Editor’s Message

[1] The late Jonathan Kramer had a way of questioning things that one might have thought immutably true. In addition to his wit, generosity and patience, he is famous for problematizing the concept of musical unity, and for changing the way we as musicians conceive of time. If anyone has a good idea for how to get his The Time of Music back into print (used copies currently sell for between $400 and $800 on Amazon), please let me know.

[2] At the time we met, at a few conferences in the early 1990s, I couldn’t wrap my mind around some of the lessons that Kramer would deliver, so casually, almost as throw-away comments. For example, he was fond of saying that certain kinds of analysis had value because it got us away from just looking at marks in the score. This to me was baffling—wasn’t the score the analyst’s primary source? As such, shouldn’t it be in the forefront of all music analysis? What happens when you dethrone the score from its centrality in the whole enterprise? What manner of Ifrit does that let in the door? My young theorist’s mind boggled. (There is a delightful Kramer anecdote involving a live taping of Saturday Night Live that must be shared in person. Find me next year at SMT.)

[3] In any event, in our special double year-end issue of MTO, some of the authors examine scores, and some stray away from score-based thinking to take us other places. Clément Canonne examines the process of free improvisation as its practitioners conceive it. Making use of motion-capture technology, Caitlyn Trevor and David Huron examine the interplay of physicality and perceptions of musical performance. Edward Klorman’s study of music agency as conceived by eighteenth-century theorists, and as enacted by the Classical string quartet, bridges physicality and score-based thinking about music in a somewhat different manner. Allison Wente examines performance from a uniquely inhuman (and multi-disciplinary) point of view.

[4] More score-based (and quite provocative) analyses are on offer from Denis Collins (J.S. Bach’s Art of Fugue), Crystal Peebles (Bach’s Partita no. 1 for solo violin), and Paul Sherrill (Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro). They serve to illustrate that score study, particularly when joined to deep listening and an eclectic array of methodologies, remains essential.

[5] We are also pleased to present a special collection of papers from EuroMAC 2014. They explore a variety of recent European theoretical approaches to tonal music, interpreted in its broadest sense—the repertoires engaged extend from Renaissance polyphony to Webern. Christophe Guillotel-Nothmann, Thomas Noll, Karst De Jong, Nicholas Meeùs, Ariane Jessulat, Hugues Seress, Jan Philip Sprick, and Michael Polth are the authors. Former MTO editorial board member David Neumeyer returned to guest edit this panel. His essay “Schoenberg at the Movies: Dodecaphony and Film” was the featured article in the very first issue of Music Theory Online in 1993. We are grateful and pleased for his work on this issue.

[6] A book review by Aleksandra Drozzina of Schnittke Studies, edited by Gavin Dixon, rounds out the issue. We also welcome aboard a new associate editor, Bryn Hughes of the University of Lethbridge, Alberta. His expertise in music perception and cognition, popular music, and music theory pedagogy provide a valuable addition to our current editorial skill set.

[7] Looking ahead, Music Theory Online has implemented a new online submission system. Managing editor Brent Yorgason has created a custom interface using the open-source platform OJS (Open Journal Systems). Beginning in January 2019 all submissions to MTO will need to be made through this interface. We will also begin using OJS to solicit reviews of submissions. If you receive a request to review an article, essay, book review, or commentary, instructions will be included for response.

[8] As always, we encourage submissions in formats both tried and true and new and creative, and approaches both score-centric and score-free. Our main criterion is conversation: does your work engage in fruitful dialogue with the work and music of others? 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.

[9] 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 Music Theory Online—a Journal of the Society for Music Theory.

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