[Smt-talk] Female theorists

J. O. Meniktos-Nolting jmenik at umich.edu
Sun Oct 16 12:51:01 PDT 2011

Try Marion Bauer, a composer and  author of the very good early theory  
of 20th century music, __Twentieth Century Music (New York, 1933, rev.  

I am disappointed by Mr Morse's response to the request.  Many female  
music theorists will attest to their feeling that the field of music  
theory is not only not achieved "postfeminist" status but in fact has  
neglected even the "Herstory" approach commonly taken in other  
disciplines at least since the 1980s.  Personally, I'd rather not  
collude in continued absence of attention to female theorists and am  
loathe to see evidence that others prefer to focus on only a few  
giants of music theory history (predominantly male).  While the  
undergrad in question should ideally produce a paper with a thesis  
more sophisticated than one of the mere existence and aptitude of a  
composer, I am very troubled by the tone of Mr Morse's comment and the  
implication that there is nothing else one might imagine an undergrad  
to say about a female theorist.


Joelle Meniktos-Nolting,
PhD student in music theory,
University of Michigan.

> Why would you accept a paper about a theorist solely based on their  
> gender? The setup is especially egregious, as the student doesn't  
> even know which theorist they want to discuss, nor what their ideas  
> might be, only that the subject of a music theory paper should be  
> based on the (to be determined) theorist's gender.  Isn't the  
> conclusion already written? The theorist-to-be-named is a. brilliant  
> of course and a right-on sister; b. deliberately neglected or  
> obscure because of patriarchal oppression.
> Do you really want to collude in this self deformation?
> MW MorseTrent UniversityPeterborough, Oshawa

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