Information for Prospective Contributors
Guidelines for Proposals
the principles of critical editing to a variety of American idioms,
including jazz, psalmody, popular song, twentieth-century chamber music,
art song, Native American ceremony, and the Broadway show, MUSA is devoted
to expanding the legacy of American music available for study and
performance. By bringing notated works and scholarly interpretation
together in the same volume, each MUSA edition seeks to place the sounds
of music-making in the United States within the context of the nation's
in 1988, MUSA is a collaborative venture administered by the American
Musicological Society through its Committee on the Publication of American
Music (COPAM) and is published by A-R Editions, Inc. of Middleton,
Wisconsin. The Society for American Music contributes to the development
of the series through its representative to COPAM. Including many
accomplished scholars of American music, COPAM serves as an advisory board
to the project. Editors receive an honorarium of $1,500 when their editions
are published. MUSA is supported by a grant from the National Endowment
for the Humanities and housed at the University of Michigan.
are encouraged to use MUSA
already in print as models to help shape their editions. MUSA follows A-R
Style Guide in most respects; a
copy may be obtained from MUSA's executive
Richard Crawford's "Foreword,"
included in each volume, provides a brief history of the project and a
summary of the criteria used by COPAM to evaluate proposals. Examples of
successful proposals will be provided on request.
editors should submit the following, keeping in mind MUSA's goal of
publishing works from a broad range of eras, genres, composers, and
performance media, and of representing notable achievements in the diverse
music history of the United States.
summary argument (ca. 10 pages) for making the music of the proposed
edition available to scholars and performers. Please consult the COPAM guidelines for shaping your arguments. This argument should place
the music in relevant historical, social, and aesthetic context and
describe its importance to the study of music in the United States. If the
music is chosen from a larger body of work, the editor should offer
objective criteria by which the selection was made.
summary argument should be fashioned as the first step toward writing a
full-scale introductory essay, a scholarly and interpretive article or
short monograph to be used in the published volume. Please give your essay
a distinctive title that is different from the volume as a whole. The
statement is evaluated for style as well as content, and the prospective
editor should aim to address a broad readership of scholars, students, and
performers. The essay is regarded as a key element of the edition and a
substantial contribution to scholarship in American music.
A representative sample transcription of music to be included in
the edition, illustrating the types of editiorial problems that the music
presents and the way in which the editor will solve them. Prospective
editors are encouraged to use previous MUSA
as models for their approach to the editorial method and critical notes
sections (see items c and d below).
A list of the available sources for the edition, including a
rationale for how the primary source for the transcription was chosen, and
concordant sources, if any, will be used in preparing the edition.
A description of the editorial method employed -- that is, what
rules the editor has adopted in preparing the music for a scholarly
edition. This section details solutions to editorial problems that apply
to the volume as a whole.
A set of critical notes for the editing sample that report original
readings in the primary source at points where the editor has made
corrections and/or changes in the transcribed music. All discrepancies
between edition and source must be addressed by either the critical notes
or editorial method.
A photocopy of the source(s) used for the transcription.
A proposed table of contents: you may want to suggest a
frontispiece photo of the composer(s) and from three to five facsimile
plates that help illustrate the elements of your essay. While these images
are not required in the proposal, they will be included in the
publication. Note that each plate used may require permissions.
An estimate of the total length of the proposed volume.
A select bibliography.
A brief statement of how much transcription and prose material has
already been prepared and an estimate of the time needed for the editor to
complete the manuscript, including a proposed submission date.
A detailed explanation of the permissions that need to be secured
for the edition, including the names and contact information for all
copyright holders and an estimation of any required fees. Completed
letters of permission from copyright holders will greatly strengthen a
proposal. All documentation must be in writing. Please request
a copy of MUSA's permission template.
A curriculum vitae and brief autobiographical statement that summarizes
research, performing, teaching, and publishing activities pertinent to
work on the edition.
Please submit all textual materials both in hard copy and as computer files, in Word (.doc) format, on a CD-ROM.
Please number every page of text and music copy.
Music copy must be neat, dark (use black ink), and legible, and
should appear on only one side of each page of music paper. It is not
necessary to use a computer music program, but if you do, please submit a
laser-printed score and a copy of the file. An original copy should be
submitted. If marking up sheet music, use red ink so that your editing can
be easily distinguished from the printed copy.
are reviewed twice yearly, usually in early March and late October. To be
considered in a timely fashion, proposals must be received by January 1 or
September 1. Applicants are encouraged to submit drafts of their proposals
six weeks in advance, so that MUSA staff can perform a preliminary review
and offer suggestions to make proposals more competitive. Proposals
received less than six weeks before the review deadline may receive
attention, depending on MUSA's publications schedule.
Please contact MUSA's Executive Editor to discuss your project. The wide range of musical idiom and styles included in the MUSA series demand a flexible, yet precise approach to scholarly editing. We look forward to receiving your proposal.