The Harvard Dictionary of Music
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The Harvard Dictionary of Music : Fourth Edition

4.53 (56 ratings by Goodreads)

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Description

This classic reference work, the best one-volume music dictionary available, has been brought completely up to date in this new edition. Combining authoritative scholarship and lucid, lively prose, the Fourth Edition of The Harvard Dictionary of Music is the essential guide for musicians, students, and everyone who appreciates music.

The Harvard Dictionary of Music has long been admired for its wide range as well as its reliability. This treasure trove includes entries on all the styles and forms in Western music; comprehensive articles on the music of Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Near East; descriptions of instruments enriched by historical background; and articles that reflect today's beat, including popular music, jazz, and rock. Throughout this Fourth Edition, existing articles have been fine-tuned and new entries added so that the dictionary fully reflects current music scholarship and recent developments in musical culture.

Encyclopedia-length articles by notable experts alternate with short entries for quick reference, including definitions and identifications of works and instruments. More than 220 drawings and 250 musical examples enhance the text. This is an invaluable book that no music lover can afford to be without.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 1008 pages
  • 178 x 248 x 35mm | 1,742g
  • The Belknap Press
  • Cambridge, Mass., United States
  • English
  • New edition
  • 4th New edition
  • 222 line illustrations, 250 music examples
  • 0674011635
  • 9780674011632
  • 80,883

Review quote

From reviews of the previous edition: "May well be the indispensable one-volume reference work on the subject of music--classical, ethnic, pop or rock ... If you must know the difference between the Lydian and Mixolydian modes, you can find that lucidly described, but not to the exclusion of a note on the practice and etymology of doo-wop." -- Herbert Glass Los Angeles Times [From a review of the previous edition] This single volume [provides] as full a range of non-biographical information as most of us are likely to require. -- Peter Heyworth Observer [Moves] impressively and easily between non-Western and Western music, integrating ancient theory and modern practice into a genuinely, and invigoratingly, global survey. -- Christopher Wintle Times Literary Supplement Its discussion of complicated technical issues is admirably concise and clear (see the entry on 'twelve-tone music'), and some of its entries on pop music are both sensible and amusing...This book has proved of daily, error-free usefulness. -- Richard Dyer Boston Globe When it appeared in 1986, The New Harvard Dictionary of Music was hailed in many quarters as the most valuable single-volume reference work on classical music in English. Now, still unsurpassed in the classical field, it has become even more valuable, with a new edition...The Harvard Dictionary now makes incursions into rock, pop and world music...This is all good news for music lovers whose tastes run to the traditional, the more so for any who might want to broaden them. -- James R. Oestreich New York Times 20031123 The book--approximately 1,000 pages in length--is solidly accurate and refreshingly concise. Best of all, it provides a complete listing of all relevant terms, literally from A (Abendmusik, or evening music) to Z (Zigeunermusik, or gypsy music)...In short, the Harvard Dictionary of Music is amazing, wonderful, and highly useful. -- John A. Murray Bloomsbury Review 20040101 The essential one-stop reference has been newly updated, making it even more essential. After all, how else are you going to find out what euouae are (the vowels of the words 'seculorum Amen' sung in Gregorian chant) or that you just missed Berlioz's 200th birthday? -- Mark Swed Los Angeles Times 20031218 Readers will not be disappointed with the fourth edition of the Harvard Dictionary of Music, long known as the essential single-volume music dictionary. Existing articles have been fine-tuned, and additions and deletions reflect new developments in musical scholarship as well as the changing world and its political boundaries. -- K. A. Abromeit Choice 20040401 The Harvard Dictionary of Music (Fourth Edition) is a resounding success...I can't imagine how Harvard University Press can offer such a detailed and meticulously produced volume for $40, but that being the case there is no reason it should not become a much-thumbed part of every serious music-lover's library. -- James M. Keller Symphony 20040501 [The Harvard Dictionary of Music] manages...to live up to a sentence from its own entry on 'Dictionaries and encyclopedias': 'The success of a dictionary is judged mainly on its factual details, completeness of coverage, and clarity of presentation.' On all these counts, this volume scores very highly. -- Hugh Wood Times Higher Education Supplement 20040514
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About Don Michael Randel

Don Michael Randel, former Professor of Music at Cornell University and Professor of Music and President of the University of Chicago, is President of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
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Rating details

56 ratings
4.53 out of 5 stars
5 68% (38)
4 20% (11)
3 11% (6)
2 2% (1)
1 0% (0)
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