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Encyclopedias List

Algemene muziek encyclopedie

Jozef Robijns and Miep Zijlstra, eds. Algemene muziek encyclopedie (2nd ed.; Haarlem: De Haan/Unieboek, 1979–84) 10 vols.; 2667 p. The Algemene muziek encyclopedie, an encyclopedia of music history and musical terminology, was originally published in six volumes in Ghent, Belgium (1957–72). A large number of prominent musicologists in Belgium and the Netherlands provided contributions, headed by August Corbet and Wouter Paap. The Belgian musicologist Jozef Robijns (1920–93), Professor at Leuven University and librarian of the Bruges Conservatory, edited the second edition together with Miep Zijlstra, expanding it to ten volumes. This edition covers aspects central to the study of music history, organology, and music theory, including music not belonging to the classical canon. With its emphasis on Belgium and the Netherlands the encyclopedia is especially useful for scholars who seek information on the musical culture of the Low Countries.

Annals of opera, 1597–1940

Alfred Loewenberg. Annals of opera, 1597–1940 (3rd ed., revised and corrected.; Totowa, NJ: Rowman and Littlefield, 1978) xxv p., 1756 col. With Annals of opera (1st ed., 1943; 2nd ed., 1955) the German-born British musicologist Alfred Lœwenberg (1902–49) created a monumental work that contains information on 4,000 operatic works. It details premieres and international performances of operas from Monteverdi’s day to 1940. In the print edition, individual entries are organized by country, subdivided by composer and opera, and specify title, details of the premiere, librettist and source of libretto, cast list, conductor, director, and other key aspects related to production and performance history. The author himself was aware of the daunting task, introducing it as “a skeleton history of opera, in dates and fact” (Preface). But it is more than that, as it provides all basic facts on opera. The third edition is in essence a reprint of the previous ones, with revisions and updates by Harold Rosenthal (Loewenberg died before the completion of the second edition). Edward J. Dent, who wrote the preface to the third edition, states that “Some alterations and fairly numerous corrections have been made, and many new dates and other facts added from the author’s notes. Further corrections from other sources have been accepted and incorporated, but essentially the Annals remain Loewenberg’s work, presented here as far as possible in his own revision. No attempt has been made to carry the records beyond 1940”. Operas that have been recently revived or performed in newer versions are marked with an asterisk. Although the volume contains only a fraction of the operas performed between 1597 and 1940, it is still the most comprehensive listing for this time period: an exhaustive work, indispensable as reference book. Similar in format, but including some 60,000 titles, is Franz Stieger’s Opernlexikon.

Band music notes

Norman E. Smith and Albert Stoutamire. Band music notes (Revised ed.; San Diego, CA: Kjos West, 1979) xxxvi, 299 p. This informative volume on the subject of music for bands and band music composers was written by Norman E. Smith and his colleague Albert Stoutamire. Smith (1921⁠–1998) was born in Missouri. A B-17 pilot during World War II, after the war, he received a master’s degree in Music Education from Southwest Louisiana Institute (now the University of Louisiana at Lafayette) in 1950 and a PhD from Florida State University in 1968. Smith was the McNeese band director from 1954 to 1964. He retired in 1978 as Professor Emeritus. Stoutamire (1921–2002) was educated at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, at Columbia University in New York, and at Florida State University in Tallahassee. He worked as composer and also held lectureships at various academic institutions, including at McNeese where he succeeded Smith as band director in 1965. The revised edition of their reference work is the result of two years of work, which Smith began just before his retirement from McNeese. The volume provides a comprehensive foundation and is widely used as a primary source of information about composers and compositions of band music.

Biographical dictionary of Afro-American and African musicians

Eileen Southern. Biographical dictionary of Afro-American and African musicians (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1982) xviii, 478 p. With the Biographical Dictionary of Afro-American and African musiciansEileen Southern (1920–2002), who served on the faculty of Harvard University and before 1971 was known primarily as a Renaissance scholar, created a long-needed resource and a major research tool. It is the first single comprehensive volume of its kind that “attempts to correlate materials” concerning Afro-American and African professional musicians “from a historical perspective” (Preface). It contains information on well over 1,500 figures, the earliest being Sebastian Rodriguez, born ca. 1642, an African drummer who was active in Mexico and died in El Paso; the birth cutoff date is 1945 (with some obligatory exceptions, such as Kathleen Battle and Wynton Marsalis). Coverage is not limited to the United States and Africa. Sixty-five musicians from Canada, South America, and Europe are included as well. This is not another dictionary confined to jazz musicians, gospel performers, or those engaged in minstrelsy; it is a survey of the lives of Black men and women who have contributed to any aspect of musical history, and as such an enormously useful reference book.

Biographical dictionary of musicians, with a bibliography of English writings on music

James Duff Brown. Biographical dictionary of musicians, with a bibliography of English writings on music (Paisley and London: Alexander Gardner, 1886) ii, 647 p. This single-volume dictionary was compiled by the English librarian James Duff Brown (1862–1914), an early advocate of public music libraries. It features short entries devoted to performers, composers and their works, and instrument makers, and it gives special prominence to British musicians, including many minor figures. As Brown notes in the Preface, he has included only those foreign musicians who either “claim attention by their acknowledged eminence” or have a direct connection with Britain. The entries on many living musicians were revised and corrected by the musicians themselves, with whom Brown corresponded. The volume includes a bibliography of British writings on music, organized by subject. With its emphasis on British musicians and the bibliography of British writings, this dictionary is particularly useful for scholars of 19th-century British musical life.

Biographical dictionary of Russian/Soviet composers

Allan Benedict Ho and Dmitry Feofanov. Biographical dictionary of Russian/Soviet composers (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1989) xxv, 739 p. With more than 2000 composers (including a supplementary list of composers with over 1300 additional names, each with dates and compositions) and a discography listing over 3400 items, the Biographical dictionary of Russian/Soviet composers is an essential volume for scholars and students of Russian and Soviet music. It is a major addition to the reference field, filling a sizable gap in up-to-date information on Russian and Soviet music before 1989, and is especially useful for scholars who do not possess a reading proficiency in Russian. It is the ideal supplement to other standard sources, as it contains information on many lesser-known composers, not found in other English reference works. The dictionary is an essential source of reference for the more obscure byways and some of the highways of Russian and Soviet music.

Biographie universelle des musiciens et bibliographie générale de la musique

François-Joseph Fétis. Biographie universelle des musiciens et bibliographie générale de la musique (2nd, expanded ed.; Paris: Firmin Didot, 1866–81) 8 vols.; 5321 p. The influential music critic and music educator François-Joseph Fétis (1784–1871) published the first edition of his Biographie universelle between 1835 and 1844. The dictionary is one of the most impressive single-author music reference works of the 19th century. The original eight volumes provide detailed biographical entries on Western European musicians. The second edition is expanded by a two-volume bibliographical supplement, compiled by Arthur Pougin between 1878 and 1880. The Biographie universelle is testament to Fétis’s personality: he had notoriously strong opinions and was unafraid to express them. Fétis was in an unparalleled position to write a comprehensive biography of musicians. In 1827, he founded the Revue musicale, one of the earliest and most influential specialist music journals of the 19th century, and from 1833 until his death he served as the Director of the Brussels Conservatory. Fétis had a large network of musical colleagues across Europe, and corresponded personally with many of the subjects featured in the Biographie universelle. The Biographie universelle provides an essential window into 19th-century French and European musical life, as distilled through the viewpoint of one writer at the center of that culture.

Biographisch-Bibliographisches Quellen-Lexikon der Musiker und Musikgelehrten der christlichen Zeitrechnung bis zur Mitte des neunzehnten Jahrhunderts

Robert Eitner. Biographisch-Bibliographisches Quellen-Lexikon der Musiker und Musikgelehrten der christlichen Zeitrechnung bis zur Mitte des neunzehnten Jahrhunderts (Leipzig: Breitkopf & Haertel, 1900–04) 10 vols.; iv, 4950 p. Robert Eitner, an autodidact in matters of music, began his musicological activities in 1868 with the foundation of the Gesellschaft für Musikforschung, which is still in existence today. He initiated several publication series before devoting himself to the seminal Quellen-Lexikon—a pioneering work in its size and ambition. At the time when Eitner conducted his work in libraries throughout Europe, many of them did not have a separate music catalogue. Eitner’s achievement was truly remarkable, especially in that he recognized the necessity of establishing an inclusive indication of sources. He was a pioneer in music source documentation, coining the famous phrase that “music bibliography is the foundation of all historical knowledge” (Preface). Eitner’s work retains its validity even today, even though the premises for source documentation have fundamentally changed through revolutionary technological developments. Numerous collections cited by Eitner were lost or destroyed during the wars, and thus his references remain the only ones (many not even included in RISM). The work is much more than a listing of manuscripts and prints. With its perspective on the sources in their local and supraregional context, it provides insights about known and unknown compositions, personalities, and music institutions. In turn, it is itself a piece of music history. A lexicon of sources, the “Eitner”, as it has become known, is a classic in musical source study and an essential reference for musicologists.

Das Blasmusik-Lexikon: Komponisten – Autoren – Werke – Literatur

Wolfgang Suppan and Armin Suppan. Das Blasmusik-Lexikon: Komponisten – Autoren – Werke – Literatur (5th ed.; Kraichtal: HeBu-Musikverlag, 2010) 839 p. In 1973 the first edition of Das Blasmusik-Lexikon, commissioned by the Bund Deutscher Blasmusikverbände, brought attention to the important sociopolitical and cultural role of wind music in society: from the Baroque period to avant-garde of our day, all the great composers have created masterpieces for wind instruments, from marches to symphonies, from light entertainment to dance music. In the succeeding decades four more editions of the lexicon appeared, each one expanded and revised. The lexicon is now an essential volume in public and research libraries. Its author, musicologist Wolfgang Suppan (1933–2015), served on the executive committee of the Bund Deutscher Blasmusikverbände from 1965 to 1997. With the fourth edition, his son Armin, a conductor and pedagogue highly active with wind music ensembles, joined as contributor. For several reasons, including the development of wind music in the last two decades, the fifth edition is newly conceived in its entirety. To bring the edition in line with international standards, each entry now consists of three parts, with a biographical section followed by works and literature.

Broadway: Its history, people, and places—An encyclopedia

Ken Bloom. Broadway: Its history, people, and places—An encyclopedia (2nd ed.; New York: Routledge, 2012) xvii, 679 p. Theater historian Ken Bloom’s 1991 first edition of Broadway offered a fact-filled compendium of Broadway’s theaters, personalities, awards, publications, and notable concepts (e.g., “stunts”), from the earliest days to the present. This new edition adds corrections and updates, and multiple cross references for easy browsing. The most substantial entries cover theaters, playwrights, composers, directors, performers, and producers; there is a special emphasis on composers and lyricists, because Bloom believes that “they had greater impact on American theatrical history” (Preface). This is not a show-by-show account (only a small number of major shows have solo entries), but a history of the Great White Way.

The Canadian pop music encyclopedia: A biographical index (Added in January 2021)

Jaimie Vernon. The Canadian pop music encyclopedia: A biographical index (Scarborough, ON: Bullseye Canada, 2020) 2 vols.; 429, 457 p. The Canadian pop music encyclopedia chronicles the history of over 2800 Canadian pop music artists, active from 1929 to the present. Among them, one can find familiar names like Bryan Adams, Celine Dion, The Guess Who, Justin Bieber, and Drake, but also obscure groups such as the U.S.-born duo Aarons & Ackley (active from 1971 to 1974) and the progressive/psychedelic rock band Zylan, based in Halifax, Nova Scotia (active throughout the 1970s). Each entry includes an extensive artist or band biography as well as a comprehensive discography of Canadian domestic releases and is accompanied by photographs. The primary criteria for an artist’s inclusion in the encyclopedia are at least a year’s experience and a commercially released recording on vinyl, cassette, CD, or Digital file. This is an essential work of reference for anyone seeking information on Canadian popular music, past and present.

Československý hudební slovník osob a institucí (Added in January 2017)

Gracian Černušák, Bohumír Štědroň, and Zdeněk Nováček, eds. Československý hudební slovník osob a institucí (Praha: Státní Hudební Vydavatelství, 1963/1965) 2 vols.; 1933 p. Československý hudební slovník osob a institucí (The Czechoslovak music dictionary of people and institutions) took almost two decades of broad collaboration between leading Czech and Slovak music specialists involved in the academy and general musical life. The dictionary offers 9500 entries in either Czech or Slovak depending on the subject. Articles are devoted to Czech and Slovak personalities active in all kinds of areas of musical life; to institutions, organizations, and performing groups; to editions and publications such as music journals; as well as to individuals and organizations of amateur and folk music production. The dictionary was conceived as a postwar response to the then first modern Czechoslovak music dictionary, Pazdírkův hudební slovník naučný (1933–37 and 1938–40), which was censored by the Nazis and interrupted by World War II. Československý hudební slovník osob a institucí correlated with the establishment of the first musicology institutes in Prague and Bratislava. Thus it reflects the beginnings of scholarly activities in postwar Czechoslovakia. The Czech portions have served as the basis for the 2008 online project Český hudební slovník osob a institucí, published by the Centrum Hudební Lexikografie at the Masarykova Univerzita in Brno.

The concise Garland encyclopedia of world music

Ellen Koskoff, gen. ed. The concise Garland encyclopedia of world music (New York: Routledge, 2008) 2 vols.; 1436 p. The concise Garland encyclopedia of world music remains true to the global inclusiveness and scholarly integrity of the original ten-volume edition, while reducing the page count by 95 percent. Some essays were shortened or updated, in-text references were removed, and scholarly terms were replaced with more familiar ones (such as “wind instrument” instead of “aerophone”). The arrangement is geographic, with a decided emphasis on Asian musical traditions, which take up all of the second volume. The essays focus more on instrumentation, contexts, and genres than on artists or recordings. Ideal for a nonspecialist readership, The concise Garland is also valuable for a specialist readership because of its up-to-date and complementary content.

Conductors and composers of popular orchestral music: A biographical and discographical sourcebook

Naomi Musiker and Reuben Musiker. Conductors and composers of popular orchestral music: A biographical and discographical sourcebook (New York: Routledge, 2013) xxiv, 335 p. Reuben Musiker, formerly a Professor of Librarianship and University Librarian at the University of the Witwatersrand, and his wife, Naomi Musiker, who is also a trained librarian, provide biographical information and a discography for around 500 individuals who have written popular and mood music for film, show, and the theater. First published in 1998, this sourcebook delves deeply into the recent history of popular orchestral music, covering the latter half of the 20th century. The main focus is on the peak period for such music, the 1940s through the 1960s. The key players are from the U.S. and Great Britain, or became popular there. They include classically trained conductors (Morton Gould, Andre Kostelanetz), swing-era conductors and arrangers, composers for film and theater (Alfred Newman, John Williams), mood or background music composers, and relevant institutions (101 Strings, Reader’s Digest). Those who composed for military and brass bands, dance bands, or jazz ensembles are, for the most part, excluded. While some of the more well-known names here can be found in other sources, this title is a useful addition to larger music collections due to its unique and narrow focus.

Country music: A biographical dictionary (Added in January 2021)

Richard Carlin. Country music: A biographical dictionary (New York: Routledge, 2013) xvii, 497 p. Country music features over 700 biographical entries of musicians, comedians, producers, singer/songwriters, and groups. Among them are current performers such as Billy Ray Cyrus and Faith Hill, and those that made history or are historical such as the Carolina Tar Heels. Most of the biographical entries include a select discography. Despite its subtitle, the dictionary also offers about 40 subject entries, on song categories such as weepers (songs dripping with heavy sentiment), instruments such as the pedal steel guitar and the banjo, locales such as the Grand Ole Opry, subjects such as the radio, and subgenres such as countrypolitan. A few entries on musical styles are included, among them bluegrass, gospel, honky-tonk, and rockabilly. Indeed, Country music highlights the inclusiveness of country music’s connections to folk, rock, Tejano, and other roots genres. Broader aspects of the country music landscape such as record labels, social commentary, and politics are addressed as well, deepening the encompassing approach. The volume contains more than 70 photos which accompany select entries. Cross-referencing allows readers to unravel threads of related entries. Two appendices organize performers and other notables according to subgenres they are associated with and by the instruments that they play. The select bibliography, listing some 150 publications, provides solid coverage of popular and scholarly secondary sources on country music. A comprehensive name index includes song and album titles.

Diccionario biográfico – bibliográfico – histórico – crítico de guitarras (instrumentos afines), guitarristas (profesores – compositores – concertistas – lahudistas – amateurs), guitarreros (luthiers) – Danzas y cantos – terminología (Added in January 2019)

Domingo Prat. Diccionario biográfico – bibliográfico – histórico – crítico de guitarras (instrumentos afines), guitarristas (profesores – compositores – concertistas – lahudistas – amateurs), guitarreros (luthiers) – Danzas y cantos – terminología (Buenos Aires: Romero y Fernández, 1934) 469 p. A noted teacher of the guitar, Domingo Prat (1886–1944) published the Diccionario de guitarristas in July 1934 in a limited edition of 1605 copies, all of which he personally signed. He built on a number of earlier lexicons and histories of the guitar, such as Philip J. Bone’s The guitar and mandolin of 1914, and Josef Zuth’s Handbuch der Gitarre und Laute, Maria Rita Brondi’s Il liuto e la chitarra, and Fritz Buek’s Die Gitarre und ihre Meister, all three published in 1926, as well as Ricardo Muñoz’s Historia de la guitarra of 1930. Acutely aware of these publications, Prat did not deem them entirely successful in their respective missions and aimed at ameliorating the work of his predecessors by providing a systematic account of his sources. Many entries contain quotations from such valuable source materials as newspapers and treatises. The Diccionario de guitarristas covers a wealth of information on the guitar and related subjects—the recognized masters of the past and present, Prat’s colleagues in Buenos Aires and abroad, obscure amateurs, celebrities, students in whom he saw a promise, mythological figures, and even fictional personalities from general literature—from the earliest times, through the Renaissance, Baroque, and the Classic era up to and including the early 20th century. It covers four main areas of interest: South American guitar music in general and Argentine guitar music in particular; the guitar in Spain; contemporary guitar; and guitar history. Numerous references pertain to individuals from the world of flamenco, or género andaluz as Prat called it. The Diccionario offers separate sections on luthiers, instruments, dance, and terminology. The exhaustive appendix exclusively focuses on guitar makers.

Diccionario biográfico y bibliográfico de músicos y escritores de música españoles, portugueses e hispano-americanos antiguos y modernos: Acopio de datos y documentos para servir a la historia del arte musical en nuestra nación (Added in January 2024)

Felipe Pedrell, gen. ed. Diccionario biográfico y bibliográfico de músicos y escritores de música españoles, portugueses e hispano-americanos antiguos y modernos: Acopio de datos y documentos para servir a la historia del arte musical en nuestra nación (1st ed.; Barcelona: Tipografía de Víctor Berdós y Feliú, 1897) 2 vols., xix, 715 p., 88 p. The unfinished Diccionario biográfico y bibliográfico was conceived just after the successful Diccionario técnico de la música of 1894. Like the latter, it continued earlier attempts at dictionaries of musical subjects in Spanish that trace back to the mid-19th century (most notably the 1853 Diccionario de música que contiene las voces más by Juan Cid, the 1859 Diccionario de música by Antonio Fargas and Carlos José Soler Melcior, and the 1868 Diccionario técnio: Histórico y biográfico de la música by José Parada y Barreto). With the Diccionario biográfico y bibliográfico, Pedrell sought to make a new and important contribution to Spanish music with a type of publication only previously attempted by Saldoni (1860) and by Parada y Barreto (1868), works that Pedrell held in low regard. As with the Diccionario técnico, the torso reflects musical knowledge at the turn of the century, along with an interest in musical nationalism. Over two dozen articles are substantial in scope and include the results of in-depth source studies and lengthy quotes from contemporaneous and historical sources; one such article is “Alfonso X”, which captures the accomplishments of King Alfonso X of Castile (r. 1252–84) whose commissions of music to poems authored by him, Cantigas de Santa Maria, are one of the largest medieval vernacular collections of lyric and narrative verse in praise of Mary. The entry contains substantial quotes from contemporaneous and historical sources.

Diccionario enciclopédico de música en México (Added in January 2021)

Gabriel Pareyón. Diccionario enciclopédico de música en México (Zapopan: Universidad Panamericana, 2006–2007) 2 vols.; 1133 p. This two-volume encyclopedia comprehensively covers the musical landscape of Mexico from ca. 1500 to the late 20th century. The Diccionario offers biographies of composers, performers, and musicians of classical, popular, and traditional music, and entries on musical styles, including local indigenous traditions. It contains entries on musical works, institutions of music education, luthiers, music stores, musical events, academic journals, and radio stations, creating a complete view of the development of the musical life of Mexico. It covers cities and regions, as well as the musical relations between Mexico and other countries. “Estados Unidos”, for example, details the complex and changing musical interrelations between the United States and Mexico, beginning in the early 20th century, and their transformation throughout the century; the entry also includes a detailed chronology and a list of scholarly publications printed in the U.S. about music in Mexico, organized by period from the Prehispanic to the 20th century. The coverage of the Colonial period, largely derived from the writings of musicologist Robert Murrell Stevenson (1916–2012), is also noteworthy. All of the Diccionario’s entries include bibliographic references, and some provide a works list and chronology. Most entries include cross-references, providing further resources on a chosen topic. The Diccionario is an essential reference work for those interested in the different musical traditions and histories of this country.

Diccionario técnico de la música (Added in January 2024)

Felipe Pedrell, gen. ed. Diccionario técnico de la música (1st ed.; Barcelona: Isidro Torres Oriol, 1894) xix, 529 p. This early music dictionary, conceived between 1892 and 1894, is a treasure trove for music historiographers focusing on the Spanish perspective. Conceived by critic and music historian Felipe Pedrell, considered one of the fathers of contemporary Spanish music and musicology, it contains nearly 10,000 entries, many of which provide definitions of genres, terms, and instruments specific to the Spanish and Hispanic realm, such as romance, copla, yarabí, triste, and vihuela. Pedrell had consulted existing dictionaries as a foundation for his endeavor. At the time one of the key reference works for music researchers, the dictionary saw three further editions, attesting to the wide use and popularity of the work. Indeed, the dictionary has been highly popular due to its accessible language. Pedrell outfitted it with 117 engravings and 52 music examples. A supplement provides additional key terms. In his preface, Pedrell offered the first critical account of international music lexicography since its origins, beginning with the work of Tinctoris, and of Spanish dictionaries up to his time, noting poor quantity and quality. His deep knowledge of lexicographic techniques also surfaces in the delimitations of content and form that a specialized music dictionary should present according to him: the Diccionario técnico de la música was meant to record purely musical meanings, and offer a consistent linguistic style with clarity, accuracy, and conciseness in the definitions. Pedrell saw it as legitimate to copy the definitions of what he regarded as the “most authoritative predecessors”.

Dictionary of American classical composers

Neil Butterworth. Dictionary of American classical composers (2nd ed.; Abingdon: Routledge, 2005) xi, 548 p. Twenty years after Garland published A dictionary of American composers (1984) this second edition offers a fresh look at 650 composers from the 18th century to the present, with new, expanded, and updated entries. It gives a wealth of information on American-born or naturalized composers and their significant works. Composers of light music, jazz, and popular songs are omitted, with the exception of the historically significant Stephen Foster. An expanded appendix of composers, listed by teacher, is included. Though the entries are similar in scope to those in Grove’s music dictionaries, Butterworth (formerly of Napier University, Scotland) has included many entries that do not appear there or in other common reference works. The volume is thus unique.

A dictionary of Australian music (Added in January 2024)

Warren Bebbington, ed. A dictionary of Australian music (Melbourne: Oxford University Press, 1998) xiv, 361 p. In English. This is the first comprehensive reference work on Australian music. With just over 1400 entries written by 125 authorities on the subject, the dictionary covers a wide spectrum of topics, from ancient Aboriginal traditions and European-derived orchestral, operatic, and concert music, to Australian folk, jazz, country, popular, rock, electronic, and experimental music. There are entries on major historical and contemporary figures, including those who have achieved worldwide fame, such as Peter Allen, Percy Grainger, Peggy Glanville-Hicks, Kylie Minogue, Barry Tuckwell, Charles Mackerras, and the three great divas: Nellie Melba, Joan Hammond, and Joan Sutherland. Leading orchestras and ensembles are represented, as well as major pop and rock groups, among them the Seekers, the Bee Gees, AC/DC, and Midnight Oil. In addition to entries on individual composers, performers, and musical works and instruments, the dictionary covers leading musicologists, critics, broadcasters, educators, and researchers. The dictionary thus considers and reflects the diversity of music on the Australian continent.

A dictionary of music and musicians (A.D. 1450–1880)

George Grove, ed. A dictionary of music and musicians (A.D. 1450–1880) (Philadelphia: Theodore Presser, 1895) 4 vols.; ii, 3200 p. A dictionary of music and musicians is the first edition of Sir George Grove’s eponymous music encyclopedia (now continuously updated as Grove Music Online). When the first volume was published in 1879, Grove intended to only publish two volumes, but as work on the dictionary continued, the size of the dictionary expanded to four. In this first edition, Grove limited the content of his dictionary to Western music composed after 1450. Unlike contemporaneous dictionaries such as those compiled by Fétis and Riemann, Grove’s did not isolate articles on persons and terms into separate volumes; rather, each volume contains articles on composers, performers, musical terms, music theory, instruments, and musical institutions and societies. Although the dictionary is comprehensive in coverage and international in scope, Grove noted in his Preface that he had thought it “right to treat English music and musicians with special care”. Grove, who trained as a lawyer and was self-taught as a music critic, wrote many of the articles himself, most notably the biographies of canonical composers such as Beethoven, Mendelssohn, and Schubert. He also commissioned articles from over 50 writers spread across England, America, and continental Europe. The writers included highly trained amateurs, similar to himself, and music librarians and professors at conservatories and universities. As the first edition of the longest-running and most comprehensive English-language encyclopedia of Western music, A dictionary of music and musicians is an invaluable historical document.

A dictionary of the avant-gardes

Richard Kostelanetz. A dictionary of the avant-gardes (2nd ed.; Abingdon: Routledge, 2001) xxii, 735 p. The encyclopedia by Richard Kostelanetz, an independent writer, filmmaker, and performing artist, brings together a wealth of information on aesthetic innovation in the arts, including music, film, literature, the visual arts, dance, and theater. The artists included were mainly active in the 20th century, with no birth date earlier than Edward Lear’s (1812–88). They include such well-known subjects as Charles Ives, John Lennon, Igor Stravinsky, Edgard Varèse, and contemporary figures as environmental-artist Christo and performance-artist Laurie Anderson. The entries for Kinetic Art, Serial Musk, Mixed-Means Theater, Zaum (poetry), SoHo, and Something Else Press create a rich image of a period. The second edition is enlarged and revised, with an added photo insert. It makes the avant-garde art easily accessible to au courant researchers and fills a gap in reference collections.

Dictionnaire de la musique: Les hommes et leurs oeuvres

Marc Honegger, ed. Dictionnaire de la musique: Les hommes et leurs oeuvres (Paris: Bordas, 1993) xv, 1372 p. With the collaboration of more than 200 European, and American musicologists, in 1970 the French musicologist Marc Honegger (1926–2003) had assembled the first edition of his comprehensive biographical encyclopedia. This new edition includes 5,500 entries over two volumes. The entries cover a diverse range of musical personalities, from composers and performers to musicologists, music theorists, instrument makers, and music editors. The composer entries include a list of works; most entries feature a bibliography. French musical life is a particular strength of this encyclopedia, which contains entries on French figures who are not included in Grove or MGG. Some 20th-century figures, such as the composer Olivier Messiaen, wrote autobiographical entries for the Dictionnaire de la musique, an uncommon feature that reveals how these composers wished to be remembered. In addition to these unique perspectives, the entries on standard subjects such as Beethoven, Mozart, or Schumann contain original insights that one might not expect to find in an encyclopedia of this length. This makes the Dictionnaire an essential reference tool for any researcher of French musical culture.

Science de la musique: Formes, technique, instruments

Marc Honegger, ed. Science de la musique: Formes, technique, instruments (Paris: Bordas, 1976) 2 vols.; xv, 1266 p. This two-volume encyclopedia, devoted to musical terms, complements Honegger’s Dictionnaire de la musique: Les hommes et leurs oeuvres. The result of collaboration among 170 French, European, and American musicologists, Science de la musique contains articles on such diverse topics as music theory, aesthetics, form, technique, musical instruments, music history, and countries and cities. Most articles feature extensive bibliographies.

Dictionnaire de musique

Jean-Jacques Rousseau. Dictionnaire de musique (Paris: Veuve Duchesne, 1775) 2 vols.; 1045 p. First printed around 1767/68, Rousseau’s Dictionnaire de musique is one of the early music reference works. It has been considered radical and traditional at the same time; radical, because Rousseau advanced in it an idiosyncratic philosophy on opera and revealed his rejection of French music tradition; traditional in that he held on to existing categories—music as art and music as science—and to views on music theory accepted in the 18th century. As a historiographer Rousseau is far from outdated. His entry for “monologue” marks the first appearance of the term in French musical lexicography. It synthesizes principles drawn from poetics and dramaturgy with stylistic arguments developed during the Querelle des Bouffons. Rousseau also makes the first effort to overcome Eurocentrism in music lexicography. Rousseau’s volume is a rich source of information on contemporary reception of Bach, Händel, Haydn, and Mozart. The RILM Music Encyclopedias features the 1775 printing.

Dictionnaire de musique moderne (Added in January 2022)

François Henry Joseph Blaze (Castil-Blaze). Dictionnaire de musique moderne (2nd ed.; Paris: Au magasin de musique de la Lyre moderne, 1825) 2 vols; xvi, 324 p. [25]; 389 p. First published in 1821, by its title alone, Castil-Blaze’s dictionary appears as a modernized version of Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s Dictionnaire de musique. Conceptually in line with the practice of musical lexicography opened by the philosopher of Geneva, in the Dictionnaire de musique moderne Castil-Blaze significantly reshapes the approach. While following Rousseau, the French musicologist, music critic, composer, and music editor came to propose his own definitions. Accordingly the Dictionnaire de musique moderne is characterized by two overarching trends: Castil-Blaze follows Rousseau in terms of entry structure and content (save for some 80 entries which he literally copies), but he updates and makes accessible the entries to a broader readership by focusing on issues that relate to the contemporaneous state of music and doing so with great clarity. This is recognized by a contemporary who has made lexicographic music history himself, François-Joseph Fétis, who asserted: “Containing nothing that is not known to educated musicians, the Dictionnaire de musique moderne contains developments that are a little too considerable for others: with this slight defect … the book of M. Castil-Blaze deserves praise for the clarity of the definitions and the rectitude of judgement which are distinguished in most of the artists”. The second edition, of 1825, contains corrections, such as in the entries on counterpoint and figure. A third, abridged, version exists, printed in 1828 in Brussels and edited by Joseph Henri Mees, who outfitted it with a catalogue of  theorists, composers, and deceased musicians active in the Low Countries and a short instructional text on music pedagogy.

Dictionnaire des œuvres de l’art vocal

Marc Honegger and Paul Prévost, eds. Dictionnaire des œuvres de l’art vocal (Paris: Bordas, 199192) 3 vols.; xv, xi, xi, 2367 p. This three-volume encyclopedia, devoted to vocal compositions from any genre from popular song to opera, complements Honegger’s Dictionnaire de la musique. Its 3500 entries are organized by work title (composers and librettists are indexed) and provide a history of the work’s composition and premiere, a summary of the text, literary and musical commentary, and a list of editions and bibliography. While international in scope, the Dictionnaire des oeuvres de l’art vocal is particularly strong on French vocal repertoire. Given Honegger’s research focus on 16th-century music, Renaissance scholars will find it a treasure trove as well.

Dizionario degli editori musicali italiani, 1750–1930 (Added in January 2017)

Bianca Maria Antolini. Dizionario degli editori musicali italiani, 1750–1930 (Pisa: Edizioni ETS, 2000) 427 p. With the support of CNR (Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche) and SIDM (Società Italiana di Musicologia), 30 Italian experts contributed to the first major dictionary (after Claudio Sartori’s pioneering Dizionario degli editori musicali italiani of 1958) that comprehensively gathers information on publishers, printers, and booksellers of music, active in Italy between 1750 and 1930, a period hitherto ignored. In her foreword the volume’s editor, Bianca Maria Antolini, explains the timeframe: 1770 marks the beginning of a boost in Italian music publishing, while the 1930s constituted a pivotal change (new sound reproduction technologies altered music consumption, which affected the publishing world). The nearly 400 entries provide a structured frame of music publishing, production, and consumption in Italy. Publishers are presented with biographical information and company history (including changes of name, location, and ownership and mergers), modes of dissemination, and technology. The Dizionario is also an essential source for the dating of music publishing, as it includes lists of editorial numbers and plate numbers (such as for Lucca and Ricordi). It provides scientifically accurate and well-documented information on a significant part of European music publishing. As a solid point of reference, and complementing similar international initiatives, it is an important publication for musicologists, librarians, and bibliographers (of music and other topics).

Dizionario e bibliografia della musica

Peter Lichtenthal. Dizionario e bibliografia della musica (Milano: Antonio Fontana, 1836) 4 vols.; 1589 p. Born in Preßburg (today Bratislava), Peter Lichtenthal (17801853) studied medicine at the University of Vienna and in 1810 moved to Milan, where he acted as a censor of the Kingdom of Lombardy-Venetia. A composer and music theorist by passion (and an early writer on music therapy), he published his seminal first edition of the Dizionario in 1826 (with a reprint in 1836). According to Fétis, who met Lichtenthal in 1841, the Dizionario was the result of 12 years of hard work. Its four volumes are divided into two parts, the first being a music dictionary, the second a general bibliography based on Johann Nikolaus Forkel’s Allgemeine Litteratur der Musik, translated with additions. Lichtenthal’s mission was to create an all-inclusive music encyclopedia, considering the theoretical and practical, the ancient and modern, the anthropological and historical, the aesthetic and philosophical, and not excluding the sciences, particularly physics and mathematics. Although full of factual errors, and being largely a translation of the dictionaries of Gerber (1790–92), Koch (1802), and Castil-Blaze (1821), and the bibliography of Forkel (1792), it is nevertheless a landmark in the development from dilettantism to modern, systematic bibliographic method and contains valuable genre definitions.

Dizionario universale dei musicisti

Carlo Schmidl. Dizionario universale dei musicisti (2nd ed.; Milano: Sonzogno, 1937-38) 2 vols. and supplement; ii, viii, 2454 S. The Dizionario universale dei musicisti by the publisher and music historian Carlo Schmidl (18591943) is widely recognized as an important early biographical dictionary for Italian musicians. The second edition, published nearly a half-century after the first, constitutes a significant expansion, it contains two volumes rather than the original one and has a supplement. Articles on composers include lists of their works and details of first performances. The Dizionario is especially notable for its articles on Italian literary figures and their relationship to music, a feature uncommon among biographical music dictionaries.

Enciclopédia da música brasileira: Erudita, folclórica, popular (Added in January 2018)

Marcos Antônio Marcondes, gen. ed. Enciclopédia da música brasileira: Erudita, folclórica, popular (4th ed.; São Paulo: Art Editora, 2010) xix, 1049 p. This revised and expanded edition of Marcondes’s ultimate reference work on music in Brazil covers all musical manifestations from ca. 1500 until the present day. It contains biographies of composers, musicians, and performers of classical music, from Villa-Lobos and Bidu Saião to contemporary artists such as Almeida Prado and Nelson Freire; definitions of national rhythms and dances; and entries on performing organizations, each with additional references to facilitate further research. The Enciclopédia da música brasileira also features great interpreters and composers of Brazilian popular music, from Ari Barroso and Noel Rosa to João Gilberto and Chico Buarque, including names of the newer generation such as Marisa Monte. With more than 35,000 entries, the Enciclopédia da música brasileira is an essential reference work for those interested in the classical, popular, and folk musics of Brazil.

Enciklopedia e muzikës shqiptare (Added in January 2022)

Sokol Shupo. Enciklopedia e muzikës shqiptare (Tiranë: Asmus, 2002) 318 p. With the Enciklopedia e muzikës shqiptare, Sokol Shupo, an Albanian music researcher and composer who serves on the faculty at the Academy of Arts in Tirana, pays tribute to the many important figures in Albanian music history who are not recognized in other encyclopedias. The encyclopedia offers 186 entries on performers, composers, musicologists, and others active in Albania’s music scenes, from Petrika Afezzoli, conductor and a faculty member at the Academy of Arts in Tirana, to the composer Nikolla Zoraqi, who had made an important contribution to the development of new Albanian music. Many of the musicians who received an entry are still active in Albania today. Those who have moved abroad are only included to a limited extent. Given the condition of archives and collections in Albania and the absence of a national music bibliography, this encyclopedia provides the most complete and verified information on the history of Albanian music. It is the first single comprehensive volume of its kind.

Encyclopedia of American gospel music

William K. McNeil, ed. Encyclopedia of American gospel music (New York: Routledge, 2010) xviii, 489 p. With more than 60 contributors from universities and libraries as well as from gospel and folk-music organizations, the Encyclopedia of American gospel music provides historical and biographical information for hundreds of artists who have shaped gospel music for more than 100 years. Edited by William K. McNeil (1940–2005), when he was the Director of the Ozark Folk Center in Arkansas, the encyclopedia covers American gospel music in its entirety from the historical foundations in post-Colonial America to today: Black and White gospel music (it is one of few comprehensive, scholarly reference works to combine the two), contemporary Christian artists, record labels, religious organizations, major song collections like The sacred harp, and musical styles. Brief bibliographies (including historical and current print titles), Internet sites, and selective discographies accompany most entries. This title is the definitive work on the subject and fills a gap in a field that has had only sporadic reference documentation.

The encyclopedia of Australian rock and pop (Added in January 2020)

Ian McFarlane. The encyclopedia of Australian rock and pop (2nd corrected ed.; Gisborne, VIC: Third Stone Press, 2017) 544 p. The encyclopedia of Australian rock and pop embeds a brief history of pop and rock musical developments Down Under with a wealth of information on personalities, bands, and institutions. This second edition has been completely revised and updated, adding over 160 new articles to the previous 870 entries. With articles on AC/DC, The Avalanches, Olivia Newton-John, and Guy Sebastian, as well as You Am I and Zoot, it is the most comprehensive guide to artists who molded Australian popular music from 1956 to 2016. Each article contains biographical information, line-up details, record releases, career highlights, and album discographies, as well as an authoritative critique on each artist’s career. Major entries have references for further reading. This comprehensive approach makes transparent the impact of singers and bands such as Johnny O’Keefe, Marcie Jones, and The Delltones; Sherbet and Daddy Cool, and Human Nature; and personalities such as Darryl Cotton, Johnny Young, Tina Arena, and Kylie Minogue. There is extensive coverage of those who have had long-standing local careers, such as John Farnham, Jimmy Barnes, and Col Joye; those who have enjoyed significant international careers, such as Rick Springfield, Helen Reddy, and The Bee Gees; as well as recognition of lesser-known live bands, such as the eccentrically named The Band Who Shot Liberty Valance, and bands who may not have recorded but still made a contribution to Australian popular music history. The attention to detail reveals itself in facts such as former Australian Prime Minister Paul Keating managing a 1960s rock band. This is an essential work of reference for anyone seeking information on Australian popular music and its impact abroad. A bibliography is included at the end of the encyclopedia.

Encyclopedia of music in the 20th century

Lol Henderson and Lee Stacey. Encyclopedia of music in the 20th century (Abingdon: Routledge, 2013) 801 p. This concise, one-volume encyclopedia covers all aspects of 20th-century music from around the world, ranging from classical to popular genres, with entries devoted to composers, performers, genres and styles of music, countries, and regions. In addition to providing biographical and historical context, many articles contain suggestions for further reading and listening and cross-references to other relevant entries. The encyclopedia also features a biographical digest, with sentence-long descriptions of performers and composers, a glossary, a comprehensive bibliography, and an index. With its easy-to-read prose and user-friendly layout, this encyclopedia is particularly well-suited for entry-level students and a general audience seeking basic knowledge about 20th-century music.

Encyclopedia of recorded sound

Frank W. Hoffmann. Encyclopedia of recorded sound (2nd ed.; New York: Routledge, 2006) 2 vols.; xii, 1289 p. Since the 1993 first edition, the Encyclopedia of recorded sound, written by Frank Hoffmann, a Library Science Professor at Sam Houston State University, has been the most thorough work available on this subject. Topics covered include technical concepts (e.g., oversampling), musical genres (e.g., rock music recordings), key figures in the development of recorded sound (e.g., Ray Dolby), recording groups and artists (e.g., Peerless Quartet), labels (e.g., Naxos), equipment manufacturers (e.g., Victor Talking Machine Co.), and even practical matters such as cleaning. The topics are largely centered on developments in the U.S., although contributions to the nation’s musical life from other countries are not ignored. This second edition updates all entries and adds 60 percent new content, including information from the 1990s and early 2000s, such as the merger of AOL and Time Warner.

Encyclopedia of the American theatre organ

David L. Junchen and Preston J. Kaufmann. Encyclopedia of the American theatre organ (Pasadena, CA: Showcase Publications, 1985-95) 3 vols.; 1390 p. This three-volume encyclopedia provides a wealth of primary source material on the American theater organ, an instrument designed for the movie theaters of the silent film era that has now all but disappeared from American pop culture. The first two volumes contain articles about organ manufacturing companies. The third volume is devoted to “the mighty Wurlitzer”. Each entry is documented with primary source material such as photos, company records, stop lists, advertisements, drawings, and interviews and correspondence with organ makers. In addition, Junchen has provided an opus list detailing the histories of all of the organs built by each company. These materials will prove indispensable to anyone researching popular music in the silent-film era.

Encyclopedia of the blues

Edward M. Komara, ed. Encyclopedia of the blues (New York: Routledge, 2006) 2 vols.; xiii, 1100 p. Komara, the Crane Librarian at SUNY at Potsdam, assembled more than 2,000 articles for this two-volume blues encyclopedia. The exhaustive catalogue of biographical entries features blues artists, historians, songwriters, and label owners from all time periods and includes items that might seem obscure (e.g., the Chicago-based R&B band Big Twist and the Mellow Fellows). The encyclopedia also provides entries for important record labels, instruments, musical styles, individual songs, geographic regions, historiography, aspects of the business, and additional topics that have been lacking in other encyclopedic efforts: entries such as Blues Folklore and Juke Joints. The blues often gets lumped together with jazz, folk, or gospel; it is rare to see it stand on its own as an encyclopedic subject. This title clearly fills a gap by offering multifaceted coverage in one place.

Encyclopédie de la musique et dictionnaire du Conservatoire (Added in January 2017)

Albert Lavignac and Lionel de La Laurencie, eds. Encyclopédie de la musique et dictionnaire du Conservatoire (Paris: C. Delagrave, 1920–31) 11 vols.; 7570 p. The French musicologist Albert Lavignac (1846–1916) conceived the Encyclopédie de la musique et dictionnaire du Conservatoire as a monumental encyclopedic undertaking with monograph-length studies by reputable French scholars. After Lavignac’s death, Lionel de La Laurencie (1861–1931) continued the project, but with his passing in 1933 the Encyclopédie was abandoned. The work as its stands consists of two parts. The first (comprising five volumes, first published between 1913 and 1922) concerns the history of music, with specific sections on periods (antiquity to Middle Ages) and on selected countries in Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Americas. The number of entries allocated to non-European music is especially noteworthy. Joanny Grosset’s major article on India may be counted the beginning of modern interest in Indian music in the French-speaking world. Similarly notable is Maurice Courant’s Essai sur la musique classique des Chinois. The second part (comprising six volumes, published between 1925 and 1931) focuses on aesthetics and theory, instruments and performance, religious music and venues. La Laurencie’s expertise in French music from Lully to Gluck led to well-balanced contributions in that subject area. The Encyclopédie is a work of universal musicology written from the French perspective after the fin-de-siècle. It has enjoyed considerable reputation among historical musicologists and ethnomusicologist alike [see Robert Lachmann’s review in Music & letters 4, no. 3 (1923): 290–291] and is indispensable for historiographic research.

The Garland encyclopedia of world music

Bruno Nettl, Ruth M. Stone, James Porter, and Timothy Rice, gen. eds. The Garland encyclopedia of world music (Rev. ed.; New York: Routledge, 2013) 10 vols.; 7929 p. Garland Publishing first issued The Garland encyclopedia of world music between 1988 and 1994 as a ten-volume series of encyclopedias of world music. An updated second edition appeared between 1998 and 2002. It is widely regarded as an authoritative academic source for ethnomusicology. The volumes included in the RILM Music Encyclopedias are Africa (ed. Ruth M. Stone), The United States and Canada (ed. Ellen Koskoff), Southeast Asia (ed. Terry E. Miller and Sean Williams), South Asia: The Indian Subcontinent (ed. Alison Arnold), The Middle East (ed. Virginia Danielson), East Asia: China, Japan, and Korea (ed. Robert Provine), and Australia and the Pacific Islands (ed. Adrienne L. Kaeppler). Each volume consists of three sections that “cover the major topics of a region from broad general issues to specific music practices” (Preface): An introduction to the region, its culture, and its music as well as a survey of previous music scholarship and research; major issues and processes that link the musics of the region; and detailed accounts of individual music cultures. The entries synthesize exhaustive fieldwork conducted since the 1960s, as well as recording, analysis, and documentation. This publication is a landmark achievement in ethnomusicology. While ethnomusicologists can appreciate The Garland for its critically designed components, non-ethnomusicologists can embrace the encyclopedia for its capacity to serve as a primer on world music.

Das Gothic- und Dark Wave-Lexikon: Das Lexikon der schwarzen Szene, von Ambient bis Industrial, von Neofolk bis Future Pop und von Goth-Rock bis Black Metal

Peter Matzke, Tobias Seeliger, Volkmar Kuhnle, and Conny Bruckbauer. Das Gothic- und Dark Wave-Lexikon: Das Lexikon der schwarzen Szene, von Ambient bis Industrial, von Neofolk bis Future Pop und von Goth-Rock bis Black Metal (Rev. ed.; Berlin: Lexikon, [2003]) 599 p. This expanded edition of 1400 entries is more than just a compilation of keywords describing the Goth scene. It is a volume that links music and cultural studies through topics such as esotericism and vampirism, role play and death. Das Gothic- und Dark Wave-Lexikon is the brainchild of Peter Matzke, a historian, music journalist, and director of the seventh Wave-Gotik-Treffen (and spokesperson for the tenth and eleventh). He had coauthored and edited several other books on Goth before embarking on this encyclopedia. Goth music and culture are commonly buried in reference works on youth culture and counterculture; this was the first German encyclopedia to cover the subject in depth, considering performers, styles, and concepts, and remains the only one.

Großes Sängerlexikon

Karl-Josef Kutsch, Leo Riemens, and Hansjörg Rost, eds. Großes Sängerlexikon (4th ed.; München: K. G. Saur Verlag, 2003) 7 vols.; ix, 5371 p. The Großes Sängerlexikon (usually briefly cited as Kutsch/Riemens, after its founding editors) is considered the world’s most comprehensive dictionary of singers—the famous, the less well-known, and the almost forgotten—from all over the world, active in opera, operetta, oratorio, religious and art song, and other mostly Western classical forms of vocal music. Karl Josef Kutsch (b.1924), a collector of records and singer biographies, and the Dutch musicologist Leo Riemens (1910‒85) started this endeavor in the 1950s. After Riemens’s death, the high school teacher Hansjörg Rost (b.1942) played a major role, becoming an official coeditor in 1994. The fourth edition is updated and vastly expanded, especially when compared with the 429-page first edition (1962). It spans seven volumes that contain nearly 20,000 biographies of singers from the 16th century to the present. The detail is unique: Each biographical article contains stage name, common name, register of voice, and biographical dates. This information is followed by details on the artist’s background and musical career organized by places of work, major works, a short list of biographically significant engagements and appearances, a voice characterization and, in the case of major artists, bibliographical details and references to recordings. The Großes Sängerlexikon is remarkable not only for the vast scope of its material but also for the extensive period of time and variety of genres that have dominated the art of singing since the late 16th century—opera, oratorio, aria, cantata, lied, religious vocal music—whilst remaining as up-to-date as possible. It is the standard reference work for any lover of singing.

Handwörterbuch der musikalischen Terminologie

Hans Heinrich Eggebrecht and Albrecht Riethmüller, eds. Handwörterbuch der musikalischen Terminologie (Stuttgart: Franz Steiner Verlag, 2012) 6 vols.; 2667 p. The Handwörterbuch der musikalischen Terminologie is a lexicon specialized in the formation, history, and meaning of musical terms. After extensive preparatory work, it appeared between 1971 and 2006 as a loose-leaf collection in periodic installments, edited initially by Hans Heinrich Eggebrecht (1919–99), and after his death by the musicologist Albrecht Riethmüller. With the 40th loose-leaf delivery in the fall of 2005, the project has been discontinued. The Handwörterbuch comprises 247 terms on over 3700 pages (originally organized in six folders). The lexicographical discipline exercised by the contributors is remarkable; the initial summaries of the treatment accorded to the more complex articles are particularly helpful.

Historical dictionary of the music and musicians of Finland

Ruth-Esther Hillilä and Barbara Blanchard Hong. Historical dictionary of the music and musicians of Finland (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1997) x, 502 p. The brainchild of the third-generation Finnish-American musicologist and music educator Ruth-Esther Hillilä and the musicologist Barbara Blanchard Hong, the Historical dictionary is the only comprehensive English-language reference source devoted to Finnish music culture. It is designed to “unlock Finnish music for scholars and others” (Preface). It provides information on Finnish music history from 50 B.C.E. to the late 20th century. It covers art music, including operatic and orchestral performers, musicologists, and music educators, but excludes popular music. The majority of the entries are biographical about individuals, but there are also entries for musical organizations such as choirs, festivals and competitions, and some entries for general music terms such as cantor. The encyclopedia also includes a pronunciation guide and a map of Finland that pinpoints locations of major music festivals. The authors draw their information from a variety of sources and document them at length. The breadth and quantity of the entries cannot be matched by more general sources. There is very little overlap with other encyclopedias, with the exception of a few composer entries and the Finnish musical elements discussed in Grove’s Finland article.

Hollywood songsters: Singers who act and actors who sing—A biographical dictionary

James Parish Robert and Michael R. Pitts. Hollywood songsters: Singers who act and actors who sing—A biographical dictionary (2nd ed.; New York: Routledge, 2003) 3 vols.; 1989 p. This dictionary on the careers of singers who appeared in Hollywood motion pictures provides specialized information while also creating a broader overview of the subject area. The authors, who have worked in the entertainment field, have given 104 singers individual attention (among them familiar names such as Frank Sinatra, Sophie Tucker, and Mae West) with information on their recording activities and appearances in film. The volumes cover the first nine decades of the 20th century.

Hugo Riemanns Musik-Lexikon

Hugo Riemann, ed. Hugo Riemanns Musik-Lexikon, ed. by Alfred Einstein (11th ed.; Berlin: Max Hesse’s Verlag, 1929) 2 vols.; vii, 2146 p. Riemanns Musik-Lexikon is one of the last comprehensive music encyclopedic endeavors undertaken by a single person: German musicologist and theorist Hugo Riemann (1849–1919). He published the first edition in 1882. Subsequent editions constantly expanded scope and, until the eighth edition of 1916, were largely edited and published by Riemann himself. His last edition, the ninth of 1919, appeared after his death. Musicologist Alfred Einstein completed it, and also enlarged and revised the subsequent editions, until his forced emigration from Nazi Germany. Because of Einstein’s later work in the English-speaking world, the lexicon became known and respected in Anglo-American musicology. The eleventh edition is of note because it is the first to appear in two volumes, showing the lexicon’s ever expanding scope. Yet at the same time, Einstein eliminated a great number of biographical entries from the previous edition, for names he deemed more important; this edition thus represents both expansion and selection in accordance with the zeitgeist of the late 1920s. It is an excellent source of information for research on musical life in Germany (and to some extent also other European countries) in the 1920s.

International encyclopedia of women composers

Aaron I. Cohen. International encyclopedia of women composers (2nd ed.; New York: Books & Music USA, 1987) 2 vols.; 1242 p. In 1981, Aaron Cohen (b.1906), a retired town planner living in Johannesburg, South Africa, published the first encyclopedia devoted to women composers. Its second, two-volume edition constitutes a significant expansion, comprising 6200 entries and 14 appendices. What makes this encyclopedia so unique is its sheer breadth. The earliest composer represented is Hemre (2723 B.C.E.), an Egyptian leader of court music. The geographical scope is equally broad, with nearly 300 composers from Asia and Central America. To date it is still the only comprehensive collection of nearly every known woman composer, with biographical information, list of compositions, list of publications by the composer, and a bibliography. This second edition also includes a discography and listing of recording companies.

Komponisten der Gegenwart

Hanns-Werner Heister and Walter-Wolfgang Sparrer, eds. Komponisten der Gegenwart (München: edition text+kritik, 1992–) 10284 p. The Komponisten der Gegenwart is the only music lexicon that focuses exclusively on 20th- and 21st-century composers. Musicologists Hanns-Werner Heister and Walter Wolfgang Sparrer founded the lexicon in 1992 and conceived it in loose-leaf format to ensure that its content could be continuously updated and expanded. It currently contains biographical and work-related information on about 850 composers. Each entry is divided into two sections: the first is biographical, providing an overview of life and achievement; the second is work-oriented, with information on aesthetic and compositional technique based on historical and analytical assessment. Over 200 entries feature exhaustive works lists, selective discographies, and curated bibliographies. The KDG contains a wealth of information, especially on lesser known composers who have recently emerged; it is unique as it is updated quarterly (these updates are included in RILM Music Encyclopedias), thus being not only a bestseller but a longseller.

Leksikon jugoslavenske muzike (Added in January 2023)

Krešimir Kovačević, ed. Leksikon jugoslavenske muzike (Zagreb: Jugoslavenski Leksikografski Zavod Miroslav Krleža, 1984) 2 vols.; 589 p.; 575 p. Leksikon jugoslavenske muzike is the ultimate source documenting musicians and music culture of Yugoslavia in the early 1980s. It includes 5,020 unsigned entries about composers, musicians, ballet artists, pedagogues, music theorists, historians, and ethnomusicologists and historical musicologists as well as entries on music institutions and societies, ensembles, folk music, and diverse genres and instruments from the region. Special attention is paid to the presentation of musical creativity and the musical history and life of major cities. Articles cover concepts and disciplines such as ballet, church music, criticism, musicology, awards, opera, and similar. Kovačević also introduced a specific kind of entries (short articles about individual pieces of music), to cover larger topics, and worked with cross-references. Unlike the Muzička enciklopedija, which is of a general character, the Leksikon jugoslavenske muzike contains a much expanded national structure. Many articles were copied or adapted from the Muzička enciklopedija. Kovačević himself contributed over 800 articles (a full one-sixth of the lexicon), covering such diverse topics as biography, articles about individual musical pieces as well as entries about various ensembles, institutions, festivals, music societies, and cities. This reveals Kovačević’s vast personal engagement and enthusiasm to complete this lexicon, which, despite some imperfections, still stands as a valuable source of information pertaining to musical history and culture of Southeastern Europe.

Lexikon Progressive Rock: Musiker, Bands, Instrumente, Begriffe (Added in January 2020)

Bernward Halbscheffel. Lexikon Progressive Rock: Musiker, Bands, Instrumente, Begriffe (Rev. ed.; Leipzig: Halbscheffel Verlag, 2013) iii, 560 p. The Lexikon Progressive Rock provides more than 500 articles that feature not only classics of prog rock such as Procol Harum, The Nice, Yes, Emerson, Lake & Palmer, Genesis, and King Crimson, but also more recent groups like Dream Theater, Gazpacho, Glass Hammer, Porcupine Tree, Shining, Spock’s Beard, and Grand General. Representatives of progressive metal are also included, among them Opeth, Symphony X, and Epica. Although British and American prog mainstream is dominant, the lexicon also offers articles on obscure bands like Ozric Tentacles and The Legendary Pink Dots; progenitors of art rock like Roxy Music and 10cc; and the Canterbury scene with Delivery, Soft Machine, Henry Cow, and Caravan. Halbscheffel addresses currents of retroprog, neoprog, and new artrock. The 2013 edition replaces some earlier articles on foundational musical terms with new articles that are specifically relevant for progressive rock, such as the entry on polyrhythmics. New articles focus on current bands like Nosound, Knight Area, and Flying Colors. Halbscheffel aptly summarizes this all-encompassing approach in the article “Progressive Rock”, where he focuses on the history of the genre less as a stylistic history than as a history of a functionally oriented inventory of rock techniques and processes.

March music notes

Norman E. Smith. March music notes (Lake Charles, LA: Program Note Press, 1986 (1996 printing)) xxvi, 559 p. March music notes is the most informative book ever published on the subject of march music for bands and march music composers. Since his retirement as band director at McNeese State University, Smith has devoted himself to this project, which comprises information on over 600 popular marches from three centuries and 380 biographies of composers from 30 different nations. Much of the biographical material has not been published elsewhere. An unusual feature is the lists of popularity polls of famous marches taken in several states and six foreign countries. No other encyclopedic work contains such an array of details on march music culture.

Il melodramma italiano: Dizionario bio-bibliografico dei compositori, I: 1861–1900 and II: 1901–1925 (Added in January 2018)

Andrea Sessa. Il melodramma italiano: Dizionario bio-bibliografico dei compositori, I: 1861–1900 and II: 1901–1925 (Firenze: Leo S. Olschki Editore, 2003/2014) 533 p.; x, 1012 p. Il melodramma italiano is an unequalled source of detailed information about the figures who defined the golden age of Italian opera. It was conceived with the intention of satisfying scholars and enthusiasts interested in little-known aspects of a period of transition in theater history—from the unification of Italy to the advent of fascism. In addition to familiar composers such as Verdi and Puccini, lesser-known figures, whose careers were intertwined with those of their more famous colleagues but whose memory survives (at best) at the local level, are included; among them are not only musicians—conductors, bandleaders and kapellmeister, organists, and music teachers—but lawyers, judges, doctors, and engineers who had a passion for the stage. Entries on Italian and foreign composers working in the chosen time period and active in the Mediterranean theater circuit (particularly in Nice, Malta, Corfu, Dalmatia) represent the most important body of material in these volumes. Each quoted work contains a description of literary sources and the plot. The two volumes count altogether 1323 biographical entries from Gennaro Abbate (1874–1954) to Guglielmo Zuelli (1859–1941). They are enriched with a comprehensive bibliography. The first volume ends with an appendix that lists repertoire and other relevant information published in the Gazzetta musicale and Trovatore between 1861 and 1900. In this way the two volumes constitute a complete and comprehensive guide to 60 years of Italian opera, specifically highlighting those who made larger and small contributions to it.

Musical instrument makers of New York: A directory of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century urban craftsmen (Added in January 2024)

Nancy Groce. Musical instrument makers of New York: A directory of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century urban craftsmen (Stuyvesant, NY: Pendragon Press, 1991) xxi, 200 p. This biographical dictionary chronicles all the master craftsmen involved in instrument making in New York City, from the obscure work of Geoffry Stafford in 1691 to the zenith of the 1890s, and on to the Great Depression of the 1930s. Many of the 1095 detailed entries focus on nineteenth-century makers, when the city was the largest producer of instruments in the Western Hemisphere, and designs and innovations pioneered by New York artisans influenced and inspired instrument makers throughout the world. Aside from providing a record of these instrument makers, the dictionary offers a historical study of an urban trade that is ultimately tied to the growth and development of the city.

Musical instruments: A comprehensive dictionary (Added in January 2019)

Sibyl Marcuse. Musical instruments: A comprehensive dictionary (New York: Doubleday, 1964) xiv, 608 p. Sibyl Marcuse’s dictionary incorporates most of Sachs’s material published in the Real-Lexikon, revises and expands it where necessary, and adds a vast number of new entries with copious cross-references leading the reader to additional information. Indeed, Marcuse offers thousands of entries on instruments from prehistoric times to the electronic instruments of today, and from all over the world. Entries include definitions and descriptions of instruments used in the Orient, Africa, the Americas, Polynesia, and beyond, as well as a broad treatment of instruments of the Western world. Marcuse has gone out of her way to offer information on instruments from remote places: the ha, a musical bow of the African bushman; the lumbambam, a small cylindrical drum, and the ndingi, a wooden cowbell, both of the Congo; the wurumbumba, a musical bow of the Congo and Angola; the abeng, a cane pipe of the Gabon Republic played through one nostril; the yurupuri, a wooden trumpet played in pairs by youths of the Amazon valley, and the xaque-xaque, one of a number of different Brazilian rattles; the bum-bum, a musical bow of Honduras; the ehecacozcatl, a shell trumpet of the pre-Columbian Toltec culture; the yan-ljin, the Tibetan cousin to a dulcimer; the wani-guchi, a ritual gong hung at the entrance to Japanese shrines and struck by worshippers; the zuffolo, a whistle flute of Lombardy; the zurrumbera, a bull-roarer of northern Spain; the German wurstfagott, a “sausage bassoon”; the abilosen adar, a Basque horn sounded at night to frighten away wild animals; and the eunuch flute found in Europe and resembling the kazoo (which is also called the bazoo). Marcuse’s comprehensive approach includes eclectic noisemakers, from signaling devices and bull-roarers to walkingstick violins, raft zithers, humming tops, and pibgorns. All entries are cross-referenced, etymologies are offered, and the foreign-language equivalents of the English terms are entered alphabetically in their own right. The plates of the 1964 edition show various instruments, well reproduced. In its comprehensiveness, the dictionary is indispensable for musicians, musicologists, organologists, and curators. Anthropologists, archaeologists, sociologists, and other researchers will find much useful information as well.

Muzička enciklopedija (Added in January 2023)

Kovačević, Krešimir, gen. ed. Muzička enciklopedija (2nd ed.; Zagreb: Jugoslavenski Leksikografski Zavod, 1971–77) 3 vols.; 713-[14] p. [7]; 742 p.; 789 p. The Muzička enciklopedija was first published in two volumes in 1958/1963 under the editorship by the eminent Croatian music historian Josip Andreis (1909–1982), followed by a second edition in three volumes which appeared from 1971 to 1977. Numerous biographical articles describe the life and output of composers along with exhaustive works lists; as well as the activities of many conductors, singers, instrumental virtuosos, music theorists, and critics. In subject articles, historical and contemporary musical instruments are described in detail, as well as all musical genres and forms, such as arias, canzones, cantatas, operas, symphonies, sonatas, and overtures. Many important domestic and foreign music societies, instrumental and dance ensembles, and music festivals and institutions are presented. The second edition features new articles on contemporary, avant-garde, and experimental music and musical personalities, from aleatoricism and dodecaphony to electronic and serial music. This edition also includes articles about artists from the world of pop music as well as jazz. Considering that choreographers and dancers often intersect with music on stage, the editorial board introduced a number of names from this creative field. For the sake of better integration, the folk music of each nation is included in geographical entries, joining the section on art music. The second edition features ample illustrations, increasing the number of artistic contributions in etching and color, selected by Koraljka Kos.

Neues historisch-biographisches Lexikon der Tonkünstler (Added in January 2018)

Ernst Ludwig Gerber. Neues historisch-biographisches Lexikon der Tonkünstler (Leipzig: A. Kühnel, 1812–14) 4 vols.; xxxii, 974 col.; 823 col.; 942 col.; 844 col. After Ernst Ludwig Gerber (1746–1819) completed the two-volume Historisch-biographisches Lexikon der Tonkünstler (1790–92), J.F. Reichardt and E.F.F. Chladni, among others, contributed substantial additions. Combined with new materials that Gerber himself assembled (in particular the work of Martini, Burney, Forkel, Reichardt, and Chladny), these formed the basis for the four-volume Neues historisch-biographisches Lexikon der Tonkünstler. The content of Neues historisch-biographisches Lexikon der Tonkünstler was rethought in light of the new material. Some entries are entirely rewritten, others contain additions; many of the entries found in the Historisch-biographisches Lexikon der Tonkünstler are omitted. Gerber did not aim at a critical approach: He created a historical and biographical dictionary of musicians that contains news of the life and works of music scholars, famous composers, singers, accomplished amateurs, music publishers, manufacturers of organs, and instruments of ancient and modern times and of all nations. In spite of some flaws, the lexicon has been considered since its publication a unique and valuable source, especially for late-eighteenth-century music, because of the quantity of material drawn from Gerber’s personal contacts with the great musicians of his time. Portions of it can be found in translation in music dictionaries by Choron-Fayolle, Sainsbury, and Lichtenthal. It continued to hold the interest of the scholarly world; Gerber himself compiled further additions, and Carl Mainberger (1816) and F.S. Kandler (1817–20), among others, provided supplementary material. A new edition announced in 1825, however, did not come to fruition.

Opernlexikon/Opera catalogue/Lexique des opéras/Dizionario operistico (Added in January 2017)

Franz Stieger. Opernlexikon/Opera catalogue/Lexique des opéras/Dizionario operistico (Tutzing: Hans Schneider, 1975–1983) 11 vols.; 1903 p. [1043 p.; 328 p.; 532 p.] Franz Stieger’s Opernlexikon is one of the most frequently consulted of all opera catalogues. It also contains ballets, oratorios, and other stage works, all listed by title, composer, and librettist. Lists of serious operas, cross-indexing of titles, and identification of librettists are especially noteworthy. The concluding two volumes, titled Nachträge, contain corrections as well as additions. With over 60,000 titles of stage works, the Opernlexikon exceeds every other published opera catalogue in size. It provides the place and date of every work’s premiere (when known), along with an identification of its genre and number of acts. The Opernlexikon is especially valuable for works written and performed before 1920. A short introduction by Franz Grasberger, librarian of the music division of the Österreichische Nationalbibliothek, highlights the catalogue’s value in light of previously unpublished information. Grasberger also provides biographical information, not available elsewhere, on Stieger (1843–1938).

Pagkosmio lexiko tīs mousikīs: Historia, mousikologia, erga, prosōpa, nees taseis, archaiotīta, Vyzantio, Anagennīsī, neoteroi chronoi, sygchronos kosmos

Olympia N. Tolika. Παγκόσμιο λεξικό της μουσικής: Ïστορία, Μουσικολογία, Έργα, Πρόσωπα, Νέες Τάσεις–Αρχαιότητα, Βυζάντιο, Αναγέννηση, Νεότεροι Χρόνοι, Σύγχρονος Κόσμος (2nd ed., expanded.; Athens: Ekdoseis Stochastīs, 1999) 578 p. The Pagkosmio lexiko tīs mousikīs (Worldwide dictionary of music) by Olympia Tolika is the first music dictionary written in the Greek language. It focuses on Greek musical heritage, covering a broad array of topics from antiquity to the present. The author is a musicologist as well as a translator and linguist, who previously published the Epitomo Egkyklopaidiko lexiko tīs Vyzantīs mousikīs (Concise encyclopedic dictionary of Byzantine music). The second edition of Pagkosmio lexiko (the first appeared in 1995) contains 7500 entries with musical terminology, prominent musical works (in the original language with Greek translations), instruments, dances, composers, performers, concert venues, theorists, festivals, trends and schools, publishers, librettists, and many others topics. All aspects of Greek musical life, both national and local, are represented. The volume is a product of the author’s personal research and experience, enhanced by the illustrations by Amalia Paraskevopoulos, especially designed for this work.

The Paris Opéra: An encyclopedia of operas, ballets, composers, and performers

Spire Pitou. The Paris Opéra: An encyclopedia of operas, ballets, composers, and performers (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1983–90) 4 vols.; 1020 p. Spire Pitou, who served as Professor of French Language and Literature at the University of Delaware, produced in this book an exhaustively detailed encyclopedia of every opera and ballet produced at the Paris Opéra, or the later Opéra-Comique, from 1671 to the 1980s. It is of special value to those who requiring in-depth information on opera in France. Entries for operas and ballets include composer, librettist, choreographer, costumer, set designer, important performers, and a scene-by-scene/act-by-act analysis. Separate entries are also devoted to performers, composers, choreographers, librettists, genres, and scenographers. Each of the three volumes begins with a concise historical overview for its assigned time period, which is informative and helpful for anyone requiring orientation on French operatic tradition.

Percussionists: A biographical dictionary

Stephen L. Barnhart. Percussionists: A biographical dictionary (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 2000) xvi, 487 p. With this biographical dictionary, Barnhart, a percussionist and Professor at the University of Wyoming, honors the universal language of percussion that transcends ethnic, economic, and sociopolitical boundaries. The volume offers thumbnail sketches of a huge number of percussionists born around 1950 (or earlier) who have performed primarily as soloists (e.g., Keiko Abe, Vida Chenoweth), but also orchestral performers (e.g., Fred Hinger, Vic Firth) and jazz musicians (e.g., Jo Jones, Lionel Hampton). Included are figures who made important contributions to the making and development of percussion instruments (e.g., Avedis Zildjian III). The performers covered are predominantly American and European, with some Asians and South Americans and a very few Africans. Biographies range from a few lines to a page in length and are based on both published sources and correspondence with the subjects. A selected bibliography follows each entry and includes works both by and about the subject; many entries include selected discographies and videographies.

Real-Lexikon der Musikinstrumente, zugleich ein Polyglossar für das gesamte Instrumentengebiet (Added in January 2019)

Curt Sachs. Real-Lexikon der Musikinstrumente, zugleich ein Polyglossar für das gesamte Instrumentengebiet (New York: Dover Publications, 1964) xxiii, 452 p. In 1913 Curt Sachs (1881–1959) saw the publication of his book Real-Lexikon der Musikinstrumente, probably the most comprehensive survey of musical instruments in 200 years, conceived by the German pioneer of instrument research. The value of Sachs’s Real-Lexikon hardly needs mentioning: it covers instruments from all peoples and nations from Greek auloi to Chinese temple instruments to Peruvian silvadores; it emphasizes philological aspects of the names of instruments, rendering their names in Arabic, Cyrillic, Greek, Hebrew, and Sanskrit. Over the course of many decades, Sachs annotated his personal copy with corrections and additions. Based on this work, his wife Irene Sachs issued a second edition five years after his passing. It contains 600 emendations incorporated into the body of the book and 500 new entries dedicated to folk and non-European instruments that are grouped together alphabetically in a supplement at the end, along with the requisite supplementary bibliography. The revised and enlarged version preserves the 200 line drawings of the first edition.

Sachlexikon Rockmusik: Instrumente, Technik, Industrie (Added in January 2020)

Bernward Halbscheffel. Sachlexikon Rockmusik: Instrumente, Technik, Industrie (Leipzig: Halbscheffel Verlag, 2013) 2 vols.; x, 432 p.; 861 p. The Sachlexikon Rockmusik contains 1323 articles on the terminology and topics of rock music and its performance—musical instruments ranging from electric guitar to the theremin; the equipment necessary for concerts and studios, including microphones, amplifiers, and mixing boards; small record companies and market-dominating media corporations; esoteric terms such as “Skunk Stripe”, “Geri Reig”, “Mucke”, “Fliegen”, and “Toasting”; genres ranging from AOR to Acid; and terms used in music theory as they pertain to rock. Discographies, bibliographies, and Web references complete the articles. The boundaries of rock music are often crossed into pop and jazz. Cross-references provide an extended overview of a topic and help to better understand its context. A bibliography and an index of commercial names and references round off the encyclopedia.

Steirisches Musiklexikon

Wolfgang Suppan. Steirisches Musiklexikon (2nd. ed., completely revised.; Graz: Akademische Druck- und Verlags-Anstalt, 2009) xi, 825 p. Between 1962 and 1966 Wolfgang Suppan (1933–2015) conceived the only existing encyclopedia on the musical culture of Styria, an extensive work of seven volumes. Its content was heavily rooted in the collection of the Wamlek family. Hans Wamlek (1892–1959), a writer and composer based in Graz, conceived the vision of the lexicon and had collected original manuscripts, iconography, and correspondence of Styrian composers since the 1930s. Circumstances prevented publication. In 1957 Suppan picked up the threads and transformed the content into the Steirisches Musiklexikon. Forty years later he issued a completely revised edition, which remained a historical reference work focusing on regional aspects. It contains information not found anywhere else (e.g., Franz Liszt’s visit to Styria in June 1846, and information on Styria’s dynastic musical families) and provides solid entries on the music history of individual cities. It excludes post–1945 developments.

The stringed instruments of the Middle Ages: Their evolution and development—A detailed and comprehensive history, with illustrations, of the evolution of the mediaeval stringed musical instruments from their first appearance in the records of the earliest civilisations, through their gradual development in the Greek, Roman and Christian eras down to more recent times (Added in January 2019)

Hortense Panum, ed. The stringed instruments of the Middle Ages: Their evolution and development—A detailed and comprehensive history, with illustrations, of the evolution of the mediaeval stringed musical instruments from their first appearance in the records of the earliest civilisations, through their gradual development in the Greek, Roman and Christian eras down to more recent times, ed. by Jeffrey Pulver (London: William Reeves, [1939 or 1940]) ix, 511 p. The Danish musicologist Hortense Panum (1856–1933) published Middelalderens strengeinstrumenter og deres forløbere i oldtiden in three volumes over a period of 16 years (1915, 1928, 1931). The long publication process allowed Panum to consider newly published literature on the subject, which gave her an opportunity to enter into dialogue with colleagues who held different opinions, among them Curt Sachs and Francis Galpin. Indeed, Panum refused to accept the widely held assumption that instruments had arisen independently in two distinct times and places, and in a Darwinian approach she decided to find the missing links between the two seemingly unrelated parts of string instruments’ history. As few instruments or fragments of instruments had been preserved, her research relied on iconographic and literary sources. Panum’s opus contains an impressive number of over 400 images that depict stringed instruments of antiquity and the Middle Ages, many of them less familiar to the music researcher. The section on specific Nordic instruments is a particularly pioneering work. Jeffrey Pulver (1884–1984), author of the valuable Biographical dictionary of Old English music (1927), recognizing Middelalderens strengeinstrumenter as a standard reference work, created the one-volume English translation.

A survey of musical instruments (Added in January 2019)

Sibyl Marcuse. A survey of musical instruments (New York: Harper & Row, 1975) xiii, 842 p. Building on Curt Sachs’s Real-Lexikon, but using a systematic rather than alphabetical order, Sibyl Marcuse’s compendium focuses on musical instruments of the Western world and considers to some extent their non-Western counterparts. Structured on the organological classification devised by Erich von Hornbostel and Sachs, it is divided into four parts: Idiophones such as the triangle, xylophone, bells, scrapers, rattles, and the Jew’s harp; membranophones, covering a wide range of drums and drum-like instruments; chordophones of a broad variety from ground zithers to player pianos, harps to double basses; and aerophones such as flutes and reed pipes, and the organ. Marcuse omits the fifth section in the Hornbostel-Sachs system—electrophones. For each instrument, Marcuse provides its history and morphology with emphasis on the instrument’s evolution as a mechanical device for producing sound and playing techniques. The vast amount of knowledge conveyed is rooted in the study of primary sources: musical treatises, literature, iconographical evidence, and archival documents. Marcuse includes countless facts that are also of interest to those not engaged in the study of instruments: for example, the Ferrarese chancellor Bernardo Prospero wrote about Spanish musicians in Italy who, in 1493, played viols about as large as a man; a manuscript notation made about 1536 by the unidentified owner of a 1515 cookbook reveals how Alfonso della Viola preferred to tune his viol—both fascinating facts with possible implications about a number of aspects of performing practice in the 15th and 16th centuries. (Neither of these names is listed in the index of the printed book, but they can be conveniently found through a keyword search in RILM Music Encyclopedias).

Tin Pan Alley: An encyclopedia of the golden age of American song

David A. Jasen. Tin Pan Alley: An encyclopedia of the golden age of American song (New York: Routledge, 2012) xvi, 451 p. In Tin Pan Alley, David Jasen, a Professor of Communications at C.W. Post College (Long Island University) and an authority on ragtime, tells the story of American popular song, as it was composed, published, and marketed from its heyday in the 1880s to Tin Pan Alley’s demise in the 1950s. It does this through over 400 individual entries, each featuring a composer, lyricist, performer, publisher, style, or song title. One entry of particular interest is headed Hit Songs. Twenty pages cover the years from the 1890s to 1955; for each year, four or five successes are described with recording details and annotated entries for the era’s blockbusters. Since Tin Pan Alley was essentially a publishing movement, Jasen includes publisher entries, often with dates and addresses. Tin Pan Alley is a unique compendium on American popular song and the business of selling music.

The 20th century violin concertante: A repertoire catalogue of the compositions for violin concertante written between 1894 and 2006 (Added in January 2018)

Tobias Broeker. The 20th century violin concertante: A repertoire catalogue of the compositions for violin concertante written between 1894 and 2006 (3rd ed.; Stuttgart: Tobias Broeker, 2016) 2847 p. The 20th century violin concertante is the only comprehensive repertoire compendium of compositions written in and around the twentieth century for violin in a solo role in combination with an ensemble or other instruments. Bröker’s interpretation of the term “concertante” is very inclusive, embracing any composition that contains at least a solo violin part and an accompaniment by an orchestra or larger ensemble; works featuring the violin within a group of solo instruments; and works that carry the words concertoconcertante, or their derivatives in their titles and feature prominent solo violin parts. The catalogue therefore includes tone poems, concert works, and even short miniatures of less than two minutes. The catalogue lists 13,000 compositions by more than 7000 composers, with additional information on the works. Names of Arab, Armenian, Georgian, Greek, and Persian composers are given in original script as well as in roman transcription. The catalogue does not provide any sources, though in his preface Bröker assures readers of the accuracy and integrity of the data, which largely stem from bibliographies and from the composers themselves. Because of its comprehensive approach and its wide representation of composers and works, some of which are little known and not represented elsewhere, The 20th century violin concertante is an important addition to any reference collection.

Vietnamese musical instruments: A monographic lexicon (Added in January 2022)

Terry Moran. Vietnamese musical instruments: A monographic lexicon ([Singapore]: author, 2020) 384 p. Vietnamese musical instruments is one of the most comprehensive lexicons on this topic. Compiled by Terry Moran, an Australian teacher resident in Singapore, over the course of a 20-year research journey in Vietnam, the lexicon offers 241 individual entries, each accompanied by a hand-drawn illustration by Luke Agati. The lexicon includes aerophones (Họ Hơi), such as the Kèn đá, a 2000-year-old stone bugle discovered in 1994; chordophones (Họ Dây) from the different ethnic minorities across Vietnam; idiophones (Họ Tự Thân Vang), among them the world’s sixth oldest playable instrument, a lithophone; and membranophones (Họ Màng Rung), with an impressive 43 pages dedicated to this family of instruments from both the Việt majority and the ethnic minorities. There is also a section on instruments created in 2007 by members of the Khắc Chí Tre Xanh ensemble. Aside from details about instruments, the lexicon offers a brief history of Vietnamese music and some specifics about instrument classifications. Addresses of noteworthy stores and galleries of Vietnamese musical instruments are also indexed.