I am Professor and Chair of Music Theory at Indiana University, Jacobs School of Music. I was previously on the standing faculty in music at Temple University and Princeton University. I hold a Ph.D. with a double concentration in ethnomusicology and music theory from CUNY Graduate Center. My methods blend musical analysis with ethnography, and I draw from theories of the social sciences, literary studies, and linguistics.


My work centers on 1) music and social movements; 2) interactions of text, language, music, and meaning; 3) global popular music; and 4) technology and the music industry. I was previously an Institutional Investor-ranked analyst of Japanese technology and media, and this experience informs my research on the music business.

My monograph, The Revolution Will Not Be Televised: Protest Music After Fukushima (Oxford University Press), addresses the role of musicians in (self-)censored environments and the ways they convey their political messages through music in four different performance spaces—cyberspace, demonstrations, festivals, and recordings. It won the 2018 BFE Book Prize from the British Forum for Ethnomusicology, the 2017 John Whitney Hall Book Prize for best book on Japan from the Association for Asian Studies, Honorable Mention for the 2016 Alan Merriam Award for best book in ethnomusicology from the Society for Ethnomusicology, and the 2013 Deborah Wong Award from the Society for Ethnomusicology. My second monograph, Revolution Remixed: Intertextuality in Protest Music (under contract with Oxford, forthcoming), constructs a classification of intertextuality as it pertains to protest songs and analyzes cases drawn from global movements as well as the Japanese antinuclear movement. 

I am co-editor of the Oxford Handbook of Protest Music (with Eric Drott, under contract), and Nuclear Music: Sonic Responses to War, Disaster, and Power (with Jessica Schwartz, under contract).

My article, "We Gon’ Be Alright? The Ambiguities of Kendrick Lamar’s Protest Anthem," on Music Theory Online 25.1, won the Outstanding Publications Award from the Society for Music Theory (SMT) and the Outstanding Publication Award from the Popular Music Interest Group of SMT. My video article, "Abe Road: Kuwata Keisuke's Beatles Parody" (SMT-V 8.1, 2022), which concerns linguistics as well as Japanese political expression, won the Public-Facing Scholarship Award from SMT in 2023. Other published articles and book chapters address music and the Japanese antinuclear movement; music reflecting the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki; the impact of the Japanese language on rap; the aesthetics of hip-hop DJs; the differences in the online radio markets in the United States and Japan; propaganda in Japanese children’s songs; and the interaction of text and music in the songs of Cuban singer-songwriter Silvio Rodríguez. My articles have appeared in Ethnomusicology, Popular Music, Music Theory Spectrum, Music Theory Online, SMT-V, Twentieth Century Music, Music and Politics, Asian Music, Latin American Music Review, Transcultural Music Review, two Oxford Handbooks, and several edited volumes. Ongoing projects include the development of Japanese children’s songs from the Meiji Era to the Allied Occupation; Japanese club musics (hip hop, reggae, techno) in transnational perspective, including production and reception in Japan, Jamaica, Brazil, and Europe. 

My research has been funded by the NEH Fellowship for Advanced Social Science Research on Japan, Kluge Fellowship, the Japan Foundation Fellowship, the SSRC/JSPS Fellowship, the Association for Asian Studies, Temple, Princeton, and CUNY.

I am the series editor for 33-1/3 Japan, a book series on Japanese popular music and an extension of the popular 33-1/3 series from Bloomsbury Publishing. I have served on the editorial or advisory boards of the journals, Journal of the American Musicological Society, Twentieth-Century Music, Music Analysis, and Music and Politics, and the book series, SOAS Musicology (Routledge) and Music and Politics (Routledge). I am a contributing editor for the Asia-Pacific Journal: Japan Focus. I have served as Chair of the Publication Awards Committee (2021) and as a member of the Program, Investment, and Race and Ethnicity Committees for the Society for Music Theory; Treasurer, Council Member, and Chair of the Investment Committee for the Society for Ethnomusicology; as the Finance Committee for the Association for Asian Studies; and Board of Trustees for the Society for Japanese Studies.

Noriko Manabe                                          www.norikomanabe.com          Contact info at norikomanabe dot com