Editor's Message

Thanks, Lee

Succeeding the founder of anything is cause for apprehension.  This is certainly the case with Music Theory Online.  This journal began with Lee Rothfarb's vision that the electronic media are here to stay, and that an electronic journal could fill a special place in the discipline of music theory.  Almost single-handedly, Lee got a trial run of the journal approved; drafted a strong editorial board, a distinguished roster of consulting editors, and a broad panel of international correspondents; set up and maintained a file server; devised file formats, templates, procedures; and wrote numerous documents to help authors brave the new world of electronic publishing.  He adapted quickly to the explosive growth of the World-Wide Web, and has facilitated the incorporation of new technologies whenever appropriate.  And he published--on time--on a vigorous six-issue-a-year schedule.

Music Theory Online has been successful from the start because of Lee's singular commitment and dogged determination.  Lee has been most helpful and gracious in facilitating the transition to a new editor.  Fortunately, Lee has agreed to continue serving as System Administrator for Boethius, the SMT file server, which is also the home of MTO.   The Society and members of the broader discipline are deeply indebted and grateful to you, Lee, for your dedication and hard work.


I am pleased to announce that Lawrence Zbikowski of the University of Chicago has been appointed new member of the MTO Editorial Board.  He replaces Justin London who has very ably served on the Board since the inception of the journal.  Prof. Zbikowski joins Henry Klumpenhouwer and Catherine Nolan.  I also look forward to working with the other continuing members of the MTO team, Robert Gjerdingen, Reviews Editor; Jay Rahn, mto-talk Manager; and Ichiro Fujinaga, MTO Manager.  I am also indebted to Cindy Nicholson and Jon Koriagin, students at the University of California at Santa Barbara, who have generously agreed to continue helping with the production of MTO while I train a staff of local students.

The Present and Future of MTO

My first task as Editor was to redesign the MTO web site, which over the years had grown unwieldy to navigate.  Plans are underway to provide updated guides for authors, including new aids for those unsure about how to create an electronic version of a paper.  A number of cosmetic changes in the journal itself are implemented with this issue.  Comments and suggestions for further improvements are welcome at any time.  Because of the transition and time spent reorganizing the web pages, this issue is being released about two weeks late.  I expect MTO will continue publishing on-time publication from now on (the 20th of each odd month).

A survey in the last issue gathered information on how people access MTO.   More and more subscribers are using the web to access MTO.  It seems clear that at some point MTO will be published only in HTML (World-Wide Web) format, because producing producing parallel ASCII and HTML versions takes substantial additional time and restricts some of the kinds of content that MTO can publish.  Based on the survey results, however, the SMT Publications Committee has recommended continuing the ASCII version for now, and to evaluate the situation again in a year.

Finally, allow me to encourage all members of the discipline to consider submitting current work to MTO.  The MTO readership is large and international in scope.   The review process is fast, usually 4-6 weeks, so time to publication can be a matter of months.  Although MTO is an ideal forum for research whose presentation would benefit from multimedia presentation, it will always support "traditional" scholarship as well.

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Eric J. Isaacson, General Editor
Music Theory Online
School of Music
Indiana University
Bloomington, IN 47405

voice: (812) 855-0296 (with voice mail)
fax: (812) 855-4936

Updated 03 July 2013
Brent Yorgason