Editor’s Message

Dear MTO readers,

As we begin a new academic year in the crisp autumn air (depending on your location), we look forward to returning to classes, welcoming new students, reconnecting with colleagues, and of course, reading the September issue of Music Theory Online. Later in the season, many of us will convene at the annual meeting of the Society for Music Theory, held this year in St. Louis over the Halloween weekend (see https://societymusictheory.org/event/meeting2015/main). In anticipation of the date, we offer a performance of the second movement of Vivaldi’s “La notte” flute concerto, “Fantasmi” (“Ghosts”) in a dramatic interpretation by Red Priest that may resonate with your own experiences of novelty, experimentation, and/or frantic haste at the beginning of the semester.


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The current issue of MTO is a substantial one: ten articles presenting new research on diverse topics in music theory, analysis, and pedagogy, plus three book reviews. In addition, we are pleased to publish Lydia Goehr’s keynote address from the Society for Music Theory meeting in Milwaukee in November 2014, on the nature of preluding as preparation.

The current issue features three demonstrations of different music-theoretical paradigms. Emanuel Amiot and Gilles Baroin propose a four-dimensional model of pitch space, in which not only transposition and inversion but also M5 and M7 (pitch-class multiplication by fourth and fifth) are isometric groups; that these moves can be represented intuitively as continuous moves on a 4D hypersphere is illustrated by their animated visualizations. Stefan Love describes quadruple hypermetric cycles and categories of possible disruptions in the string-quartet minuet, as perceived by a hypothetical listener in late eighteenth-century Vienna. Andrew Pau explores conflicting textual and musical accents in nineteenth-century French opera as a marker of diegetic performance.

Two articles have a music-analytical focus, illuminating individual works. Jack Boss surveys the analytical controversies surrounding Schoenberg’s op. 11 no. 3, identifies large-scale motivic processes that create coherence within the work, and relates them to similar processes in op. 11 no. 1. Alan Howard examines the sources for Purcell’s second three-part Fantazia for evidence of the composer’s working method, and analyzes the music in light of contrapuntal practices of the time.

Musical embodiment is a primary concern in two articles in this issue. Mariusz Kozak assesses the role of embodied listening in music analysis, and offers sample analyses incorporating motion-capture graphs of listener gestures. Hamish Robb reflects on the interactions of real sound, musical embodiment, and imagined sound in performers and listeners, focusing on notions of fluidity in nineteenth-century piano music.

Three studies presented here have a primarily pedagogical focus; two of these investigate the compositional and improvisational applications of partimento patterns. Vasili Byros considers the potential role of the Langloz manuscript, a collection of German partimenti from J. S. Bach’s time, as a source of compositional inventions, and offers his own composition as a demonstration. Gilad Rabinovich and Johnandrew Slominski offer a pedagogical model of improvisation based on partimenti and galant schemata, and comment on a pilot study at the Eastman School of Music. Michael Callahan describes ways to integrate keyboard skills into theory and musicianship courses using digital keyboards and the SmartMusic software program.

Thanks to the efforts of our very fine reviews editors Kyle Adams and Heather Platt, we also present three book reviews in this issue. Timothy Chenette surveys the digital resource Johannes Tinctoris: Complete Theoretical Works, a collection of texts, translations, and commentaries assembled under the direction of Ronald Woodley. Akane Mori evaluates Maureen Carr’s recent book After the Rite: Stravinsky’s Path to Neoclassicism (1914–25), which traces the evolution of the composer’s compositional process through sketch studies. And Daphne Tan revisits Eric Clarke’s groundbreaking work Ways of Listening: An Ecological Approach to the Perception of Musical Meaning.

Please note that Frank Lehman has recently made minor revisions to two examples in his article “Hollywood Cadences: Music and the Structure of Cinematic Expectation” in MTO 19.4 (2013), Ex. 26 and Ex. 28.

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 text submissions in a variety of formats, including full-length articles, shorter essays and commentaries, conference reports, and entire special volumes. Commentaries in response to this issue’s articles, as well as announcements for our job listings and dissertation index, may be submitted to the Editor for publication in the next issue. Please refer to our submission guidelines.

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.

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