Welcome to ECHO.
We are excited to present our first issue as editors of ECHO. At the same time, we must bid farewell to the previous editors, Cecilia Sun and Maria Cizmic. ECHO flourished under their leadership, and we owe them much gratitude for their work and vision in making the journal what it is. We hope we can continue at the level of quality they established, and we think this issue will start us off on the right foot.
We are thus proud to present two articles, both dealing with technology and capitalism: Timothy D. Taylor’s “Music and Advertising in Early Radio” and Dale Chapman’s “ ‘Hermeneutics of Suspicion’: Paranoia and the Technological Sublime in Drum and Bass Music.”
In his article, Timothy Taylor discusses the role music played in radio shows of the 1920s and 30s. These shows doubled as advertising for their sponsors, and Taylor documents the discourse about how music should best market the sponsor’s product. Using music in radio advertising forced advertising agencies to reconceptualize their mission: they carefully considered the cultural resonances of the musical genres they chose, and used musicians like Rudy Vallée as “personalities” to sell the company and its product. Taylor’s work uncovers important connections between genre, commercialism, and the rise of the radio star in this period.
Beginning with the movie π, Dale Chapman addresses the experience of overwhelming force and rupture in drum and bass music. He then shows how this genre of the early- and mid-1990s embodies similar tensions as those in global politics surrounding the events associated with September 11, 2001. Through his engaging use of theories of postmodernism and Western capitalism, Chapman provides a musical framework for critical interpretation of world events.
In each issue, ECHO brings our readers reviews of a variety of media that broaden our scope as an interdisciplinary journal through considering an array of historical moments and contexts. In this issue, Carlos Palombini discusses Philip Brett and Elizabeth Wood’s “Gay and Lesbian Music” entry for The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians. Palombini brings his own experience as the Portuguese translator of the original, “unexpurgated” article and his interview with Elizabeth Wood to explain the content of the original and its journey from Wood and Brett to the New Grove and a full-length online version. J. Lester Feder reviews Danny Goldberg’s Dispatches from the Culture Wars: How the Left Lost Teen Spirit to assess the divide between the political left and popular culture. Simon Morrison’s review of Stephanie Jordan’s video Music Dances: Balanchine Choreographs Stravinsky highlights the potential of dance scholarship to access new layers of meaning through the visualization of compositional processes. In her review of Carol A. Hess’ recent book, Manuel de Falla and Modernism in Spain, 1898-1936, Deborah Schwartz-Kates shows how Hess has connected Hispanic studies and musicology by incorporating a variety of interdisciplinary interpretive methods.
We are, as always, grateful for the generous encouragement and hospitality
of the University of California Press and the Department of Musicology
at UCLA, and our publication would not be possible without the
financial support from UCLA's Graduate Students' Association Publications
Jonathan Greenberg & Olivia Carter Mather
Los Angeles, March 2004