Music & Social Justice: Musicology, Therapy, & Eduction


Cheng, William. Loving Music till It Hurts. New York: Oxford University Press, 2020.

Music is often heralded for its healing powers, but in this book Dr. Cheng reveals the ways it can be used as a weapon harm others. Each chapter delves into specific examples of this harm, ranging from using music to contribute to the trope of the "supercrip" to music's involvement in perpetuating America's false meritocracy.

Redmond, Shana L. Everything Man: The Form and Function of Paul Robeson. Duke University Press, 2020.

From his cavernous voice and unparalleled artistry to his fearless struggle for human rights, Paul Robeson was one of the twentieth century's greatest icons and polymaths. In Everything Man Shana L. Redmond traces Robeson's continuing cultural resonances in popular culture and politics. She follows his appearance throughout the twentieth century in the forms of sonic and visual vibration and holography; theater, art, and play; and the physical environment.


Robinson, Dylan. Hungry Listening: Resonant Theory for Indigenous Sound Studies. University of Minnesota Press, 2020.

Hungry Listening is the first book to consider listening from both Indigenous and settler colonial perspectives, presenting case studies on Indigenous participation in classical music, musicals, and popular music. A critical response to what has been called the “whiteness of sound studies,” Dylan Robinson evaluates how decolonial practices of listening emerge from increasing awareness of our listening positionality.

Wong, Deborah. Louder and Faster: Pain, Joy, and the Body Politic in Asian American Taiko. University of California Press. 2019.

A cultural study of the phenomenon of Asian American taiko, the thundering, athletic drumming tradition that originated in Japan. Immersed in the taiko scene for twenty years, Deborah Wong has witnessed cultural and demographic changes and the exponential growth and expansion of taiko, particularly in Southern California. Through her participatory ethnographic work, she reveals a complicated story embedded in memories of Japanese American incarceration and legacies of imperialism, Asian American identity and politics, a desire to be seen and heard, and the intersection of culture and global capitalism.

Music Education

Hess, J. (2019). Music education for social change : constructing an activist music education.

The author offers a critical pedagogy for activist music education, and addresses music education as political. The author also offers strategies for implementing Activist Music Education and the dangers of Activist Music Education.

Music Therapy

Belgrave, Melita, and Seung-A Kim. Music Therapy in a Multicultural Context: a Handbook for Music Therapy Students and Professionals. Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2021. 

Music Therapy in a Multicultural Context provides resources for music therapists and future music therapists to understand different cultural and societal identities and how to apply this understanding into their practice in a way that is culturally informed.

Whitehead-Pleaux, Annette, and Xueli Tan, eds. Cultural Intersections in Music Therapy Music, Health, and the Person. Barcelona Publishers, 2017. 

Cultural Intersections in Music Therapy provides an introduction to discrimination and oppression. This book focuses on the exploration of various cultures and how music therapists can work to be more inclusive in their practice.

Baines, Sue. “Music Therapy as an Anti-Oppressive Practice.” The Arts in Psychotherapy 40, no. 1 (February 2013): 1–5.

This article by Sue Baines provides a summary of the history, importance, and applications of anti-oppressive practice and how anti-oppressive practice can and should be applied to music therapy practice.

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