When we sat down with the stories for this year's Big Music Issue and looked for an overarching theme for our snappy little intro, we realized that, as disparate as the various stories are, at heart they're all about community. Sometimes, as with our Baltimore Jukebox (page 16), the stories are about making artists talk about the actual music their community produces--or forcing them to talk about music from far outside of their scene. Other times, as with Al Shipley's look at the growing number of women involved with Baltimore hip-hop, they're about communities slowly forming in response to being excluded from a wider dialogue. Jared T. Fischer's exploration of the network of DIY venues in Baltimore is all about folks building their own community outside of the commerce-driven mainstream, while Jess Harvell's profile of local record store mogul Larry Jeter is about how a place of business can act as a binding agent for the community. And Chris Landers' visit to a local pipe-organ repair shop? Well, you can't get much more "community-based" than a church. The various communities of our 2007 Big Music Issue might not overlap at all--music scenes can be incorrigibly insular little places, after all--and you may wonder where your own little piece of the musical landscape fits in. But they're all part of the crazy-quilt map that is music in Baltimore, and if you've never stepped into their part of the world, maybe it's time.