Vivian Luong, MTO article publication

Earlier this week, Vivian Luong had an article published in Music Theory Online (see abstract below). According to the Editor’s Message, Vivian’s article is one of five essays on feminist music theory “that help to question the moulds and patterns of our system of indoctrination.” The CFP for this special half-issue on feminist music theory was developed in conjunction with the Society for Music Theory’s Committee on the Status of Women. Congratulations, Vivian!

“Rethinking Music Loving”

Building on an implicit ethical critique of music theory in the writings of Marion A. Guck and other feminist music theorists, this paper seeks to displace an implicit moral commitment that pervades music-theoretical practice in favor of an ethics in the Deleuzian sense of the term. First, I demonstrate how established music-theoretical approaches remain focused on defining and policing a musical morality—a strict delineation of what ought to count as proper ways of doing music theory, of lovingly engaging with music professionally. Second, taking up Guck’s call for an open-ended and diverse disciplinary ethics centered on music loving, I explore how the Deleuzian ethical concept of love as a positive and productive force might intervene in our discipline’s moralistic investments and facilitate the creation of new feminist music-theoretical concepts and practices.


Vivian Luong is a PhD candidate in music theory. Supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada and the Institute for Research on Women and Gender at the University of Michigan, Vivian is currently completing her dissertation titled “Rethinking Music Loving with Ethnographies of Music Analysis.” This project weaves together her interests in Schenkerian theory, new materialist philosophy, and queer theory to elucidate an implicit music-theoretical ethics centered on loving relationships between listeners, analysts, and music.

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