I have long had a soft spot in my heart for Harmony, which was the house journal of the Symphony Orchestra Institute. In part this was because the founders of SOI had the same curiosity about how orchestras really functioned as I did, and gave free rein to their curiosity in soliciting articles for Harmony. And, in part, it was because Harmony published a couple of articles I wrote, including one I co-wrote with my late father, an eminent researcher in the field of stress and developmental psychobiology, of which both he and I were very proud and which has had some influence in the field.
Very little in Harmony was light reading, however. This likely limited the number of readers who actually read each issue in depth, so there is a great deal of material in the Harmony archives that has yet to achieve the influence the material generally deserves. And, as Harmony covered many aspects of the organizational culture of orchestras, those looking for guidance on a specific issue had something of a slog to find articles on a specific topic.
Fortunately, a doctoral dissertation by a Colorado professor of management and accounting who is also an amateur musician provides a wonderful guide to the pages of Harmony. Accordingly. Dr. William Mesa’s A Map to Reading and Finding Topics in Harmony: Eight Years of Research, Studies and Articles is my first Editor’s Choice selection. It is not light reading either. But then neither is our art form light listening. Some things are worth spending time on, and Dr. Mesa’s article is one of them.
Click here to read A Map to Reading and Finding Topics in Harmony: Eight Years of Research, Studies and Articles.