Ball, Cheryl E., & Hawk, Byron. (2006). Letter from the guest editors. Computers and Composition, 23(3), 263–265.
Because of the rise in multiliteracies scholarship since 1999, and with it a dramatic increase in the kinds of texts students read and compose in writing classrooms, this special issue hopes to introduce readers to a next step in multiliteracies composition. That is, we’ve moved—as a field—from linguistic to visual meaning-making, all in digital environments; so, a logical progression is to include other modes of meaning including audio. In doing so, we hope to provide readers with an overview of how a multiliteracies approach that incorporates attention to audio is possible within composition studies. The seven articles in this issue explore forms of audio from several theoretical, historical, and musical perspectives, adding a breadth and richness to current scholarship that uses sound in compositional practices. The authors discuss a range of sonic genres including opera, hip-hop, rock-n-roll, as well as voiceovers and soundtracks. The timeline of these genres covers centuries, from Wagner to digital multimodality (if not virtual reality, although that’s mentioned along the way). The authors connect their discussion of audio—from sampling, sound effects, professional and amateur recordings, and hypermediation—to composition and knowledge-making methods as diverse as using citation systems and teaching sonic literacies.