Philip Ewell, "On Music Theory, and Making Music More Welcoming for Everyone" (U Michigan Press, 2023)
Manage episode 362320112 series 2421441
On Music Theory and Making Music More Welcoming for Everyone (University of Michigan Press, 2023) by Philip Ewell is an unflinching look at white supremacy and the academy, specifically in the discipline of music theory, although Ewell’s insights and arguments can apply just as well to all music studies and most, if not all, other academic fields. Using meticulous research and his own experiences, Ewell documents the results of music theory’s white racial frame. He shows how the power traditionally wielded by white, cisgender men in academia is supported by the methodologies, the pedagogy, and the very music that most music specialists study, perform, and teach, and how this white racial frame makes it difficult for anyone else to feel comfortable, much less succeed in the field. Ultimately, the book brings attention to the myriad ways that people are excluded, denigrated, and marginalized by deeply entrenched beliefs, analytical methods, and systems in music theory. Ewell reminds readers that there is a difference between diversity work and antiracism, and how important it is to recognize when “solutions” are actually supporting the very racial injustices they purport to reform. Although the problem is too complex for easy answers, Ewell ends the book with some strategies to begin to subvert music’s white racial frame and make “music more welcoming for everyone.”
Kristen M. Turner is a lecturer in the music and honors departments at North Carolina State University. Her research centers on race and class in American popular entertainment at the turn of the twentieth century.
Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/african-american-studies