Letter from the Editor, September 2009
I’m sure I speak for the entire community of music scholars, librarians, educators, and students when I say we’ll be forever grateful for the leadership and accomplishments of Laura Macy, the first Editor in Chief of Grove Music Online, for guiding the development of online access to these essential reference resources. She maintained the highest standards for authoritative content and worked assiduously to provide the best possible functionality in the new online environment.
Since her departure, an international panel comprising representatives from eight professional associations has advised the publisher on the responsibilities for a new Editor in Chief and helped prioritize the tasks in fine-tuning the user interface. I was honored to be approached to take on this position, and excited to be able to contribute to the field of music reference in this way. It is with a sense of enormous responsibility that I undertake to live up to the high standards established for Grove Music by Stanley Sadie and Laura Macy. I expect to build on the work already underway, strengthen the scholarly guidance for contents and functional development, and involve senior figures through an Editorial Board to help steer the programs of Grove Music. The in-house processes will be handled by a superb team of Grove Music editors at Oxford University Press.
Two revision projects of 1980s Grove publications are continuing. A second edition of The Grove Dictionary of American Music edited by Charles Hiroshi Garrett with a large team of advisors, editors, and authors is producing new entries that will appear first in Grove Music Online, and the entire revision will be published as print volumes. A refashioning of The Grove Dictionary of Musical Instruments edited by Laurence Libin is just underway, and those entries will also appear in both formats in due course.
A singular advantage of the online platform over paper is that the content can be continuously refreshed with corrections, additions, and changed information that has been vetted for accuracy. Our goal is to update Grove Music Online with timely information, and at least three times a year to add batches of new material that has been commissioned, beyond the current revision projects. So, for example, this fall we are adding articles on contemporary composers, and in the spring we will update bibliographies for some of the earlier articles. We expect to organize a more robust revision program, once the new Editorial Board is in place.
Please accept our invitation to participate in the Open Forum at the annual meeting of the American Musicological Society in Philadelphia in November, and to offer your thoughts about Grove Music Online via Contact Us. We seek your input on possible future projects, current content that needs to be updated, and other changes that would make Grove Music more useful to you.
With appreciation for your contributions toward making Grove Music the vital and essential reference work in its field,
Deane L. Root
Editor in Chief