With this issue we opted to drop the seasonal or quarterly labeling
from our numbering system. This allows more flexibility in times between
when you submit an article and when we upload the materials. With this issue
we have also begun to employ the services of reviewers to read and submit comments
about the articles before we upload the issue.
As you know, we are always very happy to receive your ideas about articles and contributions. Looking back over the past several issues one thing I have noticed, however, is a distinct silence from the educational perspective, and this is something I personally believe is worthwhile to write about. How is Csound being used in the classroom? What are the various approaches teachers and students are taking with Csound? How can Csound be made more approachable and hip for students? Who uses Csound? Who does not use Csound, and why? What do students think about Csound? What is good about Csound from a classroom or online perspective? What is not?
It seems to me what Csound lacks in the way of upfront glam, it way makes up for in horsepower under the hood. Perhaps, however, it is that power of abstraction, and the ability to prove concepts algorithmically which intrigues me so much, but does not find a warm place in most students' hearts.
I also wonder sometimes also if there is not a built in gender bias into user interfaces. How do women approach interfaces, and is that different from men? If so, why? It is odd how some people, male or female, just seem to "click" initially with a program, and others struggle with the concept endlessly. Perhaps there is fuel for an article in some of those ideas?
Still another aspect missing from Csound Journal has been a historical perspective. Anyone remember Spaghetti, for example? I understand the energy of the inventor is what moves these Csound variations, utilities, plugins, and objects forward at the time, but once we move beyond that stage, it also seems worthwhile to go back and take stock of what has gone before, and write about that to remind ourselves of how we got to this point.
So as we turn a page on the calendar and enter a new year, for Csound users 2007 is a good time to sit down, think about all things related to Csound, write it up, and send it in to share with the rest of us.
As Jim mentioned, this issue is the first we have started to work with a process for reviews of articles by peers. The feedback was invaluable and I believe this issue is much better off for it. We'll definitely be taking the lessons learned from this first issue under review and hope to continue to develop the process. My hearty thanks to the reviewers!
Regarding the articles themselves, as always I learned a great deal from reading each one and from conducting the interview for my own article. It never ceases to amaze me the number of different ways that people are using Csound and the wide variety of musics being made. My hearty thanks to the article contributors too!
2006 has been a great year for Csound, and I'm sure that 2007 will see Csound continuing to develop and grow. I hope you all enjoy this issue and I am looking forward to seeing what people do with Csound. Happy New Year!