Editor’s Message

Dear MTO Readers,

Pupil: “Good morning Maestro.”
Master: “Good morning, did you sleep well?”

So begins a dialogue between master and student in a short film, set in Venice 1615, to be found in our new issue of MTO! It gives me great pleasure to announce this second issue of the year, MTO volume 20.2. Bookmark it now, read it at your leisure, share articles with colleagues and students, build it into your course reading lists for next year, and let it inspire and inform new and ongoing research!

The film in question is a staged dialogue with Massimiliano Guido as the pupil and Peter Schubert as the master, exploring a set of “cadences” from Diruta’s Il Transilvano of 1609. The master (Schubert) reveals to the pupil (Guido) that each of the cadences is like a treasure chest, a box of melodies that can be unpacked to make ricercare. Watch and enjoy: “Unpacking the Box in Frescobaldi’s Ricercari of 1615” by Massimiliano Guido and Peter Schubert.

History of theory is also the topic in Jonathan Wild’s “Genus, Species and Mode in Vicentino’s 31-tone Compositional Theory.” Wild explores pitch structures in Vicentino’s 1555 treatise L’Antica musica ridotta alla moderna prattica, and he provides audio illustrations of Vicentino’s remarkable tunings with specially recorded performances, retuned in post-production.

We continue to explore new modes of presentation with our authors! The Guido/Schubert film is one instance; another is a pair of text and visual essays by Dora Hanninen, “Asking queStions / maKing musIc: listeniNg, analysis, and caGe.” “Asking Questions” contemplates problems that arise with the analysis of music by Cage; “Making Music” explores a passage from the Etudes Australes in performances by Grete Sultan and Sabine Liebner. Slides with both essays serve as an aesthetic component, another voice in dialogue with the text.

Three articles in this issue present new and radically different approaches to twentieth-century repertoires. Bryan Christian provides the first truly rigorous account of Claude Vivier’s use of combination tones; Christian’s article is “Combination-Tone Class Sets and Redefining the Role of les Couleurs in Claude Vivier’s Bouchara.” Joseph Straus investigates “Total Voice Leading,” in which every note in Chord X may move to every note in chord Y, and Straus applies the concept of total voice leading to works by Bartók, Stravinsky, Varèse, Crawford, and Schoenberg. Michael Trinastic is the first to open French-American composer Dane Rudhyar’s music to nuanced and rigorous analysis. As Trinastic observes, historians have increasingly acknowledged Rudhyar’s importance in the development of American music, but analysis has been slow to follow. Trinastic’s article is “Dissonant Harmony and ‘Seed-Tones’: Organicism in the Piano Music of Dane Rudhyar.”

Nicole Biamonte combines theory, close analysis, and corpus studies in her article “Formal Functions of Metric Dissonance in Rock Music.” The corpora are large! They include collections of songs by The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, Radiohead, and Tool.

Finally, I am pleased to present a book review and conference report, with thanks to our reviews editors Kyle Adams and Heather Platt:

I am very grateful to Karen Bottge (associate editor) for working with me diligently and wisely on all aspects of MTO. My thanks also to Brent Yorgason (managing editor) for his tireless work behind the scenes, to all editorial board members 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.