Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


School of Education


This study utilizes a museum lens to examine general music textbooks as a "musical museum." Through an analysis of twelve general music textbooks published between 1971 and 2005, this study examines general music textbooks as purposeful collections that reflect embedded values and assumptions that privilege Western ways of musicing. Utilizing a museum studies lens, this study examines the collection practices, collection poetics, and collection politics of the general music textbook in both a longitudinal study across historical epochs as well as a latitudinal study across grade levels and publishers. Despite a growing abundance of multicultural content in general music textbooks, the museum lens reveals that general music textbook collections exist as normative structures that reinforce dominant power relations, rescripting and resignifying the world's music within Western musical assumptions. The collection lens reveals that while general music textbooks evidence change across historical epochs, several characteristics remain constant in the "musical museum." Collection practices of categorization and organization reveal a privilege of Western musical assumptions. Collection poetics create meanings within the collection that position African American music as "lesser" than Western classical music. Collection politics reveal the ways in which these meanings become enacted into identity through the training of the "proper" singing voice.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.