Editor’s Message

Dear Esteemed MTO readers,

I am very pleased to announce the publication of MTO Volume 19.2 with six essays on improvisation, two feature articles (including a translation and commentary), two conference reports, and three book reviews.

A special note of appreciation before I introduce this issue in greater detail: MTO would not be here with its strong record of path-breaking, open-access research, and multimedia were it not for the remarkably prescient work of our founding editor, Lee Rothfarb. With full and unanimous support from the SMT Executive Board, we now list Professor Rothfarb as founding editor on the MTO masthead.

Since its early beginnings in 1993, MTO has published work at the forefront of the field while reaching out, proactively, to other disciplines and areas in music scholarship. Volume 19.2 continues this tradition with a collection of essays on improvisation from a wide-ranging and provocative AMS/SEM/SMT panel in New Orleans (fall 2012). August Sheehy and Paul Steinbeck contribute from the perspective of music theory, Julie Cumming and Roger Moseley from historical musicology, and Bruno Nettl and Laudan Nooshin from ethnomusicology. Sheehy and Steinbeck also provide an introduction to the essays, and George Lewis, whose distinguished work crosses many disciplinary boundaries, provides critical responses. (Lewis is editor, with Benjamin Piekut, of the forthcoming Oxford Handbook of Critical Improvisation Studies.) My thanks to Paul Steinbeck for helping to bring this collection of essays to MTO.

Our first feature article, a translation and commentary by Philip Ewell, also pushes beyond the typical discourses of Anglo-American music theory. Ewell translates “On the System of Stravinsky’s Harmony” by the eminent Russian theorist Yuri Kholopov. Ewell’s commentary, which follows after the translation, situates key terms in the broader context of Russian theory.

The second feature article, by Gregory McCandless, contributes to the rich field of popular music analysis with a study of rhythmic process in the music of Dream Theater. McCandless teases out a “progressive rock center” and “heavy metal periphery” in the music of this iconic progressive metal band; the article is “Metal as a Gradual Process: Additive Rhythmic Structures in the Music of Dream Theater.”

Our two conference reports will help readers keep abreast of new and emerging developments. Daniel Barolsky reports on the Performance Studies Network Second International Conference (April 2013), a conference that brought together performers, historians, ethnomusicologists, composers, cognitive scientists, . . . and music theorists (see Barolsky’s report for the full list!). John Koslovsky reports on the Fifth International Schenker Symposium (March 2013), with new research on the music of Brahms, theories of form, historical sources from the Schenker Documents Online project, and more.

The three succinct and timely book reviews also inform readers of new developments: Mark Gotham reviews The Geometry of Musical Rhythm: What Makes a “Good” Rhythm Good by Godfried Toussaint (CRC Press, 2013), Daniel Jenkins reviews Elliot Carter’s What Next?: Communication, Cooperation, and Separation by Guy Capuzzo (University of Rochester Press, 2012), and Rebecca Leydon reviews Debussy Redux: The Impact of his Music on Popular Culture by Matthew Brown (Indiana University Press, 2012).

My sincere thanks to Karen Bottge (associate editor) for working with me diligently and wisely on all aspects of MTO, to Steven Rings and Kyle Adams (book reviews editors) for bringing us timely, informative, and expertly edited reviews, to Brent Yorgason (managing editor) for his tireless work behind the scenes, to all members of the editorial board for their thorough and constructive reviews, and to the editorial assistants for their dedication, hard work, and attention to detail.

We would like to encourage new and creative submissions to MTO. Although we are especially well suited for the publication of articles that incorporate recordings, videos, and other media, we also welcome submissions in any number of formats, including full-length articles, shorter essays and commentaries, conference reports, and entire special volumes.

Comments in response to this issue’s articles may be submitted to the Editor for publication in the next issue. Also, please refer to our submission guidelines, if you are interested in submitting.

We host job listings and a dissertation index; please submit announcements for both to MTO.

All MTO volumes dating back to our first issue in 1993 can be accessed from the contents page at http://www.mtosmt.org/issues/issues.html. Thank you, as always, for your support of MTO - a Journal of the Society for Music Theory.