Music Theory's White Racial Frame


ACLS Fellowship Program



Named Award

ACLS Susan McClary and Robert Walser Fellow named award


For over twenty years music theory has tried to diversify with respect to race, yet the field today remains remarkably white, not only in the people who practice music theory but also in the race of the composers and theorists whose work music theory privileges. This project, a critical-race examination of music theory, tries to come to terms with why this is so. It posits that there exists a “white racial frame,” a term from sociologist Joe Feagin, in music theory that is structural and institutionalized, and that only through a deframing and reframing of this white racial frame will music theory begin to see positive changes with respect to race.