Danielle Sofer












"Unsung Stories: Women at Columbia's Computer Music Center"

Podcast, Concert, & Conference

Listen to my interview with composer Alice Shields, former Associate Director of the Columbia-Princeton Electronic Music Center


"Information Overload? Music Studies in the Age of Abundance"















Keynote Speakers 

Robin James (University of North Carolina at Charlotte)

Nick Seaver (Tufts University) 

media scholar,
music theorist, 
invested in intercultural
ethics and sociotechnical


"Categorising Electronic Music" investigates how anti-Black racial biases become automated through music database curation and categorisation. Performing a search for electronic music sources in different music databases, I expose an apparent racial homogeny within sources containing the term ‘electroacoustic’. In multiple databases, results returning for the search term ‘electroacoustic’ comprise literature written primarily by white men on music composed primarily by white men. Searching the most widely used scholarly musical database Répertoire International de Littérature Musicale Abstracts of Musical Literature (1967–present only)—or RILMone of the earliest records to return for the search ‘Black’ AND ‘electronic’ deals, unsurprisingly, with hip hop. Yet the earliest entry to return using the search term ‘hip hop’ comes from electroacoustic forefather Pierre Schaeffer from 1952. Why? The answer lies not only in how the record has been categorised—but by and for whom. I expose the "coincidence" of the white, the male, and the electroacoustic in database search results to argue that, more than mere coincidence, electroacoustic music’s whiteness is a mainstay of decisive and strategic gatekeeping. Link

"Specters of Sex" offers a critical overview of sexual discourses in music theory, analytical strategies that, when collected together, illuminate how a social epistemology has emerged in the last thirty years. People and not works are responsible for music’s interpretation. But does this mean theorists are entitled to disagree with composers’ own words about their music? If so, to what extent? I show how “queering” can exclude actual queer folk and how music theory dealing with Black music that does not actually center Black scholars replicates music theory's white racial framing.


Books in Progress

Musicians, composers, music scholars, and listeners of all walks are as accountable as any specialist for using technology responsibly. Look out for my forthcoming books on this theme

Making Sex Sound: Vectors of Difference in Electronic Music (MIT Press 2022) is the first book to explore sexuality in electronic music

Made for Me: Sociotechnical Bias in Music Creation, Curation, and Research centres around intercultural ethics, sociotechnical bias and inclusion in music. The book explores the many ways (un)conscious biases regarding gender, race, and physical ability become embedded in and tacitly reinforced by the hardware, software, and algorithmic design employed toward musical ends during the recent period anticipating the Fourth Industrial Revolution


Department of Music

Maynooth University


Hebrew Tutor Supervisor and fifth grade instructor at Temple Beth El in Madison, Wisconsin

Piano instructor for students of all ages, classical, jazz, and popular, at the Community School for Music and Arts (CSMA), Ithaca, New York.

​University Assistant in the Institute for Music Aesthetics at the University of Music and Performing Arts Graz (KUG)

Executive Director

LGBTQ+ Music Study Group


This site was designed with the
website builder. Create your website today.
Start Now