Günther, Bernhard, and Andreas Vejvar, eds. Lexicon zeitgenössischer Music aus Österreich: Kompositen und Komponistinnen des 20. Jahrhunderts; mit Werk listen, Diskographien, Bibliographien und einer zweisprachigen Einleitung.
Use: A concise reference guide to resources related to Australian music, composers, and performers.
Coverage: Information covered spans from late 19th century to present day. Topics range from ancient Aboriginal traditions, European-derived musical genres, Australian folk, jazz, country, popular, rock, electronic, and experimental music. The Dictionary is derived from its larger predecessor, Oxford Companion to Australian Music. The former is more concise, being half the word-length. Two-thirds of the entries are taken directly from the Oxford Companion.
Organization: Entries are organized alphabetically. How to Use the Dictionary, following the Preface, is a helpful tool explaining alphabetization, arrangement of headwords, names of institutions, place-names, and abbreviations. Information is presented clearly and precisely; however, some entries are more detailed and complete than others. Articles on historical and cultural contexts are brief. No entries on terms, institutions, organizations, cities, communities, events, activities, and musical sources.
Pros: Current information; corrections, such as recent death dates and newly discovered errors of fact, have been made to articles that are directly from the Oxford Companion. A handy-sized dictionary.
Cons: Not an extensive list of works and literature. In an effort to be concise, some entries are too brief and incomplete. Not extremely helpful for scholarly research.
Use: A reference guide to biographical information about Australian musicians, a critical guide to their works, publishers and recordings, and a key to the sources and growing research literature in the field of Australian music.
Coverage: Information spans from late 19th to 20th centuries. Covers music of mainstream audiences, religious denominations and recent migrant communities. One-half of entries describes individuals such as composers, performers, teachers, instrument-makers, lyricists, critics, scholars, impresarios, administrators. The other half encompasses musical works, institutions, genres, instruments, and terms.
Organization: Entries are listed alphabetically. How to Use the Companion, following the Preface, is helpful in understanding alphabetization, arrangement of headwords, names of institutions, place-names, abbreviations, cross references, and further references. Composer entries include a list of works providing details of instrumentation, date of composition, date of publication and recording information. A Further Reference section follows each entry with complete bibliographic information. Detailed and precise information.
Pros: Black and white pictures are useful in identifying composers and instruments.
Cons: Some information is out-of-date; particularly death dates of composers. Limited entries on living subjects.
Ficher, Miguel and Martha Schleifer and John M. Furham, eds. Latin American Classical Composers: A Biographical Dictionary. Lanham, M.D. and London: The Scarecrow Press, 1996. Mus Ref ML 105 .F53 1996
Use: Musicians interested in Latin American music and its influential composers.
Coverage: Dictionary seeks to categorize Latin American composers trained in a classical or cultivated tradition. This is an effort to promote their works to the widest available audience.
Organization: An abbreviation guide is the first of four sections that comprise this reference. The main body is an alphabetical listing of the composers. These entries include dates, countries, biographical information, works and sources. Following this is a helpful listing of composers organized by country. An additional bibliography with complete citations concludes the book.
Pros: Book is well organized and provides thorough coverage of this specific area of interest.
Günther, Bernhard, and Andreas Vejvar, eds. Lexicon zeitgenössischer Music aus Österreich: Kompositen und Komponistinnen des 20. Jahrhunderts; mit Werk listen, Diskographien, Bibliographien und einer zweisprachigen Einleitung. Bibliography by Günther Leucht. English translation by Joyce Shintani. Vienna: Austria Music Information Center, 1997. Mus Ref ML 101 .A9 L48x 1997
Use: Useful to a research specialist or a performer who is interested in contemporary music by Austrian composers. A research specialist could find information on recordings, printed editions and performance durations for a research paper. A performer could look up information on new repertoire.
Coverage: Presents information on twentieth century Austrian composers and their work.
Organization: In three sections. The first includes introductions, a preface, acknowledgments, a reference list, notes and an abstract in English that summarizes the notes. The second section is a dictionary on Austrian composers and their works organized alphabetically by composer. Each entry contains information on the composer, a chronological listing of his/her works and a bibliography. The third section contains indexes, geographical distribution charts and a time line.
Pros: The introductions and preface have been translated into English making it easier to understand the contents and purpose of the book.
Use: A useful tool for English speakers to find information about Finnish topics and musicians of history. General guide oriented to the non-specialist.
Coverage: Provides information for musical topics of Finland from the early nineteenth century to 1997. No criteria provided of how they selected their sources.
Organization: Alphabetically organized by letter into information on a variety of Finnish musical topics and musicians. Includes information about Finnish conductors, composers, teachers, performers and choirs, definitions of Finnish musical terms or names such as instrumental groups (common village ensembles), and musical styles. Two appendices are provided that offer geographical information of Finland, as well as a chronology of Finnish history and music history. A selected bibliography and index of topics is also included.
Pros: Clear practical pros oriented to the non-specialist. Biographical sketches are concise and include many composers not found in other music dictionaries. The information in the English language is a rare advantage to most books on Finnish music.
Cons: Biographies of Finnish people are less extensive then many other musical dictionaries. Much of the information provided can only be found in this dictionary.
Use: Essential source for teaching the history of Canadian music. Clearly describes Canada’s contribution to the world of music. The most complete resource on its subject.
Coverage: Central focus on prominent composers and performers. Attempts to cover historical, popular, folk, religious, concert and other forms of music. Displays the institutional aspect of music making in Canada. Some discographies and filmographies are listed at end of articles.
Organization: Alphabetical arrangement of professional or best-known name. Each article includes a brief bibliography citing dates, places, ranks, titles, specialization, translations of foreign names, and a list of compositions. Some illustrations and tables included.
Pros: Lists outstanding pupils of a teacher and location of deceased musician’s surviving papers.
Cons: Currently out of date. Weak in history of classical composition in Canada.
Review: Deaville, James. Die Musikforschung, (January-March 1996): 79-80; DeLong, Kenneth. Notes: Quarterly Journal of the Music Library Association, (June 1994): 1449-1450; Leonard, Charlotte. Fontes Artis Musical, (July-September 1993): 268-269.White, Harry M. Irish University Review, (1993): 353-355; Matejcek, Jan V. Das Orchester: Zeitschrift fur Orchester und Rundfunk-Chorusen, (December 1993): 1347-48.
Use: Encyclopedia containing more information about music terms and composers in South Africa.
Coverage: Covers all non-African composers in SA from early settlement times to the mid-1900’s. Musical terms and concepts indigenous to SA.
Organization: Standard dictionary format. Harold B Lee Library only has volume II, E-I. A section on indigenous music makes up about half of the volume. The section contains ten subheadings (1. Introduction; 2. Music of the Black races of SA; 3. Composition principles; 4. Speech tone and melody; 5. Zulu and Swazi music; 6. The Pedi; 7. Notes on the Sotho; 8. Tswana; 9. The Shangana and the Tsonga; 10. Vend speaking people), which are full of detailed information about music instruments and musical practices.
Cons: Library only has one volume.
Use: Researchers concerned with people, places and terminology in the U.S. sound recording field.
Coverage: This reference provides a listing of sound recording terms that reflect activity in the U.S. until 1970. Although mention of later developments (i.e. compact discs, big name stars) is made, the focus and depth of this book is 1970 and earlier.
Organization: Divided into four sections, the dictionary includes a listing of articles and “see” references before the main thrust of the book appears. The focus of the research is an alphabetical listing of terms. These citations provide brief descriptions and information on major sound recording terminology, people and places. This is followed by a bibliography and a general index. Index is organized alphabetically word by word.
Pros: A good resource for historical background on sound recording, but does not have in-depth coverage of material after 1970.
Use: Concise overview of Mexican musicians, genres, concepts, and musical terms. Major works Mexican composers are listed, including biographical information. Intended to provide extensive coverage of music and musicians in Mexico not hitherto available.
Coverage: Lists 2,000 major Mexican musicians from eighteenth century to present. Includes significant music academies and musical terms.
Organization: Standard dictionary format. Each entry consists of composer’s name, major works, and biographical information. Bibliography of related research found at the end of book. Charts and illustrations interspersed throughout.
Pros: Detailed biographical descriptions of the composers and extensive lists of their works. Very up-to-date.
Use: This dictionary allows the percussionist to translate foreign terminology and find descriptions to nearly every percussion instrument commonly used in western music.
Coverage: 26 languages, limited to western music
Organization: 3 sections: Alphabetical listing of Instruments; Photographs : to aid the alphabetical listing; Foreign Terms and their Translations. Reviewed in Percussive Notes 24, 1985.
Pros: Precise, well-worded definitions. An excellent source of photographs.
Inc., 1995. Mus Ref ML 102 .P4 E5 1995
Use: In addition to the more than 3,000 percussion related terms, this encyclopedia is beneficial for its biographical list of noted percussionist and publications about percussion from 1588 to 1960.
Coverage: Primarily Western Percussion, although an attempt is made to include a limited amount of world percussion.
Organization: 6 sections: The Alphabetical Listing of Percussion Instruments and Terms includes over 3,000 entries from various cultures of the world; The Photograph section is followed by a section of 28 Articles written on percussion as well as a biographical list of noted percussionists; A List of Symbols and Ranges of Mallet Instruments; The Table of Percussion Instruments and terms in English, French, German, and Italian; Published Writings contains information about articles written from 1588 up to the 1960's. Reviewed by Kathleen Kastner in Percussive Notes vol. 52, 1996.
Cons: Significant portions of the "Dictionary of Percussion" are mindlessly inserted.
Use: Intended as a 20-year update of Claghorn’s “Dictionary. Specialized in modern music facts for young people, baby boomers, and folks who remember the love songs of the past.
Coverage: Covers all notable popular bands, musicians, singers, and songwriters of the 19th and 20th centuries with concise facts updated to 1994. All new musicians and singers are included. Foreign groups who have performed in the states are also included. Information compiled from books, magazines, and newspapers. Includes the composers and lyricists of the best known songs, especially old-time favorites.
Organization: Entries are in simple letter-by-letter alphabetical order. Cites performers by individual name or by group title. Each entry includes some or all of the following: a brief sentence about the performer(s), albums, dates of recordings, videos, location of performer(s), if entry is a group-lists performers involved, awards, and significant performances.
Pros: This volume will be of special interest to libraries since reference librarians receive many requests for information on various musicians, bands, and singers.
Use: Find brief biographical information on film composers, a listing of the films they composed for, and recordings in print.
Coverage: Covers American and international feature films and documentaries apparently from movies in the early 1900s through 1998. Substantial television scores may also be included under some composers. Soundtracks with classical music as most of the score are also listed.
Organization: The book is divided into two sections—composers, movies with classical music scores—plus an index of movie titles. Each composer is listed alphabetically with a brief biography, list of movies he/she composed music for, and a list of recordings. The movies with classical scores are arranged alphabetically by movie title. The index of movie titles lists the movies alphabetically, but movies beginning with “the” or “a” are listed in the “t” and “a” sections, respectively.
Pros: Quick movie composer reference with an easy to use format. List record label and number with recordings.
Cons: Limited listings of international films and composers.
Use: An Encyclopedia of dancers, companies of dance, productions, terminology, and composers.
Coverage: International. Covers dance from pre-renaissance to the present.
Organization: Standard dictionary format. Contains appendices: Alphabetical list of entries; Synoptic outline of contents. Also includes a general index.
Pros: Fairly extensive Most entries are followed by a respective bibliography for further study. Photographs are included.
Use: Intended for pianists or those who critically listen to piano music. Provides a compilation of recordings of some of the greatest piano works. Also serves as a dictionary of great performers in history.
Coverage: Includes History’s best-known concert pianists. The information about them comes from quotes from other important people of their time (if from the pre-recording era) or from the author’s own knowledge and experience of hearing them himself. Includes major masterpieces in piano literature, but not every important or interesting work. The recordings were chosen to show the largest range of interpretation of a composition.
Divided into two parts:
Part One “The Pianists”: Lists famous concert pianists in alphabetical order. Includes birth and death years and country of nationality. Each entry briefly summarizes their life and career.
Part Two “The Piano Literature”: Lists significant works, solo and concerto, alphabetically by composer. Presents a brief discussion of each composition. Includes date of work when available, and occasionally gives duration timings. Various recordings (if available) listed after each composition in alphabetical order by performer (includes record label).
Pros: Recording lists represent a wide diversity of interpretation which allow one to see the potential of how a work can be performed. Drawings of select musicians by David Dubal throughout.
Use: Provides information for researching popular music groups. Includes general musical terms, music artists, biographies, discographies, and album ratings. Useful also for locating album titles, chart positions, record sales, and critical opinions.
Coverage: Provides information on most pop music artists from around the world.
Includes folk, hip-hop, rap, jazz, rock-n-roll, country, and world music.
Organization: Contains most birth and death dates, and provides short biographies. Discographies attempt to be all-inclusive. Standard dictionary format with artist bibliography, artist address location, song title index, general index by keyword, and quick reference guide.
Pros: International coverage of chart position location, accurate dates, and thorough discographies. Especially useful indexes included in Vol. 8 for location of groups/group titles.
Cons: Biographical information not thorough.
Use: An encyclopedia of musicians, terms, musical forms, and instruments related to the Latin American music scene in New York City.
Coverage: Entries include Latin American musicians who established residence in New York City or who had significant impact on the New York Latin music scene.
Organization: Begins with a section that gives an overview of the history of Latin American music in New York emphasizing the appearance and evolution of various Latin dances and song forms. The body of entries follows. Entries are listed alphabetically and include brief biographical information, major hits written or recorded by the artist, and figures who collaborated frequently with the artist. The appendices include a section that lists artists for whom biographical information was not available, a select discography of Latin American music in New York, and an index.
Pros: The author was a DJ, a Spanish language educator, and a leader of a Latin band for some years, and knew the music scene in New York intimately. As a result his selection of entries is very comprehensive.
Cons: The author is not a professionally trained musician, and the entries are sometimes unclear in their definition or description of musical forms. Oral histories, a major reference source for the work, sometimes result in conflicting or inaccurate information in the entries.
Use: To provide a useful companion to ordinary everyday readers and to provide a substantial reference book that will be of value to the student and the professional user.
Coverage: Tries to include every name and topic of obvious importance, to include a few interesting sidelines, and at least mention all reasonably well-known names even if only under some collective heading. Offers selective basic bibliographical listings, confined to the most recommended and reasonable available printed books. Deals with the living. Essentially concerned with the English-speaking world. Much of the information is from other published sources, the gaps filled in by more detailed articles and personal contacts.
Organization: Entries are in simple letter-by-letter alphabetical order, with spaces and hyphens ignored; definite and indefinite articles, in all languages, are also ignored where the fall at the beginning of a title.The book is divided into 4 parts. The first section, “Companion”, is the main bulk of the book including terms, names, song titles, group titles, places, and common phrases. Following this is an index of people and groups, an index of shows and films, and an index of songs and albums.
Pros: Offers reliable and sensibly selected information. Well organized.
Herzhaft, Gerard. Encyclopedia of the Blues, 2d ed. Translated by Brigitte Debord, Photography by Paul Harris, Jerry Haussler, and Anton J. Mikofsky. Fayetteville: University of Arkansas Press, 1997. Mus Ref ML 102 .B6 H413 1997
Use: Useful for finding biographical information and pictures of American blues artists.
Coverage: North American 20th–century blues artists, events and prominent places.
Organization: Alphabetical by artist. Entries cover producers, musicians, trends, movements, instruments, and geographical regions of major contribution. Biographies of musicians include description of style, most popular songs, pseudonyms and real names, and other artists worked with. Appendices include a short bibliography, select discography with original record labels and album titles, lists of anthologies, blues artists and their instruments, and an index of entry titles.
Pros: Includes photographs of artists. Fairly extensive biographies. Up to date. Well analyzed reviews on select discography in the appendix. Cross references are used.
Cons: No preface.
Review: Prévos, Andre. The Black Perspective in Music, USA XIII/1 (spring 1985): 115-17.
Use: Find general information on American Film Musicals. Also find Best Song Oscar winners and Film Musicals nominated for Best Picture.
Coverage: Encyclopedia entries include full-length American feature film musicals from cinematic beginnings to 1997 that were originally written for film. Does not include songs that are not sung by characters in the movie, instrumental production numbers or songs from movies that are not film musicals. Other popular songs from movies that do not fit the criteria listed above are listed separately without an article. Film musical lists include any movie that has at least 3 songs sung by characters in the movie.
The book has the following sections:
Encyclopedia section: Lists song titles in alphabetical order. Each article includes the movie, composer, performers, general feel and style, and memorable aspects of each song.
Popular songs list: Lists popular songs from movies not listed in the encyclopedia section alphabetically and gives the movie the song is in and the original source of the song, but no article.
Best Song Winners: Lists winners of Best Song Oscar from the first winner to 1997 by date and includes the movie the song is in.
Best Picture nominees: Lists all Film Musicals that have been nominated for Best Picture by date from the beginning of the Oscars to 1997.
Film Musicals: Lists all film musicals alphabetically and gives a list of the songs included in the encyclopedia section of the book.
Pros: Aricles are concise yet consist of more than just a factbook listing.
Cons: Encyclopedia section does not include songs not originally written for film, especially Broadway songs and popular songs. Information on the movie production of that song is therefore missing. The author does, however, refer the reader to this books companion, The American Musical Theatre Song Encyclopedia, for information on Broadway songs that were later made into film.
Use: Definitions of terms, study resource for various compositions, performance topics and reference for techniques of execution. A general handbook for the vocal performer.
Coverage: Compositions, performance terminology, musical references and information to increase understanding of topics related to vocal performance. Musical incipits, facsimiles, woodcuts, and pictures. A great portion of the book is dedicated to opera.
Organization: Typical dictionary format. Alphabetical by author, subject or title. Content of each definition dependent on entry.
Pros: Covers a wide spectrum of topics/knowledge related to vocal performance, that a vocalist should be familiar with Relatively recent and thorough, serves well as a handbook. Annotated (useful and directive information).
Use: The "New Grove" of Dance.
Coverage: Most expansive coverage of Dance.
Organization: Standard Encyclopedia format. Vol. 6 also contains an Alphabetical List of Entries, a Synoptic Outline of Contents, and an Index. Vol. 1 includes a Foreword, Preface, and Introduction.
Pros: Informative pictures.
Use: Comprehensive jazz dictionary including individuals, groups, styles, terminology, theory, articles on instruments, record labels, festivals, venues, films, institutions, non- performing individuals and an extensive bibliography.
Coverage: From the earliest beginnings of jazz styles to printing in 1988. Includes many many hybrid styles of the second half of the century (funk, acid-jazz, Latin-jazz, etc.).
Organization: Standard dictionary organization.
Pros: Thorough text; lengthy preface explaining the scope, categories of article, how to use the text, and an extensive list of abbreviations. Very user friendly.
Kingsbury, Paul, ed. The Encyclopedia of Country Music: The Ultimate Guide to the Music. Edited by Paul Kingbury, Laura Gernard, Daniel Cooper, John Rumble. Oxford University Press: New York and Oxford, 1998. Mus Ref ML 102 .C7 K56 1998
Use: Includes basic information about specific terms, performers, record labels, radio and television programs and songwriters in American country music.
Coverage: Mid 1960’s to 1997, covering the United States and Canada. The primary objective of the book is to focus on the most influential performers’ lives. In English.
Organization: Organized alphabetically (integrating all factors of country music previously mentioned). Some sections contain a longer essay at the end. For example, at the end of the “T” section is a two-page article on “touring” in country music. Several appendices list winners of annual country music awards, country music’s share in the United States’ market, the percentage of country music stations out of all music stations in the U.S., and members of the Grand Ole Opry.
Pros: a good source for basic information about country music terms and people. A photograph accompanies each citation.
Cons: author’s bias on who is important enough to be included.
Use: Finding biographical information about popular and jazz musicians and their music trough the 1950’s.
Coverage: Covers Broadway and movie musical and some jazz and the musicians associated with those types of musics. Spans 1900-1950.
Organization: Standard dictionary format (vols. II and III). Volume I is listed chronologically. Five appendices: Downbeat poll winners; Time chart of record releases; Academy Award winners 1934-1972; Record collection for beginners; Numerical listing or principal record labels, mid 20’s – early 40’s.
Pros: Includes five appendices and four indexes. Also includes a ‘music: year-by-year’ volume which contains information about music from Broadway and movie musicals.
Cons: The encyclopedia mostly covers Broadway and movie musicals; only some jazz.
Use: A biographical guide to internationally recognized singers from 1690-present. Written in German. Useful for finding information on classical singers.
Coverage: Singers of opera, oratorio, aria, cantata, art song, and religious song from the 1690's to the present. International (Singers from Western and Eastern European countries, and the United States).
Organization: Singers listed alphabetically, and accompanied by dates, biographies, literature written about them, discographies, and literature sung by them. Extensive index in volume 5 lists alphabetically operas and operettas, and includes premier dates, places, and main performers. Bibliography also at the end of this volume.
Pros: Current. Detailed biographies. The volume 5 index includes original performers of opera premiers.
Use: This dictionary contains terms, phrases, and abbreviations found in the literature written for Symphony Orchestra.
Coverage: Symphony Orchestra literature terms from France, Italy, Germany, Japan, African, Spain, Latin America, and Russia.
Organization: Standard dictionary format. Appendices include Abbreviations; Phrases in Russian using Cyrillic lettering; The range of mallet instruments.
Pros: Pocket size.
Use: Extensive encyclopedia of popular music including pop, rock, and jazz. Overviews on musicians, groups, albums, newspapers, magazines, films, and stage musicals.
Coverage: Includes popular music largely from the US and UK. Over 18,500 entries.
Organization: Standard dictionary format. Includes Introduction to Popular Music and massive song title index of every song mentioned in the work. Each entry contains a detailed biography, commentary, discography, "Further Reading" section, compilations, and list of videos.
Pros: Current information on all major artists. Clear, intelligible prose. Extensive coverage. Includes educational Introduction to Popular Music, a history from the beginning of the 1900s. Albums on a five-star rating system.
Use: Excellent source for new-comers to jazz or jazz veterans who wish to find out more information about jazz musicians.
Coverage: International coverage. Prominent musicians from the early 1920’s to late 80’s are featured.
Organization: Musicians listed chronologically then alphabetically. Seven chronological sections: Pre – twenties; 20’s; 30’s; 40’s; 50’s; 60’s; 70’s and 80’s. Each musician entry therein includes the following: Biographical information; A critique about the musicians career; A lineage – a list of what other musicians influenced the entry musician; A media listing showing other books and videos/films in which the musician is involved; A listening (discography). Also the book includes a “data bank,” or rather, an appendix, which is divided into four categories: Record labels; Jazz books; Glossary; Jazz information. There is also an index to musicians in the book.
Pros: Typographical layout is well organized and easy to read. Photographs and illustrations make reading interesting
Cons: Not entirely current.
Use: A collection of short biographies of conductors and composers of popular music. Useful for collectors, music and record (LP) librarians, disc jockeys and radio stations worldwide.
Coverage: Biographies of American and British composers and international conductors. Includes discographies of LP and CD recordings, but not 78 rpm and 45 rpm. Covers from audio recorded history to 1998. Includes arrangements of salon music, music excerpted from operas, operettas, musical comedies, theatre and show music, as well as popular music of more classical composers. Does not include Jazz or dance band music.
Organization: Begins with an explanation of abbreviations of publishing companies. Main body including conductors and composers is arranged alphabetically by name, with a short biography and discography. A list entitled Select Discographies includes discographies of conductors of whom no biographical information could be found. Index alphabetized by composer/conductor name.
Pros: Includes many conductors and composers that are excluded in classically-oriented publications. Listings of additional research resources included with some entries.
Cons: author bias for inclusion. No cross- referencing.
Use: Concise entries on Jewish Musicians. Includes more obscure musicians that may not be included in other dictionaries.
Coverage: Focus on Jewish musicians. Includes composers, performers, and musicologists as well as entries on Jewish hymns and folk music. In some instances the music is included in the text.
Organization: Standard dictionary format. Brief biographical or historical information for the entry often followed by endnotes. Entries occasionally include musical notation. A chronology of highlights in the history of Jewish music is included at the end of the book.
Pros: Concise reference tool. Detailed footnotes reference scriptural passages.
Cons: Limited 20th century entries. Does not include works lists for composers.
Palmieri, Robert, ed. Encyclopedia of Keyboard Instruments. Vol. 1, The Piano, Robert Palmieri, ed. and Margaret W. Palmiere, assistant ed. Garland Reference Library of the Humanities, vol. 1131. New York and London: Garland Publishing, 1994. Mus Ref ML 102 .K5 E53 1994 vol. 1
Use: Beginning point for research on people, places, history and structure of the piano.
Coverage: Each volume includes information on the structure, history, national industry, innovations, builders/makers, companies, contemporaries, and the future for the harpsichord, piano, organ, and clavichord. Volume 1 covers the piano—including major builders and companies, composers who affected piano history or structure, piano history, and piano structure. Coverage of piano pedagogy, touch, and technique is brief.
Organization: There are four volumes—the piano, harpsichord, organ, and clavichord. Each has its own editor who controls the organization. The piano volume lists topics alphabetically and ends with an index. Each topic is an article with an author and bibliography. The index includes lesser names and builders as well as the main topics. The dates for people are in the index, and do not appear in the text unless it fits into the prose of the article.
Pros: Each topic is an article written by an expert with a bibliography for further research. Pictures and diagrams help clarify structural and acoustical information.
Cons: Only deals with history and structure of the piano.
Pedigo, Alan. International Encyclopedia of Violin-Keyboard Sonatas and Composer Biographies, 2d ed., revised and enlarged. Booneville, Arkansas: Arriaga Publications, 1995. Mus Ref ML 102 .V45 P4 1995
Use: An encyclopedia of musical elements relating to sonata-form works composed for violin and keyboard duo. Intended for the performer interested in violin-piano collaboration.
Coverage: The author has attempted to be exhaustive in his inclusion of information relating to sonatas composed for and performed by violin and keyboard instruments. Keyboard instruments covered include piano, harpsichord, and organ. Harp-Violin duos are also discussed. Also includes information on performers of these sonatas.
Organization: The encyclopedia is organized in five parts. The first part is a general text, and discusses topics such as the evolution and form of the sonata, modality and tonality, ornaments, recital programs, sonatas of W.A. Mozart, performers and duos, competitions, and musicology. The second part is a list of music schools and composers organized alphabetically by nationality. The third part contains brief biographies of composers. The fourth part consists of five appendices: 1) Music publishers, 2) Phonograph records and recording companies, 3) Tempo, loudness and nuances, 4) Clefs, and 5) diatonic scales. The fifth part contains bibliographies for additional reading on the topics covered in the encyclopedia.
Pros: Includes an extensive number of biographical entries, including several entries not available in larger standard music reference sources. Entries in all of the sections are concise and clearly worded.
Cons: The layout of information on the page sometimes appears cluttered or crowded, making the work seem more intimidating and harder to use than it really is.
Use: Dictionary of definitions and analyses of commonly used vocal terms and expressions. Useful to students, teachers and vocal scientists for creating a standard terminology on the topic.
Coverage: Terms from early 17th-century to publishing date. Also includes scientific terms concerning the topic.
Organization: An index of vocal terms is at the beginning. Standard dictionary format. Extensive definitions. Includes an index of names referred to, and a bibliography.
Pros: Thorough cross referencing
Cons: Biased. Includes most of the commonly used terms. No cross referencing to the bibliography at the end. Definitions are fairly extensive.
Reviews: Baily, Dee. Notes: Music Library Association, USA LI/3 (March 1985): 517-18; Marino, Marina. Nuova rivista musicale italiana, Italy XIX/3 (July-Septemper 1985): 521-22; Lumonick, Natalie. Opera Quarterly, USA II/2 (Summer 1994) 191-93; Sjoerdsma, Dale Richard. NATS bulletin, USA XLII/3 (January-February 1986): 45-46.
Romanowski, Patricia, and Holly George-Warren eds., Jon Pareles, consulting ed. The New Rolling Stone Encyclopedia of Rock and Roll: Completely Revised and Updated. New York: Fireside, A Rolling Stone Press Book, 1995. Mus Ref ML 102 .R6 R64 1995
Use: Provides user with detailed information on rock musicians and bands. Complete discography included with each entry.
Coverage: Includes entries for major American and United Kingdom rock and roll musicians and bands. Entries about musicians and bands focusing on tangentially related music (blues, country, etc.) included when their music has significantly impacted rock and roll Current through 1995.
Organization: Standard dictionary format. A comprehensive discography precedes the bibliographic information. Grey scale pictures and chronological lists of Grammy award winners by letter interspersed throughout.
Pros: Probably the most current and extensive dictionary of rock and roll available. Good cross-referencing.
Room, Adrian. A Dictionary of Musical Titles: The Origins and Names of 3,500 Musical Compositions. Jefferson, North Carolina and London: McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers, 2000. Mus Ref ML 102 .T58 R66 2000
Use: Find information on the title or nickname of a piece of music. Find an official title or thematic catalog number from a nick name.
Coverage: No given criteria for inclusion. Includes selected pieces from all periods and all genres that have a non-generic title or nick name.
Organization: Lists music titles in alphabetical order. Each entry includes translation of foreign titles, composer, and date of the music. An accompanying article gives general information including a brief description of the work which may include movement titles, opera plots, separate titles of songs in song cycles, thematic index numbers, and the origin of the works title. The book includes an index of composers.
Pros: Covers a large span of music from all time periods and genres hitting on important pieces.
Cons: No guarantee the piece you are looking for is included. The author just arbitrarily included pieces she thought were important.
Use: Provide R&B vocal group collectors, collectors of music reference material, disc jockeys, and other music enthusiasts with information concerning the performers in R&B vocal groups, including other groups with which they sang.
Coverage: Besides the lead singer, only one other group member needed to be known for the group to be included. The group’s place of origin, history, and discography were not criteria for inclusion. With a few exceptions, trios are not included in this book, since a trio is not considered a “full” vocal group. Covers from very early in the twentieth century (earliest years when information has been made available to R&B vocal group music collectors) to 1965. Some items reflect critical post-1965 data (for instance, groups that began recording before 1965 and continued past that year).
Arranged alphabetically by group with city of the group’s origin in
parenthesis next to it. Each entry is divided into three sections:
Personnel: Contains names of original members and their part (lead, tenor, etc.).
Notes: A brief history of the group or individuals in the group.
Discography: Organized chronologically. Lists record label, album name, year, and source(s) used.
Concludes with an appendix, “Index of Performers and Corresponding Groups,” which lists performers alphabetically by last name and the group they are associated with. Performer has a separate entry for each group he/she sang with and may be listed even if his/her group does not appear anywhere else in the book.
Pros: A clear and easy to use source. The appendix is especially useful for quick reference. Middle of book contains some publicity photos of select groups.
Use: Detailed descriptions of musical instruments and their classifications, noted makers of instruments worldwide, and general usages. In addition, some entries provide brief overviews of musical concepts, related terms, and techniques. Bibliographies of related research included throughout.
Coverage: Attempts to cover the complete spectrum of musical instruments, makers, and related terms worldwide throughout history. Focuses especially on non-Western and folk or traditional instruments.
Organization: Standard dictionary format. Entries include: definition of instrument, inventors and developers of instrument, geographic use, and some illustrations. Explanation of country(s) of origin included with each entry. Bibliographies of related research included with some articles. Illustrations interspersed throughout.
Pros: Extensive coverage of rare and lesser-known instruments, especially from non-Western countries.
Cons: Currently outdated by 16 years.
Use: Encyclopedia for finding out more information about country music artist, terms in country music, and the history of the country music industry.
Coverage: Covers the beginning of country music, with mention of Jimmy Rodgers, “Father of modern country music,” up to 1997.
Organization: Standard dictionary format. Contains two appendices: Awards and Bibliography. The first appendix is a chart/table of artist and their music awards and/or recordings. The second appendix is a bibliography with Academy of Country Music Awards listings of articles and books about artists. Also, three indexes are included: Index of Artist; Album and Song Titles; and General Index.
Pros: Detailed information about artists is given. Included are some photographs of select artist.