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The Oxford Dictionary of Music Hardcover – January 26, 1995

ISBN-13: 978-0198691624 ISBN-10: 0198691629 Edition: 2nd

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 1006 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; 2 edition (January 26, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0198691629
  • ISBN-13: 978-0198691624
  • Product Dimensions: 9.6 x 6.6 x 2.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,534,664 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

YA-This volume identifies and provides short discussions of terms, composers, conductors, works, singers, instruments, instrumentalists, and orchestras. Eighty percent of the original entries have been revised to include modern works, and 1,500 entries have been added to update this rapidly changing field. An excellent resource for music and history students.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

Kennedy, a longtime British music critic and author, has updated and expanded his 1985 Oxford Dictionary of Music with more than 1,000 new entries plus revisions (in many cases major) to about four-fifths of the original 11,000 entries. Entries define and identify all facets of music from titles of individual works to performers, orchestras, musical forms, instruments, and composers. Identifications can be as short as one line (moll) or as long as four pages (Mozart). Much mention is made of debuts in various places and of first performances; almost no note is made of personal lives apart from music. Among new entries are those for performers Cecilia Bartoli, Evelyn Glennie, Hakan Hardenberger, and Bryn Terfel; composers Robert Moran, Andrew Toovey, and Ellen Taaffe Zwilich; and conductor Esa-Pekka Salonen. Many composer entries have added compositions, including such operas and musicals as William Bolcom's 1992 McTeague, John Corigliano's Ghosts of Versailles (which also has its own entry), and Andrew Lloyd-Webber's Sunset Boulevard. Death of Klinghoffer and Einstein on the Beach also have their own entries. An update to the entry for Paul McCartney includes his 1991 Liverpool Oratorio. Many 1990s dates of new compositions, debuts, first performances, and deaths are noted, including those of Copland and Bernstein. Entries for Carreras, Domingo, and Pavarotti are all updated, but no mention is made of the "Three Tenors" concert(s). A few people not included: Nadia Salerno-Sonnenberg, Ofra Harnoy, neither Wynton nor Branford Marsalis, nor Ida or Ani Kavafian. The Beaux Arts Trio entry still includes the names Pressler, Cohen, and Greenhouse even though they have left the group; the Juilliard Quartet entry mentions Robert Mann as the sole original member left while not naming others. The first edition of this title received an unequivocal endorsement in RBB stating that it was "indispensable to all types of libraries"; this new edition merits the same recommendation.

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Both focus more on serious music than popular music.
dark capps
Unlike the "Oxford Companion to Music", the Dictionary covers 20th century relatively well.
Christo
It will answer a lot of questions for you, and cause you to ask more...
Jacqueline Thompson

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

75 of 78 people found the following review helpful By K. Mahood, Ph.D on October 4, 2001
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As a person who has taught literally thousands of students the joys of music, I'm always searching for a better music dictionary to recommend to my students and colleagues. I know I'd want a dictionary with enough diagrams to show the various music symbols and what they mean. I would want a book which also includes some biographical data as well. But here is where this book totally and I mean completely misses the mark. The vast part of the text is nothing more than a short to medium biography of just about every musician/composer you might (or might not) wish to learn about. The book should have been entitled, "Oxford BIOGRAPHICAL Dictionary of Music". As for notation? Forget it. Symbols? (such as what do note "accents" look like? Forget that, too. What about the parts of a harpsichord (for example). Well, no diagrams at all and a mere overview too complicated for the layman. In fact, there are NO diagrams in the entire work.
I certainly would get more out of a 'pocket' music dictionary than I would out of this. Better yet, try "The Harvard Dictionary of Music" which is considerably better. As much as I love the United Kingdom (I studied there)--I'd much rather defer to Harvard on this one!
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27 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Christo on July 19, 2002
Format: Hardcover
I have had this book (The Dictionary) on my shelf for a number of years now (as a softcover). And before the current edition (1994), I owned the older edition.
My interest is mainly 20th century serious music, and jazz. Unlike the "Oxford Companion to Music", the Dictionary covers 20th century relatively well. Many obscure composers are listed who are not listed in other books, for example Lebrecht's "Complete Companion to 20th Century Music". As such the Dictionary indispensable for me. The information is more factual (and less opinionated) than Lebrecht's. I particularly like the alphabetic arrangement which allows me to quickly look up someone whose music I have discovered by change, or whose name was mentioned in an article or whatever. The listing of works by each composer is reasonably complete, particularly for well-know composers.
Of course the Dictionary covers more than composers or even 20th century composers. It covers artists (performers and conductors), major works, musical terms and forms, organisations, instruments, venues, etc. And entries are cross-referenced, as one would expect. The Dictionary contains very few illustrations.
There are 12,500 entries in the second edition, so one would not expect a huge depth. You will often need to know more. However, the Dictionary is a comprehensive, detailed, reliable reference work on music, and as such a good starting point for most topics.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By dark capps on May 8, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I have both the Harvard Dictionary of Music and the Oxford Dictionary of Music. The Oxford seems to focus on bios while the Harvard on terms. Both focus more on serious music than popular music. If you are are looking for brief biographical sketches than this is a great book. The good thing about this book is they will list the more rare composers (and many of them) along with the more well known ones. There are terms listed, perhaps more than enough for you, and you may find terms which the Harvard Dictionary excluded. This book is also more sturdy than the Harvard dictionary, with thicker pages. To sumarize, if you want a book with bios, get the oxford, if you want one with terms, get the harvard. If you want to get a cheaper book on terms, then get the Oxford Dictionary of Musical Terms.
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37 of 48 people found the following review helpful By B.C.M. on May 2, 2000
Format: Hardcover
For people buying their first music dictionary or trying to decide between the two leaders (Harvard and Oxford), this is the one to get. While both contain a wealth of information, you will find the Oxford to be superior to Harvard. Not only are there more entries, but Oxford also contains more up-to-date information. You don't buy a book like this every day, so spend a couple extra bucks and pick Oxford.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
It arrived promptly and is useful for what I wanted. No more can be added to what I have already said.
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