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Instructions to Authors

Information for Contributors


The Publications Committee of the Society for Music Theory welcomes submissions to Music Theory Spectrum on a broad range of subjects within the discipline of music theory. Authors are urged to make sure their manuscript submissions meet the following criteria:

  • Manuscripts should be of moderate length (5,000-10,000 words) and include musical examples, tables, and other artwork only to the extent necessary.
  • Music Theory Spectrum practices blind review. For this reason, authors should avoid identifying themselves, directly or indirectly, in the submission itself, confining such identification to an accompanying cover letter.
  • The Society for Music Theory has endorsed the principle that language that treats both sexes equally should characterize all its publications. Guidelines for Non-Sexist Language are available online at: http://www.wmich.edu/mus-theo/nsl.html  


    Manuscripts should be written in normal scholarly style and form as outlined in the 16th edition of The Chicago Manual of Style. Music Theory Spectrum uses the author-date system of documentation outlined in Chapter 16 of the Manual. All manuscripts must be submitted via the online submission system: http://www.mc.manuscriptcentral.com/mtspec.

    Article submissions should include the following in electronic format only:

  • All text and tables must be submitted in editable formats (e.g. Word, Excel, etc.). PDFs are not acceptable.
  • The submission should be made in an email to the Editor (email address below), either as a Word document or a PDF. Manuscripts accepted for adjudication should be in 12-point font, spaced at either 1 or two lines (including footnotes and quotations), and provided with footnotes instead of endnotes. Footnotes should be 12-point type;
  • Musical examples, figures, tables, and other artwork, all clearly identified as numbered examples. Please note that we prefer audio files in mp4 format;
  • An abstract of 25-100 words, suitable for publication.  

    Should an article be accepted for publication, authors will be requested to prepare manuscripts for editing using formatting guidelines slightly different from those outlined above. Instructions will be included with the letter of acceptance. All manuscripts accepted for publication become the sole property of the Society for Music Theory, Inc.

    Any problems with submission or additional correspondence should be sent to:
    David W. Bernstein, Editor
    Music Theory Spectrum
    Mills College

    Books for Review should be sent to:
    Áine Heneghan, Reviews Editor
    Music Theory Spectrum
    University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

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