I am a music theorist and ethnomusicologist whose publications focus on two intersecting areas: 1) music and politics, particularly as it relates to social movements and war trauma; and 2) popular music in global context, exploring social and aesthetic processes of globalization and identity formation. My publications address intertextuality, musical metaphor, cyberspace, urban soundscapes, popular music analysis, the interaction of linguistics and music, and the music industry, particularly as it relates to hip hop, Japanese music, and Cuban music. Combining ethnography with music theory, I develop frameworks drawn from linguistics, political science, urban studies, literary studies, and financial analysis. I am the editor of a book series on Japanese popular music and co-editor of the Oxford Handbook of Protest Music.


Recent research topics include:

  • Urban space and its interaction with street performance and protests

  • Types of intertextuality in protest music and their relation to sociopolitical circumstances

  • The constraints placed on Japanese musicians and the roles they take in the antinuclear movement

  • Interaction of phonetics and meter with meaning in African American hip hop and Japanese rock

  • Japanese identity as expressed by popular musicians outside Japan

  • Musical commemoration of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki


CUNY Graduate Center,  Ph.D., Ethnomusicology and Music Theory

Stanford University, MBA, Graduate School of Business.

Yale University, BA, Mathematics and Music (two majors)


A more complete list is available at

Google Scholar



The Revolution Will Not Be Televised: Protest Music after Fukushima. Oxford University Press .


Edited books

Series editor, 33-1/3 Japan book series.

2017    Supercell ft. Hatsune Miku by Keisuke Yamada

2017    Yoko Kanno’s Cowboy Bebop by Rose Bridges

2018    Perfume’s GAME by Patrick St. Michel

2019    AKB48, by Patrick Galbraith and Jason Karlin

2019    Cornelius’s Fantasma by Martin Roberts

2020    Joe Hisaishi’s Music for My Neighbor Totoro, by Kunio Hara


Peer-reviewed journal articles (selected; see full list on Google Scholar or Academia.edu 

2019    “We Gon’ Be Alright? The Ambiguities of Kendrick Lamar’s Protest Anthem.” In “Forum on Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp a Butterfly.Music Theory Online 25/1 (May). http://mtosmt.org/issues/mto.19.25.1/mto.19.25.1.manabe.html.


2019    “Chants of the Resistance: Flow, Memory, and Inclusivity.” In “Forum on Sound in the Women’s March and Beyond.” Music and Politics 13/1 (Winter).             http://dx.doi.org/10.3998/mp.9460447.0013.105.


2013    “Music in Japanese Antinuclear Demonstrations: The Evolution of a Contentious Performance  Model.” The Asia-Pacific Journal, 11/42 (October 21).



2013    “Representing Japan: ‘National’ Style Among Hip-Hop DJs.” Popular Music 32/1: 35–50.  https://www.jstor.org/stable/23359880.


2006    “Globalization and Japanese Creativity: Adaptation of Japanese Language to Rap.” Ethnomusicology 50/1 (Winter): 1–36. https://www.jstor.org/stable/20174422.

Blog Posts



    Monograph: Revolution Remixed: Intertextuality in Protest Music. Forthcoming.

    Edited volume: Oxford Handbook of Protest Music, co-edited with Eric Drott. Forthcoming.

    Edited volume: Nuclear Music: Sonic Responses to War, Disaster, and Power, co-edited with Jessica Schwartz. Forthcoming.

    Blog on protest sounds


    Japanese club musics

    Japanese popular musicians in Europe and Brazil

    Japanese children’s songs

    33-1/3 Japan, series editor, book series


    Rock and hip hop in Japanese language

    Comparative studies of hip hop in multiple languages

    Analysis of hip hop

    Upcoming Talks and Conferences

    For 2024:

    University of Buffalo

    For 2023:

    Universidad de Playa Ancha, Valparaiso, Chile

    Society for Music Theory, Peer Learning Program

    Queens University, Belfast

    Past talks, 2023: 

    IASPM International

    University of North Texas, Music Department Colloquium

    Association for Asian Studies conference

    Portland State University, Center for Japanese Studies

    Wesleyan University, East Asian Studies

    University of Colorado-Boulder, Anthropology

    Music Culture in the Age of Streaming, University of Leeds

    Florida State University, Keynote, Music Theory Forum.



    Society for Ethnomusicology (past Treasurer, Board, Council)

    Society for Music Theory (past chair, Publication Awards Committee)

    Association for Asian Studies (Finance Committee)

    Japan Association for the Study of Popular Music

    Society for Japanese Studies (Board of Trustees)

    Noriko Manabe

    Profile picture of Noriko Manabe


    Active 2 months ago