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Our country has had a chequered history so far as journals of music are concerned. In this century,. some will remember Music in New Zealand - the companion to Art in New Zealand, published by Harry Tombs from the nineteen-thirties, and edited by Vernon Griffiths. During the War years, there was Owen Jensen's Music Ho!--and then came a considerable gap before Robert and Heather Kerr's Third Stream made a short but provocative appearance in 1968.

Since then, it has been a matter of specialist magazines: Murray Cammick's idiosyncratic Rip it Up, now 130-issues-old, a marvellous record of rock over the last ten years; Canzona, the Composers' Association's in-house magazine - not generally available to the public; and Adrienne Simpson's Early Music New Zealand, a little journal which covers a territory ranging from, say, Gluck and Lully to the musical taste of Sara Harriet Selwyn, the wife of Bishop Selwyn.

Apart from the foregoing, most commentary on New Zealand music is limited to scattered articles and reviews in newspapers and some weekly or monthly publications (often pretty perfunctory commentary at that!) - or found on radio programmes that quickly vanish into the ether.

In starting Music in New Zealand, we are intending that the keynote should be liveliness and variety.  This is a variety genuinely to be found in music in New Zealand today, though little recorded. In this first issue you will find an interview with the composer and conductor Pierre 80ulez, in Wellington recently for the Festival; an interview-in-depth with the Auckland composer John Rimmer (each issue will feature such an interview with an outstanding musician); Tom Shanahan's striking photographs of musicians associated with the NZSO; a review of Mercury's Lucia di Lammermoor; a piece on the New Zealand Chamber Orchestra, now on their June tour; a commentary on Hans Keller and the Boundaries of music criticism, by J.M. Thomson, former editor of the our journal Early Music,' a review of Jack Body's new video about his visit to China; a profile of the Auckland rock musician Greg Johnson, together with selected record reviews.

Upcoming numbers this year will feature an interview with composer Jenny McLeod, and one with singer Malvina Major; a survey of the work of Flying Nun Records; an illustrated piece on David Farquhar's opera A Unicorn for Christmas, written in 1962 in collaboration with Ngaio Marsh; as well as profiles of the regional orchestras and regular concert reviews and commentary.

The future of Music in New Zealand seems to us to be promising. There is a wealth of talent, and of material to be published (not forgetting countless photographs and graphics that add much interest to the writing). But much will depend on you, the music-loving public, to support the magazine with your subscriptions, to draw it to the attention of your friends. . .

And so we publish this first number of Music in New Zealand in a spirit of energy and optimism, and with high hopes for a whole new deal in communications about the thriving world of music in this country.