no 2: 1-23.

  • Music Theory. Pedagogy. Analysis. Case study. Guided listening. Tonality. Student Participation. “Disciplines framework.” “Bottlenecks to student learning.” 18th century. 19th century. 20th century. Short read. 

Attas, Robin. 2019. “Music Theory as Social Justice: Pedagogical Applications of Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp a Butterfly.Music Theory Online 25 no. 1. 

  • Music theory. Pedagogy. Analysis. Black music. Guided listening. Music majors. Music technology. Race. Recorded music. Rhythm and meter. Timbre. Tonality. Student participation. Popular Music. Hip hop. 21st century. Short read. 

Attas, Robin. 2019. “Strategies for Settler Decolonization: Decolonial Pedagogies in a Popular Music Analysis Course.” Canadian Journal of Higher Education 49, no. 1: 125–39.

  • Music theory. Pedagogy. Case study. Curriculum. Decolonial theory. Inclusion. Indigenous music. Music majors. Student participation. Popular music. Short read. 

Berry, Michael. 2020. “Computer Programmed With Just One Finger.” In Routledge Companion to Music Theory Pedagogy, 63–67. New York: Routledge.

  • Pedagogy. Class activity. Rhythm and meter. Hip hop. Short read. 

Dell’Antonio, Andrew. “Decolonizing the Music Curriculum with Andrew Dell'Antonio at the Big XII Teaching and Learning ConferenceThink UDL, June 2019. 

  • Historical Musicology. Music history. Syllabus design. “Universal design learning.” Interview. Podcast. Short read. 

Duker, Philip, Anna Gawboy, Bryn Hughes, and Kris P. Shaffer. 2015. "Hacking the Music Theory Classroom: Standards-Based Grading, Just-in-Time Teaching, and the Inverted Class." Music Theory Online 21, no. 1. 

  • Music theory. Aural skills. Pedagogy. Assignments. Learning Objectives. “Flipped classroom.” Case Study. Medium read. 

Eidsheim, Nina Sun. “Chapter 1: Formal and Informal Pedagogies, Believing in Race, Teaching Race, Hearing Race.” The Race of Sound: Listening, Timbre, and Vocality in African American Music. Durham: Duke University Press, 2018.

  • Pedagogy. Black music. Gender. Race. Timbre. Sound studies. Medium read. 

Epstein, Louis Kaiser, Taylor Okonek, and Anna Perkins. 2019. “Mind the Gap: Inclusive Pedagogies for  Diverse Classrooms.” Journal of Music History Pedagogy 9, no. 2: 119-17.

  • Pedagogy. Music history. Music appreciation. Assignments. Learning objectives. Short read. 

Fabor, Tom. 2021. “Decolonizing Electronic Music Starts with its Software.Pitchfork Magazine, February 25, 2021. 

  • Composition. Music Technology. Music Theory. Non-western music. Pedagogy. Recorded Music. “Leimma.” “Apotome.” “Free, browser-based tools for exploring, creating, hearing, and playing microtonal tuning systems.” Short read. 

Gannon, Kevin. 2018. “How to Create a Syllabus: Advice Guide.The Chronicle of Higher Education, September 12, 2018.

  • Pedagogy. FAQs. Inclusion. Overview. Student participation. Short read. 

Gaunt, Kyra D. 2002. “‘The Two O’Clock Vibe’: Embodying the Jam of Musical Blackness in and out of Its Everyday Context.” The Musical Quarterly 86 no.3: 372–97.

  • Pedagogy. Personal history. Black music. Sexuality. Student participation. Hip hop. Medium read. 

Hein, Ethan. 2018. “Teaching Whiteness in Music Class.” The Ethan Hein Blog, May 8, 2018.  

  • Pedagogy. Music majors. Decentering whiteness. Short read. 

Hisama, Ellie M. 2018. “Considering Race and Ethnicity in the Music Theory Classroom.” North Guide to Teaching Music Theory, ed. Rachel Lumsden and Jeff Swinkin, 252-66. New York: W.W. Norton.

  • Music theory. Pedagogy. Personal history. Gender. Inclusion. Race. Rhythm and meter. Student participation. Tonality. Non-western music. Popular music. Black music. 20th century. 21st century. Medium read.

Lewis, George. 2021. “New Music Decolonization in Eight Difficult Steps.VAN Outernational, February 2021. 

  • Composition. Decolonial theory. Institutions. Inclusion. Pedagogy. 21st century. Short read.

Malawey, Victoria. 2020. “Binary Form Through the Music of Underrepresented Composers.” In Routledge Companion to Music Theory Pedagogy edited by Leigh Van Handel, 301-4. New York: Routledge.

  • Music theory. Class activity. Form. Classical music. 18th century. 20th century. Short read. 

Maxile, Jr., Horace J. 2015. “Extensions to the Pedagogical Canon: Expanding Perspectives on William Grant Still and the Teaching Applications as Realized in the Seven Traceries.” College Music Symposium 55. 

  • Music theory. Syllabus design. William Grant Still.  Classical music. Black music. Concert music. 20th century. Short read.

Miyakawa, Felicia M., and Richard Mook. 2014. “Avoiding the ‘Culture Vulture’ Paradigm: Constructing an Ethical Hip-hop Curriculum.” Journal of Music History Pedagogy 5, no.1: 41–58.

  • Pedagogy. Appropriation. Tokenism. Hip hop. Black music. Short read.

Moore,  Christopher. 2010. “Music and Politics, Performance, and the Paradigm of Historical Contextualism.” Music and Politics 4, no. 1: 1-11.

  • Music history. Performance. Historical performance. Short read. 

Molk, David and Michelle Ohnona. “Promoting Equity: Developing an Antiracist Music Theory Classroom.” New Music Box, January 29 2020.

  • Music theory. Pedagogy. Curriculum. Music technology. FAQs. Inclusion. Multicentricity. Race. Student participation. “The Polystylistic Approach.” Non-western music. Popular Music. Black music. Hip hop. Short read. 

Neuman, Dard. 2008. “Music & Politics in the Classroom: Music, Politics, and ProtestMusic and Politics, 2 no. 2.

  • Music history. Pedagogy. Class activities. Folk music. Gospel. Short read. 

Rehding, Alexander. 2020. “Can the History of Theory Be Decentered? Parts I –V.” History of Music Theory: SMT Interest Group & AMS Study Group, April 3, 2020.

  • Music theory. Pedagogy. Case study. Curriculum. Decolonization. Multicentricity. Non-western music. Short read.

Sathy, Viji, and Kelly Hogan. 2019. “How to make your teaching more inclusive.” The Chronicle for Higher Education, July 22, 2019.

  • Pedagogy. FAQs. Overview. Student Participation. Inclusion. Short read. 

Quaglia, Bruce W. 2015. "Planning for Student Variability: Universal Design for Learning in the Music Theory Classroom and Curriculum." Music Theory Online 21, no. 1. 

  • Music theory. Syllabus design. Curriculum development. “Universal design learning.” Short read.

 BibTex - Developing an Antiracist Music Course

 

Content Primers for Instructors

This section provides a list of readings to provide instructors with content-specific background to aid in designing antiracist lesson plans. This section is organized by genre and can be paired with the following section, “To Assign in Class.”


Early Music

Bloechl, Olivia. 2015. “Race, Empire, and Early Music.” In Rethinking Difference in Music Scholarship, edited by Olivia Bloechl, Melanie Lowe, and Jeffrey Kallberg, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press: 77–107. 

  • Critical race studies. Empire. Early music. 16th century. 17th century. Short read. 

Harrán, Don. 2008. “On a Jewish Musical Renaissance.” Daedalus 137, no. 1: 96-100. 

  • Sacred and Secular Music. Italy. Jewish Art Music. Short Read. 

Earle, Thomas Foster. 2005. Black Africans in Renaissance Europe. United Kingdom: Cambridge University Press.

  • History. Art History. Institutions. Representation. Slavery. Colonialism. “Freedmen.” Long read. Edited volume. 

Menocal, Maria Rosa. 1990. Preface of The Arabic Role in Medieval Literary History, ix-vx. Pennsylvania: University of Pennsylvania Press.

  • Music appreciation.  Postcolonial theory. Troubadours. Hybridity. Canons. Al-Andalus. Western/nonwestern binary. Short Read. 

Reynolds, Dwight. 2013. “Arab Musical Influence on Europe: A Reassessment.” In A Sea of Languages: Literature and Culture in the Pre-Modern Mediterranean edited by Suzanne Akbari and Karla Mallette, 182-98. University of Toronto Press.

  • Historical musicology. Postcolonial theory. Troubadours. Canons. Arabic music. Short read.

Sawa, Suzanne M. 1987. “The Role of Women in Musical Life: The Medieval Arabo-Islamic Courts.” Canadian Woman Studies 8: 93–95. 

  • Historical musicology. Postcolonial theory. Gender. Arabic music. Al-Andalus. Short Read. 

Shiloah, Amon. 2001. “Muslim and Jewish Musical Traditions of the Middle Ages.” In Music as Concept and Practice in the Late Middle Ages, edited by Reinhard Strohm and Bonnie Blackburn, 1-30. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

  • Music history. Oral traditions. Sacred Music. Gender. Judaism. Islam. Medium Read.

BibTeX - Early Music


Seventeenth and Eighteenth Century

Lerma, Dominique-René de. 1990. “A Glimpse of Afro-Caribbean Music in the Early Seventeenth Century.” Black Music Research Journal 10, no. 1: 94–96. 

  • Historical musicology. Postcolonial theory. Afro-Carribean. Gender. Folk. Indigenous music. 17th century. Short read. 

Banat, Gabriel. 1990. “Le Chevalier de Saint Georges, Man of Music and Gentleman-at-Arms: The Life and Times of an Eighteenth Century Prodigy.” Black Music Research Journal 10, no. 2:177-212.

  • Music history. 18th century. Short read.

Goodman, Glenda. 2012. “’But They Differ from Us in Sound’: Indian Psalmody and the Soundscape of Colonialism, 1651–75.” The William and Mary Quarterly 69, no. 4: 793-822.

  • Colonialism. Assimilation. Native American. Sacred Music. 17th century. Medium Read. 

Howards, A. 2014. “Beyond the Glockenspiel: Teaching Race and Gender in Mozart's Zauberflöte.” Die Unterrichtspraxis/Teaching German, 47: 1-13. 

  • Pedagogy. Race. Gender. Mozart. 18th century. Short read. 

Rath, Richard Cullen. "African Music in Seventeenth-Century Jamaica: Cultural Transit and Transition." The William and Mary Quarterly 50, no. 4 (1993): 700-26. 

  • Postcolonial theory. Slavery. Transcription. Organology. Language. 17th century. Medium Read.

Wilbourne, Emily. 2010. “Lo Schiavetto (1612): Travestied Sound, Ethnic Performance, and the Eloquence of the Body.” Journal of the American Musicological Society 63, no. 1: 1–43. 

  • Historical musicology. Early music. Race. Blackface. Commedia dell’arte. Giulio Caccini. 17th century. Short read.

BibTex - 17th & 18th Centuries


Nineteenth Century Music

André, Naomi. 2018. Black Opera: History, Power, Engagement. Urbana : University of Illinois Press.

  • Historical musicology. Opera. Race. Gender. Libretto. “Engaged musicology.” “From the Diary of Sally Hemings.” Porgy and Bess. Carmen. Winnie. 19th century. 20th century. Long read.  

Bergeron, Katherine. 2002. “Verdi's Egyptian Spectacle: On the Colonial Subject of Aida.” Cambridge Opera Journal 14, no. 1-2: 149–59. 

  • Opera. Colonialism. Empire. 19th century. Short read.

Brown, Julie (ed.) 2007. Western Music and Race. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

  • Historical musicology. Reception. Race. Black music. National Socialism. “Gypsy.” Wagner. Orientalism. 19th century. 20th century. Edited volume. Long read.

Chybowski, Julia J. 2014. “Becoming the “Black Swan” in Mid-Nineteenth-Century America: Elizabeth Taylor Greenfield's Early Life and Debut Concert Tour.” Journal of the American Musicological Society 67, no. 1: 125–165.

  • Historical musicology. Opera. Singers. Performance. 19th century. Short read.

Karpf, Juanita. 1999. “‘As with Words of Fire’: Art Music and Nineteenth-Century African-American Feminist Discourse.” Signs 24, no. 3: 603-32.

  • Historical musicology. Black feminism. Gender. Race. Elizabeth Taylor Greenfield. Washington D.C. 19th century. Short read.

Norris, Renee Lapp. 2007. “Opera and the Mainstreaming of Blackface Minstrelsy.” Journal of the Society for American Music 1, no. 3: 341-365.

  • Opera. Blackface. 19th century. Short read. 

Ochoa Gautier, Ana María. 2015. Aurality: Listening and Knowledge in Nineteenth-Century Colombia. Durham: Duke University Press.

  • Sound studies. Decolonial theory. Archives. Voice. Indigeneous music. German Philology. Latin America. Colombia. Long Read. 

Pasler, Jann. 2006. “Theorizing Race in Nineteenth-Century France: Music as Emblem of Identity.” The Musical Quarterly 89, no. 4: 459–504.

  • Historical musicology. Empire. Colonialism. Race. France. 19th century. Medium read. 

Rinehart, Nicholas T. 2013. “Black Beethoven and the Racial Politics of Music History.” Transition, no. 112: 117-30.

  • Music history. Race. Beethoven. 19th century. Short read.

BibTeX - 19th Century


Twentieth Century Concert Music

Allen, Ray, and George Cunningham. 2005. “Cultural uplift and double-consciousness: African American responses to the 1935 opera Porgy and Bess.” The Musical Quarterly 88, no. 3: 342-369.

  • Historical musicology. Reception. Concert music. Opera. 20th century. Short read. 

Alonso-Minutti, Ana R., Eduardo Herrera,  and Alejandro L. Madrid, eds. 2018. Experimentalisms in Practice: Music Perspectives from Latin America. New York: Oxford University Press.

  • Composition. Experimentalism. Institutions. Historical musicology. 20th century. Long read. Edited book with separable chapters. 

Cohen, Brigid. 2018. “Ono in Opera: A Politics of Art and Action, 1960-1962.” ASAP/Journal 3, no. 1 (2018): 41-66. 

  • Historical Musicology. Yoko Ono. John Cage. Opera. Mid-century experimentalism. Indeterminacy. “Cold War Orientalism. AOS. Short read. 

Hisama, Ellie. 2001. “The politics of contour in Crawford’s ‘Chinaman, Laundryman.’” In Gender Musical Modernism. The Music of Ruth Crawford, Marion Bauer, and Miriam Gideon, 60-89. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 

  • Music theory. Analysis. Lyrics. Gender. Race. Atonality. Voice. Rhythm and meter. Labor H.T. Tsiang. 20th century. Short read, many figures and score excerpts. 

Hisama, Ellie. 2004. “John Zorn and the Postmodern Condition.” Locating East Asia in Western Art Music, ed. Yayoi Uno Everett and Frederick Lau, 72-84. Middletown: Wesleyan University Press.

  • Music Theory. Popular music. Experimentalism. Representation. Inclusion. Feminism. Intersectionality. Appropriation. 20th century. Short read. 

Kernodle, Tammy L. 1999. “Arias, communists, and conspiracies—the history of Still's ‘Troubled island.’” The Musical Quarterly 83, no. 4 (Winter): 487-508.

  • Historical musicology. Black music. Libretto. Voice. Opera. William Grant Still. Music and politics. 20th century. Short read.

Lewis, George E. 1996.  “Improvised Music After 1950: Afrological and Eurological Perspectives.” Black Music Research Journal 16, no. 1 (Spring): 91-122.

  • Historical musicology.  Institutions. Multicentricity. Race. “Afrological/Eurological.” Experimentalism. Improvisation. Black music. Jazz. AACM. 20th century. Medium read. 

Lewis, George E. 1998. “Singing Omar’s Song: A reconstruction of Great Black Music.” Lenox Avenue: A Journal of Interarts Inquiry 4: 69-92.

  • Personal history. Black music. Composition. Experimentalism. Historical musicology. Improvisation. Institutions. Jazz. Multicentricity. AACM. “Afrological/Eurological.” “Multi-instrumentalism.” 20th century. Medium read.

Lewis, George E. 2008. A Power Stronger Than Itself: The AACM and American Experimental Music. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

  • Black music. Composition. Experimentalism. Historical musicology. Improvisation. Institutions. Jazz. Multicentricity. AACM. “Multi-instrumentalism.” 20th century. Long read. 

Madrid, Alejandro L. 2015. In Search of Julian Carrillo and Sonido 13. New York: Oxford University Press.

  • Composition. Historical musicology. Experimentalism. Microtonality. 20th century. Long read. 

Thurman, Kira. 2019. “Performing Lieder, Hearing Race: Debating Blackness, Whiteness, and German Identity in Interwar Central Europe.” Journal of the American Musicological Society (December), 72 no.3: 825–865.

  • Historical musicology. Race. Interwar. Reception. German music. Lieder. Art song. 20th century. Short read.

Rao, Nancy Yunhwa. 2000. “Racial Essences and Historical Invisibility: Chinese Opera in New York, 1930.” Cambridge Opera Journal 12, no. 2: 135–62. 

  • Historical musicology. American music. Opera. Chinese opera. 20th century. Short read. 

Walker-Hill, Helen. 2007. From Spirituals to Symphonies: African-American Women Composers and Their Music. Urbana and Chicago: University of Illinois Press.

  • Historical musicology. Black music. Race. Gender. Feminism. Overview. Popular Music. Jazz. Julia Perry. Margaret Bonds. Irene Birtton Smith. Dorothy Rudd Moore. Valerie Capers. Mary Watkins. Regina Harris Baiocchi. “Survey of African American women composers.” Long Read.  

Yang, Mina. 2008. “The Transpacific Gaze: Orientalism, Queerness, and Californian Experimentalism.” In California Polyphony. Urbana: University of Illinois Press.

  • Orientalism. Race. Asian Music. Experimentalism. California. Queerness. Henry Cowell. John Cage. Lou Harrison. Harry Partch. Chapter. Medium Read.

BibTeX - 20th Century Concert Music


Gospel

Keyes, Cheryl. 2009. “Sound, Voice, and Spirit: Teaching in the Black Music Vernacular.” Black Music Research Journal, 19, no. 1: 11-24.

  • Historical musicology. Rhythm and meter. Timbre. Black music. Gospel. Hip hop. Popular music. Short read. 

Legg, Andrew. 2019. “A Taxonomy of Musical Gesture in African American Gospel Music,” in Popular Music 29 no. 1: 103-29.

  • Music theory. Analysis. Timbre. Black music. Gospel. Hip hop. Popular music. Medium read.

Ramsey, Guthrie. 2017. “Made in America: The History of Black Gospel Music.” Lecture, The African American Center at Princeton University’s American Made: the History of Black Gospel Music, Princeton, NJ, February 21, 2017.

  • Historical musicology. Music theory. Recorded music. Troping. Black music. Gospel. The Clark Sisters. Juanita Bynum. 20th century. Hour-long lecture. 

Shelley, Braxton. 2019. “Analyzing Gospel.” Journal of the American Musicological Society, 72 no. 1: 181-243.

  • Music theory. Analysis. Black music. History. Guided listening. Improvisation. Lyrics. Timbre. Tonality. “The Gospel of Participation.” Gospel. 20th century. Medium read.

BibTeX - Gospel


 Jazz and Blues

Belgrad, Daniel. 1998. “Bebop.” The Culture of Spontaneity: Improvisation and the Arts in Postwar America, 179-95. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

  • Historical musicology. Jazz. Improvisation. Poetry. Short read.

Berliner, Paul. 1994. Thinking in Jazz: The Infinite Art of Improvisation. Chicago Studies in Ethnomusicology. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

  • Ethnomusicology. Music theory. Improvisation. Learning. Performance. Analysis. Jazz. 20th century. 21st century. Long read.  

Fellezs, Kevin. 2007. “Silenced but Not Silent: Asian Americans and Jazz.” In Alien Encounters: Popular Culture in Asian America, edited by Thuy Linh Nguyen Tu and Mimi Thi Nguyen, 69-110. Durham: Duke University Press.

  • Jazz. History. “Asian American Jazz.” Representation. Race. Medium read. 

Fellezs, Kevin. 2011. Birds of Fire: Jazz, Rock, Funk, and the Creation of Fusion. Durham: Duke University Press.

  • Hybridity. Popular Music. Jazz. 20th century. 1960s. 1970s. Long Read. 

Fischlin, Daniel, and Ajay Heble, eds. 2004. The Other Side of Nowhere: Jazz, Improvisation, and Communities in Dialogue. Middletown, Connecticut: Wesleyan University Press

  • Jazz. Improvisation. Cultural studies. Edited volume. Long Read.

Floyd, Samuel A. Jr.. 1995. The Power of Black Music: Interpreting its history from Africa to the United States. New York: Oxford University Press. 

  • History. Race. Signifyin(g). “Religion and Narrative.” Black music. Popular Music. Spirituals. Blues. 19th century. 20th century. Long Read.

Giddins, Gary, and Scott DeVeaux. 2009. Jazz. New York: W.W. Norton.

  • Music history. Overview. Guided Listening. Institutions. Improvisation. Jazz. 20th century. 21st century. Long read.  

Griffin, Farah Jasmine. 2001. “Abbey Lincoln: The Dawn of a New Day (Angry Bird).” In If You Can't Be Free, Be A Mystery: In Search of Billie Holiday, 169-83. New York: The Free Press.

  • Jazz. Gender. Women’s studies. Medium Read.  

Heble, Ajay. 2000. Landing On The Wrong Note: Jazz, Dissonance, and Critical Practice. New York: Routledge

  • Jazz.  Improvisation. Cultural studies.  Intersectionality. Medium read.   

Jones, Leroi. 1968. “The Changing Same (R&B and New Black Music).” In Black Music, 180-211. New York: William Morrow.

  • American music. Jazz. Black music. “The changing same.” Short read. 

O'Meally, Robert G., Brent Hayes Edwards, and Farah Jasmine Griffin, eds. 2004. Uptown Conversations: The New Jazz Studies. New York: Columbia University Press.

  • Jazz History. Jazz Culture. Painting. Poetry. Creative Writing. Dance. Costume Design. Economics. Jazz Criticism. Black Woman Voices. Jazz in Senegal. Charles Mingus. AACM. Duke Ellington. Louis Armstrong. Ralph Ellison. Amiri Baraka. Thelonious Monk. Long Read.

Palmer, Robert. 1982. Deep Blues. Harmondsworth, Middlesex, England ; New York, N.Y: Penguin Books.

  • Music history. Blues. Black music. 20th century. Long read.  

Porter, Eric. 2002. What Is This Thing Called Jazz? African American Musicians as Artists, Critics, and Activists. Berkeley: University of California Press.

  • Ethnomusicology. Jazz. Cultural history. Politics. Race. Bebop. Charles Mingus. Abbey Lincoln. Wynton Marsalis. Institutions. Long read.  

Potter, Gary. 1992. “Analyzing Improvised Jazz.” College Music Society 32: 143–60.

  • Music theory. Analysis. Guided listening. Overview. Tonality. Rhythm Transcription. Improvisation. Jazz. 20th century. Short read. 

Russell, George. 1959. The Lydian Chromatic Concept of Tonal Organization. New York: Concept Publishing Co.

  • Music theory. Analysis. Methodology. Music majors. Tonality. Jazz. 20th century. Long read. 

Stoever, Jennifer Lynn. 2016. The Sonic Color Line: Race and the Cultural Politics of Listening. Postmillennial Pop. New York: New York University Press.

  • Sound studies. Recorded sound. Racism. Minstrelsy. Blues. Opera. Surveillance. 19th century. 20th century. Long read. 

Szwed, John F. 1998. Space Is the Place: The Lives and Times of Sun Ra. New York: Da Capo Press.

  • Historical musicology. Black music. Experimentalism. Improvisation. Jazz. Long read.  

Thomas, Lorenzo. 1995. “Ascension: Music and the Black Arts Movement.” In Jazz Among The Discourses edited by Gabbard, Krin, 256-74. Durham: Duke University Press.

  • Composition. Experimentalism. Improvisation. Black music. Short read.

Tucker, Sherrie. 2002. “Big Ears: Listening for Gender in Jazz Studies.” Current Musicology, Jazz V2016 Course Reader: 375-408.

  • Intersectionality. Gender. Race. Medium read.

Washburne, Christopher. 2020. Latin Jazz: The Other Jazz. New York: Oxford University Press.

  • Ethnomusicology. Jazz. Overview. Interculturality. Afro-Latin. Afro-Cuban. Cubop. Carribean. “El Tema del Apollo.” Long read. 

Wong, Deborah. 2004. Speak It Louder: Asian Americans Making Music. New York: Routledge.

  • Ethnomusicology. Jazz. Popular music. Laotian Song. Cambodian music drama. Karaoke. Taiko. Hip hop. Improvisation. Technoculture. Recorded music. Industry. Representation.  Long read, book with medium-length separable chapters.

BibTeX - Jazz & Blues


Hip Hop, House, and Techno

Adams, Kyle. 2009. “On Metrical Techniques of Flow in Rap Music.” Music Theory Online 15 no. 5 (October). 

  • Music theory. Black music. Guided listening. Rhythm. Lyrics. Flow. Medium read. 

Alpin, Chris. 2019. “Get Tribal: Cosmopolitan Worlds and Indigenous Consciousness in Hip-Hop” in Dylan Robinson and Victoria Levine, eds. Music and Modernity among First Nations of North America.

  • Indigenous music. Native American. Hip hop. Medium read. 

Berry, Michael. 2018. Listening to Rap: An Introduction. New York: Routledge.

  • Music theory. Gender. History. Lyrics. Music technology. Overview. Race. Recorded music. Rhythm and meter. Timbre. Black music. Popular music. Hip hop. 20th century. Long read. 

Britt, King. 2021. “Blacktronika: Exploring Innovators of Color in Electronic Music, Parts 1 & 2.” Google Arts & Culture, March 10, 2021. 

  • Music appreciation. Music theory. History. Composition. Experimentalism. Popular Music. Music technology. Recorded music. DJ’s. Black music. Guided listening. Representation. Race. Timbre. Rhythm and meter. 21st century. E-magazine, scroll through with descriptions of listening. Short read. 

Cuchna, Cole. Dissect Podcast. 2017-present.

  • Guided listening. Analysis. Lyrics. Music technology. Recorded music. 20th century. 21st century. Production. Hip hop. Podcast. 

Ewell, Philip A. 2019. “Introduction to the Symposium on Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp a Butterfly.” Music Theory Online 25, no.1.

  • Music theory. Analysis. Critical race theory. Intonation. Institutions. Rhythm and meter. Race. Form. Pedagogy. Hip hop. Black music. Popular music. Kendrick Lamar. 21st century. Symposium. Long read. 

Hisama, Ellie M. 2002. "Afro-Asian Crosscurrents in Contemporary Hip Hop." American Music Review 32 (1): 3, 14-15. 

  • Hip Hop. Afro-Asian. “Polycultural.” Dead Prez. Jamez. Short read. 

Hisama, Ellie. 2014. “DJ Kuttin Kandi: Performing Feminism.” American Music Review 43, no. 2 (Spring). 

  • Music Technology. DJ’s. Race. Gender. Representation. Hip hop. Profile. Short read. 

Hoffmann, Heiko. 2005. “From the Autobahn to I-94: The Origins of Detroit Techno and Chicago House.” Pitchfork Magazine, November 28, 2005. 

  • Music Technology. History. Black music. DJ’s. Music industry. Popular music. Juan Atkins. Kevin Saunderson. Eddie Fowlkes. Blake Baxter. Mike Grant. Tyree Cooper. 20th century. Short read. Interview. 

Kajikawa, Loren. 2021. “Leaders of the New School? Music Departments, Hip-hop, and the Challenge of Significant Difference.” Twentieth-Century Music, 18, no.1: 45-64. 

  • Pedagogy. Curriculum. Inclusivity. Institutions. Popular Music. Short read. 

Kapadia, Ronak K. 2014. “Sonic Contagions: Bird Flu, Bandung, and the Queer Cartographies of MIA.” Journal of Popular Music Studies 26 (2/3): 226–50. 

  • Popular Music. Music Video. MIA. Sri Lankan diaspora. Queer studies. Affect.  Virality. “Queer cartographies.” Short read.

Konana, Aude. 2020. “10 Black Electronic Music PioneersYou Should Listen To.” okayafrica, June 22, 2020. 

  • Music Technology. Recorded music. Overview. Popular Music. DJ’s. Black music. Guided listening. Lerry Levan. Marshall Jefferson. Curis Jones. Juan Atkins. Derrick Carter. Frankie Knuckles. Oskido. Rod Hardy. Celeste Alexander. Michael Ezebukwu. Short read. 

Krims, Adam. 2000. Rap Music and the Poetics of Identity: Cambridge, New York: Cambridge University Press.

  • Musicology. Analysis. Rap and poetry. Identity. Black music. Native American music. Hip hop. Long read. 

Niaah, Sonjah Stanley. 2008. "A Common Space: Dancehall, Kwaito, and the Mapping of New World Music and Performance." The World of Music 50, no. 2: 35-50.

  • Ethnomusicology. Music technology. Music industry. Black music. DJ’s. Dancehall. Kwaito. South Africa. Jamaica. “Mapping New World performance geographies.” Medium read. 

Perry, Imani. 2004. Prophets of the Hood: Politics and Poetics in Hip Hop. Durham: Duke University Press.

  • Music and politics. Rap and poetry. Institutions. Identity. Race. Hip hop. Long read. 

Rose, Tricia. 1994. Black Noise: Rap Music and Black Culture in Contemporary America. Music/Culture. Hanover, NH: University Press of New England.

  • Music and politics. Rap and poetry. Lyrics. Institutions. Music industry. Race. Censorship. Hip hop. Long read. 

Williams, Justin A. 2015. The Cambridge Companion to Hip Hop. Cambridge University Press.

  • Music theory. Music technology. Recorded music. Rap and poetry. Lyrics. Visual arts. DJ. Religion. Performance. Gender. Sampling. Copyright. Hip hop. Dance. Cuba. Senegal. Japan. UK. Germany. Edited Volume. Long Read. 

Yang, Mina. 2013. “Yellow Skin, White Masks.” Daedalus 142, no. 4 (2013): 24-37. 

  • Ethnomusicology. Musicology.  Dance. Popular music. Hip Hop. B-boys. Self-representation. “Transpacific culture.” JabbaWockeez. Short read.

BibTeX - Hip Hop, House, & Techno


Asian American Music

Asai, Susan M. 2005. "Cultural Politics: The African American Connection in Asian American Jazz-Based Music." Asian Music 36, no. 1 (2005): 87-108. 

  • Jazz. History. “Asian American Jazz.” Fred Ho. Asian Improv Arts Collective. Afro asian connections. 1970s. 1980s. Short read. 

Castro, Christi-Anne. 2007. “Voices in the Minority: Race, Gender, Sexuality, and the Asian American in Popular Music.” Journal of Popular Music Studies 19 no.3: 221–38. 

  • Indie music. Punk. Noise.  Asian American masculinity. Racialized bodies.  Gender and sexuality. Mike Park. Magdalen Hsu-Li. Short read.

Cohen, Brigid. 2018. “Ono in Opera: A Politics of Art and Action, 1960-1962.” ASAP/Journal 3, no. 1 (2018): 41-66.

  • Historical Musicology. Yoko Ono. John Cage. Opera. Mid-century experimentalism. Indeterminacy. “Cold War Orientalism.” AOS. Short read. 

Fellezs, Kevin. 2007. “Silenced but Not Silent: Asian Americans and Jazz.” In Alien Encounters: Popular Culture in Asian America, edited by Thuy Linh Nguyen Tu and Mimi Thi Nguyen, 69-110. Durham: Duke University Press

  • Jazz. History. “Asian American Jazz.” Representation. Race. Medium read. 

Hisama, Ellie M. 2002. “Afro-Asian Crosscurrents in Contemporary Hip Hop.” American Music Review 32: no. 3, 14-15. 

  • Hip Hop. Afro-Asian. “Polycultural.” dead prez. Jamez. Short read. 

Hisama, Ellie. 2014. “DJ Kuttin Kandi: Performing Feminism.” American Music Review 43, no. 2 (Spring). 

  • Music Technology. DJs. Race. Gender. Representation. Hip hop. Profile. Short read. 

Kapadia, Ronak K. 2014. “Sonic Contagions: Bird Flu, Bandung, and the Queer Cartographies of MIA.” Journal of Popular Music Studies 26 (2/3): 226–50. 

  • Popular Music. Music Video. MIA. Sri Lankan diaspora. Queer studies. Affect.  Virality. “Queer cartographies.” Short read. 

Kim, Summer Lee. 2019. “Staying In: Mitski, Ocean Vuong, and Asian American.” Social Text 138: 27-50.

  • Popular music. Lyrics. Video. Multiculturalism. Representation. Race. Gender. “Asian American asociality.” Short read.

Lam, Joseph Sui Ching. "Embracing "Asian American Music" as an Heuristic Device." Journal of Asian American Studies 2, no. 1 (1999): 29-60. 

  • Theoretical overview. Panethnicity. Asian American Movement. American music. Short read. 

Rao, Nancy Yunhwa. 2000. “Racial Essences and Historical Invisibility: Chinese Opera in New York, 1930.” Cambridge Opera Journal 12, no. 2: 135–62. 

  • American music. Opera. Chinese opera. 20th century. Short read. 

Wang, Grace. 2015. Soundtracks of Asian America : Navigating Race Through Musical Performance. Durham: Duke University Press

  • Ethnomusicology. Historical Musicology. Classical music. Classical music education. Asian parents. Interrogating the“model minority” myth.  YouTube and DIY music spaces. Global pop music. Long read, separable chapters. 

Wang, Oliver. 2001. “Between the Notes: Finding Asian America in Popular Music.” American Music 19, no. 4 (2001): 439-65.

  • Popular music. Asian American identity. Historical overview. “Pan-ethnic”. Asian American Movement.  “Context of production.” Twentieth century. Short read. 

Wong, Deborah. 2004. Speak It Louder: Asian Americans Making Music. New York: Routledge.

  • Ethnomusicology. Jazz. Popular music. Loatian Song. Cambodian music drama. Karaoke. Taiko. Hip hop. Improvisation. Technoculture. Recorded music. Industry. Representation.  Long read, book with medium-length separable chapters. 

Yang, Mina. 2008. California Polyphony : Ethnic Voices, Musical Crossroads. Urbana: University of Illinois Press.

  • Ethnomusicology. Historical Musicology. American experimentalism. Chicano nationalism. Mestizo. Korean hip-hop. California. Twentieth century. Twenty-first century. Long read, separable chapters. 

Yang, Mina. 2013. “Yellow Skin, White Masks.” Daedalus 142, no. 4 (2013): 24-37.

  • Ethnomusicology. Musicology.  Dance. Popular music.  Hip Hop. B-boys. Self-representation. “Transpacific culture.” JabbaWockeez. Short read.

BibTeX - Asian American Music


Native American Music and Repatriation

Fox, Aaron A. 2013. “Repatriation as Re-Animation through Reciprocity: Laura Boulton’s 1946 Iñupiaq Recordings and the Future of the Music Archive.” In Cambridge History of World Music, edited by Philip V. Bohlman, 522-54. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

  • Ethnomusicology. Repatriation. Decolonial. Music and circulation. Music and property. Archives. Institutional histories. Indigenous music. Medium read. 

Jacobsen, Kristina. 2014. “Radmilla’s Voice: Music Genre, Blood Quantum, and Belonging on the Navajo Nation” Cultural Anthropology 29 no. 2: 385-410.

  • Ethnomusicology. Race. Voice. American music. Native American music. Medium Read. 

Levine, Victoria Lindsay, and Dylan Robinson, eds. 2019. Music and Modernity among First Peoples of North America. Middletown, Connecticut: Wesleyan University Press.

  • Ethnomusicology. Identity. Hybridity. Code switching. Powwow. Music technology. Experimental music. Hip hop. Edited volume. Long read. 

Reed, Trevor. 2019. “Reclaiming Ownership of the Indigenous Voice: The Hopi Music Repatriation Project” The Oxford Handbook of Musical Repatriation. Edited by Frank Gunderson, Robert C. Lancefield, and Bret Woods.

  • Ethnomusicology. Repatriation. Decolonial. Indigenous Music. Music and property. Medium read.  

Robinson, Dylan. 2020. Hungry Listening: Resonant Theory for Indigenous Sound Studies. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.

  • Ethnomusicology. Decolonial theory. Indigenous music. Electronic music. Experimentalism. Sound studies. Appropriation. Long read.

Scales, Christopher. 2012. Recording Culture: Powwow Music and the Aboriginal Recording Industry on the Northern Plains. Durham: Duke University Press.

  • Recorded music. Music technology. Aesthetics. Native American music. 21st century. Long Read.  

Troutman, John W. 2009. Indian Blues: American Indians and the Politics of Music, 1879-1934. Norman: Oklahoma University Press.

  • Music history. Assimilation. Music and politics. Music and violence. Identity. Music and property. Economy. Native American music. Long read.

BibTeX - Native American Music & Repatriation


Rock / Pop / Metal

Ambrosch, Gerfried. 2018. “‘Guilty of Being White’: Punk’s Ambivalent Relationship with Race and Racism.” The Journal of Popular Culture 51 (4): 902–22. 

  • Musicology. Ethnomusicology. Race. Whiteness. Rock. Popular music. 21st century. Short read.

Brooks, Daphne. 2008. “Amy Winehouse and the (Black) Art of Appropriation”. The Nation, September 10, 2008.

  • Music history. Music appreciation. Appropriation. Black music. Popular music. Soul. Voice. Whiteness. 21st century. Short read.

Carson, Mina Julia et al. 2004. “Sex, Race, and Rock and Roll” in Girls Rock! Fifty Years of Women Making Music. Lexington, Kentucky: University Press of Kentucky.

  • Music history. Gender. History. Oral history. Music Industry. Race. Representation. Popular Music. 20th Century. Medium read.

Dawes, Laina. 2015. “Challenging an ‘Imagined Community’: Discussions (or Lack Thereof) of Black and Queer Experiences within Heavy Metal Culture.” Metal Music Studies 1 (3): 385–93. 

  • Historical musicology. Ethnomusicology. Race. Gender. Popular music. Metal. 21st century. Short read.

Fast, Susan. 2009. “Genre, Subjectivity and Back-up Singing in Rock Music.” In The Ashgate Research Companion to Popular Musicology, edited by Derek B. Scott, 171–87. Surrey, UK: Ashgate. 

  • Historical musicology. Appropriation. Black music. Embodiment. Gender. Gospel. Popular music. Race. Recorded music. Rock and roll. Voice. 20th century. Medium read. 

Fellezs, Kevin. 2011. “Black Metal Soul Music: Stone Vengeance and the Aesthetics of Race in Heavy Metal.” Popular Music History 6 (1): 180.

  • Historical musicology. Ethnomusicology. Race. Popular music. Metal. 21st century. Short read.

Hamilton, Jack. 2016. Just Around Midnight: Rock and Roll and the Racial Imagination. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press.

  • Historical musicology. Music appreciation. History. Race. Reclamation. Recorded music. Representation. Rock and roll. Whiteness. 20th Century. Long read.

Hisama, Ellie M. 1999. “Voice, Race, and Sexuality in the Music of Joan Armatrading.” In Audible Traces: Gender, Identity, and Music, edited by Elaine Barkin and Lydia Hamessley, 115–32. Zurich: Carciofoli Verlagshaus.

  • Historical Musicology. Black music. Feminism. Gender. Hybridity. Popular music. Race. Representation. 20th century. Medium read. 

Mahon, Maureen. 2006. “Women in African American Music: Rock.” In African American Music: An Introduction, edited by Mellonee V. Burnim and Portia K. Maultsby, 558–77. New York: Routledge.

  • Ethnomusicology. Music history. Black music. Feminism. Gender. History. Intersectionality. Popular music. Race. Reclamation. Representation. Rock and roll. 20th century. Medium read.

Maultsby, Portia. K. 2016. “The Politics of Race Erasure in Defining Black Popular Music Origins” In Issues in African American Music, edited by Mellonee V. Burnim and Portia K. Maultsby, 47-65. New York: Routledge.

  • Music history. Appropriation. Black music. Erasure. Music industry. Poetics. Popular music. Race. Representation. 20th century. Medium read.

Miller, Karl Hagstrom. 2010. “Black Folk and Hillbilly Pop” In Segregating Sound: Inventing Folk and Pop Music in the Age of Jim Crow. Durham: Duke University Press.

  • Historical musicology. Appropriation. Black music. Copyright. Genre. Hybridity. History. Popular music. Race. 20th century. Medium read.

Pillsbury, Glenn T. 2006. “Thinking-Man’s Metal: Whiteness, Detachment, and the Performance of Musical Complexity.” In Damage Incorporated: Metallica and the Production of Musical Identity. New York: Routledge.

  • Historical musicology. Music theory. Ethnomusicology. Race. Whiteness. Popular music. Metal. 21st century. Short read.

Rapport, Evan. 2020. Damaged: Musicality and Race in Early American Punk. American Made Music Series. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi.

  • Historical musicology. Race. Whiteness. Popular music. Punk. 20th century. Long read.

Sloan, Nate and Charlie Harding. 2020. “I Like Everything . . . Except Country and Hip Hop: Musical Identity: Jay Z and Kanye West Ft. Frank Ocean Toby Keith—“Made in America.” In Switched On Pop. Oxford University Press. 

  • Music theory. Analysis. Case study. Empire. Hip hop. Race. Popular Music. Timbre. Whiteness. 20th century. Medium read.

Spanos, Brittany. “How Beyoncé’s Lemonade Reclaims Rock’s Black Female Legacy.” Rolling Stone, April 26, 2016. 

  • Music appreciation. Beyoncé. Black music. Feminism. Race. Reclamation. Representation. Popular Music. 20th Century. Short read. 

Spracklen, Karl. 2020. “Challenging Hegemony? Darkestrah, and Zeal & Ardor” In Metal music and the re-imagining of masculinity, place, race and nation. Bingley: Emerald Group Publishing Limited.

  • Ethnomusicology. Black music. Case study. Empire. Metal. Popular music. Race. Reception. Voice. Whiteness. 21st century. Medium read.

Waksman, Steve. 1999. “Black Sound, Black Body: Jimi Hendrix, the Electric Guitar and the Meanings of Blackness” In Instruments of Desire: The Electric Guitar and the Shaping of Musical Experience. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

  • Ethnomusicology. Embodiment. Gender. Improvisation. Interculturality. Popular music. Race. Sexuality. 20th century. Medium read.

Wald, Gayle. 2007. Shout, Sister, Shout! The Untold Story of Rock-and-roll Trailblazer Sister Rosetta Tharpe. Boston: Beacon Press.

  • Music history. Black music. Gender. Gospel. History. Inclusion. Popular music. Reclamation. 20th Century. Long read.

Wallach, Jeremy, Harris M. Berger, and Paul D. Greene, eds. 2011. Metal Rules the Globe: Heavy Metal Music around the World. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.

  • Ethnomusicology. Globalism. Race. Gender. Music industry. Popular music. Metal. 21st century. Long read.

BibTeX - Rock, Pop, & Metal

To Assign in Class

This section provides a list of potential readings or activities that can be assigned to students in a variety of music classes.


Arewa, Olufunmilayo B. 2016. “Cultural Appropriation: When ‘Borrowing’ Becomes Exploitation.The Conversation, June 20, 2016.

  • Appropriation. Popular music. Hip hop. Short read. 

Arewa, Olufunmilayo B. 2006. "From J.C. Bach to Hip Hop: Musical Borrowing, Copyright and Cultural Context," North Carolina Law Review 84, no. 2 (January): 547-645.

  • Institutions. Copyright. Appropriation. Hip hop. Medium Read. 

Balter, Marcos. 2020. “His Name is Joseph Boulogne, not ‘Black Mozart.’” The New York Times, July 22, 2020.

  • Music theory. Music appreciation. History. 18th century. Short read. 

Barrett, Samuel. 2006. “‘Kind of Blue’ and the Economy of Modal Jazz.” Popular Music 25, no. 2: 185-200.

  • Music Theory. Analysis. Guided listening. Harmony. Music majors. Race. Modal harmony. Jazz. 20th century. Short read. 

Britt, King. 2021. “Blacktronika: Exploring Innovators of Color in Electronic Music, Parts 1 & 2.” Google Arts & Culture, March 10, 2021. 

  • Music appreciation. Music theory. History. Composition. Experimentalism. Popular Music. Music technology. Recorded music. Black music. Guided listening. Representation. Race. Timbre. Rhythm and meter. 21st century. E-magazine, scroll through with descriptions of listening. Short read. 

Cuchna, Cole. Dissect Podcast. 2017-present.

  • Lyrics. Music technology. Recorded Music. Case studies. Hip hop. Podcast series. 

Dawes, Laina. 2020. What Are You Doing Here? A Black Woman’s Life and Liberation in Heavy Metal. New York City: Bazillion Points.

  • Ethnomusicology. Race. Gender. Music industry. Popular music. Metal. 21st century. Long read.

Dove, Rita. 2009. Sonata Mulattica: A Life in Five Movements and a Short Play: Poems. 1st ed. New York: W.W. Norton.

  • Music appreciation. George Bridgetower. Beethoven. Kreutzer sonata. Literature and music. Poetics. Medium read.  

Eidsheim, Nina Sun. 2018. The Race of Sound: Listening, Timbre, and Vocality in African American Music. Durham: Duke University Press.

  • Sound studies. Analysis. Gender. Race. Timbre. Music majors. Black music. Jazz. Opera. Jimmie Scott. Billie Holiday. Long read, book with medium-length separable chapters.   

Ewell, Philip A. 2020. “Music Theory and the White Racial Frame.” Music Theory Online 26, no. 2. 

  • Pedagogy. History. Institutions. Music theory. Schenker. Methodology. Coded language. Medium read. 

Feld, Steven. 2001. “A Sweet Lullaby for World Music.” In Globalization, edited by Arjun Appadurai, 189-216. Durham: Duke University Press.

  • Postcolonial theory. Appropriation. “World music.” Oran traditions. Institutions. Recorded music. Colonialism. Indigeneity. Western/nonwestern binary. Medium read. 

Geaghan-Breiner, Meredith. 2019. “Why Country Music Looks And Sounds Like Hip-Hop Now.” Insider, December 23, 2019. 

  • Hip hop. Country. Genre. Hybridity. Medium length video. 

Hisama, Ellie. 2001. “The politics of contour in Crawford’s ‘Chinaman, Laundryman.’” In Gendering Musical Modernism. The Music of Ruth Crawford, Marion Bauer, and Miriam Gideon, 60-89. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 

  • Music theory. Music majors. Analysis. Lyrics. Voice. Gender. Race. Atonality. Rhythm and meter. Labor H.T. Tsiang. 20th century. Short read, many figures and score excerpts. 

Jones, Alisha Lola. 2019. “Lift Every Voice: Marian Anderson, Florence B. Price And The Sound Of Black Sisterhood.” NPR.org, August 30, 2019.

  • Music appreciation. Opera. Recorded music. 19th century. 20th Century. Short read. 

Lewis, George. 2000. “Too Many notes: Computers, Complexity and Cultures in Voyager.” Leonardo Music Journal, 10: 33-9.

  • Music technology. Black Music. Improvisation. Experimentalism. 20th century. Short read. 

Lewis, George. 2014. “Collaborative Improvisation as Critical Pedagogy.” Nka: Journal of Contemporary African Art 34: 40-7.

  • Composition. Experimentalism. Improvisation. Music majors. Pedagogy. Race. AACM. Black music. 20th century. Short read. 

Lewis, George. 2020. “A Small Act of Curation.” On Curation 44: 11-22.

  • Composition. Decolonial theory. Inclusion. Institutions. Gender. Race. Short read. 

Lewis, George. 2021. “New Music Decolonization in Eight Difficult Steps.” VAN Outernational. https://www.van-outernational.com/lewis-en

  • Composition. Decolonial theory. Institutions. Inclusion. Pedagogy. 21st century. Short read. 

Malawey, Victoria. 2020. “Binary Form Through the Music of Underrepresented Composers.” Routledge Companion to Music Theory Pedagogy. New York: Routledge.

  • Music theory. Class activities. Binary form. Form. Classical music. 18th century. 20th century. Short read.

Maxile, Jr., Horace J. 2008. “Signs, Symphonies, Signifyin(g): African-American Cultural Topics as Analytical Approach to the Music of Black Composers.” Black Music Research Journal 28, no 1: 123–38.

  • Music theory. Analysis. Black music. Gospel. History. Music majors. Rhythm and meter. Tonality. Timbre. 20th century. Call and response. The blues. Spirituals. Religion. Jazz. Signifyin(g). Medium read. 

Maxile, Jr., Horace J. 2015. “Extensions to the Pedagogical Canon: Expanding Perspectives on William Grant Still and the Teaching Applications as Realized in the Seven Traceries.College Music Symposium 55.

  • Analysis. Guided listening. Music theory. Music majors. Pedagogy. Tonality. Harmony. Black music. Medium read. 

McLeod, Kembrew. 2011. “How Copyright Law Changed Hip Hop: An Interview with Public Enemy’s Chuck D and Hank Shocklee.Little Village, October 17, 2011. 

  • Interview. Copyright. Music Technology. Sampling. Music and Protest. Hip Hop. Short Read. 

Menocal, Maria Rosa. 1990. Preface of The Arabic Role in Medieval Literary History. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.

  • Postcolonial theory. Western/nonwestern binary. Pre-16th century. Good for music humanities course, class on troubadours. Medium read. 

Morris, Wesley. 2019. “Why Is Everyone Always Stealing Black Music?The New York Times, August 14, 2019.

  • Editorial. Copyright. Appropriation. Music industry. Black music. Popular music. Short read.

Neely, Adam. 2020. “Music Theory and White Supremacy.” YouTube: posted 7 September 2020.      

  • Music theory. Philip Ewell. History. Decolonial theory. Schenker. 18th century. 19th century. 20th century. 45-minute YouTube video. 

Padilla Peralta, Dan-el. 2015. “From Damocles to Socrates: The Classics in/of Hip Hop.” Eidolon, June. 

  • Lyrics. References. Signifyin(g). Hip hop. Short read. Blog post. 

Pareles, Jon. 1999. “Don’t Call Jazz America’s Classical Music,The New York Times, February 28, 1999.

  • History. Overview. Genre. Jazz. 20th century. Short read. 

Powers, Ann. 2019. “Turning the Tables: 8 women who invented American Popular Music.” National Public Radio, July 31, 2019.

  • Series of short radio stories, essays and music audio and video. Music appreciation. Music history. Recorded music. Blues. Gospel. Jazz. Salsa. Billie Holiday. Bessie Smith. Maybelle Carter. Marion Anderson. Ella Fitzgerald. Mary Lou Williams. Celia Cruz. Sister Rosetta Tharpe. Popular music. 20th Century.

Ramsey, Guthrie. 2003. Race Music: Black Cultures from Bebop to Hip-hop. Berkeley: University of California Press.

  • Analysis. Poetics. Inclusion. Institutions. Blues. Gospel. Hip hop. Jazz. 20th century. Long read, book with medium-length separable chapters. 

Robinson, Dylan. 2020. Hungry Listening: Resonant Theory for Indigenous Sound Studies. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.

  • Decolonial theory. Indigenous music. Music majors. Ethnomusicology. Sound studies. Long read. 

Scales, Christopher. 2012. “Pow-wow Songs: Aesthetics and Performance Practice” in Recording Culture: Powwow Music and the Aboriginal Recording Industry on the Northern Plains. Durham: Duke University Press.

  • Native American music. Performance. Indigenous music. Medium read.  

Schumann, Garrett. 2020. “Centuries of Silence: Vicente Lusitano and Classical Music’s Selective Memory.VAN Magazine.

  • Composition. Music history. Early Music. Short read.

Thompson, Tok. 2011. “Beatboxing, Mashups, and Cyborg Identity: Folk Music for the Twenty-First Century.” Western States Folklore Society, 70 no. 2: 171-93.

  • Hip hop. Historical musicology. Improvisation. Music majors. Popular music. 20th century. Short read. 

Thurman, Kira. 2018. “Singing Against the Grain: Playing Beethoven in the #BlackLivesMatter Era.” The Point Magazine. 17: 29 September 2018.

  • Black music. Institutions. Inclusion. Race. Journalistic article examining the relationships Black performers have with classical music. 21st century. Short read.

Whitesell, Lloyd. 2001. “White noise: Race and Erasure in the Cultural Avant-Garde.” American Music 19, no. 2 (Summer): 168-189

  • Race. Cultural appropriation. Experimentalism. 20th century. Short read.

Winkler, Peter. 1997. “Writing Ghost Notes: The Poetics and Politics of Transcriptions.” In Keeping Score: Music, Disciplinarity, and Culture, edited by David Schwarz, Anahid Kassabian, and Lawrence Siegel, 169–203. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press.

  • Music theory. Music majors. Case study. Transcription. Recorded music. Popular music. Aretha Franklin. 20th century. Short read. 

Z, Pamela. 2003. “A Tool is a Tool.” in Women, Art, and Technology, edited by Judy Malloy. Boston: MIT Press. Also on the composer’s personal website.

  • Composition. Music appreciation. Music technology. Recorded music. Sound studies. 20th century. Short read. 

Ziporyn, Evan and Michael Tenzer. 2012. “Thelonious Monk’s Harmony, Rhythm, and Pianism.” in Analytical and Cross-Cultural Studies in World Music edited by Michael Tenzer and John Roeder. Oxford Scholarship Online.

  • Music Theory. Improvisation. Music majors. Rhythm and meter. Tonality. Jazz. Thelonious Monk. Oscar Peterson. Bill Evans. 20th century. Short read.

BibTeX - To Assign in Class

External Resources

These are a list of already existing resources for the antiracist classroom: other bibliographies, lesson plans, journals, and activist groups.


Bibliographies and Databases

American Composer’s Forum. “Uneven Measures Series on Gender and Racial Equity.” https://composersforum.org/uneven-measures/ 

  • Blog. Composition. Feminism. Gender. Inclusion. Sexuality. Links to music and personal statements from women, trans, and non-binary composers.
  • 21st century. “Anti-Racist Music Theory Examples.” Spreadsheet link
  • Resource database. Analysis. Black music. Inclusion. Music Theory. 18th century. 19th century. 20th century.

Black Central European Studies Network, “Black Central Europe” https://blackcentraleurope.com/

  • Resource database. Black music. Historical musicology. Interculturality. Race. Non-music specific collection of historical documents demonstrating the history of the Black diaspora in Germanic Central Europe. 

Columbia Center for Teaching and Learning, “Antiracist Pedagogy in action: first steps.” 

  • Resource database. Critical race theory. Pedagogy. List of resources for anti-racist teaching (not music-specific) with annotations guiding their use.

Columbia Center for Teaching and Learning, “Inclusive teaching and learning online” 

  • Resource database. Guide for transposing inclusive teaching practices to online modalities.

Decolonizing the Music Room” 

  • Organization website and resource database. Black music. Decolonial theory. Indigenous music. Institutions. Pedagogy. Good collection of audio and video resources for decolonial music pedagogy. 21st century.

Engaged Music Theory.” 

  • Resource database. Analysis. Black music. Indigenous music. Inclusion. Multiculturalism. Non-Western music. Race. Bibliography of antiracist music theory readings. 20th Century. 21st Century.

Garrett, Marques L. A., “Beyond Elijah Rock: The Non-Idiomatic Choral Music of Black Composers.” 

  • Resource database. Black music. Composition. Inclusion. Spreadsheet of music by Black composers in non-canonical idioms. 20th century. 21st century.

Hein, Ethan, “Teaching Whiteness in Music Class” 

  • Medium read. Critical race theory. Disability. Inclusion. 21st century. 

Inclusive Early Music.” 

  • Resource database. Analysis. Curriculum. Inclusion. Pedagogy. Database assignments and lesson plans. Pre-16th century, 16th century.

Murdock, Molly and Ben Parsell, “Music Theory Examples by Women.” 

  • Resource database. Analysis. Feminism. Gender. Guided listening. Inclusion. Rhythm and meter. Sexuality. Tonality. Full-length and excerpted listening examples. 17th century. 18th century. 19th century. 20th century.

Project Spectrum.” 

  • Organization website. Activism. Critical race theory. Decolonial theory. Ethnomusicology. Historical musicology. Institutions. Music theory. Website for music studies activist coalition. Includes several open letters and information about events and initiatives. 21st century. 

Rice University Shepherd School of Music, “Anti-racist Teaching Resources.” 

  • Resource database. Analysis. Black music. Curriculum. Inclusion. Music Theory. Race. Student participation. Includes lesson plans, multimedia resources, and resources for antiracist ensemble coaching. 20th century. 21st century. 

Shaver-Gleason, Linda, “Not Another Music History Cliche.” 

  • Blog. Historical musicology. Music Appreciation. Methodology. Critique of bias and laziness in historical musicology writing. Easily digestible for non-majors. 19th century. 21st century. 

TeachRock, “TeachRock Lesson Plan Collections.” 

  • Resource database. Music theory. Popular music. Pre-collegiate. Recorded music. Lesson plans aimed at high school students and below using popular music to teach various subjects (not limited to music). 20th century.

Videmus Inc.

  • Organization website. Black music. Composition. Inclusion. Arts non-profit supporting the repertoire of African American, women, and under-represented composers. 20th century. 21st century.

Journals

Action, Criticism, and Theory for Music Education. act.maydaygroup.org 

Black Music Research Journal. https://www.press.uillinois.edu/journals/bmrj.html