MusRef Blog

The Capitol Records Children’s Series, 1944 to 1956: The Complete Discography

Capitol-Records-Children's-Series-300Jack Mirtle’s discography is especially helpful to collectors as a way to discover potential new acquisitions and find information about records already in their collections.

Organized chronologically by recording session date, each entry provides recording session format, date of recording, studio, location, studio time, session number, producer, artist’s name and credits, artist’s album title and credits, personnel, master number, track duration, track title, catalog numbers, known radio transcriptions, additional credits, and call numbers for associated scores available in the Harold B. Lee Library at Brigham Young University (to which Capitol Records donated their archives of music manuscripts in 1967).

Abraham Myler, research assistant.

Historical Dictionary of Jazz

jazz dictionaryThis installment in The Scarecrow Press’ Historical Dictionaries of Literature and the Arts series includes information about Jazz from 1881 through 2011. Entries include Jazz terms, artists, groups, styles, recording labels, and more. It is arranged alphabetically and includes a bibliography and a chronology of major events.

Most entries are one paragraph long, with very few entries (“Armstrong, Louis” being one of them) covering more than a page. Written in an easy to read and engaging style, this volume can serve as informative recreational reading as well as for incidental reference use.

Abraham Myler, research assistant

The Encyclopaedia of Music in Ireland

Ireland EncyclopaediaThis two-volume boxed set, published by University College Dublin Press, contains entries that pertain to “Irish musical life across recorded history,“ including all musical genres. Two thousand individual entries cover works, performers, composers, teachers, collectors, scholars, ensembles, societies, and institutions.

Each volume has eight color plates, which contain the only images in the encyclopedia. Volume two houses a sixty-five page integrated index, including subjects that contain their own entries and those that are only mentioned in other entries. The Encyclopedia represents the work of two hundred thirty-nine contributors and is edited by Harry White and Barra Boydell.

Abraham Myler, research assistant

Pepper Adams’ Joy Road: An Annotated Discography

pepper adamsGary Carner’s Pepper Adams’ Joy Road includes annotations with detailed biographical information and can, among many other things, serve as a collector’s guide to Adams’ recordings or as a source of information for research about this iconic American jazz baritone saxophonist and composer. The author’s interviews with Pepper Adam’s associates imbue the annotations with a wealth of previously unpublished information.

This discography covers professional and non-professional recordings involving Pepper Adams from 1947 to 1986, both issued and non-issued. Carner includes audience tapes, film, videotapes, TV and radio broadcasts, private recordings, overdubs, 78s, 45s, 16rpms, EPs, LPs, 45rpm LPs, and CDs. He excludes issues on 8-track or cassette tape.

The discography is divided into five chapters by career period. All entries are in chronological order of recording session date and time. Each entry includes group leader or ensemble name, album name, author-assigned alphanumeric code derived from the session’s recording date, recording date, location, personnel (with instrumentation), titles recorded, title’s original issue with label information and record company matrix numbers, titles with Adams solos, annotation with known reissues and supporting historical data derived mostly from the author’s interviews with Adams’ associates. There are two appendices. The first lists sessions in which Adams served as leader or co-leader, and the second lists broadcasts and recordings that no longer survive. Carner also provides a bibliography, a filmography, and an integrated index.

Published by the Scarecrow Press, this book won the ARSC award for best jazz discography in 2013.

Abraham Myler, research assistant

The Roud Folk Song Index

SteveRoud_180The Roud Folksong Index is Steve Roud’s monumental labor of love, now supported and hosted by the Vaughan Williams Memorial Library in London. It guides users to published and manuscript folk song scores, texts, and recordings. By searching the index, researchers can use the provided information to find the music and/or text of folk songs in a library collection.

The index now includes over 191,000 references to songs that have been collected from oral tradition in the English language. Its database, searchable by one or multiple fields, includes fields for song title, tune name, first line of text, source type (broadside, book, etc.), source reference, bibliography reference ID (with a link to complete bibliographic information), previous source, performer, place collected, date collected, collector, contents (text and/or music, number of verses), date added, Roud number, other number, subjects, broadside printer, broadside location, notes and Roud ID number.

Probably the largest English-language folk song index in the world to date, this online source is indispensable for those searching for written or recorded versions of traditional songs from the English-speaking world. It is freely available on the Vaughan Williams Memorial Library website.

The Jazz Standards: A Guide to the Repertoire

gioia jazzTed Gioia’s guide to the jazz standards for is a supremely useful handbook, especially for jazz students and aspiring musicians. It was inspired by his own early days when, he explains, everybody expected him to know “the standards” but nobody would give him a list. Gioia designed this guide to give young players the opportunity to obtain this knowledge of the repertoire that they would need in order to succeed.

Arranged alphabetically by tune name, it covers about 250 of the most performed jazz tunes of all time. Each entry provides the composer, lyricist, recommended recordings, and a short essay that typically covers historical background, characteristics, and associated performance traditions and trends. The recommended recordings, of which there are ten or so for each tune, are carefully selected to include a broad range of styles.

Abraham Myler, research assistant

Musical America: International Directory of the Performing Arts

Musical AmericaThe Musical America directory, published annually by ABC Leisure Magazines, is useful for a broad range of classical musicians. High school and college students can use it to find summer programs and colleges to attend, composers can use it to find potential publishers for their works, young performers can look up competitions to apply to, and more.

The directory lists publishers, managers, orchestras, opera companies, choral groups, dance companies, performing arts series, festivals, arts administration degree programs, agents, summer camps, workshops, competitions, music schools and departments, special music programs, foundations and awards, commercial services and products, record companies, non-profit services and professional music organizations, state arts agencies, facilities, music magazines, newspaper music critics, and radio stations. Coverage includes both American and international entries, and the directory is organized by region.

Abraham Myler, research assistant

The Music of Georges Auric: A Documented Catalogue in Four Volumes


AuricGeorges Auric, a twentieth-century French composer and member of Les Six, wrote a great deal of music for the concert hall as well as for the stage, film and television. In his four-volume thematic catalogue of Auric’s music, Carl B. Schmidt covers Auric’s concert, stage and screen music. It was published in 2013 by The Edwin Mellen Press.

Entries are ordered by catalogue number and provide title, movements, date, dedication, incipit of text, instrumentation, location of holograph manuscript, printed editions, signed copies, duration, and information on the first performance. Volume four contains appendixes, including chronological lists of projects and inventories of manuscripts. It also contains a bibliography and four indexes: Compositions or Unrealized Projects, Song Titles and First Lines, Compositions and Titles not by Georges Auric and a general index.

Abraham Myler, research assistant

Vocal Chamber Music

Vocal Chamber MusicVocal chamber music carries a rich tradition in Western music and has proven to be a highly versatile genre.  In 1985, Barbara Winchester and Kay Dunlap compiled an extensive repertoire guide to this broad form, approaching it from a unique angle that extends beyond simply music for one voice and a piano. Twenty-three years later, a new and updated edition has been released, providing additional resources for vocal chamber music performers.

One item of particular interest is the specific instrumentation that is targeted in this volume.  Entries included in this edition are exclusively collaborative in nature; the selections require one to twelve voices as well as one to twelve additional instruments other than piano or guitar.

Included titles were written as early as 1650, and span until 2005. The inclusion of voicing, instrumentation, date, and publisher adds a rich context to titles that are sometimes very obscure. To aid readers further, the authors include an index of music sources for locating scores from publishers that no longer exist.

This volume will particularly be useful for vocalists and voice teachers searching for new repertoire for concerts and recitals – particularly if they desire components of increased collaboration and variety.

Hannah Johnson, research assistant

The Oxford Dictionary of Music

oxford dictionary 6thThe Concise Oxford Dictionary of Music, a long-time standard music reference source, has received an upgrade with its latest edition, renamed the Oxford Dictionary of Music.

The sixth edition contains over 10,000 entries total, spanning the history of Western music and covering various musical topics, including theory terminology, major works and composer names, and musical instruments.  The dictionary also provides references to useful websites associated with some entries. The authors have included appendices for non-English terms and common musical abbreviations.  An online dictionary supplement, included with purchase of the dictionary, provides additional materials.

Writers Michael and Joyce Bourne Kennedy and editor Tim Rutherford-Johnson have broadened the scope in this expanded edition.  It includes 250 new entries to increase coverage of popular music, ethnomusicology, sound technology, and contemporary composers. Hundreds of preexisting entries have also been reviewed and updated.

Both scholars and amateurs alike will appreciate this update as they explore a variety of current and evolving topics.

Hannah Johnson, research assistant