Music Since 1900

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9780028647876: Music Since 1900

This indispensable music reference provides a day-by-day account of events and accomplishments in the world of music since the turn of the century. This new edition combines the 1971 fourth edition and the 1986 Supplement, and adds 500 new entries covering the years 1986-1991. It provides a complete history of this century's music in one volume. Includes a dictionary of terms and index.

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Review:

Nicolas Slonimsky's first edition of Music Since 1900 came out in 1937--his entry into the world of lexicography--and this fifth edition, published in 1994, was the last book he wrote. But that's only one reason why this book should be acquired, cherished, and continually browsed. The "Descriptive Chronology" begins January 1, 1900, with the publication of Hector Berlioz's first volume of collected works, wends its way through Gershwin's first performance of "Rhapsody in Blue" (February 12, 1924) and the founding of the Polish Music Publishing Society (April 15, 1945), and ends with the death of Ernst Krenek, composer of "Jonny spielt auf," (December 23, 1991). With letters (such as those to Slonimsky from Charles Ives) and documents (such as the transcript of the House Un-American Activities Committee hearing on Hanns Eisler), a Dictionary of Terms (abecedarianism to Zen), and a comprehensive index, the result is a scrupulous, eccentric, irresistible music reference.

From Booklist:

For the latest edition of Music Since 1900, editor Laura Kuhn has taken over the reins from eminent musicologist Nicolas Slonimsky, who died in 1995, just a year after the fifth edition of this work was published. The book is now in a larger format, which allows more content to fit into fewer pages. As with earlier editions, the main text is called the "Descriptive Chronology," with events such as deaths, performances and productions of importance (usually debuts of new works), music-publishing milestones, and more, arranged by date. New to this edition are more than 1,500 entries from January 1, 1992 (the first performance of a Jonathan Lloyd composition), through December 14, 2000 (the start of a three-day festival celebrating Messiaen).

Each entry notes relevant data (e.g., performer or composer name, title and type of work, place of performance, cause and place of performer's or composer's death, festival program listings) in a single sentence. The scope is international, with a primary focus on music in the classical realm. Although there are inevitable omissions (e.g., guitarist and composer Celedonio Romero's death in 1996), the breadth of coverage is impressive, and the opinionated writing makes for interesting browsing. The entire, lengthy text of the 1985 Senate hearing on record labeling, including the testimony of the late Frank Zappa, has been added to the "Letters and Documents" section. A "Dictionary of Terms" yields a few surprises along with more serious stuff, such as a little essay on a sleep disorder that notes "symphony concerts are notoriously conducive to narcolepsy." A detailed index to proper names and musical terms is included.

Libraries with older editions will want this update. RBB
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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