Postmodernism is an ensemble of discourses marked by differences of opinion and paradox, yet it also scoops up a wide range of discourses and distinguishes their activities from so-called modernist values. The postmodernist turn in musicology, for example, means that musicology has become receptive to a general body of ideas, not that it is reducible to a particular theory. The current tendency to view utopian thought as a search for purity that serves to expunge anything deemed different or undesirable from an absolute ideal forgets that it is also an agent of change. Utopian thought need not be absolute: the transformation of a particular situation, rather than its supersession, might be utopian; so might an affinity established between previously incompatible positions. Musicology has much to gain from understanding how these dynamics affect its own enquiries, and benefits likewise from an ability to reflect on its own conventions and locations.