Annotated Bibliographies by Topic (ML 120-128 and VARIOUS)
Bomberger, E. Douglas,
ed. Brainard’s Biographies of American Musicians.
See Dictionaries and Encyclopedias—Biographical Dictionaries and Encyclopedias
American Operas: A Checklist.
See Annotated Bibliographies by Topic—Opera
Burton, Jack. The
Index of American Popular Music.
See Song Indexes
Davis, Elizabeth A, comp.
Index to the New World Recorded Anthology of American Music: A User’s
Guide to the Initial One Hundred Records.
The Encyclopedia of American Music.
See Dictionaries and Encyclopedias—General Dictionaries and Encyclopedias
Oja, Carla J., ed. American
Music Recordings: A Discography of 20th-Century U.S. Composers.
Use: An efficient resource in the study of the music and the composers listed. Helpful for finding compositional styles of certain composers, list of works, as well as quotes from the composer.
Coverage: 17 representative composers chosen from the compositions heard at the Festival of American Music, Eastman School of Music, Rochester, N.Y. between 1925 and 1971.
Organization: The seventeen composers are arranged alphabetically by composer. Entries for each composer including a brief biography, a list of compositions, the date of composition or publication and the publisher when possible. Each section contains a discussion on the composer’s style and a quotation from the composer that provides insight into their attitudes toward music, concepts of composing, and associations with other musicians. Each section also includes a list of books and articles written by or about the composer including doctoral dissertations. References used in each section are listed in code form. General Bibliography cites these specific references. Other features include a chronological list of the composers and abbreviations used.
Pros: Thorough information on composer’s style. Complete lists of composer’s works.
Use: An inventory of resources for studying American popular music. Gives the user quick but thorough and reliable command of resources in any corner of the large subject of American popular music.
Coverage: Offers brief descriptions of books, periodicals, and special library collections where the user can seek out the many kinds of popular music, past and present, and information about that music and its makers. Author examined over eleven hundred books, most found in libraries in Richmond, Washington, New York, and Boston, and others acquired through the patient help of the Inter-library Loan office of the James Branch Cabell Library of Virginia Commonwealth University. Author also examined most of the journals listed at the Library of Congress.
Organization: Included subjects are: Tin Pan Alley, bands, Broadway, Hollywood, blues, black pop, ragtime, jazz, country, commercial folk, and rock, along with a few predecessors and loose ends. Chapters follow, with small variations, a consistent plan: bibliography and discography of the particular subject, general reference, collective and individual biography, history and criticism, and a bibliography of books and magazines mentioned in the chapter. Within each section of a chapter, related materials are grouped in paragraphs to be described and compared, and sometimes they are given brief critical evaluation. In the biographical sections, the paragraphs are arranged in alphabetical order by the names of the subjects.
Pros: Quick access to the information is offered not only by consistent and labeled chapter divisions but by writing intended to be easily scanned.
Cons: Only current through 1983.
Carman, Judith E., William K. Gaeddert and Rita M. Resch. Art-Song in the United States: An Annotated Biography, 1801-1976. With special section, “Art-Song in the United States, 1759-1810,” by Gordon Meyers. Publication of the National Association of Teachers of Singing, Inc. Iowa City, Iowa: The University of Iowa Printing Services, 1976. Mus Ref ML 120 .U5 C37
Use: Practical tool for teachers and college-age students in finding appropriate songs for specific singers in programming a recital with American art songs.
Coverage: Included are compositions of U.S. Citizens; compositions of composers who are presently composing songs in America and who have been citizens for many years; foreign-born composers who immigrated to the United States before age 33 and who later became citizens, excluding a few composers of international reputation who became American citizens, but whose styles were established previously. However, if their songs have become a significant part of American repertoire, they are listed in Appendix A.
Represents songs from all historical periods. Each song was analyzed by the committee (those who compiled and wrote the book) and judged for inclusion by these four questions: How will it be useful in developing vocal technique? How will it be useful for programming purposes from early stages through advanced levels of training? What is the overall quality of the song at hand? Should the song be included for historical purposes? Choices were further limited by eliminating folk-song settings, operatic and concert arias (there are exceptions to this criteria). Contains other songs that don’t fit the normal criteria listed above such as humorous songs, program-enders, and encore songs.
Organization: A descriptive introduction, including instructions and a sample format, is located at the beginning. The main body is arranged alphabetically on two levels: by composer and then by title under the specific composer. Sets and cycles are listed alphabetically by the collective title of the group, and the individual songs of the set or cycle are listed in the order indicated by the composer or publisher. For each composer entry, birth and death place and date are given if known. Each title entry has a number; each individual song of a set or cycle has a letter that indicates it is a subdivision of the main entry. Each song is annotated. Information in annotations include: tessitura, poet, range, duration, difficulty levels, voice type, etc. Also found in this resource: Subject-Poet Index, Composer Index, and Title Index for further search help. Three appendices include composers not fitting the criteria listed above, publishers’ addresses and other information, as well as a few sample recital programs of American song.
Pros: Extremely useful when programming a recital because this book provides nearly everything you need to know to find each piece and if it would fit with your recital. Sample recital programs are a great tool for devising one of your own.
Cons: Introduction is wordy. Only contains works as of 1976.
Davis, Arthur Kyle, Jr. Folk-Songs of Virginia: A Descriptive Index and Classification of Material Collected Under the Auspices of the Virginia Folklore Society. Duke University Press. Durham, N.C.: Seeman Printery, Inc., 1949. Mus Ref ML 128 .F75 D3 1949
Use: To provide an accurate listing of the various folk-song materials collected by the Virginia Folklore Society since its last major publication, Traditional Ballads of Virginia (Harvard University Press, 1929).
Coverage: Does not include any information on any significant time frame. Included are genuine folk songs (the appearance of a song in different variations whether textural or musical—without any suspicion or altering or tampering—would generally be accepted as proof of a genuine folk song). From Scottish ballads to narrative songs to humorous and lyrical folk songs, this volume covers a vast collection of various Virginia folk songs under 18 subjects.
Organization: Section I contains the ballads recognized and adopted by Professor Child in his English and Scottish Popular Ballads. This section also provides cross-references to the large body of Child material included in Traditional Ballads of Virginia. The other seventeen sections are categorized by subject. Each section contains song entries of that particular subject. Every entry is numbered; no formal organization (alphabetically, chronologically) was used. Entries provide information on whom it was collected by and their location, whom it was sung by, how they learned it, and the number of stanzas. The appendix at the back cites phonograph records of Virginia folk songs from the Check-List of Recorded Songs in the English Language in the Archive of American Folk Songs to July, 1940. An Alphabetical Index of Titles and First Lines is located at the back.
Pros: Over a thousand songs and their variants included.
Cons: Entries only include where the collector and singer are from (no detailed information of how to receive a copy such as address and phone number).
Use: This is a crucial source for anyone looking for the specific genre of twentieth-century American music composed for concert dance. It is particularly useful if one is looking for lesser known works, or if one is trying to locate composers who work with this genre, or if one is looking for choreographers or performers who have worked with twentieth-century American composers on pieces meant for concert dance.
Coverage: The author zeros in on a very specific genre of music: twentieth-century American music composed for concert dance. Anything that does not fit the genre exactly is not included. For instance, if a composer was not American, but took up residency in the U.S., then only music composed after their U.S. residency is included (therefore, of Stravinsky’s works, Rite of Spring is not included, but Agon is). Also, if a work was used for concert dance, but not composed specifically for that purpose, it is not included. The author states that the primary goal of the bibliography is to make accessible this specific genre of music. She also says that there is an emphasis on lesser known works. Therefore, for those composers who are more well-known in this genre, only a selected list of their works is cited. Also, dance music for musical theatre is excluded because it is more well-known and accessible.
Organization: The author arranges entries alphabetically by composer. The composer’s works are listed alphabetically within the entry. Under the composer’s name is given information such as birth place and year, death place and year, pseudonym, year of U.S. citizenship, address, BMI/ASCAP affiliation, and principal publishers. Next is a list of sources from which the information about the composer, the choreographer, or the work was found. Information on the works includes the name of the choreographer, instrumentation, publication data, date, place and dancers/musicians of the first performance, information about recordings, and comments. The amount of information varies from entry to entry. There are many works for which not much is known, and the author’s goal is to include them so readers will be aware of them and invite more information about them.
Pros: One of the primary goals of this work is to promote lesser known works, which can be a strength, particularly for readers who are also looking to find or produce these works. The author has gone to great lengths to make available any possible information about these works, even to personal addresses of composers and choreographers, and details about the first performance of a work of which many works are out-of-print, or unpublished, or that were written for concert dance, but never choreographed. Other strengths are the additional indexes, such as the alphabetical list of choreographers with all the composers they worked with, and the alphabetical list of composers with all the choreographers they worked with. For anyone looking for additional sources on the genre, composers, choreographers, or the works, an additional strength is the index including full bibliographic information on all the works consulted.
Cons: This bibliography appears to be rare for this specific genre, it may be considered a weakness that many of the more famous works are omitted, for the sake of readers interested in the genre as a whole.
Groce, Nancy. Musical Instrument Makers of New York: A Directory o f Eighteenth and Nineteenth Century Urban Craftsmen. Annotated Reference Tools in Music, No. 4. Stuyvesant, NY: Pendragon Press, 1991. Mus Ref ML 404 .G76 1991
Use: As indicated in the preface, this "volume documents the careers of instrument makers who were active in New York before 1890."
Coverage: Covers instrument makers in Manhattan through 1890. Excludes organ builders, but includes "all other master craftsmen known to be active in the trade during this period." (Preface)
Organization: Alphabetized by the name of the maker, or the company. Entries list company name, address, years the maker was active (and what types of instruments he made during those years), a brief history of the business, and awards the maker received.
Hall, Charles J. A Chronicle of American Music 1700-1995. With a foreword by Gerard Schwarz. New York: Schirmer Books, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Macmillan; London: Prentice Hall International, 1996. Mus Ref ML 200 .H15 1996
Use: Year-by-year chronological listing of brief highlights of history, world cultural events, and representative works of American art and literature. Useful for establishing historical perspective in which composers’ worked, and for comparing artists within similar periods and circumstances.
Coverage: Covers years 1700-1995. Covers significant historical and musical events for each given year. Companion volume with more detail of art literature is being prepared. Popular scene highlights limited.
Organization: Entries may contain: births, deaths, biographical information, publications, representative pieces of music, debuts, new positions, conductors, honors/awards, festivals, musical beginnings, educational information, musical compositions, musicals, performing groups, and miscellaneous information. Contains a music index organized by composer with references to specific event.
Pros: Contains selected bibliography with helpful reference magazines and periodicals. Provides music highlights in the vernacular/commercial (pop) as well as the cultivated/art music scene.
Heintze, James R. Early American Music: A Research and Information Guide. Music Research and Information Guides, vol. 13. Garland Reference Library of the Humanities, vol. 1007. New York and London: Garland Publishing, 1990. Mus Ref ML 120 .U5 H46 1990
Use: Helpful for researchers looking for information on musicians, instruments, musical events, etc. in early America. Serves as an introduction to the materials available for research and information on early American music.
Coverage: Covers books, articles, dissertations, papers, published sermons and discourses, catalogs, lists, directories, and other materials dealing with America’s musical history from its beginning to 1820. Though the author says it is comprehensive, it does not include every work pertaining to American music. No information given concerning criteria for sources chosen.
Organization: Divided into two parts that are then divided into categories and sub-categories. One part examines general reference works such as dictionaries, songsters, periodical and newspaper guides, collections, etc. Also contains a section on exhibition catalogs and literature that has information on music and instruments not described in other sources. It also includes special reference works including broadsides, city and trade directories, copyright records, diaries and letters, travel accounts, discographies and more. Another part focuses on historical studies including general histories and area studies, topical histories, studies of ethnic and religious groups, etc. One chapter of that specific part deals with critical and facsimile editions of music including tunebooks, collections of vocal works, etc. Citations arranged alphabetically under appropriate categories. Some entries listed in more than one section. Includes helpful Author-Title Index and Subject Index at end, both arranged alphabetically.
Pros: Brings together a core collection of bibliographical and informative materials with references to other relevant works. Gives suggestions of other excellent reference works that should be considered along with this one. Informative annotations. Doctoral dissertations included.
Cons: Not all entries are annotated. Does not cover every subject extensively. Few items on folk music, Afro-American music and native (US citizens from birth) American music.
Use: This is a “finding tool” to the music contained in American Bibliography by Charles Evans.
Coverage: Covers music published in17th- and 18th- century America as found in Charles Evans’ American Bibliography and the Readex Corporation’s microprint edition of Early American Imprints, 1639-1800. It includes every item containing printed music notation, whether published in a book, pamphlet, or broadside form, and whether it was issued separately or as part of a larger collection. Periodicals, newspapers, and other serial publications have been excluded.
Organization: There are six parts. All parts are arranged alphabetically by composer-editor-compiler. Part I includes all items currently available in Early American Imprints microprint edition. Part II contains items not yet produced in EAI . Part III includes biographical sketches of the composers-compilers represented that provide a historical context and an idea of what types of music each composer-compiler was associated with. Parts IV and V are indexes arranged in alphabetical order that offer composer and title locations along the Evans serial numbers. Part VI is an index arranged in numerical order of all the Evans’ serial numbers indicating citations in Parts I and II. A key to Evans’ serial numbers and a bibliography to the references cited are listed at the beginning.
Pros: Dramatic works and vocal song entries are easier to find in this because they are listed under the composer rather than under the librettist as Evans is.
Cons: Does not give a complete account of composers’ lives and activities. No annotations.
Uses: Guide to indexes and catalogs of American music. Identify particular styles, time periods, and specific historical analysis.
Coverage: Approximately 1825 to 1987. Includes bibliographies on regional and ethnic groups, genres, biobibliographies, concert music, folk, popular, and sacred music.
Organization: The main body contains explanations of each division of catalogs, then lists them. Each entry contains a bibliography and a brief description of the catalog. Organized according to genres, chronology, writings on music, discographies, and literature on bibliographies. Index integrates artist names and subjects.
Pros: Informative annotations on all topics included. Detailed index integrates artists, topics, and publications, making it easier to use.
Cons: Only current to 1987.
Krummel, Donald William, Jean Geil, Doris J. Dyen, and Deane L. Root. Resources of American Music History: A Directory of Source Materials from Colonial Times to World War II. Music in American Life Series. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1981. Mus Ref ML 120 .U5 R47
Use: As a directory of source materials from colonial times to World War II. (see coverage) This reference requires a hands-on experience to be useful. Collections vary a great deal, and could/could not provide needed information dependant on topic of research.
Coverage: Collections both private and public. Sheet music, songbooks, hymnals, tune books, opera scores, oratorios, band or orchestra music, manuscripts, parts copies by hand, programs (including playbills and etc.), music as part of scrapbooks, archives, records, publications with musical inclusions and ad nauseam. Entries indicate that collections are diverse and at times do not concentrate on one particular topic.
Organization: The directory portion is divided into four categories: Lower forty-eight states, U.S. territories, Canada and other countries. Entries may contain annotations that identify nature of the archive, work or source. Also includes a bibliography of early music resources to date of publication. Author, subject/title index provide to assist with navigation.
Pros: A very unique source for eccentric research as it provides access to unique collections worldwide during a budding time in American (world) history.
Use: A continuation of the first and second volumes of the LOAM series that focused on citing significant books dealing with music by Americans and American musical life.
Coverage: Covers publications that appeared between January 1, 1983 and January 1, 1993. Includes anything not cited in the previous volumes: 1) Monographs in English that appeared in selected source lists (Illinet, the shared computer catalog of Illinois, includes holdings from many prominent northwest libraries; OCLC, the database on the Online Computer Catalog Center, contains holdings of North American research libraries; and American Book Publishing Record (ABPR), a monthly list, collected annually, of monographic publications issued in the U.S.). 2) Monographs in other languages that appeared in the same source lists, if they contain significant reference material (such as discographies) or other important original text. Limited information on pop/rock performers: includes issues of established publishers and recognized authors to books that have received wide attentions, and to items that offer useful reference features. Unaltered reprints and reprints with minor changes have been avoided. Volumes that contain only printed music were omitted, as well as categories of publication consisting of master’s thesis’s, doctoral dissertations, and juvenile books. A separate index by Guy can be used for faster searches of books located in all the volumes (Marco. Guy A. Checklist of Writings on American Music: 1640-1992. Lanham, M.D. and England: Scarecrow Press, Inc., 1996.) These volumes act more as books in a series; therefore I am not critiquing all three.
Organization: Entries are organized by Library of Congress and ISBN categories, such as Church Music, Dictionaries and Encyclopedias, History of American Music, and arranged numerically by their classification numbers. Each entry includes the LC call number and ISBN number followed by a bibliographic citation of the book. Every entry also includes an informative annotation. Introduction includes a sample of how the entries are laid out. Table of Contents provides location information using only the Library of Congress classification numbers and categories. Other selective categories included are price guides to recordings, music career guides, picture books without substantive text, and books (except discographies) having fewer than 80 pages. For further searching help, a Title Index, Subject Index, and Joint-Author Index are included. The separate index includes every entry of all volumes arranged in alphabetical order by author.
Pros: Thorough annotations. Contains efficient search indexes.
Cons: Format is somewhat different from the other volumes of the series.
Metcalf, Frank, comp. American Psalmody or Titles of Books Containing Tunes Printed in America: From 1721-1820. New York: Charles F. Hartman, 1917. Reprint edition in American Psalmody or Titles of Books Containing Tunes Printed in America: From 1721-1820, 2d ed. With introduction by Harry Eskew. Da Capo Press Reprint Edition and Series. Edited by Frederick Freedman. New York: Da Capo Press, 1968. Mus Ref ML 120 .U5 M3 1968
Use: Useful for any researcher or student looking for a bibliographic listing of the short titles and library locations of more than two hundred books containing sacred music which were published in America in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries.
Coverage: Lists the short titles and library locations of more than two hundred books containing sacred music that was published in America in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries (1721-1820). Books listed are necessary documents of the American singing-school tradition (a movement mainly in New England during the first half of the 18th century, when regular singing became part of the reform movement in that region. The material listed includes singing-school manuals, or tunebooks, containing hundreds of anthems and other harmonized tunes.
Organization: Organized alphabetically by composer-compiler-editor; under the composer it is arranged alphabetically by the title; under each title, there are often chronological listings of multiple editions. Each entry lists all library locations in abbreviated form. Abbreviations are found in the preface.
Pros: Offers suggestions of other bibliographic lists in the introduction. Clearly organized. Detailed introduction provides information on the reform movement as well as other important details. Offers library locations of each cited source.
Cons: Introduction and preface do not explain how to use the book.
Use: To find songs, composers, information, recordings, etc. on American Folk Music. Helpful to ethnomusicologists, students studying American folk music, and other related fields.
Coverage: Covers a time period starting at the turn of the twentieth-century to the date of publication. Includes books, doctoral dissertations, scholarly articles in the more learned journals and Festschrifts, and articles in certain important encyclopedias. Brief articles were included only for area lacking great quantities of material. Among the items listed, additional bibliographies and discographies that will refer extremely avid readers or those in pursuit of trivia to the articles, master’s theses, and other sources left out of this book and to ephemera.
Organization: Divided into nine sections, each pertaining to a certain type of music. Some sections contain more than one kind of music while others cover one type of music exclusively. Each section is subdivided by subject (bibliographies, discographies, genres, etc.). Every section is introduced by a brief essay providing a perspective on that material. Annotations are provided. Most sections include a general and miscellaneous category. Users can search from Table of Contents or index. There are two indices, one for authors’ names and one for subjects.
Pros: Annotations do not attempt to judge work, but provide informative information.
Cons: Not complete. Does not include articles. Annotations are very small.
Sonneck, Oscar George Theodore. A Bibliography of Early Secular American Music: 18th-Century. Revised and enlarged by William Treat Upton. Washington, D.C.: Library of Congress Music Division, 1945. Mus Ref ML 120 .U5 S6 1945
Use: A rather complete collection of titles of secular music and books, pamphlets, essays, etc. relating to secular music. Useful to bibliographers, collectors and dealers looking for information found in America’s early magazines and newspapers as on file in the libraries mention in preface.
Coverage: Limited to secular music proper (concert music) including psalms and hymn-tunes that had a secular flavor. Emphasis on printed music. Secular music covered must have been: 1) issued by the American press prior to the 19th century and existing in the specific libraries mentioned in the preface; 2) issued but not existing in the libraries; 3) written by native or naturalized Americans and existing in manuscript form; 4) written by the above but apparently neither published nor extant.
Organization: Organized alphabetically by title of song (most entries used the caption title for each song). Each entry offers first lines, publisher information and other information of how it might have been advertised in articles. Entries also include a list of articles and essays relating to music, composers, songsters, first lines, American patriotic music, and opera librettists. An index of publishers, printers, and engravers along with a general index is located at the back. A key to symbols and abbreviations is helpful.
Pros: Thorough instructions in preface and revised edition preface on how to more efficiently use this source.
Weichlein, William J. A Checklist of American Music Periodicals. Detroit, Mich.: Information Coordinators, 1970. Reprinted as 19th Century American Music Periodicals on Microfilm: The Guide. Guilford, Conn.: Opus Publications, 1987. Mus Ref ML 128 .P242 W4 1987
Use: Helpful for finding information on concert-life, works, composers, and music education in America in the nineteenth century.
Coverage: Coordinates and collates much of material presented in other bibliographies and music journals focusing on the nineteenth century such as Charles Wunderlich’s A History and Bibliography of Early American Music Periodicals and Dwight’s Journal of Music. Periodicals selected by following criteria: generally only publications containing some letterpress material; any music journal concerned with news, reviews, philosophical commentary, and advertising; anything concerned with drama, literature, and pictorial arts if music had a prominent place in their editorial content; not including periodicals that published just music, as well as Proceedings of associations and Program Notes of symphony orchestras.
Organization: Items in list appear alphabetically under the original titles with cross-references to later titles. Each entry reference is made to the existence of the titles in other lists and catalogs with an abbreviation in the upper right-hand corner of the entry. Also offers information on any library holding a representative number of copies of the publication. Presents as much bibliographic data as could be verified—length of runs, names of editors and publishers, and pertinent publication information. Helpful abbreviations list, two appendixes covering the chronological register and geographical distribution of American musical periodicals, along with an index of editors and publishers. Bibliography located at the back.
Pros: Many suggestions in the introduction of other resources that could be helpful.
Cons: Incomplete. Little or no annotations.