Primary composer/editor/arranger : Don Michael Randel 


This classic reference work, the best one-volume music dictionary available, has been brought completely up to date in this new edition. Combining authoritative scholarship and lucid, lively prose, the Fourth Edition of The Harvard Dictionary of Music is the essential guide for musicians, students, and everyone who appreciates music.


The Harvard Dictionary of Music has long been admired for its wide range as well as its reliability. This treasure trove includes entries on all the styles and forms in Western music; comprehensive articles on the music of Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Near East; descriptions of instruments enriched by historical background; and articles that reflect today's beat, including popular music, jazz, and rock. Throughout this Fourth Edition, existing articles have been fine-tuned and new entries added so that the dictionary fully reflects current music scholarship and recent developments in musical culture.


Encyclopedia-length articles by notable experts alternate with short entries for quick reference, including definitions and identifications of works and instruments. More than 220 drawings and 250 musical examples enhance the text. This is an invaluable book that no music lover can afford to be without.


Table Of Contents

Reverting to its original title, The Harvard Dictionary of Music continues under editor Randel as a revision of his 1986 The New Harvard Dictionary of Music, so named at that time to reflect its significantly expanded scope from previous editions. The focus remains "the tradition of Western art music," with greater attention to world and popular music. Dozens of contributing scholars are listed in the front matter and denoted by initials at the end of entries.


Entries range from one or two words to multiple pages in length, defining or explicating terms for musical styles, instruments, performance marks, concepts, and works (e.g., Blues, Consonance and dissonance, Koto, Largo, Moonlight Sonata, Percussion instruments, Suzuki method). Black-and-white illustrations identify instruments, and staves and other forms of notation aid understanding of concepts (e.g., Diminution, Mambo). Many longer essays retain most of the text of the last edition, with brief updates to each section where appropriate. For example, England is enhanced by a listing of important British composers born in the twentieth century under the heading "History." Others have been substantially reworked or replaced (e.g., Electro-acoustic music). Many short entries have been completely revamped to reflect greater cultural importance or changing use or understanding of the terms. For example,Reggae now emphasizes the influence of Bob Marley. The content occasionally seems a bit behind the times, omitting terms like MIDI and MP3 (though Compact disc is a new entry) and failing to mention significant technological advances in Notation and Score that enable new approaches to both representation and reproduction of musical ideas. Brief bibliographies accompany many of the articles, and these have been updated even if there were few major changes to the entry.


In comparison with other single-volume music references, such as the Oxford Companion to Music (2002) and Baker's Dictionary of Music (Gale, 1997), Harvard does not have biographical entries, is generally more scholarly in tone and content, and has many unique articles (e.g., Boston dip waltz, Ecphonetic notation, Lombard rhythm). Recommended for any comprehensive music reference collection. RBB
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved


Pages: 1008
Publisher: Belknap Press

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