The copyright and intellectual property right of everything appearing in this magazine remains with the person who wrote it. Nothing may be reproduced without prior written permission of the author, and the citation of MT as the source.
I will consider almost any kind of contribution, though I am particularly looking for articles, reviews, news and comment of the sort covered by the paper version of MT and followed up by this virtual version over the last twenty years. Broadly: journalism dealing with traditional activities having some sort of musical content.
Views expressed in MT will be considered to be those of the author, not of the editor. Decisions as to what items fall within the remit of the magazine will be made solely by the editor, but I am always open to reasoned argument from potential contributors. I will endeavour to maintain a reasonable standard of literacy within published text and will certainly spell-check it, but I cannot be held responsible for factual inaccuracies or misunderstandings on the part of the authors. I reserve the right to comment upon these, where I am aware of them.
If not, please just send 'rich' text. If you have composed your article or review in a wordprocessor, use the 'Save As' option and save it as an .rtf text file. Then attach this file to your e-mail message. This will save me hours of work trying to figure out which sort of word processor file you've sent me and converting it into readable text. This is particularly important for MAC users, because MAC files do not (normally) include the 3-letter terminator indicating what type of file it is!
Record labels, book publishers etc, wishing to have a publication of theirs reviewed should send the CD, cassette, book, etc, directly to me and I will pass it on to a reviewer of my choice.
Publications whose contents fall outside these criteria will not be reviewed in the magazine, except when the reviewer has something of importance (usually critical) to say about that particular publication or performer.
It is pointless for publishers to send me 'folk' records - they will not be reviewed!
Frequently, I receive messages like this one:
In late April I sent a review copy of X's new album, "Paradox of Grace." Although much of the album is contemporary in feel, X uses some very traditional instruments and/or presents unusual versions of traditional songs such as Woody Guthrie's "Vigilante Man." I am following up to ascertain that you received the CD and to see if you will be able to review X's music.The CD in question went in the bin in late April!
2 An MT review has two purposes; it should alert the potential purchaser to both positive and negative aspects of the publication which might not be immediately apparent upon cursory inspection, and it should also raise related issues which are likely to be of interest to readers. In simple terms, it's an 'enabling' exercise, the aim of which is to help our readers enjoy and appeciate more of the huge amount of music which is available to them today - and that more fully.
It is something of a paradox that, as the audience for real traditional music appears to be dwindling, the quantity and quality of what is being published is increasing. In the last decade an unprecedented number of extremely important publications have appeared which have dealt with traditional music in a fuller, deeper, wider ... a 'better' way than almost any in the past.
What's more, instant global communications via the Internet have allowed the small number of people actually interested in such things to keep abreast of these developments and in touch with each other. Most of us understand that new standards are constantly being set - and realise that any new publications must live up to these standards. MT reviews should attempt to reflect these developments, since we are now addressing what has become an extremely educated audience.
Like the reviews in any other music magazine, ours tend to fall into a few broad categories:
Personally, I would far rather hear about the possible failings of a CD before I encounter it as an enticing looking, shrink-wrapped (and thus unexaminable) object in my local record shop. I would rather know that the glossily produced booklet actually tells me very little about the music or the performer before I shell out £13 of my hard-earnt!
Rather more difficult to answer is the charge that, since the publication in question really is very good and well worth buying, "Why did your reviewed have to go picking holes in it?" Here, I can only refer back to the point about the constantly improving quality of publications and the standards they inevitably set. Also worth remembering is the way in which small flaws in an extremely good piece of work stand out far more annoyingly than they would in a mediocre one.
Anyway - I will continue to publish, indeed to encourage, critical reviews (in the best sense of the word) - though I will try to exercise rather more editorial control over those I consider to be needlessly so ... and attempt to do the same with my own contributions as well! But MT, although an e-zine, is not a fan-zine - and has no intentions of becoming one.
Track List: The track listing from the CD would be a welcome addition to your review.
Number of Words: I leave it to you to decide how many words - you will have seen that some of our reviews are quite short and others are very long indeed. I prefer the reviewer to have the freedom to say whatever needs to be said in his/her own way.
Photos: I usually scan the cover picture from the booklet before sending you the CD, so I have the graphic to go with your words.
Sound Clips: See above - You might ask me to add a few short sound clips. You'll need to either send me the CD for this (but I promise to return it immediately), or send MP3s of the tracks you want used, or send me a CD-R of these tracks.
Sending the Review: The best way to send the review is as good, simple, hand-coded HTML (see my HTML Coding article). But for most people, formatted e-mail text, Rich Text Format or straight ASCII or ANSI text will do just as well (see above). In fact, I prefer this to the monstrous stuff Microsoft FrontPage and its like produces. Please send the text either included in the body of an e-mail or as an attachment - but not both!
Rod Stradling - 9.3.18
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