Society for Music Theory

Editor’s Message

Dear munificent readers of MTO,

After a particularly challenging winter, the first “ribbons” of spring inspire sighs of relief, songful utterance, and pollen-inspired sneezes. I would like to briefly celebrate this welcome warming of the weather in verse and prose, first drawing upon “Er ist’s,” Eduard Mörike’s well-loved poem:

Frühling läßt sein blaues Band
Wieder flattern durch die Lüfte;
Süße, wohlbekannte Düfte
Streifen ahnungsvoll das Land.

Veilchen träumen schon,
Wollen balde kommen.
Horch, von fern ein leiser Harfenton!
Frühling, ja du bist’s!
Dich hab’ ich vernommen.

Spring lets its blue ribbon
Flutter again in the breezes.
Sweet, familiar scents
Brush the countryside, full of promise.

Violets already dream,
Will soon arrive.
Hear from the distance a gentle harp tone!
Spring, yes it is you!
You have I heard.

So simple that it almost defies translation, Mörike’s poem cycles through the senses, painting the sweet anticipation of longing’s fulfillment in all its facets.

For the prose portion of this spring fête, I am delighted to offer volume 17.1 of MTO - a Journal of the Society for Music Theory. Dressed in new spring colors, this volume presents no fewer than eleven entries (eight articles, one commentary, and two reviews). From canons to implied polyphony and from Hensel to The Who, this volume will fill your musical senses with the diverse delights of its approaches to music.

Blue ribbons

Sean Atkinson’s “Canons, Augmentations, and Their Meaning in Two Works by Steve Reich” explores the extra-musical connotations of Reich’s canons as they “flutter” through Tehillim and Three Tales.

In her article, “Stream Segregation and Perceived Syncopation: Analyzing the Rhythmic Effects of Implied Polyphony in Bach’s Unaccompanied String Works,” Stacy Davis innovatively divides Bach’s implied polyphonic strands to demonstrate how their irregular accentuation patterns interact with the metric hierarchy.

Sweet, familiar scents

Melissa Hoag’s article, “Brahms’s “Great Tragic Opera”: Melodic Drama in “Ach, wende diesen Blick” (op. 57, no. 4),” examines various structural and motivic devices in Brahms’s familiar song, focusing on the notion of “melodic disjunction” as it shapes the unfolding drama.

Exploring the expressive role of triple hypermeter in music with text, Stephen Rodgers’ article, “Thinking (and Singing) in Threes: Triple Hypermeter and the Songs of Fanny Hensel” uses the sweet songs of Fanny Hensel as a case study.

Brush the countryside, full of promise

In their wide-ranging article, “Modes, the Height-Width Duality, and Handschin’s Tone Character,” David Clampitt and Thomas Noll extend mathematical scale theory to modes by using word theory to explore connections between scalar and folding (alternating perfect fifths and fourths) patterns. This exploration yields a two-dimensional model of modes in terms of pitch height and width.

Robert Peck’s “GAP Tutorial for Transformational Music Theory” introduces and explains a promising open-source software system called GAP, illustrating its application to transpositional and inversional operations, Klumpenhouwer networks, neo-Riemannian theory, and contextual transformations. The article also explores a number of relevant musical examples, suggesting additional applications for our readers to consider.

You have I heard

Patrick McCreless’s 2010 SMT keynote engages issues of Ownership, In Music and Music Theory. Even if you heard the address in Indianapolis, you will want to reconsider its thoughtful approach to issues in the field, while listening to the author’s analytical realizations at the piano.

Will soon arrive

David Temperley undertakes an examination and categorization of the cadential functions of IV in his article, “The Cadential IV in Rock,” drawing, in part, from an expansive statistical consideration of rock.

Hear from the distance a gentle harp tone!

In his commentary, “Models and Music Theory: Reconsidering David Lewin’s Graph of the 3-2 Cohn Cycle,” Michael Fitzpatrick recalls and compares two iconic models from music theory, evaluating the ability of Reed and Bain’s Tonnetz design and Lewin’s graphic network to depict Cohn’s sc 3-2 cycle.

Spring, yes it is you!!

Finally, be sure to prepare for the summer reading season by taking a look at the two book reviews: Mark Carlson’s examines Alexandra Pierce’s book, Deepening Musical Performance through Movement, while Patrick Tuck reviews Kent D. Cleland and Mary Dobrea-Grindahl’s Developing Musicianship Through Aural Skills: A Holistic Approach to Sight-Singing and Ear-Training.

As you may already have noticed, our 2011 surface look has been re-designed to graphically and thematically link with SMTT’s new homepage. In the background, we have moved MTO to a new domain, allowing us more flexibility and security. For all the work in these projects and in the extensive formatting challenges presented by the current volume, many thanks go to the people behind the scenes: Brent Yorgason (Marietta College), our managing editor, and all of our editorial assistants: Sean Atkinson (UT Arlington), John Reef (Indiana University), Emily Gertsch (FSU), David Easley (FSU), and Judith Ofcarcik (FSU).

Thanks also go to our editorial board, whose careful, constructive, and timely reading of submissions insures the cutting-edge quality that you have come to expect from MTO. The 2011 editorial board includes the following scholars: Nicole Biamonte (McGill University), Karen Bottge (University of Kentucky), Steven Brown (Northern Arizona University), Guy Capuzzo (UNC Greensboro), Mark Anson-Cartwright (Queens College, CUNY), Dora A. Hanninen (University of Maryland), Gary S. Karpinski (University of Massachusetts Amherst), Jonathan Kochavi (Swarthmore College), Catherine Losada (CCM, University of Cincinnati), Yonatan Malin (Wesleyan University), and Deborah Rifkin (Ithaca College).

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.

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.

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.