Dictionaries and Encyclopedias (ML 100-109)
Grigg, Carolyn, comp. Music Translation Dictionary: An English, Czech, Danish, Dutch, French, German, Hungarian, Italian, Polish, Portugese, Russian, Spanish, Swedish Vocabulary of Musical Terms. Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press, 1978. Mus Ref ML 108 .G855
Use: A musical translation dictionary for 1300 musical terms across 13 languages.
Coverage: Lists 1300 common musical terms that may be encountered in musical scores or musical research and the translation of each into 13 different languages. Terms were compiled by collecting all English word entries from several of the most popular music dictionaries and from musical scores. In most instances, only the adjective, infinitive, and noun forms are included as entries; variants with suffixes, prefixes, plurals, similar spellings are not included.
Organization: Entries arranged alphabetically according to the English spelling. They are given a number from one to 1300. Each entry is arranged in block form, with the English on top (###AAA) and all others below with the number and three-letter language code beside it (i.e., ###RUS). Includes an index of all words in all languages and a Cyrillic index.
Pros: Easy to use and provides one with the equivalent of 91 different translation dictionaries.
Cons: Possibilities for confusion may exist with only one form of the word being given.
Kaufmann, Walter. Selected Musical Terms of Non-Western Cultures: A Notebook Glossary. Detroit Studies in Music Bibliography, ed. J. Bunker Clark, No. 65. Detroit Michigan: Harmonie Park Press, 1990. Mus Ref ML 108 .K37 1990
Use: Dictionary/Glossary of non-Western terms. Ethnomusicology reference tool. Designed as a “quick reference”, single volume work. Not intended as a scholastic dictionary.
Coverage: Covers musical terms of non-Western music, namely, the music of Asia, Africa, and Oceania. Includes instruments, musical forms, and theoretical identifications and concepts.
Organization: Presented alphabetically. Each entry includes the particular word in boldface, other possible spellings in parentheses, and then the country or region of origin or use, also in parentheses. Below this is the meaning or description. Related topics may be referred to at the end of the entry, as well as the source of the definition. As many of these terms were transmitted orally, there is no source listed. Tables of tuning systems and scales are included with some entries, but no pictures of instruments are shown. Variant spellings of terms are listed as entries, but are cross-referenced to the preferred one.
Pros: International coverage; multiple spellings of terms. Literature appendix is offered for further research.
Cons: Focus seems slighted toward Far East musics and less towards African or South American musics. Not good for in-depth knowledge though. Most descriptions of instruments just include the instrument family (i.e., bell, drum, etc.) Does not discuss how the instrument is used in music or society. A picture of the instrument would have been helpful. For most theoretical terms, either a prior knowledge of that particular regions theory or a detailed study of the terms used in each entry (requiring looking at each unfamiliar term in the entry somewhere else in the dictionary) is necessary.
Use: Useful for performers, composers, teachers, and historians as a tool to further understanding of German or English musical terms.
Coverage: Includes the following types of terms in both German and English: historical, musicological, teaching, learning, interpretation, modern media and electronics, music publishing, retail, and translators. It is as recent as 1998, and, according to the Foreword, is open to updates and modifications.
Organization: Divided into two main sections: English-German, and German-English. There is an appendix at the end, containing diagrams of instruments and explanations in both English and German. There is also a list called Authentic and Popular Titles of Musical Works. The entries for the dictionary section have the term in bold type, and the translation following, with the German words followed by the word’s gender.
Pros: Very easy to use, and very well-organized. Especially useful pronunciation guide. Another nice feature is that the Contents and appendix are in both English and German.
Cons: In a few of the entries where there is more than one meaning for a word, it is unclear which translation to use. It would be useful to have some clarification.