The Clarinet Quintet

ClarinetQuintetThe online catalog The Clarinet Quintet ( is an attempt to bring together all the repertoire of one specific chamber ensemble, the string quartet with one clarinet. The website evolved from the personal records of Donald Oehler, clarinet professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, who has collected information over decades of professional career in chamber music and clarinet performance and pedagogy. Graduate students and librarians at the UNC-CH library developed this idea into a WordPress website managed by Prof. Oehler.

At the time of this post, the website lists about 370 clarinet quintets, though an additional 230 have been identified and eventually will be added. Each entry includes (where this information is available) the title, composer, composer’s country of origin, year of composition, publisher(s), duration, type of clarinet, and a sample page. Users can view a list of the quintets sortable by composer, year, and duration or browse by clarinet type, range of years, duration, country of origin, female composers, and works in the International Clarinet Association’s collection. Featured works date from the late 18th century to today, beginning with the composition that inspired the genre, Mozart’s Clarinet Quintet in A (1789). Users with additional information or corrections on compositions are welcome to comment on the individual entries, subject to moderation.

Peter Shirts, guest contributor

Dictionary of Music Education

educationIrma H. Collins’ Dictionary of Music Education is a “resource for research and a landmark of professional reference for exploring the evolution of music education through time.” (Quoted material from the foreword.) It emphasizes entries concerning people, terms, events, and organizations that have played the largest roles in influencing the course of music education throughout history, especially in the United States, Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom.

The organization is alphabetical in a fairly standard dictionary format, although entries tend to be a little longer and more detailed that one would expect in a standard dictionary. There are three appendixes of important organizations, important publications, and institutions for music. It also contains a bibliography for further reading and an eleven-page chronology.

Abraham Myler, research assistant

Giuseppe Verdi: A Research and Information Guide

verdiThis annotated bibliography from Routledge’s extensive series leads scholars and performers researching the history and music of Giuseppe Verdi to printed materials by indexing and describing the most important studies on the subject. Prepared by Gregory W. Harwood, it includes the author’s selection of research about Verdi that had been printed in English, Italian, French, or German by 2010. Harwood excludes materials written for a popular audience, materials in program booklets, articles from nineteenth-century periodicals, textbooks, general histories of music and opera, theatre chronicles, master’s theses, unpublished European dissertations, reviews, musical scores, and librettos.

The bibliography is organized topically, then alphabetically by author last name. Entries contain standard bibliographic information, including ISBN where available, with annotations. The main body of entries is followed by a catalog of Verdi’s compositions (with title, description, librettist, and premier information) and a “Biographical Dictionary of People Associated with Verdi.” There are five indexes: Authors, Editors, and Translators, Subjects, Verdi’s Music (General), Verdi’s Music (Specific Compositions), and General Index.

Abraham Myler, research assistant

International Who’s Who in Music

popular musicThese directories from Routledge, one for classical and one for popular music, are hefty volumes that music business and performance professionals can use to find background and contact information for potential colleagues and collaborators. Each contains biographies of about eight thousand entrants, with information about the person’s career, education, repertoire, recordings, compositions, publications, honors and, where available, personal and contact details. Entries are organized alphabetically by family name.

The classical volume includes prominent people in both classical and light classical music, including composers, conductors, instrumental and vocal performers, arrangers, managers, and writers. The popular music volume covers people working in of pop, rock, jazz, rap, dance, world, blues, gospel and country music.

The information in these volumes is also available in a subscription-based online database that is updated quarterly.

Abraham Myler, research assistant




Edward Elgar: A Thematic Catalogue and Research Guide

indexThis addition to the Routledge series of music bibliographies leads scholars researching the history and music of Edward Elgar to works by the composer and printed materials about him. Performers can also use it to find information that will inform their interpretations of his music. It is divided into three sections, the first of which is the thematic catalogue. This includes first-time publications of works composed between 1866 and 1933 and is organized chronologically by the date of composition. Compositions in this catalogue are not assigned catalogue numbers, but entries include title, incipit, manuscript location, date of composition, edition information, and literature about the composition.

The second section, a bibliography, includes author Christopher Kent’s selection of letters, monographs, articles and collections of articles, discographies, scrapbooks, and a wide variety of other sources written by or about Elgar. It is divided into twelve sub-sections by source type or topic. Entries within sub-sections are then organized alphabetically by author last name with standard bibliographic information plus ISBN where available. Unlike most other books in the series, the bibliography is not annotated (a decision which was made to save space in the book for the thematic catalogue).

Section three lists the contents of various public and private collections and archives devoted to Edward Elgar. Three indexes list Elgar’s compositions, writers of sources in the bibliography, and proper names mentioned in the volume.

Abraham Myler, research assistant

The World Atlas of Musical Instruments

AtlasThis meticulously illustrated encyclopedia provides history and descriptions of instruments and instrument families from around the world. It surveys a wide variety of musical instruments from cultures across all inhabited continents, including wind, percussion, and string instruments. The authors have organized it by region of instrument origin, then by instrument class and subclass. Region headings provide commentary on music and culture, and instrument entries provide the name, a description, and a hand-drawn illustration. A six-page introduction to organology preceeds the main encyclopedia, giving readers a chance to understand the system of instrument classification that the authors use throughout the volume.

Abraham Myler, research assistant

Samuel Barber: A Thematic Catalogue of the Complete Works

BarberPrepared by Barbara B. Heyman and published by the Oxford University Press, this book organizes compositions into categories by newly assigned identifying numbers. It includes all of the known works of American composer Samuel Barber, both published and unpublished.

Heyman has organized it chronologically by date of completion of the earliest version of each composition. Entries provide title, subtitle, incipit, text source, performance forces and instrumentation, origin, information about the first performance, editions, duration, manuscript sources, recordings, and commentary. There are six appendixes: Register of Works by Genre, Alphabetical Dictionary of the Works of Samuel Barber, Index of First Lines of Vocal Works, Authors and Translators of Texts Set by Barber, Discography, and Register of Incipit files. It also includes a selected bibliography and an integrated index.

Abraham Myler, research assistant

The Encyclopedia of Country Music, Second Edition.

country musicEntries in this single-volume encyclopedia pertain to country music in the United States from 1922 forward, including artists, groups, genres, institutions, and instruments that have exercised the greatest influence in country music. An insert of sixteen color plates shows selected album covers.

One of the most interesting features of this encyclopedia is its thirteen appendixes, with content such as “Full-Time Country Radio Stations in the United States”, “Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame Members”, and “Country’s Share of the U.S. Recorded Music Market.” There are also twelve essay-articles that cover various topics in the Country Music scene. This book is published by the Oxford University Press.

Abraham Myler, research assistant

The Recorder: A Research and Information Guide

recorderThis research guide, currently in its third edition, leads scholars researching the history and use of the recorder to printed materials. Performers can also use it to find information about repertoire and techniques. It has a selection of articles, books, dissertations, and theses that are devoted entirely to the recorder, or that include significant sections that are. The authors include historical teaching material in book form, articles on the topic of transcription and arrangement, reviews of included books, and all relevant articles from a selection of important periodicals. Coverage of English-language materials is more complete than that of materials in other languages. This bibliography excludes modern methods and exercises, most articles from mass-market magazines, writings on specific transcriptions and arrangements, articles on music originally written for instruments other than the recorder, ephemeral articles, and reviews of printed music and sound recordings.

There are 27 chapters organized by topic: (1-2) General Writings; (3) Etymology, Terminology, Symbolism, and Literary References; (4-5) Periods; (6) Size Studies; (7) Art and Iconography; (8) Humor, Fantasy, and Fiction; (9-15) Instruments, Makers, Collections, Construction, and Maintenance; (16-19) Pedagogy, Performance Practice, and Technique; (20-22) Individual and Ensemble Biographies; (23) Bibliographies and Discographies; and (24-27) Repertory. Within chapters, sources are further subdivided by type, then alphabetically by author. Entries contain standard bibliographic information with annotations. There is also an appendix titled “Communications in the FoMRHI Quarterly” and an index.

Abraham Myler, research assistant

Directions in Music Cataloging

directionsThis collection of essays provides music librarians with an explanation of the origins of the modern music cataloging system, and considers the future of the system as digitization becomes increasingly prominent. It is dedicated to Arsen Ralph Papakhian, one of the most prominent music catalogers ever and a beloved mentor to many music librarians. Most essays address issues in music cataloging from the 1980s to the present. The nine independent essays are organized in three chronological sections for the past, the present, and the future of cataloging. The volume also includes an epilogue that eulogizes Arsen Ralph Papakhian, and an index.

Abraham Myler, research assistant.