Letter From the Editor: And All That Muckin’ Jazz

query copyI love jazz, and I could talk for days about all the reasons why. My favorite part of it, though, lies in the brief, yet critical moments between chord progressions when improvising – namely, the transitional notes.

Transitional notes in a jazz solo depict the musician’s unique interpretation of the relationship between the incoming and outgoing chord progressions. Ideally, she would want the two to blend together nicely, but not without a tinge of tension – just the perfect amount of it to create a sense of anticipation towards what she plans to make of the next set of chords. This exquisite combination of tension and anticipation makes way for the next part of the solo, and for the tune to ensue.

This issue of the Morningside Muckraker embodies a beautiful symphony of transitional notes at CLS, united under the theme “The Art of Making Your Case”. In this issue, you will hear the tunes of students as they transition from one point of their legal careers to another – the chords of tension that students encounter as they face critical choices about their careers, the anticipation about the obstacles and opportunities to come, and reflections on how together we can make a case for responsive and fair policies at Columbia.  You will also find an exciting new addition to our Opinions section, the “Soapbox”, where you will hear students elegantly “trading solos” [1] with each other, commenting on and building upon each other’s opinions. (Believe me, these cats can play the hell out of these tunes.)


This issue also captures the harmony of transitional notes between the incoming and outgoing Muckraker staff members – the courage and zeal with which the inaugural staff toiled tirelessly to create the Morningside Empire this year, and the fervent ambitions of the incoming staff to take this a step further.

So dearest friends and supporters, we proudly present to you issue 4 of the Morningside Muckraker. As you wind down from the frenzy of finals and transition into your summer plans, we invite you to join us in the summer sun – just sit back, relax, and enjoy the read.

P.S. Safe travels, but don’t go too far. We’ll be in touch with you soon with our Summer Edition!

[1] In a jazz context, “trading” is when two soloists “trade” a certain number of bars each. So one of them improvises for a certain number of bars and then the other improvises for the same number of bars, and so on, until the latter ends the “duet.”

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