A Dictionary of Music Titles: The Origins of the Names and Titles of 3,500 Musical Compositions

Overview

Often, the title of one of the world's great musical compositions is not a clear or simple matter. An allusive title, particularly in a foreign language, or a title that does not seem related to the work, can confuse even the most devoted music lover.

Here are histories of the creation of 3,500 titles for symphonies, operas, oratorios, ballets, orchestral works, choral works, chamber music, keyboard compositions, and songs, ranging from the popular to the obscure. Titles are ...

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About the Book The title of a great musical composition is not always a clear or simple matter. An allusive title, particularly in a foreign language, or a title that does not ... seem related to the work, can confuse even the most devoted music lover. Here are histories of the creation of 3,500 titles for symphonies, operas, oratorios, ballets, orchestral works, choral works, chamber music, keyboard compositions, and songs, ranging from the popular to the obscure. Each entry (arranged by English, French, German, Italian or Spanish title) includes alternate titles where appropriate, the composer’s name, date of composition and first performance, opus number where appropriate, a description of the work, and the origin of the title or any story behind it. A bibliography and an index conclude the work. Read more Show Less

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Overview

Often, the title of one of the world's great musical compositions is not a clear or simple matter. An allusive title, particularly in a foreign language, or a title that does not seem related to the work, can confuse even the most devoted music lover.

Here are histories of the creation of 3,500 titles for symphonies, operas, oratorios, ballets, orchestral works, choral works, chamber music, keyboard compositions, and songs, ranging from the popular to the obscure. Titles are arranged alphabetically by most common form, English or other language (with French, German, Italian and Spanish titles usually given in those languages), and each entry includes alternate titles and non–English language versions of the title where appropriate, the composer's name, date of composition and first performance, opus number where appropriate, a description of the work, and the origin of the title or any story behind it. A bibliography and an index of composers are included.

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Editorial Reviews

VOYA - Voya Reviews
Why is Manet's Olympia called by this name? What does the title of Gauguin's Manao Tupapau mean? How do musical works come by their titles? Who named Beethoven's Emperor Concerto or Mozart's Jupiter Symphony? These two dictionaries provide vivid descriptions of various works of art and musical compositions in two-paragraph entries. Names and nicknames covered in Music range from the familiar to lesser-known works. Art discusses mainly paintings and sculptures but also includes modern performance art and video. Each entry begins with the title, the translation or foreign title, name of the composer or artist, the date of the first performance or composition for musical works, and the date of execution for works of visual art. Art also includes the present location of the work, usually by gallery or museum and city. Factual descriptive information about each work of art is detailed enough to explain, or if possible, rationalize its title. Readers might assume that composers title many works of music, but they also learn that titles are given by music publishers, as well as by the person to whom the work is dedicated. Cross-references offer easy access to all and provide translations into English of foreign language titles. Both titles contain bibliographies of composers and artists. Both dictionaries are excellent subject-specific resources. Information is brief and easily understood. These handy references would be especially useful in junior high or high school libraries. NOTE: This review was written to address two titles. Index. Biblio. 2000, McFarland, Ages 12 to Adult, 298p. PLB $55. Reviewer: Anne Liebst
Booknews
This dictionary collects 3,500 titles of musical compositions and the histories of their creation. It includes symphonies, operas, oratorios, ballets, orchestral and choral works, chamber music, keyboard compositions, and songs ranging from the popular to the obscure. Titles are arranged alphabetically by most common form, English or other language (with French, German, Italian and Spanish titles usually given in those languages). Each entry includes alternate and non-English language versions of the title where appropriate, the composer's name, date of composition and first performance, opus number, a factual description of the work, and the origin of the title or any story behind it. Room has written 40-plus reference books. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780786438907
  • Publisher: McFarland & Company, Incorporated Publishers
  • Publication date: 6/3/2008
  • Pages: 304
  • Product dimensions: 10.00 (w) x 7.00 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

The late Adrian Room was a noted toponymist and onomastician. The author of more than 50 reference books about words and names, he lived in Stamford, Lincolnshire, England.

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