Masculine Discourse in Music Theory
DOI link for Masculine Discourse in Music Theory
Masculine Discourse in Music Theory book
Most musical scholars presently assume that music theory is a technical discipline, confining its attention to issues of musical structure and syntax—"specifically musical" matters, as one says. The philosophers Babbitt admired were logical empiricists—an unsurprising choice, since that was one of the dominant approaches to epistemology and philosophy of science in the United States. If music theorists had followed Babbitt's example of up-to-date interdisciplinary metatheoretical reflection, keeping up with the philosophical discussions that succeeded the heyday of logical empiricism, they would have encountered many ways to question Babbitt's methodological views and the related image of music theory. Feminist epistemological discussions can help explain the self-restrictive quality of much professional writing about music. John Rahn's pairs bring out aspects of the "intellectual politics" of music theory, the distribution of professional prestige and influence among practitioners of different approaches.