The Harvard Dictionary of Music / Edition 4

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Overview

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.

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Editorial Reviews

Los Angeles Times

The essential one-stop reference has been newly updated, making it even more essential. After all, how else are you going to find out what euouae are (the vowels of the words 'seculorum Amen' sung in Gregorian chant) or that you just missed Berlioz's 200th birthday?
— Mark Swed

Observer

[From a review of the previous edition] This single volume [provides] as full a range of non-biographical information as most of us are likely to require.
— Peter Heyworth

Times Literary Supplement

[Moves] impressively and easily between non-Western and Western music, integrating ancient theory and modern practice into a genuinely, and invigoratingly, global survey.
— Christopher Wintle

Boston Globe

Its discussion of complicated technical issues is admirably concise and clear (see the entry on 'twelve-tone music'), and some of its entries on pop music are both sensible and amusing...This book has proved of daily, error-free usefulness.
— Richard Dyer

New York Times

When it appeared in 1986, The New Harvard Dictionary of Music was hailed in many quarters as the most valuable single-volume reference work on classical music in English. Now, still unsurpassed in the classical field, it has become even more valuable, with a new edition...The Harvard Dictionary now makes incursions into rock, pop and world music...This is all good news for music lovers whose tastes run to the traditional, the more so for any who might want to broaden them.
— James R. Oestreich

Bloomsbury Review

The book—approximately 1,000 pages in length—is solidly accurate and refreshingly concise. Best of all, it provides a complete listing of all relevant terms, literally from A (Abendmusik, or evening music) to Z (Zigeunermusik, or gypsy music)...In short, the Harvard Dictionary of Music is amazing, wonderful, and highly useful.
— John A. Murray

Choice

Readers will not be disappointed with the fourth edition of the Harvard Dictionary of Music, long known as the essential single-volume music dictionary. Existing articles have been fine-tuned, and additions and deletions reflect new developments in musical scholarship as well as the changing world and its political boundaries.
— K. A. Abromeit

Symphony

The Harvard Dictionary of Music (Fourth Edition) is a resounding success...I can't imagine how Harvard University Press can offer such a detailed and meticulously produced volume for $40, but that being the case there is no reason it should not become a much-thumbed part of every serious music-lover's library.
— James M. Keller

Times Higher Education Supplement

[The Harvard Dictionary of Music] manages...to live up to a sentence from its own entry on 'Dictionaries and encyclopedias': 'The success of a dictionary is judged mainly on its factual details, completeness of coverage, and clarity of presentation.' On all these counts, this volume scores very highly.
— Hugh Wood

Los Angeles Times - Herbert Glass
From reviews of the previous edition:
"May well be the indispensable one-volume reference work on the subject of music--classical, ethnic, pop or rock . . . If you must know the difference between the Lydian and Mixolydian modes, you can find that lucidly described, but not to the exclusion of a note on the practice and etymology of doo-wop."
Observer - Peter Heyworth
[From a review of the previous edition] This single volume [provides] as full a range of non-biographical information as most of us are likely to require.
André Previn
[Praise for the previous edition] A genuinely indispensable book, readable, accurate, and completely reliable.
Charles Rosen
Easily the most useful of all musical dictionaries because of its accuracy, concision, and ease of reference.
Times Literary Supplement - Christopher Wintle
[Moves] impressively and easily between non-Western and Western music, integrating ancient theory and modern practice into a genuinely, and invigoratingly, global survey.
Boston Globe - Richard Dyer
Its discussion of complicated technical issues is admirably concise and clear (see the entry on 'twelve-tone music'), and some of its entries on pop music are both sensible and amusing...This book has proved of daily, error-free usefulness.
New York Times - James R. Oestreich
When it appeared in 1986, The New Harvard Dictionary of Music was hailed in many quarters as the most valuable single-volume reference work on classical music in English. Now, still unsurpassed in the classical field, it has become even more valuable, with a new edition...The Harvard Dictionary now makes incursions into rock, pop and world music...This is all good news for music lovers whose tastes run to the traditional, the more so for any who might want to broaden them.
Bloomsbury Review - John A. Murray
The book--approximately 1,000 pages in length--is solidly accurate and refreshingly concise. Best of all, it provides a complete listing of all relevant terms, literally from A (Abendmusik, or evening music) to Z (Zigeunermusik, or gypsy music)...In short, the Harvard Dictionary of Music is amazing, wonderful, and highly useful.
Los Angeles Times - Mark Swed
The essential one-stop reference has been newly updated, making it even more essential. After all, how else are you going to find out what euouae are (the vowels of the words 'seculorum Amen' sung in Gregorian chant) or that you just missed Berlioz's 200th birthday?
Choice - K. A. Abromeit
Readers will not be disappointed with the fourth edition of the Harvard Dictionary of Music, long known as the essential single-volume music dictionary. Existing articles have been fine-tuned, and additions and deletions reflect new developments in musical scholarship as well as the changing world and its political boundaries.
Symphony - James M. Keller
The Harvard Dictionary of Music (Fourth Edition) is a resounding success...I can't imagine how Harvard University Press can offer such a detailed and meticulously produced volume for $40, but that being the case there is no reason it should not become a much-thumbed part of every serious music-lover's library.
Times Higher Education Supplement - Hugh Wood
[The Harvard Dictionary of Music] manages...to live up to a sentence from its own entry on 'Dictionaries and encyclopedias': 'The success of a dictionary is judged mainly on its factual details, completeness of coverage, and clarity of presentation.' On all these counts, this volume scores very highly.
New York Times
When it appeared in 1986, The New Harvard Dictionary of Music was hailed in many quarters as the most valuable single-volume reference work on classical music in English. Now, still unsurpassed in the classical field, it has become even more valuable, with a new edition...The Harvard Dictionary now makes incursions into rock, pop and world music...This is all good news for music lovers whose tastes run to the traditional, the more so for any who might want to broaden them.
— James R. Oestreich
Los Angeles Times
From reviews of the previous edition:

"May well be the indispensable one-volume reference work on the subject of music--classical, ethnic, pop or rock . . . If you must know the difference between the Lydian and Mixolydian modes, you can find that lucidly described, but not to the exclusion of a note on the practice and etymology of doo-wop."
— Herbert Glass

Bloomsbury Review
The book--approximately 1,000 pages in length--is solidly accurate and refreshingly concise. Best of all, it provides a complete listing of all relevant terms, literally from A (Abendmusik, or evening music) to Z (Zigeunermusik, or gypsy music)...In short, the Harvard Dictionary of Music is amazing, wonderful, and highly useful.
— John A. Murray
Choice
Readers will not be disappointed with the fourth edition of the Harvard Dictionary of Music, long known as the essential single-volume music dictionary. Existing articles have been fine-tuned, and additions and deletions reflect new developments in musical scholarship as well as the changing world and its political boundaries.
— K. A. Abromeit
Symphony
The Harvard Dictionary of Music (Fourth Edition) is a resounding success...I can't imagine how Harvard University Press can offer such a detailed and meticulously produced volume for $40, but that being the case there is no reason it should not become a much-thumbed part of every serious music-lover's library.
— James M. Keller
Observer
[From a review of the previous edition] This single volume [provides] as full a range of non-biographical information as most of us are likely to require.
— Peter Heyworth
Boston Globe
Its discussion of complicated technical issues is admirably concise and clear (see the entry on 'twelve-tone music'), and some of its entries on pop music are both sensible and amusing...This book has proved of daily, error-free usefulness.
— Richard Dyer
Times Literary Supplement
[Moves] impressively and easily between non-Western and Western music, integrating ancient theory and modern practice into a genuinely, and invigoratingly, global survey.
— Christopher Wintle
Times Higher Education Supplement
[The Harvard Dictionary of Music] manages...to live up to a sentence from its own entry on 'Dictionaries and encyclopedias': 'The success of a dictionary is judged mainly on its factual details, completeness of coverage, and clarity of presentation.' On all these counts, this volume scores very highly.
— Hugh Wood
Library Journal
As the preface explains, this fourth edition of a classic music reference "proceed[s] directly from its [1986] predecessor," The New Harvard Dictionary of Music. Though coverage of non-Western and Western popular music has been expanded (and indeed these are probably the most significant changes), the core of the dictionary remains the Western classical tradition, and many articles remain nearly unchanged. Much of the article on Southeast Asia, for example, is the same as in the 1986 edition, including the illustrations (though other regional articles, such as Africa, have been rewritten). In the article for "leit motif," the Harvard Dictionary disagrees with Grove Music Online concerning the origin of the term (Grove Music Online claims an earlier use of the term); this article seems to be a verbatim holdover from 1986. The excellent coverage of regional and country-specific music has undergone some changes: the U.S.S.R. has given way to Russia, Baltic countries, etc. Articles on "Rock and Roll" and "Rock" are completely rewritten, and new articles include "Fiddling," "Rap," and "Turntablism." Unlike the Oxford Dictionary of Music, the Oxford Concise Dictionary of Music, Random House Encyclopedic Dictionary of Classical Music, or Baker's Dictionary of Music, the Harvard Dictionary almost completely eschews biography, though individual works (such as Verdi's Un Ballo in Maschera) are included. Almost every article longer than a paragraph is signed. Despite its relatively modest cost, the book itself is beautifully bound with fine-quality paper. Recommended for all libraries.-Bruce R. Schueneman, Texax A&M Univ. Lib., Kingsville Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780674011632
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press
  • Publication date: 10/1/2003
  • Series: Harvard University Press Reference Library Series , #16
  • Edition description: Fourth Edition
  • Edition number: 4
  • Pages: 1008
  • Sales rank: 121,199
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 10.00 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Don Michael Randel, former Professor of Music at Cornell University and Professor of Music and President of the University of Chicago, is President of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 27, 2013

    Purchased as a gift

    Our grandson was thrilled with the book. He is studying music education at Augustana College.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 22, 2009

    Very informative book

    I love having this book. It covers all styles of music, musical terms,and instruments. This does not have any information on composers but does cover various musical works

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 29, 2009

    Harvard Dictionary of Music

    Bought it for a student majoring in music because it's a great resource she'll be able to use forever.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 29, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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