Editor’s Message

Dear MTO Readers,

I hereby deliver to you the latest issue of Music Theory Online, volume 20.1. This issue is dedicated to new musical and scholarly resources—with a feature article on Mande drumming, a symposium on the work of Conlon Nancarrow, a collection of essays on the history and future of MTO, and reviews of books by William Caplin, Paolo Susanni and Elliott Antokoletz, and Jürgen Hocker. Read and enjoy! But first, here are a few more details:

Henry Cowell’s treatise New Musical Resources (1930) inspired a remarkable body of experimental work by Conlon Nancarrow, and here we feature a Nancarrow Symposium with articles on the editing, performance, analysis, and arrangement of his Studies for Player Piano:

Robert Willey also provides an Introduction to the symposium and a review of Jürgen Hocker’s book on Nancarrow (see below), and Kyle Gann contributes a Keynote with reflections on Nancarrow’s life and work. My sincere thanks to Robert Willey for bringing this collection of articles to MTO.

Our feature article emerged from a 2010 colloquy between Justin London and Rainer Polak in the pages of MTO (volume 16.4). Polak and London’s new joint article “Timing and Meter in Mande Drumming from Mali” is a tour de force with perspectives from ethnomusicology, comparative musicology, music theory, and music psychology.

MTO has played a pivotal role in the history of the discipline over the past twenty-two years (since volume 0.1), pioneering new technologies and modes of inquiry in an open access format. Here we feature five essays on the history and future of MTO with contributions from all four prior editors and an additional scholar. Lee Rothfarb, founding editor, describes the early history and its contexts (“Early History”); Eric Isaacson explores MTO’s adoption of new technologies through the years (“MTO at the Leading Edge”); Timothy Koozin surveys methodologies, design, and disciplinary identities in MTO (“Evolving Content and Design”); and Matthew Shaftel explores trends in topics and demographics, drawing on Google analytics and MTO publication reports (“Demographics, Analytics, and Trends: The Shifting Sands of an Online Engagement with Music Theory”). The concluding essay, by Kris Shaffer, presents emerging methods of open peer review and considers their potential for music theorists (“A Proposal for Open Peer Review”).

Finally, I am pleased to present three book reviews with thanks to our esteemed reviews editors Kyle Adams and Heather Platt:

My sincere thanks to Karen Bottge (associate editor) for working with me diligently and wisely on all aspects of MTO. My thanks also to Brent Yorgason (managing editor) for his tireless work behind the scenes, to all editorial board members for their thorough and constructive reviews, and to the editorial assistants for their dedication, hard work, and attention to detail.

We would like to encourage new and creative submissions to MTO. Although we are especially well 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 essays and commentaries, conference reports, 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 submission guidelines, if you are interested in submitting.

We host job listings and a dissertation index; please submit announcements for both to MTO.

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