Society for Music Theory

Editor’s Message
Dear gentle readers of MTO,

Now that the Vancouver Olympics have reached their climactic completion, many of you are looking elsewhere for inspiration. Whether seeking sanctuary from the winter weather, or dallying on the dunes during a well-deserved spring holiday, I know that everyone will find something edifying and engaging in volume 16.1 of MTO - a Journal of the Society for Music Theory.

From dissonant unisons to staircase models to the goblins of contingency, this volume’s eight entries (five articles, one essay, one commentary, and one review) address a surprising array of topics. Most of these items take advantage of MTO’s unique multi-media capabilities. In addition, this volume introduces a substantial change on the face of MTO.

Our new look has been designed to graphically and thematically link with SMT’s homepage. Many other features have been enhanced in the overhaul, the most reader-friendly of which is the introduction of titling for the endnotes. Rather than clicking on the endnote references, simply allow your cursor to linger for a moment on the reference numbers; what pops up at that point will surprise and delight! I will leave it to you to discover the additional little treats on your own. You might also notice that the announcements, job listings, and dissertations have been taken off the homepage, but a quick click in the left-hand menu will take you to these trusty reference points.

Before I introduce the specific contents of volume 16.1 in detail, I would like to take a moment to introduce the newest members of the editorial board: Mark Anson-Cartwright (Queens College, CUNY), Karen Bottge (University of Kentucky), Jonathan Kochavi (Swarthmore College), Yonatan Malin (Wesleyan University), Deborah Rifkin (Ithaca College), and Steven Rings (University of Chicago). I can assure you that they are already hard at work reviewing first-rate research for this year’s volumes. I would also like to take this opportunity to express gratitude to Sean Atkinson, who played a leading role in the new MTO design, and Brent Yorgason, who, in addition to his role as managing editor, acted as programming and troubleshooting guru during three eventful months of design, redesign, re-redesign, server hacks, and more. Finally, a special thanks to Dave Headlam, whose role as the intrepid chair of the networking committee has engulfed him in an epic battle with the forces of technology. Although there are many more to thank (see below), I will not try your patience any longer. Here are the intriguing contents of volume 16.1:

In his article, “Pedagogical Applications of the Video Game Dance Dance Revolution to Aural Skills Instruction,” Brent Auerbach discusses how this popular video game may be fruitfully incorporated into the undergraduate aural skills classroom.

Jill Brasky’s article, “Extraordinary Function and the Half-Diminished Seventh in the Song of the Wood Dove,” considers the half-diminished seventh as it informs and structures “Tauben von Gurre!” from Arnold Schoenberg’s Gurrelieder.

Tim Cutler’s essay, “Cryptic Audiodiversity and the Dissonant Perfect Unison,” undertakes a brief examination of musical genetics, particularly in regards to a species of dissonant perfect unison whose behavior can be unpredictable.

Models of harmonic activity and their manifestations in Björk’s 2004 all-vocal album Medúlla are the focus of Victoria Malawey’s article, “Harmonic Stasis and Oscillation in Björk’s Medúlla.”

Ed Martin discusses the chaconne-like organization of dodecaphonic chords in Magnus Lindberg’s Twine (1988) for solo piano. Martin’s article is entitled: “Harmonic Progression in Magnus Lindberg’s Twine.”

Susan McClary’s impressive 2009 SMT keynote address (Montreal meeting) can also be read in volume 16.1: “In Praise of Contingency: The Powers and Limits of Theory.”

Dmitri Tymoczko’s “Geometrical Methods in Recent Music Theory” provides thoughtful commentary inspired by Joti Rockwell’s recent article, “Birdcage Flights: A Perspective on Inter-Cardinality Voice Leading” (MTO 15.5, 2009).

Finally, Ken Stephenson provides a useful review of Kevin Holm-Hudson’s 2008 book, Genesis and “The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway.”

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 mentioned before, we are grateful for the indefatigable work of the many people behind the scenes at MTO: Brent Yorgason, our managing editor; and all of our editorial assistants, Sean Atkinson (UT Arlington), William Guerin (Indiana University), Mitch Ohriner (Indiana University), Sarah Sarver (Florida State University), Fabrice Curtis (Florida State University), Gregory Decker (Florida State University), David Easley (Florida State University), Chelsey Hamm (Florida State University), Andrew Gades (Florida State University), Gregory McCandless (Florida State University), Judith Ofcarcik (Florida State University), Crystal Peebles (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.