An Index to Articles Published in "The Etude" Magazine, 1883-1957

By Hansen, Jeanne Adair | Notes, September 2012 | Go to article overview

An Index to Articles Published in "The Etude" Magazine, 1883-1957


Hansen, Jeanne Adair, Notes


An Index to Articles Published in "The Etude" Magazine, 1883-1957. By Pamela R. Dennis. 2 vols. (Music Li - brary Association Index and Bibli - ography Series, vol. 37.) Middleton, WI: A-R Editions, 2011. [xvi, 1, 364 p. ISBN 9780-895797117 (pt. 1) and 9780895797186 (pt. 2). $250.] Chronological, author, title, and subject indexes.

For seventy-four years The Etude published reflections of the musical scene. Sometimes these were actual photos: a composer in his study, the house where a famous musician was born, the latest set for a new opera production, the current diva at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York, or fourteen women in saris carrying a grand piano on their heads in India. Other glimpses were from interviews with musical personages (Marian Anderson, Leonard Bernstein, Aaron Copland, Vladimir Horo - witz, Lotte Lehmann, John Philip Sousa, Igor Stravinsky, and George Szell), Ameri - can entrepreneurs (Henry Ford, Theodore E. Steinway, Thomas A. Edison), and even a United States president (Harry S. Truman). Articles pertained directly or indirectly to music. This journal attracted professional and amateur musicians, as well as laymen with a passive or passionate interest in music.

Even though the main focus of The Etude was music, there was so much more. Its articles communicated trends and attitudes within the country that influenced repertoire and performance and, in turn, the journal commented on art's effect on culture. Its publication began during the Progressive Era and promulgated a particular ideological slant which catered to the Genteel Society. It reflected America before, during, and after World War I; continued through the Roaring Twenties, the Depression, and World War II; and ceased publication a few months before the launch of Sputnik.

Specific entries provided music teachers with articles to guide their teaching. Children had their own page(s) of musical games, theory, and history. Glossaries of musical terms, histories of instruments, compositional techniques, opera plots, book and media reviews, as well as essays on non-Western musical traditions all provided educational and entertaining reading. Within the more than 880 issues of The Etude magazine, there was literally something for everyone. It is easy to understand how these magazines became a musical reference library within many homes and why issues were saved.

Pamela R. Dennis's two-volume index under review here joins E. Douglas Bom - berger's An Index to Music Published in "The Etude" Magazine, 1883-1957 (Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press and Music Library Associ - ation, 2004) in providing systematic access to this important chronicle of American musical life. Up until now, a researcher might find information about a particular subject, topic or trend in the magazine, but was then limited to a random-chance method of finding any additional articles pertaining to it. Further explorations were haphazard at best. Dennis has remedied this frustrating and often dead-end situation by tackling the monumental task of compiling an index for The Etude with expertise and skill. As a result, the reader can now identify, locate, read, and utilize material contained within its 24,000 pages.

Following a practice similar to the RIPM series, the 1,364 pages are divided into two volumes and four separate indexes. Author and chronological indexes are contained in part 1, with title and subject index in part 2. Every entry includes article title, year and month of publication, and initial page number.

The chronological index gives title entries for individual articles in each issue from October 1883 through May-June 1957. These listings are presented by page/ publication order within each issue, not alphabetically. In the "Anomalies" section of her introduction, Dennis provides brief and concise explanatory notes regarding the omission of various column/section titles used by The Etude at various times during its publication run such as Editorials, World of Music, Musical Books Reviewed, Standard Music Extension Course, Edu ca - tional Study Notes, and European Main Topics, to name a few. …

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