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Editor’s Message

[1] As announced in the last issue, the ASCII version of MTO has been discontinued effective with this issue. The contents of the current issue provide a timely illustration of why that decision was made. This issue includes two articles, each dealing with issues of meter in a piano work by Bartók, and each using multimedia technology to illustrate the authors’ central argument. In a study of “Change of Time” from Mikrokosmos, Gretchen Horlacher argues for a processive approach to metrical hearing, in which our perception of meter in a passage with shifting accents evolves as the passage progresses.  This hearing process is illustrated using small Shockwave movies that show how in several passages metrical expectations are created and either confirmed or thwarted. John Roeder, analyzing “With Drums and Pipes” from Bartók’s Out of Doors suite, describes a different type of process found in passages of notated regular meter. Using QuickTime movies that combine scrolling, and in some cases color-coded, scores and MIDI performances that are in some cases aurally “annotated,” Roeder illustrates how polyphonic pulse streams are used to, among other things, contribute to formal structuring in the piece.

[2] Readers will need appropriate browser plugins to view the multimedia files accompanying these articles.  The plugins for Shockwave, QuickTime, and Adobe Acrobat are quite common, and are already installed on many readers' computers.  The Shockwave and QuickTime plugins are not available for Unix-based systems or Netscape 6, but are for Internet Explorer and earlier versions of Netscape for both Macintosh and Windows systems.  Links to the plugin vendors where the plugins can be installed are provided on the article pages.

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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