Five Keywords and a Welcome

identity • The proliferation of new methodologies and areas of research has opened up enormous opportunities for the study of music and increasingly also sound. We participate in this movement towards expansion as it reflects music’s gregarious nature and fluid identity. As its disciplinary boundaries expand, music also seemingly dissolves. SSS seizes upon this moment to rethink and align musical scholarship with a wide range of theoretical reflections, historical reconstructions, and practical interventions from across the humanities and social sciences.

sound stage screen • Sound not only expands but also seeps through various media and environments, giving rise to multifaceted situations that call for a redefinition of musical expertise. We propose the “stage” and the “screen” as both literal and metaphorical loci where such an effort may begin and eventually flourish.

heteroglossia • Koreans and Filipinos communicate in English, as do Indians from different states, Thais with Australians, or Swedes with Brazilians. We welcome the role of English not only as a global but also a trans-local language, notwithstanding its status as a legacy of the former British Empire or the reach of American military, commercial, and cultural influence. The choice of the English language will, we trust, encourage the participation from scholars and practitioners from around the globe, irrespective of their native language: in uno, plures.

theory/practice • As artists seek to share their experiences and knowledge in an academic setting, scholars continue to explore opportunities to take part in the curatorial and creative process in a variety of contexts—the concert hall, gallery, theater, film, and all manner of newly emerging platforms. To buttress this convergence, SSS will function as a forum where people of different persuasions can meet and work together. Through the multimedia apparatus on its website, the journal will also provide a record of their encounters.

future • Our project is borne out of a desire to embrace new branches of knowledge but also a concern over the viability of musicology as an academic discipline. Is an institutional reset in order? Can we apply our knowledge to a new range of tasks and pair up with new professional figures? Rather than reimagining the study of music solely across disciplinary lines, then, we wish to open up a space in which people with different interests and specialities meet and over time give way to new protocols of collaboration. We champion the rapprochement between historians, theorists, and practitioners because we believe this to be the foundation of new musicological practices.

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We are delighted to welcome you to the first issue of SSS. We owe a big “thank you” to our authors, anonymous reviewers, and board members for making this publication possible and helping us formulate the motives underpinning this enterprise (as expressed in the five keywords above). If this journal is to function as an open space for new practices, it goes without saying that we need to nurture critical perspectives but also encourage practical interventions. Though we now live suspended in time, as soon as this incredible pandemic ends we will organize meetings, performances, and workshops that will bring to fruition some of the principles that inform this editorial. Se son rose fioriranno (If it’s meant to be, it will be).

Hong Kong-Milan, March 2021

Giorgio Biancorosso and Emilio Sala, editors