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Editor’s Message

[1] Identifying some distinctive element in a musical work and tracing its use in that work is a common analytic activity.  In this issue's article, David Huron counsels caution when making a claim of distinctiveness, because sometimes those supposedly distinctive elements aren’t as uniquely characteristic of a work as we may presume.  Huron’s article introduces a “theory of musical features” to provide a framework for developing and evaluating the distinctiveness of the characteristics around which our analyses are based.

[2] Also in this issue, we are pleased to resume the review of recent books.  Jonathan Walker casts an appreciative glance at the 2000 Cambridge University Press book by Adam Krims, Rap Music and the Poetics of Identity.  Walker’s review includes a helpful overview of the cultural and musical circumstances that preceded the emergence of hip-hop music.

[3] Reactions to Huron’s article or Walker’s review can be shared in two ways. The mto-talk email list is available to MTO subscribers (subscription is free) for online discussion of any MTO-related topic. (This link will help you determine if you are a subscriber.)  To post to mto-talk, simply send an email message to Longer responses may be submitted for publication in the Commentary section of the next issue. These should be formatted and submitted by September 10 according to MTO’s Author Guidelines.

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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