The Oxford Companion to Music

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Overview

First published in 1938, The Oxford Companion to Music has been the first choice for authoritative information on all aspects of music. Now, 17 years since the last edition, the Companion is here to serve a new generation of students, teachers, performers, concert goers, record collectors, and music lovers.
Completely revised and updated by a distinguished team of contributors, the Oxford Companion to Music features more than 1,000 new entries than the previous edition; more than 70 percent of the entire text is either new or entirely rewritten. Here, in articles that range from clear, concise definitions of musical ideas and terms to extended surveys of musical forms and styles, is authoritative coverage of virtually every musical subject. Embracing the world of music in all its variety—including jazz, popular music, and dance—the Companion offers a concentrated focus on the Western classic tradition, from the Middle Ages to the present day.
More than 8,000 articles sweep across an extraordinary range of subjects: composers, performers, conductors, individual works, instruments and notation, forms and genres. From the study of music—theory, aesthetics, scholarship—to the way it is performed and disseminated, the Companion provides comprehensive, accessible coverage of music in all its artistic, historical, cultural, and social dimensions.
Comprehensive, authoritative, up-to-date, and designed throughout for clarity and accessibility, the new Oxford Companion to Music, like every edition before it, will immediately become an indispensable resource for all who wish to enrich their love and knowledge of music.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"The Oxford Companion to Music is back with a deft new editor, a smart new look, and a reasonable price tag, considering the wealth of information....A solid reference with a grand pedigree, usefully improved for home and general office use."—Library Journal [Starred Review]

"Much is gained in the updating."—The New York Times "Latham spruces up this edition with more than 1000 new entries; more than 70% of the book is essentially new material, not just about Western classical music, but also jazz, pop and dance music....Priced reasonably, given the book's size, this title may find its way not only into reference collections, but into the hands of music lovers who want an up-to-date browsing tome."—Publishers Weekly

"When you need a question about music answered, the newly-revised Oxford Companion to Music should prove your best friend. It's a cornucopia of information."—Chicago Tribune "Merits a place on any music-lover's shelf."—Nashville Tennessean

"Much information is packed into this 8000-article volume. A worthwile purchase."—Choice "An accessible, authoritative resource,"—School Library Journal

Publishers Weekly
Latham, an editor of musical reference works, offers a new edition of this popular volume, which first appeared in a quite different form in 1938 and was last updated in 1983. Latham spruces up this edition with over 1,000 new entries; more than 70% of the book is essentially new material, not just about Western classical music, but also jazz, pop and dance music. Long articles are devoted to the most famous composers, while the approximately 8,000 short entries show a decided British bias there is almost as much space devoted to eccentric English composer Lord Berners as to Leonard Bernstein. There are also, perhaps inevitably, some omissions: while 20th-century German composer Boris Blacher is included, his arguably more original contemporary Wilhelm Killmayer is left out. Some readers may be frustrated with Latham's fondness for qualifying phrases, such as the observation that American composer Libby Larsen's music is "generally bold, clear, and colorful" or that the work of another Yank composer, Vincent Persichetti, "normally [keeps] some relation to tonal centres." Others may disagree with the value judgments assigned here, such as the praise of Gian Carlo Menotti's famously reviled 1970 opera, The Most Important Man in the World. Such provocative choices aside, the compendium is solidly researched, with useful biographical information and lists of suggested reading. Priced reasonably, given the book's size, this title may find its way not only into reference collections, but into the hands of music lovers who want an up-to-date browsing tome. (July) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal
The Oxford Companion to Music is back with a deft new editor, a smart new look, and a reasonable price tag, considering the wealth of information. A member of the editorial board of The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians and former coeditor of the Musical Times, Latham oversees more than 150 musicians and scholars in this blending of the tenth edition (1970), edited by John Owen Ward, and the two-volume New Oxford Companion to Music (1983), edited by Denis Arnold. The writing team, which includes original Companion author Percy Alfred Scholes (1877-1958) in selected, updated articles, has achieved what a single expert could not in today's expansive musical landscape: that is, it has provided comprehensive coverage of "Western classical music" in a single, reliable book. Among the 8000 entries are articles on composers, theorists, and some performers; instruments, forms, and terms; subjects like electronic music, individual countries, and politics and music; and some pieces (and even some famous arias). Each entry is presented in a dictionary format, with a select index of names appended and sometimes with bibliographic references. Pertinent illustrations, both linear and musical, are sparsely used. The bias is still English, but the book provides cross references to American terms and includes plenty of American composers and musical subjects. A solid reference with a grand pedigree, usefully improved for home and general library use, this is highly recommended for all public libraries. Bonnie Jo Dopp, Univ. of Maryland Libs., College Park Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780198662129
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 5/2/2002
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 1450
  • Sales rank: 697,006
  • Product dimensions: 9.50 (w) x 7.50 (h) x 2.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Alison Latham is a well-known editor of music reference works. She has edited The Musical Times and for over ten years was publications editor at the Royal Opera House, Convent Garden. She was assistant editor of The Grove Concise Dictionary of Music and the co-editor of The Cambridge Guide to Music and Verdi in Performance.

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Table of Contents

Preface
Acknowledgements
Contributors
Abbreviations
Oxford Companion to Music
Index of people

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