A Welcome from the Editor
Welcome to the first issue of Resonance: an interdisciplinary music journal. The mission of our journal is to explore and promote interdisciplinary discussion of musical topics and to strengthen partnerships in the greater academic community.
Necessity, as they say, is the mother of invention. My colleagues and I saw the need for a publication like Resonance. As graduate students, we are constantly reminded of how important it is to publish, yet few possibilities exist for graduate students to see their work in print. We also believe heartily that the future of the Academy lies in interdisciplinary studies. Many of our topics of research are interdisciplinary and some of the most exciting scholarly work being done today pairs traditional musicology with a vast array of disciplines, including acoustics, cinema studies, psychology, pedagogy, art history, medicine, literature and economics. We hope to provide a platform for the work of graduate students and publish discourse that will enrich the multifaceted state of musical scholarship. Furthermore, the multimedia capabilities of the online format allow us to include scores, clips of interviews, musical excerpts, and pictures.
We have selected two articles for our first issue. Jennifer Lynn Stoever, a Ph.D. candidate in the American Studies program at USC has written a fascinating article that “tells another story of hip hop in L.A. ” Stoever engages this alternate history of underground hip hop into a dialogue with the more well-known “Gangsta rap” genre. The piece is both a musical and sociological study and Stoever skillfully weaves the strands of these disciplines together. Stoever's article is further enhanced by audio clips of the standout songs she's chosen from her “top eight” underground albums.
The other article in our first issue is by Matthew Thomas, a graduate student in the Department of Music History and Literature at USC. Thomas has also written about an alternate history of sorts: the history of the preservation of Chechen folk music as an aspect of the Soviet Nativization policy under Stalin's regime. Thomas' discussion of three sources of Chechen-Ingushetian folk music illuminates Stalin's practice of systematically discouraging ethnic nationalism among the Chechen people through the suppression or westernization of their folk music. The article is also a reminder that history does not exist in a vacuum and that those who record history often control how future generations will perceive it.
Resonance: an interdisciplinary music journal is the home of the Digital Composer Archive. This project, an intersection of scholarship and its subject, is an attempt to create a living history of sorts. At the heart of this first entry in the Digital Composer Archive is an interview with Steven Gates, a doctoral student in composition at USC. The interview was conducted by Joanna Sisk-Purvis, a recent graduate from USC with a D.M.A. in flute performance. Sisk-Purvis' interview with Gates is a peek into the compositional process of one of USC's most promising talents. Gates speaks about his musical background, his main influences both at USC and elsewhere, and his future plans. Gates also discusses his collaborations with fellow students. This culture of collaboration is the genesis of the Digital Composer Archive, and embodies a snapshot of history once again from an alternate point of view.
It has been a wonderful experience working on this project over the last ten months. We have learned everything from the technology of web construction and design to the art of writing grant and budget proposals. This journey would not be possible without the support of the Graduate and Professional Student Senate, the Committee of Arts Deans, and the Information Services Division who provided the hardware and the know-how to help us get the project off the ground.
I hope that you enjoy our first issue.
Christine Lee Gengaro
Executive Editor, Resonance: an interdisciplinary music journal