(Western) Music Theory's White Racial Framing: A Composer's Perspective

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As a composer who also teaches music theory, I have been long dissatisfied with many of Western music theory’s pedagogical approaches, not to mention it’s overarching singularity. This is why I have been working towards a different approach in my teaching and I took some time as part of a livestream to unpack and address the explosion in the world of music theory to Dr. Philip Ewell, prompted by Adam Neely’s video.


Brad Rau says:

Hello, thanks for the video. I am fellow NEC graduate. I agree that music theory needs to be revised. I actually think Schenker has a lot of potential to be so much more. To me Schenker is really generalizing about music, something rarely done sadly. Most theory focuses on the micro level. Schekners limitation was to only generalize about Tonic and Dominant chord, which makes sense in his context. If you apply broader sense to these terms, dominant being a tension, and a tonic as the resolving of tension, you could do a schenkerian analysis on pretty much anything including none music ideas. If I were to say, "basically the superhero was trapped under a helicopter but then got away" that to me would be a schenkerian analysis of a movie. I am talking about tension and resolution in a general big picture way, while ignoring all of the all the details that happened in between. I have even done S.A while looking at I and IV chords which gives you a different prescriptive and allows you to see the big picture role of the IV chord. Good luck on your adventure. I would be interested to see what you come up with.

goodcyrus says:

Thumbs up! Great to have found your channel! As we all know, classical composers did not know modern harmonic theory. I made a video last week showing how similar chord progressions work in middle eastern music. Have also persianized many Bach pieces that sound perfectly eastern albeit polyphonic. https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLp57treCK4AF5UYGuM_Jd0mhss23-Cyzp

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