Music Education Reference Books

International Musician, September 2007 | Go to article overview

Music Education Reference Books


If you are returning to school this fall, as either a student or a teacher, here are some worthy reference books you may want to add to your reference shelf.

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Orchestral Music: A Handbook-This classic sourcebook of information necessary to plan orchestral programs and organize rehearsals has been greatly expanded and revised. The fourth edition features nearly 6,400 compositions that cover the standard repertoire for American orchestras. (Orchestral Music: A Handbook (4th Edition), by David Daniels, Scarecrow Press, 2005.)

Norton Anthology of Western Music-A comprehensive collection of 172 scores. Twenty-one are new to this edition with strengthened emphasis on the 20th century. Commentaries closely examine the scores to clarify their historical significance, and professional recordings of all works in the anthology are included on CDs. (Norton Anthology of Western Music, Volume 1: Ancient to Baroque and Volume 2: Classic to Twentieth Century (5th Edition), by Claude Palisca and J. Peter Burkholder, W.W. Norton, 2005.)

A History Of Western Music-Recognized as the finest survey of Western art music since it first appeared in 1960, this book has enlightened a multitude of students and music lovers. This latest edition incorporates the latest advances in music scholarship. (A History of Western Music (7th Edition), by Peter Burkholder, Donald J. Grout, and Claude V. Palisca, W.W. Norton, 2005.)

The Oxford Companion to Jazz-Containing a unique collection of 60 essays commissioned from top jazz performers, writers, and scholars and featuring individual biographies of the most memorable characters of this relatively young art form. The book looks at the impact of jazz on American culture and explores the essential instruments of jazz and their most memorable players. (The Oxford Companion to Jazz, by Bill Kirchner, Oxford University Press, 2005.)

The Harvard Biographical Dictionary of MUSIC-From Pietro Aaron to Ellen Taaffe Zwilich this reference includes 1,013 pages of thumbnail sketches describing the life and music of 5,500 historic and contemporary composers. (Harvard Biographical Dictionary of Music, by Don Michael Randel, Belknap Press, 1996.)

Baker's Biographical Dictionary of Musicians-Although considered the most complete biographical dictionary of musicians, Baker's comes with a hefty price tag, around $300. Though associated with classical music, hundreds of popular musicians (jazz, rock, blues, and more) join the traditional ranks. (Baker's Biographical Dictionary of Musicians (9th Edition), by Theodore Baker, Schirmer Books, 2007.)

Score Reading: A Key to the Music Experience-In this guide, the technical is overlaid with informative history lessons on scores, orchestras, and conductors, providing insights into the musical structure that are difficult to obtain from merely listening. The book includes practice examples on increasingly difficult scores of well-known works from various periods. (Score Reading: A Key to the Music Experience, by Michael Dickreiter, Amadeus Press, 2003.)

The Heritage Encyclopedia of Band Music: Composers and Their Music-This two-volume directory focuses on concert band repertoire. It is a complete directory of composers whose work has been adapted for concert band, with works listed by title, publisher, date, and arranger. More recently updated and less costly digital and CD versions are also available. …

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