MusRef Blog

Clár amhrán Mhaigh Cuilinn – Irish Traditional Songs

9780956562814aThis catalogue of Irish traditional songs, written in the Irish language by Ciarán Ó Con Cheanainn, assists researchers or performers in finding specific Irish songs in the Irish National Folklore Collection. It includes 450 Irish songs, without including arrangements or variants of the songs.

The catalogue is divided into 14 chapters by topic: Love Songs, Funeral, Recommended Songs, Songs of Censure, Songs of the People, Songs of Animals & Birds, Fun Songs, Songs for Children, Workers’ Songs, Sailor Songs, Songs of Faith, Moral Songs, Songs about Politics, and Songs of Strife. Each chapter has categorical subsections (further dividing song topics) in which the songs are alphabetized by title and are numbered. Each entry provides song title, the first lines of each verse, the collection it is found in, the collector and the composer. There are six indexes: First Lines and Verses, Song Title, Indicated Names in Songs, Collectors, Composers, and Place of Collection.

Abraham Myler, research assistant

Orchestral Pops Music: A Handbook

orchestral popsDavid Daniel’s popular reference volume Orchestral Music: A Handbook served as the parent book for the Music Finders Series from The Scarecrow Press. This installment in the series, Orchestral Pops Music: A Handbook by Lucy Manning, is also designed as a programming resource for music directors and orchestra conductors. Currently in its second edition, it is a helpful source of repertoire information for orchestral librarians, too.

Manning includes orchestral “pops” compositions and arrangements that are currently available for purchase or hire. Organized alphabetically by composer name, entries provide composer birth and death dates, title of selection, approximate performance duration, instrumentation, different versions available, themes (dance, travel, films, Christmas, etc.), publisher, and “rental” designation. In the appendixes, works are listed by instrumentation, duration, theme, title, and publishers/sources. These extensive appendices provide valuable information for concert programming.

Abraham Myler, research assistant

Historical Dictionary of Russian Music

russian music dictionaryThis reference from The Scarecrow Press by Daniel Jaffé provides basic information concerning composers, influential historic moments, music academies, famous performance halls, and other events, figures, and items in the Russian music tradition.

Entries span the origins of Russian music until 2011 and were selected based on popularity and influence. They are arranged alphabetically, and each one provides a brief explanation or biography with essential historical information. Front matter contains a guide to acronyms and abbreviations, a chronology to provide historical context, and a bibliography. The chronology outlines major landmarks in the Russian music tradition, including political movements that factored into the style and the circumstances in which composers worked.

Abraham Myler, research assistant, and Kiersten Favero

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