Society for Music Theory

Editor’s Message

I am delighted to announce that Matthew Shaftel from Florida State University has been appointed incoming editor of Music Theory Online. The new MTO volume 14.1 marks the beginning of our collaboration, as we serve together as co-editors through 2008. At this time, we also welcome new Editorial Board members, Matthew Butterfield, Peter Martens, and Shaugn O'Donnell and thank our departing board members, Rebecca Leydon and Richard Parncutt.

Volume 14.1 features three articles, three commentary essays, and three reviews:

Golan Gur explores Mark Johnson’s theory of embodied meaning and its application to eighteenth-century harmonic theory in “Body, Forces, and Paths: Metaphor and Embodiment in Jean-Philippe Rameau’s Conceptualization of Tonal Space.”

Felix F. Diergarten considers Haydn’s compositional practice in the context of 18th-century theory and aesthetics in “‘At times even Homer nods off’: Heinrich Christoph Koch’s Polemic against Joseph Haydn.” The article identifies, for the first time, Haydn’s Symphony No. 60 (“Il distratto”) as the subject of criticism in the introduction to the second volume of Koch’s Versuch einer Anleitung zur Komposition (1787).

In “Common-Tone Tonality in Italian Romantic Opera:  An Introduction,” William Rothstein argues for the historical and theoretical importance of Italian operatic repertoire within the larger corpus of nineteenth-century music. Through analysis of music by Rossini, Bellini, Verdi, and others, he shows that compositional techniques usually associated with German Romantic music, such as tonal pairing and the frequent use of chromatic mediants, may have originated in Italian opera.

Michael Buchler provides his rejoinder, “Reconsidering Klumpenhouwer Networks One More Time: A Response to Eight Responses,” in answer to the writings from Gretchen Foley, Henry Klumpenhouwer, Catherine Losada, Scott Murphy, Catherine Nolan, Shaugn O'Donnell, Philip Stoecker, and Dmitri Tymoczko that appeared in MTO 13.3 following Michael’s MTO 13.2 article, “Reconsidering Klumpenhouwer Networks.”

Roger M. Grant continues the K-net debate in his commentary, “Hysteria at the Musical Surface.”

Eric Wen comments on Samuel Ng’s review of Peter H. Smith’s  Expressive Forms in Brahms's Instrumental Music: Structure and Meaning in His Werther Quartet in MTO 13.4.

David B. Easley reviews Motives for Allusion: Context and Content in Nineteenth-Century Music by Christopher Alan Reynolds (Harvard University Press, 2003).

David Nicholls reviews Ruth Crawford Seeger’s Worlds: Innovation and Tradition in Twentieth-Century American Music edited by Ray Allen and Ellie M. Hisama (University of Rochester Press, 2007).

Jonathan Pieslak reviews Kevin Korsyn’s  Decentering Music: A Critique of Contemporary Musical Research  (Oxford University Press, 2003).

Submissions to MTO are welcome at any time. We invite full-length articles, shorter commentaries, and innovative electronic formats. Comments in response to this issue’s articles may be submitted to the Editor for publication in the next issue.

Our dynamic listings for job announcements, upcoming conferences, calls for papers, new dissertations, and new books are updated automatically as soon as we receive and approve any new listing. Readers can check the MTO listings at any time to find current information on recent announcements. We also have links for submitting announcements and welcome new listings to keep our postings current.

All MTO volumes dating back to our first issue in 1993 can be accessed from the contents page at

Thank you for your support of MTO!

Matthew Shaftel      
Music Theory Online
Florida State University
College of Music
Tallahassee, FL 32306