Welcome from the Editor

Welcome to the second issue of ECHO: a music-centered journal. In the months since we first created this forum, we have continued to wrestle with the questions that hypertext poses, and have learnt from the successes and shortcomings of our first issue. Publishing online challenges our conceptions of how information and analysis are presented and understood: Does a linear argument depend upon the format of the traditional printed page? Must web-based journals be bound to a structure of pages read from top to bottom?

Musicologists have long cringed in response to the witticism that "writing about music is like dancing about architecture." The best retort to this quip might be: "And why is the idea of dancing about architecture so implausible?", but it does rather pointedly identify the central problem facing musicology as a humanities discipline. To be candid, it is very difficult to write about what music sounds like without relying on technical language and notation systems that are inaccessible—even alienating—to many cross-disciplinary readers. Music scholarship above all can profit from online publishing, to say nothing of other disciplines such as performance studies and media studies (to name only two). With the technologies of the Internet, we are able at last to provide sound and film clips integrated into our writing, expanding (it is hoped) discussion about music and how it works in society.

But our goal is to provide an interactive publication that is more than an online version of a traditional paper journal with added sound clips. The writings in this issue address topics as yet little-discussed in music studies, or illuminate familiar subjects in new ways. A theme of modern urban experience prevails, whether in Robert Fink's work on the music of corporate culture, Ivan Raykoff's discussion of how Romantic piano concerti function in Hollywood films, Billy Higgins's reflections on jazz in various Los Angeles communities, or Elizabeth Wells's exploration of Hispanic (American) musical identity in West Side Story. All of these articles engage readers with sound and film clips as well as links to sites outside our journal.

As always, our thanks are due to our advisory board and the personnel of the Department of Musicology and Center for Digital Arts at UCLA — we continue to learn from their work. This is an exciting time to be taking part in intellectual discourse, as we explore different directions and strategies. Online publishing is still very much in a state of flux as readers and writers both in and outside the academy unshackle themselves from the fetters of the printed page and emerge, blinking timidly, into the glare of the World Wide Web. With the expressive possibilities of hypertext, perhaps we can, in fact, find ways to dance about architecture.

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