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Baker's Dictionary of Music Hardcover – November 1, 1997

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 1171 pages
  • Publisher: Schirmer Reference; 1 edition (November 1, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0028647912
  • ISBN-13: 978-0028647913
  • Product Dimensions: 10.2 x 8.3 x 2.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,106,177 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews Review

It's sad but nonetheless true that Nicolas Slonimsky died in 1995, yet the 1997 Dictionary of Music is thoroughly Slonimsky. It includes all the material written for his Lectionary of Music (that was expunged by editors), and then some. After Slonimsky's death, Schirmer Book editors reconstructed his work (using original manuscripts) and added hundreds of Slonimsky articles for a new, comprehensive, mostly Slonimsky dictionary of music. The result is that most deadly of dictionaries: the text that can't be put down. From Slonimsky's highly entertaining introduction to the A to Z itself--1,171 pages of musical definitions, biographies, and Slonimsky storytelling--this is a rare volume that both instructs and amuses.


"Editor Kassel has produced an accessible general-purpose music encyclopedia based on the work of the late Nicolas Slonimsky. This is the only one-volume work that covers terms, works, and people from classical, popular and world music, and it should be in all libraries."
-- Reference Books Bulletin (Reference Books Bulletin )

"...a delightfully eclectic dictionary worthy of the Baker's name ... a browser's delight even if one knows very little about music but simply enjoys good, strong writing. (A)n irresistibly inviting first choice!"
-- Rettig on Reference (Rettig on Reference )

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By I. Martinez-Ybor VINE VOICE on June 9, 2001
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
There is no other dictionary of music equal to this one in range, depth, style, and presentation. It presumes music as a whole, not only in its classical cloak. It is a pleasure to read. Individual entries are clear and focused, without the infuriating omissions one has found in various editions of the Oxford or Harvard. Specific topics which in the editors' opinions require greater analysis are given their due in thoroughly inteligent boxed articles, with different background color. To give an idea of the work's scope, here are some samples of regular entries: etiology, major-minor syndrome, Arab music, "A Bicycle Built for Two", Marni Nixon, Picardy third, schnarre, kolo, "Red" Foley, Fluxus, Eduard Steuermann, mescolanza, etc. Of course, all the usually expected items are present, not in dry lexicographic prose but vibrantly and wittily written. Boxed articles include such topics as Music Therapy, Arnold Schoenberg, socialist realism, interval, longevity, Edward MacDowell, Arturo Toscanini, rock, Henry Cowell, César Franck, graphic notation, jazz,etc. The entry on Maria Callas ends by quoting a commentator who said: "If an orgasm could sing, it would sound like Maria Callas." Slonimsky concludes "Pleanostically speaking, she was an incarnation of carnality." The book is printed on sturdy, beautiful paper, standard type, and has numerous photographs throughout, including one of Carmen Miranda. The binding is meant to last and be passed on.
This is a work to cherish. I cannot imagine a music lover who would not treasure it. This edition was edited after Slonimsky's death. There may not be another version coming. I encourage anyone with a serious interest in Music to get it before it goes out of print. Music is here, presented with depth and elegance, in all her infinite variety.
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