Abolitionist Music Theory and Marxism: Notes Toward a Reconciliation

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This essay offers a sympathetic Marxist commentary on Stephen Lett's “Making a Home of The Society for Music Theory, Inc.” (2023). I explore questions of colonization and coloniality, which are viewed in literal, rather than metaphorical, terms; provide hypotheses about the political economy of contemporary US-American academic music theory, which seems to be inseparable from conflicts with composition; and meditate on theory's political futures in both practical and broader utopian-political ways.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)125-131
Number of pages7
JournalMusic Theory Spectrum
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2023

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  • Marxism
  • colonialism
  • composition
  • music theory
  • neoliberalism
  • the academy
  • unionization


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