THIS issue of Empirical Musicology Review continues to demonstrate a wonderful breadth and depth in the discipline. With articles focusing on timbre, performance practice, Mozart, children's songs, and medieval modes, it's clear that the discipline of empirical musicology is comfortable with a diverse range of topics, interests, and even methodologies.
Zhou and Fabian explore the relationship between speed and virtuosity in the performances of Chopin's Ballade in G minor, op.23, as performed by Kissin and Lisita, finding that performers "tend to play the fast sections faster and the slow sections slower than most of the other pianists of the sample." Farbood's commentary points out that a balanced sample might have yielded different results, but that the work has the potential for future research on tempo variability in performances understood to be "virtuosic".
Mihelač, Povh, and Wiggins look at the hidden complexities of children's folk songs, and in the process develop a new algorithm for finding pieces that are likely to have irregular structures. They then model human perception of the irregularity in these songs. In his commentary on the article, Cancino-Chacon discusses what it means to model the human listener in terms of musical performance, embodiment, structure, and enculturation.
Lindsey Reymore's innovative study of timbre qualia in the oboe and French horn demonstrates that listeners can perceive timbral variability within an instrument, and that they provide meaningful and different semantic responses to these timbral fluctuations. Siedenburg's commentary places these results within the context of recent work conducted on acoustic signal properties and provides some possibilities for future avenues of study.
Rom and Rosset conduct a corpus study of 968 of Mozart's instrumental movements, identifying prototypes that are associated with specific keys. This suggests that elements of perfect pitch, as well as possibly instrumental affordance might have played a role in the creative process of the composer. In their article on "The Sticky Riff", Helsen, Daley, and Schindler isolated notes approaching–and being approached by–semitone and found a prevalence of specific phrases and riffs, which they argue might have been used to construct modes as a series of musical gestures. We are hoping to publish associated commentaries for these articles in a forthcoming issue.
Lastly, the journal might look a bit different beginning with this issue. We have updated our Open Journal System, which will allow for easier submissions, reviewing and publication. As always, we are deeply indebted to the hard-working publishing staff at the Ohio State Libraries for all they do.