i agree with Jason Yust that American academic music theory is structurally racist—both in overemphasizing a white, European, and notated canon (Figure 1) and in according undue prominence to functional-harmonic conventions.1 I also agree that the term post-tonal is irredeemable, plainly suggesting that tonality is a thing of the past. But where Yust rejects the word tonality altogether, I think the problem lies in the combination with the prefix post-.

I will explore this point by considering four arguments found in Yust's essay: that the word tonality is useless, that the word is manifestly racist, that the word confuses two kinds of meaning, and that the word was invented by a racist. In each case I will say why I believe tonality can still be used in an ethical and intellectually responsible fashion. Readers who disagree are welcome to avoid it; in my opinion, tonality is...

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