I am an ethnomusicologist and music theorist 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.


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

Society for Ethnomusicology 2020

Society for Music Theory 2020

McGill University Student Conference (keynote)


·       Society for Ethnomusicology
·       Society for Music Theory
·       Japan Association for the Study of Popular Music
·       Association for Asian Studies

Noriko Manabe

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