Rimler, Walter. A
Gershwin Companion: A Critical Inventory & Discography: 1916-1984.
See Guides to Composers and Their Works—Bio-Biobliographies
Uses: Useful for locating recordings of specific eras and styles of jazz. Also a helpful guide for obtaining resources for learning and emulating styles, and for transcribing solos.
Coverage: Covers the earliest of jazz recordings (New Orleans and Dixieland) to present recordings (Fusion, Avant-Garde and World Music). All recordings available on CD.
Organization: Main body is organized by genre or era. Listed alphabetically by group or performer, and contains biographical information with discographies. Contains index to names and places, and an index to song titles or albums.
Pros: Claims to contain the most representative examples of styles and instrumental genres.
Cons: Second volume (abridged) is more specific and contains double the selections.
Brooks, Tim, and Brian Rust, comps. The Columbia Master Book Discography, 4 vols. Discographies, ed. Michael Gray, no. 78. Westport, Connecticut; London: Greenwood Press, 1999. Mus Ref ML 156.2 .B76 1999
Use: Intended as a guide to the disc recordings of the Columbia Phonograph Company made between 1901 and 1934.
Coverage: Volumes I-III document seven and ten-inch disc recordings made by Columbia from 1901 until 1934. Volume IV covers the 12-inch format from 1905 until 1931, and is divided into two sections covering 1906-1912 (the 30000 matrix series) and 1912-1931 (matrix 36350 and higher).
Organization: The beginning of the first volume contains a detailed introduction to Columbia’s history, its matrix series, and numbering conventions. Following the introduction are several label photographs, a user’s guide, and a matrix listing. Entries are organized sequentially by matrix number. Appendices include matrix and catalog number dating charts, an overview of the matrix series used by Columbia during the acoustic era, a list of known “phantom” matrix numbers, a list of Columbia catalogs and other consumer publications, discographical sources, and a bibliography. All four volumes contain an artists index and a title index. Volumes I and IV also each contain a label index.
Pros: Very complete and informative introduction provides useful information regarding the history of Columbia Records. Typography of Volumes I and IV uses bold, italics, and indents to clearly distinguish information within each entry.
Cons: Volumes II and III has a less readable typography.
Use: To aid the performer, orchestra director or conductor, in the location of classical women composers’ works that have been recorded.
Coverage: Four hundred and sixty-eight women listed who have recorded classical/art music to LPs and EPs only; cassettes and open reel tapes have been excluded. Coverage is international, with the exception of South American and Pan-American countries, whose information was difficult to obtain.
Composers are listed alphabetically. Must consult abbreviations guide. Wherever
possible, names of performers are given. Record numbers or names of labels
and recording companies has not been supplied. Supplementary lists include
Composers by Country (countries listed alphabetically) and Composers by
Instrument and Music Form (instruments and forms listed alphabetically).
Record Labels and Companies include abbreviation code, label name and address.
Index of Titles at the back.
Pros: A very complete and up-to-date discography. Helpful indexes.
Use: Musicians interested in Anglo-American music located on recordings.
Coverage: A sampling of 500 recorded albums with music pertinent to this subject. Author limits performers to those he find are native to the tradition of this style.
Organization: A preface ad list of label abbreviations come before the listing of albums. Each album is listed with the following parameters: 1. Field recordings of individual artists, primarily noncommercial recordings. 2. Anthological field recordings 3. Individual artists/groups: reissues of commercial 78 rpm recordings of individual artists 4. Anthological reissues of commercial recordings. Following the album listing are 5 indexes that list contents by artist, title, child ballad, laws ballad and album label/number.
Pros: Attempts to be thorough in its discussion of selected sources.
Use: Extensive catalog of classical music recordings on vinyl records. Contains only compositions chosen by author. Proposes to meet need of comprehensive and total assessment of classical recordings.
Coverage: Recorded classical music, up to 1981, on vinyl records covering pre-Baroque to Modern periods. International in coverage. Very open criteria suggests it is a comprehensive catalog of all vinyl recordings.
Organization: Standard dictionary format. Each entry is separated into the following categories (among others): works for orchestra, band, brass ensemble, percussion, solo instruments, vocal, choral, opera, ballet, film music, and electronic music. Each category includes the following: full title of composition, orchestra, conductor, and critical commentary on recording. Record label index included at end of book.
Pros: Excellent and extensive coverage of extant vinyl recordings.
Cons: Does not include tapes or CD’s. Outdated by 18 years.
Use: Used to locate recordings of Vivladi’s works for oboe. Could be used to identify corresponding opus numbers from differing systems.
Coverage: Works by Vivaldi that include solo oboe found in The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians tabulated by Peter Ryan.
Organization: Gives an explanation of the series of opus numbers used to identify works of Vivaldi. Research shown in tables. First four tables provide conversion of Rinaldi, Pincherle, Fanna, and Malipiero numbers with Ryom data- “RV” numbers. The fifth table is divided by genre. Sections are solo sonatas, trio sonatas, chamber concertos, solo concertos, double concertos, and multiple concertos. Table tabulates information by RV number. Listed under this number is the corresponding Rinaldi, Pincherle, Fanna, and Malipero numbers. Also given is key, instrumentation, program subtitle, reference and recording codes. Table six gives the disc code, label number, and performer in abbreviations. Table seven lists the oboists represented alphabetically with reference numbers to the codes they were given in table six.
Pros: Tables are easy to use.
Use: A guide to the CD repertoire of jazz for the listener and collector.
Coverage: Strictly compact discs from earliest to most current jazz recordings. Attempt at comprehensive coverage.
Organization: Standard dictionary format that includes artists and performing group. Includes a list of discs under each artist or group name by recording date. Each entry includes the artists who perform on the album and a short biography of each artist or group featured, along with a short description of each album.
Pros: Includes index and a star-rating for each album included with each entry.
Davis, Elizabeth A, comp. Index to the New World Recorded Anthology of American Music: A User’s Guide to the Initial One Hundred Records. New York and London: W.W. Norton & Company, 1981. Mus Ref ML 156.9 .D38
Use: A discography of 100 record programs produced by New World Records designed to augment the American repertoire already recorded on other labels. Helpful for finding recordings of archival material and songs never before recorded before 1981.
Coverage: Contains citations of the first 100 records produced by New World Records including concert art music, marching band, bebop, film music, symphonies, theater songs, etc. It covers 200 years of American music. Half of the music citations include unique collections of archival material. Remaining records present music that had never before been recorded prior to 1981. Hundreds of experts along with an Editorial Committee annotated all the records.
Organization: The Master Index is a systematic description of each record arranged in numerical order according to the album number. Each entry includes the title, author of the liner notes, the artist and title of the cover art, minutes of each song and the titles of each recorded work in the album with its creator(s) and performer(s). Following the Master Index are four subsidiary indices: Record Material, Printed Material, Genres and Performing Media and a chronological index. Each refer the reader to the Master Index by record number, with sides and bands where appropriate.
Pros: Offers a list of songs never before recorded. Cites archival material.
Cons: Annotations do not critique actual recordings. Must know how to use subsidiary indices well in order to effectively use the Master Index. No composer or title indices.
Use: A list of recordings of classical music written by women composers.
Coverage: Limited to the United States; an exhaustive search of foreign companies not done. Covers 19th and 20th century. Only classical music included; excludes jazz, improvisatory avant-garde, popular song and art song. 337 women listed, whose works are recorded on approximately 1030 discs.
Organization: Composers are listed alphabetically. Entries include the title of composition, record company name and record number. First index is an alphabetical listing of record companies. Second index is arranged according to the following genres or types: chamber, choral, electronic, multi-media, orchestral, band, solo, stage, unknown, vocal. Third index is a title index, listing titles alphabetically with composers’ names. Complete bibliography lists major sources used.
Pros: Multiple indexes extremely useful. Record number is always in bold type for easy identification.
Cons: Not international; only a few foreign composers listed. Limited to classical music. Editorial bias as to what is defined as classical music and which composers are indeed women, as some often used male pen names.
Use: CD discography for essential jazz recordings. Historical guide to jazz. Historical guide to jazz musicians.
Coverage: Biographies on over 100 musicians. Covers Jazz history and musicians from the early 1900s to the present. Discography covers from 1925 – 1991.
Organization: Organized into five sections. Sections one and three are chronological the others are in standard dictionary format. 1) Story of jazz. 2) Who’s who of jazz. 3) Jazz legends. 4) Jazz classics. 5) “Must-have” CD’s
Pros: Excellent source for finding recordings that are most valuable in studying jazz. Generally, up-to-date.
Cons: Biographies are too general.
Use: For locating a specific discography about a particular subject, person, composition or related musical material. Limited to classical music (see coverage).
Coverage: Discographies of performers, conductors, composers and some compositions and recordings. “In addition to covering discographies published as books, as supplements to books, or as magazine articles as in the earlier volume, this new bibliography adds entries for the record labels citing significant numbers of classical recordings, discographies included in dissertations and theses, and discographies appearing in program notes on sound recordings.” This reference was preceded by a three volume set that deals with works previous to 1976, in three genres. Call numbers: ML 128 .D56 G7 1997 vol. 1 (Classical music 1925-1975); ML 128 .D56 G7 1997 vol. 2 (Jazz); ML 128 .D56 G7 1997 vol. 3 (Popular Music)
Organization: Listings by author, subject or title (name of the discography). Author, subject or title index provided for navigation. Which the author notes as a two-part construction of the reference. Entries appear in typical dictionary format.
Pros: Points to scholarly references that can be easily incorporate into research, theses, other papers and etc. Covers a wide range of topics (very diversified). Includes discographies printed in non-published sources such as programs and program notes. Includes a general index and some cross-referencing.
Cons: Difficult to navigate due to poor organization. Lacks abstracts.
Use: Detailed biographical information for choral/orchestral conductors who made gramophone records. Entries include listings of works recorded. Useful as reference guide for conductor’s performances.
Coverage: Focuses on conductors on gramophone record, from beginning of twentieth century to 1977, for whom detailed biographical information is available. International in coverage. A fourth of all conductors are not included due to lack of substantial biographical information.
Organization: Arranged alphabetically by conductor’s name. Entries consist of: detailed biography, recordings produced, and critical commentary about the recordings. Selected bibliography included at end of book. No appendix.
Pros: Detailed biographical entries. Good coverage of international conductors and recordings.
Cons: Lacks inclusion of a fourth of conductors on record. Does not include cassette tape or CD.
Keeling, Richard. A Guide to Early Field Recordings (1900-1949) at the Lowie Museum of Anthropology. University of California Publications: Catalogs and Biographies, eds. Roger Berry, Richard Blanchard, Vinton Dearing, James Deetz, Robert Harlan, John Tanno, vol 6. Berkeley, California, Los Angeles, California, and London: University of California Press, 1991. Hum Ref ML 156.4 .F5 K43 1991
Use: Intended for the researcher interested in listening to examples of stories and songs collected from native American Indian tribes in California between 1900 and 1938 that are kept in the Lowie Museum of Anthropology at the University of California, Berkeley. Another stated purpose is to provide a guide for further research to “foster greater understanding of California’s native cultures.” Also intended as a resource for the modern American Indian wishing to discover more about the cultures represented by these groups.
Coverage: Catalogues the sung and spoken examples collected on wax cylinders by field researchers who went to villages of the Indians of California from the years 1900 to 1938. Contains 2,510 separate items (songs or stories) from 112 expeditions. Approximately 65 somewhat individual tribes are represented in the recordings. Also includes brief descriptions of the remaining parts of their field recordings collection, consisting of additional examples recorded later on disc, wire, or tape.
Organization: Grouped into separate research expeditions, or series. Each entry gives the tribe and name(s) of the performer(s), year of collection, location, and the collector. Lists reference sources on music and culture of the tribe. Individual records within the entry include the subject or title of the examples, archive number (14-for the original cylinder version and 24- for the tape that was later made from each item), duration, and recording speed. Also includes notes that were handwritten by the researcher at the time of recording, as well as cross-references to other versions of the example listed in the book. If various performers were recorded in the expedition, each comes under a separate section with the designation A,B,C, etc. Contains two appendices listing brief descriptions of the recordings made later on disc, wire, or tape, and two indexes grouped by tribal group or collectors. Begins with introduction divided into sections on the background of the recording projects, other locations of recordings of California Indians, how to use the guide, and obtaining tapes of the material listed.
Pros: Provides interesting background on the cultural contexts for many of the examples as well as the field of ethnomusicological research among the California Indians. Enables ease of further exploration of this subject.
Cons: Recordings only able to be made of one person at a time–only nineteen of these examples are of ensembles. Limited number of tribes represented.
Komara, Edward M., comp. The Dial Recordings of Charlie Parker: A Discography. Discographies, ed. Michael Gray, no. 76. Westport, Conn. and London: Greenwood Press, 1998. Mus Ref ML 156.7 .P35 K65 1998
Use: A musicologist can see how Charlie Parker tunes recorded with Dial Records are analyzed. A historian can find out who Parker recorded with and a brief history of each tune. A performer uses this to find recordings or transcriptions of Charlie Parker tunes.
Coverage: Covers Charlie Parker’s two-year relationship and recordings with Dial Records. It includes dealings with the company, his recordings, subsequent reissues, and transcriptions of his solos.
Organization: Divided into three sections. Section one is an historical narrative of Dial Records and Charlie Parker’s relationship. The largest section, section two, is a chronological listing of recording sessions. Each recording session is an entry, and includes location, personnel, and reissues of the recording (if any). Then it lists each tune done during the recording session. Each tune lists composing credits, summary of formal structure, personnel, solo order and number of choruses taken, reissues of the tune, transcriptions, notes, and session comments. Section three is a commentary on each of the recording sessions, including narrative on session takes, collations, and title sources. The five appendices include, Dial Issues of Charlie Parker, Titles Suggested by Tempo Music Shop Customers, Titles Suggested by Charlie Parker, The Dizzy Gillespie Dial Session, and Grand Prix du Disque Honors for Charlie Parker. There is a bibliography, and three indexes—Names, Titles, and Transcriptions.
Pros: Detailed historical and structural information about each tune.
Cons: Only contains tunes played or originated during Parker’s Dial years.
Use: Extensive discography of trumpet music.
Coverage: Primarily covers the “LP era” from around 1950 until 1988. Repertoire included ranges from pre-Renaissance to avant-garde with a focus on the trumpet as a solo instrument or in chamber music. Music for mixed brass ensembles is generally excluded unless a trumpet is featured as a soloist.
Organization: Divided into two volumes. Volume I contains the discographical listings. Volume II contains a repertoire index alphabetized by composer, an artist index alphabetized by performance media and then by artist name, and a bibliography of selected reference material. Albums in the discography are listed alphabetically by the name of the featured trumpeter, and then by record label. The format for each individual album listing is set up to resemble a printed concert program. Information includes the album title, record label, LP catalogue number, title of the work, composer, and performer. When applicable, corresponding cassette tape and compact disc catalogue numbers are included. Discontinued albums, re-releases, and current availability are also indicated. If an album includes separate works that each feature a different trumpet soloist, the album is listed under the heading Potpourri. When the trumpeter is unidentifiable, the album is listed under the heading Unidentified.
Pros: Thorough explanatory notes explain the organizational system. Dictionary-style headings at the top of each page make this source easy to reference.
Use: A broad introduction to selected musical masterpieces composed during the second half of the twentieth century. Includes descriptive analysis and discographical information.
Coverage: A selection of 74 pieces from the twentieth century. Each piece was composed by a different composer. The author states that his criteria for inclusion in this work were not consistent from piece to piece. The general criterion seems to be that each piece sheds some light on the development of musical composition from the 1940’s through the 1990’s. Most of the pieces exhibit one or more of the following characteristics: historical significance, suggestive of general stylistic traits of the era, or aesthetically pleasing in some way.
Organization: There are two general sections in the book: entries and appendices. The entries focus on single pieces by different composers and are arranged chronologically by decade. Each entry includes the date the piece was composed, the author’s preferred recording of the piece, and an essay. The essays describe the history, musical style, and compositional techniques used for the piece. Each essay is followed by extensive discographical information for the piece. The appendices include a glossary of twentieth century musical terms, a bibliography of additional sources on twentieth century music, and an index.
Pros: Index laid out with exceptionally clear typography. Composers with featured compositions are listed in bold type. Composers or pieces discussed in an essay featuring another composer are listed in plain type. Discographical citations are listed in italics.
Cons: Discographical information on non-featured works is sparse. Only one piece from the 1990’s is discussed.
Oja, Carla J., ed. American Music Recordings: A Discography of 20th-Century U.S. Composers. With foreword by William Schuman. Brooklyn, N.Y.: Institute for Studies in American Music, 1982. Mus Ref ML 156.2 .A45 1982
Use: Helpful for finding musical recordings of American concert music (serious work) in the 20th-century.
Coverage: 13,000 commercially distributed recordings of 8,000 pieces by thousands of American composers from the generation of Ives and Ruggles to 1982. Criteria of composers listed: Must be born in the U.S. or a naturalized citizen who spent a substantial amount of time in U.S.; composers born in 1870s and after are included (there are exceptions). Only serious work included; no film scores, pop music, jazz, folk, or musical theater.
Organization: A user guide is included in the introduction along with a user format model. A bibliography is appended to the introduction. Each composer entry is arranged systematically on several levels: alphabetically by composer; within each composer, alphabetically by title of piece; within each piece, alphabetically by the first performer’s name in the entry; and within each performer’s name, chronologically by date of record issue. Performing organizations, conductors, vocalists, and instrumentalists are indexed separately in the final pages.
Pros: Effectively organized. User friendly.
Cons: Contains only record (LP) recordings (no CDs) as of 1982. No jazz, pop, or other non-serious compositions.
Use: This source is an excellent guide for selecting recordings. It would be particularly useful for libraries, or for someone who is a serious collector and wants to know everything that is available during the years 1987-1997. It could also be useful for someone looking for reviewers’ opinions on a certain performer or a certain recording, or to compare reviews of recordings by recording company, to see which labels seems to produce the best recordings.
Coverage: This source is based on information orignally published in Notes: Quarterly Journal of the Music Library Association between 1987 and 1997. It also incorporates information contributed by Richard LeSueur. It cites reviews from twenty-three journals, with varying number of years of coverage for each, between the years 1987 and 1997. The indexed reviews are of recordings; LPs and CDs. It focuses on summary by symbol (+ - or blank) of the reviewer’s opinion of the performance quality, which may take into consideration the quality of the recording, but not the reviewer’s opinion of the music itself.
Organization: The largest portion of the source, occupying volumes one and two, is devoted to a listing by manufacturer of recordings and their reviews. The listing is alphabetized by label and subarranged by manufacturer’s number of each recording. Corresponding LPs and CDs, if not together numerically, are cross-referenced. Each entry is assigned a number and includes a description of the release and then a list of review citations with a symbol preceeding it indicating the reviewer’s opinion of the performance quality. The next portion of the source is a listing by composer or anthology. Each entry, alphabetized by composer, refers the reader to the number assigned in the first section of the source to that recording. Likewise the third section of the source, an index by performer, also refers back to the number assigned to that particular recording in the first section. So, if one is looking for all the reviews of all the recordings by a certain artist, they can look at all the numbers listed under a performer’s name in the third section, and look up each number in the first section to find each recording and its list of reviews.
Pros: This source is organized strongly in favor of label. Great for collectors who organize recordings by manufacturer. Since the review summary symbols reflect only the view on performance and recording quality, it can be a strength if that is what the reader is looking for.
Cons: Not easy to use for someone looking for reviews or who collect recordings by performer or composer.
Use: Used to find recordings of solo oboe literature. Could be helpful if studying the performances and/or recordings of a given piece before 1982.
Coverage: The author has attempted to be as comprehensive as possible. Covers solo oboe works, oboe and accompaniment, concerti, oboe and English horn trios and quartets. Includes other chamber music at the discretion of the author.
Organization: First section organized alphabetically by composer. Second section organized by performer. Entries include composer, title, performers last name, recording company and record number. Abbreviations given at the beginning of the article.
Pros: Extensive in its time.
Use: An annotated list of band music intended to provide a brief description of the origin, composer, and recordings of individual works band leaders and patrons of this music. To contribute to a greater appreciation of recorded musical heritage.
Coverage: Although the title says 1950-1987, there are some songs included that were recorded before 1950, but not after 1987. The list includes major recordings of music, grade 3 and above, by professionals, military, college and grade school bands from USA, Japan, Holland, and Canada. Only a limited number of marches are included, most of which are of the “concert” variety.
Organization: Following a brief survey of the recorded literature is a list of 1750 works listed alphabetically by the composer’s last name. The annotations for each piece include information on its title, composer, arranger, director, the concert at which it was recorded, the date of the recording, the performing band, and a brief description of each work. Most entries are annotated completely, but some are missing pieces of information. Some of the annotations only provide a very brief description of the work, while others provide extensive information about the background of the piece and influences behind it. The index is a valuable tool as it lists these works by composer, conductor, title, genre, the band, type of composition, themes, concertos and solos. The Appendix, “where to get records”, provides addresses and a brief description about each recording company.
Pros: The index is helpful as it provides a way to find music according to any relevant search parameter. The list itself is very extensive.
Cons: Because of the publication date, it only includes works up to 1987. There is no model explaining each part of each entry. This makes it difficult at first to understand what information is provided.
Use: Locating American written organ music on LPs and other records.
Coverage: Native born and foreign born organ composers who became permanent residents of the USA from the first known organ composer in the USA (1774) to the present. Organ music listed includes works written originally for organ or transcribed for the organ by the composer. Organ music with other instruments also included, as well as organ with orchestra and organ with electronic tape.
Organization: Arranged in two parts 1) Discography. Alphabetical by composer. Subdivided by title, followed by performer. Name of organ builder, date, location. Album title, side and band number, record label and date, and physical description. Organ specifications included if found on slipcase. 2) Separate indexes by performer, organ builder and instrument location, album title, record label and number, and author of program notes.
Pros: Extensive indexing allows easy location of recordings.
Cons: Outdated due to the advent of the compact disc.
Use: A listing of recordings made or issued by Atlantic Records. For music listeners, scholars, and educators.
Coverage: Includes details on roughly 10,000 recordings from the begging of 1947 through March 1966. This volume also includes all the recordings make in this period for the Atco subsidiary label. The details in these volumes are based on studio files.
Organization: Includes list of abbreviations used, Atlantic Master listing (vol.1: 0-9999, vol.2: 10000-19999, vol.3: 20000-30016, vol.4: 30017-36000), additional sessions issued by Atlantic (up to the year 1966), cross index of Atco Master numbers, and an index of session leaders. Arranged according to the master number sequence for Atlantic and Atco labels. Categorized according to performer or performing group and lists all people involved, the date and place it was registered, and the songs recorded. When available, includes length of recording.
Pros: Index. Without it the book would be impossible to use.
Cons: Not listed in alphabetical order, only by catalogue number. Does not include recent recordings. Many details missing.
Use: A discography of recordings on the Clef and Verve labels.
Coverage: Lists all recordings made or issued by the Clef and Verve labels (and their subsidiaries Norgran, Verve-Folkways, Verve-Forecast, and VSP) from 1944 to 1973.
The work is divided into two volumes. The first volume contains parts 1-4
and covers recordings made from 1944 to 1961. The second volume contains parts
5-10 and covers recordings made after Verve was sold to MGM, from 1961 to
1973. The parts cover the following information:
1) Early sessions made by Norman Granz
2) Clef/Norgran sessions from 1950-1956
3) Verve sessions by Norman Granz
4) Reissues from other labels
5) Verve sessions from 1961-1966
6) Verve sessions from 1966-1973
7) MGM or Polydor sessions reissued on the Verve label
8) Lists of singles series
9) Lists of album series
10) Artist index
Parts 1-7 list details on personnel, recording dates, master numbers, and issue numbers.
Pros: Extensive coverage of recordings made by Verve and its affiliates.
Cons: Arrangemant of information on page is sometimes too crowded.
Use: Discographical listing of recordings made or issued by Decca label and its subsidiaries (Brunswick, Champion, Coral and Vocalion).
Coverage: All recordings made or issued by Decca label as listed above. Includes leased and purchased material from other companies as well as known foreign issues (when not straight re-issues of original Decca records).
Contains 6 volumes, each devoted to either a master number series or a given
location of recording session. Each entry is listed in master number order
within given subject:
Volume 1–contains all recordings made in California between 1934 and 1973. Includes recordings made in Hawaii which were assigned a California number, recordings made in California without Decca master numbers and material from World Transcriptions.
Volume 2–recordings made between 1934 and 1942 in the East and South. Sections devoted to Chicago, New York, annual country field recordings made in the South and Caribbean recordings. A special section on recordings made earlier than 1934 for other labels and purchased by Decca.
Volume 3–recordings between 1943 and 1956 made in the eastern United States. Includes recordings from World Transcriptions and Signature labels.
Volume 4–Eastern United States recording sessions done between 1956 and 1973. Sections on Decca recordings without individual master numbers, including plays, poetry/readings, film and soundtracks.
Volume 5–divided into 3 parts: Part 1–country recordings made between 1946 and 1973, mostly made in Nashville. Part 2–classical recordings. Lists recital dates and material leased from foreign labels. Has a composer index. Part 3–foreign recordings re-issued on U.S. Decca label. Volumes 1-5 include an artist index with names and relevant page number.
Volume 6–numerical listings and artist indexes. Lists all records issued on Decca (namely 78 and 45 RPM singles, 45 RPM extended play, 10 inch long-play, 33 RPM albums, 12 inch albums, and CDs). Includes artist name and number, indicates volume(s) and page(s) corresponding to session listing. Albums and CDs include album/CD title. Has extensive lists of foreign issues, composer index, and concludes with a general artist index with names from volumes 1-5, relevant volume(s) and page(s).
Use: Find recordings made or issued by the King label.
Coverage: Any recording made or issued by the King label and its sudsidaries: De Luxe, Federal and Bethlehem. Dates from 1943-1973. Includes Country Western, Gospel, Blues, Rhythm and Blues, instrumental Rhythm and Blues and Jazz.
In 6 parts:
Parts 1, 2 and 3: Lists reocrdings by master number (closely resembles chronological order). Each recording gives the group or personnel, song title, date, master number and album number the song was included on. Part 1 contains King label recordings. Part 2 contains recordings of King’s subsidaries. Part 3 contains other labels issued by King.
Part 4: Lists all singles by series and then by label number. Gives the title of the single and a page number to the session of that song listed in parts 1, 2 or 3.
Part 5: Lists all albums by series and then by label number. Gives the album‚s title and page numbers to all the sessions of the songs included on the album.
Part 6: Alphabtically lists all the artists and gives a page number to all the sessions they were involved in.
Cons: There is no song title or album title index.
Use: A listing of all recordings made by Savoy Records. Good for those interested in the history of Savoy.
Coverage: All recordings made or issued by Savoy Records are listed. Includes historical details about jazz, blues, rhythm and blues, and gospel recording sessions. Classical entries are not detailed, but are included in the discography. Information is based on the Savoy files, which are inaccurate and incomplete. The time covered is from 1939 to 1975.
Organization: This discography is in a series with two others, each of which cover a specific recording label. This one is organized into four large parts: Savoy Sessions, which is broken down into specific locations and years of the sessions; Leased or Purchased Sessions, which lists sessions purchased or leased by other labels but issued by Savoy; Single Numerical Listings, which are listed first according to label, then numerically; and Album Numerical Listings, which are also listed in order of label, then number. There is an index of artists and a table of European releases at the end of the book.
Pros: The information is very detailed and organized, and offers several different options of finding a recording.
Cons: Changing the typography would make reading the information easier.
Use: Intended to aid those searching for recordings issued by the Mercury label and its subsidiaries.
Coverage: Lists in five volumes all recordings made or issued by the Mercury label and its subsidiaries (Blue Rock, Cumberland, Emarcy, Fontana, Limelight, Philips, Smash and Wing labels), including leased and purchased material (from labels such as Keynote, Majestic, and National) and recordings by independent labels distributed by Mercury. Known foreign issues included when not straight reissues of original Mercury records.
Entries listed chronologically by recording date when available. Otherwise,
the numerical sequence of master numbers assigned by Mercury made for a session
listing was used. Dates in question follow with a (?). Entries in volumes
I-IV include album title, artist(s)/orchestra, recording studio, recording
city, recording year, and each song with its catalogue number. Volumes cover
an assigned time period as follows:
Vol I—1945-1956: # 101-14001
Vol II—1956-1964: # 14002-30999
Vol III—1964-1969: # 31000-46000
Vol IV—1969-1981: # 46001-57036
Each of these volumes end with an artist index, which includes all of the names appearing in the session listings of the volume. Volume V contains numerical tables and record listings. It concludes with a general artist index, which includes all names appearing in volumes I to V with relevant volume and page numbers.
Pros: Introduction contains a detailed but brief history of the record label which clarifies why certain labels are included during certain time periods. Includes a list of abbreviations used (of instruments, countries, labels, locations, and orchestras). The index of artists is essential for use of this set.
Use: Helpful for anyone looking for recordings of Irish folk music.
Coverage: Focuses on recordings of Irish folk music from the 1970s to 1989. Inclusion is based on printed reviews of the recording or concert performance and articles about the artist. Availability is also a factor in the selection.
Organization: Arranged alphabetically by principal artist. Recording titles are arranged alphabetically under the artist. Works without stated main artist are listed by title under Various Artists at the end of the alphabet. Entries include: the main artist, title, year of release and the record label and number. The artists, including the members of their bands, guest artists, instruments, etc. are listed next. Annotations follow the above information. All entries critiqued by the author accept for those with asterisks after the title. All information taken directly from liner notes of the disc The Notes section includes additional miscellaneous information on the recordings and the artists. Provides an Artist Index and a Title Index.
Pros: Lengthy annotations. Provides information that is otherwise hard to find.
Use: Critical commentary of selected conductors’ sound recordings of Mahler’s symphonies. Commentary focuses on conductor’s interpretation and orchestra’s performance throughout each symphony. Useful in assisting conductor in correctly interpreting Mahler’s symphonies by comparing/contrasting the recordings.
Coverage: Covers Mahler symphony recordings since 1986, based on selected conductor’s recordings. Includes selected evaluation of 650 new recordings since 1986 edition. International in coverage.
Organization: Arranged numerically by Mahler’s ten symphonies and Das Lied von der Erde. Each conductor’s recording is commented on through each symphony. Index to conductors, orchestras, soloists, choruses, and record labels, which are included in the book, is found at the end.
Pros: Detailed and well-written descriptions of orchestra’s and conductor’s performance.
Cons: Biased entries seem to selectively praise favorite orchestras and conductors; produces lack of truly objective commentary.
Use: A comprehensive discography of every track recorded by more than 1,000 rock groups, with biographical information and recommended listening.
Coverage: Thorough and extensive coverage of more than 1,000 rock groups from all over the world. No clearly stated criteria for the inclusion of one group over another. One hundred bands are removed from 3rd Edition (1996) and replaced with one hundred new entries. All entries used from the 3rd Edition have been updated until the end of 1997.
Organization: Group/artist/band is listed alphabetically. Each entry includes a biography, recommended listening, specific singer’s and/or musician’s names, and discography information. Discographies are listed chronologically with information including date, title, type of recording, catalogue number, specific song titles, U.S. and U.K. chart positions, and other notes. Consult the information on how to read the book before deciphering codes. Also see Formats and Abbreviations to identify information.
Pros: A comprehensive guide. Associated group/artist with major name-change is listed in gray.
Stuart, Philip, comp. Igor Stravinsky--The Composer in the Recording Studio: A Comprehensive Discography. Discographies, ed. Michael Gray, no. 45. New York,Westport, Conn. and London: Greenwood Press, 1991. Mus Ref ML 156.5 .S85 S88 1991
Use: A comprehensive discography of Igor Stravinsky as recording artist.
Coverage: Lists all of Stravinsky’s studio performances as conductor or pianist. Excluded are those performances given primarily for the camera. Includes recordings of concerts and broadcasts which have been published on disc or preserved in archive collections. Also includes Robert Craft’s recordings of Stravinsky, as he was assistant conductor in most of Stravinsky’s performances after 1948. Includes all issues (to 1990) of recordings in the U.S.A., Britain and France.
Organization: A prose introduction outlines five major areas of study: Uncertain beginnings, The Old World, The New World, Consolidation, One More Time. Each section describes Stravinsky’s recording experiences in detail. The main body consists of a Discography which lists 191 recordings chronologically. Within the 191 entries, 153 are Stravinsky as conductor or pianist, 29 are Robert Craft’s studio recordings of music by Stravinsky, and 9 entries of associated recordings requiring no conductor. Four valuable appendixes are The C.B.S. LPs, Soulima Stravinsky, The Live Recordings, and The Missing Works. A Chronological Index of Works includes all of Stravinsky’s original compositions, recorded arrangements, and transcriptions.
Pros: A thorough and unique discography.
Cons: The typography does not clearly delineate the separation of entries.
Use: A comprehensive discography of recordings by the London Philharmonic. Other related information provides a broad overview of all aspects of the recordings.
Coverage: All known recordings of the London Philharmonic released by the U.S.A. and the U.K. from 1932 to 1996. All disc and tape formats are included.
Organization: Five preliminary sections include An Historical Sketch, Sessions, Discs and Tapes, Scope and Sources, and Explanatory Notes. The Discography is listed chronologically. Extensive and descriptive information includes the record company/label, sponsorship, producer, recording date, engineer, location, conductor, orchestral principals, soloists, singers, discography number, composer, repertoire, matrix number, catalogue number, and other notes. There are four appendixes titled, Film Soundtracks, The London Philharmonic Choir, Not the London Philharmonic?, and The Players. Three helpful indexes are Recording Locations, Conductors, and Repertoire. In addition, A Bibliography, General Index and Late Additions make this an exhaustive guide.
Pros: This is not merely a discography--the introductory sections, four appendixes and three indexes make this a comprehensive outlook on every aspect of the London Philharmonic’s recordings.
Use: Beginning or experienced jazz and blues listener can find listings of jazz and blues albums in print. Also find biographical information on the artists and rankings and reviews for each album.
Coverage: Book intends to be fairly comprehensive listing of jazz and blues artists and their albums in print. It wants to include traditional jazz and blues, but also has selections of zydeco, punk-blues, acid jazz, country-blues, R&B, gospel, and blues-rock. Includes albums from the early 1900s through 1997. Doesn’t include anthologies, unless they have historic import and include early 78 and 45 recordings.
Organization: Entries are listed in alphabetical order by artist’s last name, or group’s first name. Each entry includes a discography in chronological order, and each album gets a rating. Then there is a discussion of the artists, their recordings, and their musical career. A small section at the end has Record Label and Distribution Information.
Pros: Reviews and ratings for each album. There is a lot of information in an easy to read format.
Cons: There is no index, so must know the musician’s name when looking for a specific album title.
Thomas, Jeffrey Ross. Forty Years of Steel: An Annotated Discography of Steel Band and Pan Recordings, 1951-1991. Discographies, No. 49. Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press, 1992. Mus Ref ML 156.4 .S8 T5 1992
Use: Near comprehensive discography of steel band recordings to date of publication.
Coverage: International coverage; predominantly Caribbean, Europe, and the Americas. The steel drum’s conception began in the 1950’s, which makes the discography coverage as complete as can be expected up to it’s printing.
Organization: Alphabetical by artist, with cross-referencing tools (example: Songs recorded by multiple artists; i.e. Pan in A minor)
Pros: Covers the first recordings to include steel drums. International in scope. The “newness” of this instrument allows for a thorough discography.
Cons: Text is dated and in need of a updated edition.
Use: Guide to early ethnic and vernacular music on 78rpm recordings to expand current knowledge of musical form.
Coverage: Lists recordings of music of this type in various formats. Information regarding companies, record labels and bibliographies are available. Intended for musicians with this interest, or even record collectors.
Organization: Divided into four major sections. Chapter one contains information on company names for 78rpm records, lists of reissues on cd, bibliography and footnotes. Chapter two lists alphabetically and numerically major European record company prefixes and series. Chapter three includes details of the known reissues. This makes it possible to sample music of a particular country or region. Chapter four will allow one to look up words and terms from the record labels, sleeves ad catalogues.
Pros: Completes a previously lacking area in ethnic music research
Cons: Work is considered in-progress; much information is yet to be compiled.
Use: A discography of Gregorian Chant.
Coverage: Gregorian chant that has been recorded up to 2 February 1990. Includes some pieces that don’t fit the definition of Gregorian Chant very well for the sake of distinguishing them from genuine chant.
Organization: Volume one is the Record List. The first line of each entry includes a format code, country code, label name code, a two letter prefix to the issue number and finally the issue number. The rest of the entry contains a title, alternate issue numbers, who the recording is sung by, and the date of the recording. Under each main entry is a subentry with the individual chants on the recording with equally detailed information also in a coded system. Volume two is the Chant list and is organized according to what book or collection of chants the recording contains. These entries contain all the same information that is in Volume one in a different but equally detailed and complex system.
Pros: Very extensive and detailed.
Cons: Complex coding system in the entries may be difficult for some to work with. The introduction does not explain the organization of volume one very clearly.