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College Music Symposium
Academic, Special Adult
College Music Society
Peer reviewed
Supported by donations

Reviewed by: Juliet Penna, Associate Editor, ProQuest

College Music Symposium is a compelling example of a music periodical that has crossed from print media into online media, adding the richness of audiovisual tools. The premier journal of the College Music Society, it was published in print from 1961 to 2010, and many of the print articles are accessible in html on the current site.

The articles are published in sections presented in publication date order, and grouped into volumes by year. Each of ten sections is accessible from the home page, as well as through a link titled “Components.”  There are 10 components, as described from the “Symposium FAQs” page:

  • Scholarship and Research—refereed scholarly articles [Available online from Volume 5, 1965]
  • Reviews—reviews of books, textbooks, periodicals, and instructional materials [Available online from Volume 2]
  • CMS Forums—Opinions, editorials, commentary and essays [Available online from Volume 31]
  • Instructional Technologies, Methodologies, and Resources—review and discussion of technologies and methods useful for teaching in the classroom and studio [Includes “Squeak and Blatt,” a technology advice column addressing reader submitted questions];  [Starts with Volume 34]
  • CMS Reports—in depth reports concerning important topics, events, or issues [These are grouped by report titles, not volumes, but the original publication date is noted on each article.]
  • Music Business-Industry—presentation of reports and discussion of topics relevant to music business-industry education [Begins with Volume 52]
  • Video Lectures, Performances, and Lecture-Recitals—a video archive of refereed music lectures, performances, and lecture-recitals [Starts with volume 53, just four entries so far]
  • Audio Performance Archive—an audio archive of performances of CMS members [Starts volume 53; 18 entries]
  • CMS Conference Archive—abstracts of international, national, and regional music conferences [Grouped by conference year]
  • Events in Music—information concerning events in and outside academe, including international music conferences [Begins in earnest in 2015]

The most exciting sections are "Video Lectures, Performances, and Lecture-Recitals" and the "Audio Performance Archive." The former includes video recordings in all the stated topics. Each entry is briefly introduced and includes information about the recording: “Presentation type,” “Recording Date,” “Recording location,” and “Duration.”

The "Audio Performance Archive" is structured in the same way, but presents audio recordings only. Both seem like excellent tools for College Music Society members seeking discovery and music educators seeking ideas and new works. Both sections have few entries so far, but will hopefully grow as more and more members discover the value in presenting their works and ideas online.

The least satisfying section is “Events in Music,” which is merely a calendar of various events. It does not seem thorough; it may rely primarily on reader / member submitted dates.
The web site over all is cleanly and simply designed. I found it very maneuverable once I discovered how the Volumes are organized, not discretely but one following another within the main “Components.” The search function is simple but covers what seems like enough parameters.

College Music Symposium will be useful to music educators and researchers, as well as musicians and music students.

28 Apr 2015
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