Society for Music Theory

Editor’s Message

Greetings gentle readers of MTO,

It is with great pleasure that, on the eve of our meetings in Montreal, I introduce volume 15.5 of MTO - a Journal of the Society for Music Theory. This volume includes six impressive works of scholarship, each focusing on some aspect of music in the past century: four articles, one essay, and one review. Many of these items take advantage of MTO’s unique multi-media capabilities.

Before I introduce the new volume in greater detail, I would like to take a moment to thank the four members of our editorial board who have finished their terms this year: Nora Engebretsen, Joel Galand, Kevin Korsyn, and Scott Murphy. It has been a true pleasure working with them and, in this banner year for submissions, I have had ample opportunity to admire their individual intellects and strong commitments to the work of music theory. I hope that you will all join me in thanking them for their hard work and service to the society. I will introduce the four new members of the editorial board in the next volume, although I can promise that they are already hard at work reviewing first-rate research for next year’s volumes. On another note, the next volume will incorporate a number of new design features, so stay on the lookout!

In his article, “On the Metrical Techniques of Flow in Rap Music,” Kyle Adams expands his previous work on rap (found in volumes 14.2 and 15.2 of MTO), exploring the concept of “flow” as it contributes to surface-level rhythmic activity and deeper levels of musical meaning.

Michael Berry’s article, “The Importance of Bodily Gesture in Sofia Gubaidulina’s Music for Low Strings,” explores the increased attention that recent composers have paid to the role of the body in musical performance, focusing, through videos and prose, on the music of Sofia Gubaidulina.

The cognitive evaluation of trichord classes as well as degrees of perceived dissonance is the subject of Tuire Kuusi’s article, “Discrimination and Evaluation of Trichords.”

In his article, “Birdcage Flights: A Perspective on Inter-Cardinality Voice Leading,” Joti Rockwell uses a matrix to account for parsimonious voice-leading connections between trichords and tetrachords, modeling the relations with fascinating “birdcage” graphs.

Don Traut’s essay, “Dyadic TC Lattices: Revisiting the TC/IS Relationship” provides a succinct study of Richard Cohn’s transpositional combination, using lattices to explore how dyadic TC generates noteworthy set classes with the TC property.

Finally, Daniel Shanahan provides an intriguing review of Aniruddh D. Patel’s 2008 book, Music, Language, and the Brain.

As always, we would like to encourage new and creative submissions to MTO. Although we are uniquely 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 commentaries, and entire special volumes. We are also developing a new feature, “analytical essays,” which would include brief, but high quality, analyses of single works, using appropriately targeted media.

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 new submission guidelines, if you are interested in submitting.

As always, we would like to take a moment to recognize the indefatigable work of Brent Yorgason, our managing editor, and all of our editorial assistants, Sean Atkinson (UT Arlington), William Guerin (Indiana University), Mitch Ohriner (Indiana University), Crystal Peebles (Florida State University), Sarah Sarver (Florida State University), and Jennie Smith (Florida State University).

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 online.

All MTO volumes dating back to our first issue in 1993 can be accessed from the contents page at Thank you, as always, for your support of MTO - a Journal of the Society for Music Theory.

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