Canadian Music and Music Education: An Annotated Bibliography of Theses and Dissertations

By Colton, Glenn | Canadian University Music Review, January 1, 1999 | Go to article overview

Canadian Music and Music Education: An Annotated Bibliography of Theses and Dissertations


Colton, Glenn, Canadian University Music Review


Diane E. Peters. Canadian Music and Music Education: An Annotated Biblioof Theses and Dissertations. Lanham, Md.: The Scarecrow Press, 1997. xvii, 476 pp. ISBN 0-8108-3275-5 (hardcover).

The field of Canadian music research has come a long way in recent decades. With courses in Canadian music now firmly established as an integral part of the curriculum in many of our music departments and a plethora of recently completed publications, dissertations, and theses on aspects of music in Canada, books such as Diane Peters' s annotated bibliography of theses and dissertations on Canadian music and music education are welcome additions to this rapidly growing field.1

As Peters rightly points out in the introduction to the book, existing dissertation abstracts are of limited value when searching for current scholarship on Canadian music, and Master's level works completed at American or foreign universities are often extremely difficult to uncover.

The present volume includes annotated bibliographic citations of over 1 ,200 theses and dissertations relating to aspects of Canadian music or music education in Canada. The scope of the entries is impressive, with the bibliography partitioned neatly into 15 sections as follows: (1) Analytical Studies: General; (2) Analytical Studies: Instrumental Music; (3) Analytical Studies: Vocal Music; (4) Bibliographies/Inventories/Repertoire Lists; (5) Ethnomusicology/Folk Music; (6) Historical/Bibliographical Studies; (7) Music and Literature; (8) Music Education; (9) Music Journalism/Criticism; (10) Music Recording/Broadcasting; (11) Musical Instruments; (12) Original Compositions; (13) Psychology of Music/Music Therapy; (14) Sacred Music; (15) Sociological Studies.

There are many attributes which make this book a valuable reference tool. The numbered, categorized abstracts are clear and concise, yet detailed enough to give the reader a precise summary of the subject, methodology, and contents of each thesis and dissertation. While approximately forty per cent of works listed were written in French and a small number in German and other languages, all of the abstracts have been translated into English with the title of the work indicating the language in which it was written. An especially useful feature is that entries available through University Microfilms in Ann Arbor, Michigan, or in the National Library of Canada's Canadian theses series, are followed by order numbers for purchase. Separate indices by author, title, institution, and subject are given at the end of the book.

Peters has obviously spared no effort in assembling this wide-ranging compilation of unpublished sources, many of which lie outside the realm of what would normally be considered "Canadian music." Indeed, Peters' s definition of the term is considerably broader than most, encompassing not only writings about Canadian composers, performers, musical styles, genres, etc., but also works such as music-related psychological studies in which some or all of the participants are Canadian. Within this eclectic fusion of disparate subjects and methodologies, it then becomes possible for the abstracts of non-music specialists to appear alongside specialized works from the more "traditional" fields of musical inquiry (analysis, musicology/ethnomusicology, music criticism, music education, composition, performance pedagogy, etc.). How else could one open up a music bibliography and find an entry titled "Shame, Body Image and Locus-of-control in Male and Female Exotic Dancers" (p. 307)?2 The risk with this type of approach is that the scope of entries becomes so broad as to be unmanageable. While I do not think this is necessarily the case here, there are some questionable choices of cross-referencing and indexing and, in certain instances, some unfortunate omissions of important dissertations pertaining to Canadian music.

To test the usefulness of Peters' s bibliography, I first searched for theses and dissertations on two Canadian composers whose music I have researched fairly extensively - S. …

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