Current Musicology, Edited by Austin Clarkson. Spring, 1965 issue. New York: Published under the aegis of the Music Department, Columbia University.
In many of the better American law schools, faculty and students combine efforts to edit and publish journals of legal scholarship which are known as law reviews. Under the guidance of the faculty, advanced students set policy and handle editorial chores for these periodicals, which draw contributors and readers from among practitioners as well as students and faculty.
The Department of Music at Columbia University has now come up with a musicological journal which, in the nature of its staff and the scope of its coverage, might be said to resemble a law review. Aptly named Current Musicology, this journal obviously has been planned so as to serve several needs previously unmet in the musicological literature. In a nicely worded editorial, editor Clarkson enumerates a number of these needs: to provide detailed descriptions of the nature and method of seminars and lecture courses in the field of musicology in North American universities; to review doctoral dissertations; to publish bibliographies and lists of scholarships and fellowships; and to publish short articles, relying primarily upon younger authors.
That Professor Clarkson and his staff have succeeded in meeting these needs is evident in this first issue of their journal. There are reports of seminars and lectures at twenty-two universities; reviews of seven doctoral dissertations; a list of foreign dissertations, unpublished or recently published; and a list of dissertation topics under consideration at the University of Munich. In addition, there is the first installment of a list of articles on music in non-music journals for the period 1949-1964. And there are five scholarly articles on such widely divergent topics as the trouve chanson and the philosophy of T.W. Adorno; here are featured established scholars such as Edward A. Lippman and Alfred Mann as well as writers whose names are new to the tables of contents of musicological magazines.
There will undoubtedly be those who find Current Musicology lacking a requisite unity of tone and content. To this reviewer, however, it is a journal of consuming interest for every musicologist. There is in every contribution much of value and much that reveals the increasingly healthy state of the art and science of musicology.
Judging by its first number, Current Musicology likely will find a permanent place in the musicological literature. For this prospect we are indebted not only to the editor, his staff, and the sheltering institution, but also to the foundations and individuals who provided the financial support necessary for such an ambitious undertaking. All are to be congratulated.