Nina Sun Eidsheim's The Race of Sound compels us to pause in order to listen to how we listen. Aiming to raise “awareness of timbral discrimination,” The Race of Sound asserts that we have been entrained and socialized to hear difference based on essentialist notions of racial identity expression. Eidsheim writes, “We are conditioned to hear what we listen for and to assume that what we hear is indisputable, and this conditioning acts like planted evidence” (50).

The Race of Sound opens with a convincing critique of the question often posed when one listens to a human voice: Who is this? This question, what Eidsheim terms the acousmatic question (after Pierre...

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