MusRef Blog

The Beethoven Gateway

The Beethoven Gateway is a free online resource that helps direct people interested in Beethoven to books, articles, scores, and other sources on the composer. Although it functions primarily as a catalog of the collections of the Ira F. Brilliant Center for Beethoven Studies, its also serves the broader purpose of providing a comprehensive and fully-indexed bibliography of materials relating to Beethoven, from a wide range of subject areas.

The principle aims of the database are:

  1. bring together bibliographical information of all significant Beethoven materials dating from the late eighteenth century to the present through the creation of a dedicated database;
  2. improve access to information on Beethoven by providing in-depth subject analysis of the literature from all fields and abstracts or content notes;
  3. create ease of access to bibliographic information by adding indexes of works, genres, and other desirable access points;
  4. create, maintain, and disseminate a thesaurus of terms and guidelines for using the database;
  5. provide information on locations of primary research materials through the thesaurus and the database itself;
  6. make the database freely available worldwide on the Internet.

The database does not yet provide full text of articles or books, although links from Beethoven Gateway to full text databases is planned. Links to scanned images from the Center are also forthcoming. (from the website)

The digital collection of Music Library of Greece “Lilian Voudouri”

The digital collection of Music Library of Greece ‘Lilian Voudouri’
includes more than 330,000 digitized documents of unique cultural value on
Greek music and is a source for every researcher interested in Greek music.
These items can be utilized for the interdisciplinary creation of cultural
services, always subject to intellectual property law.
The digital collection includes the archives of the composers Mikis
Theodorakis, Emilios Riadis, Georgios Poniridis, Frank Choisy, the archive
of Nileus Kamarados-Nikolaos Vlachopoulos, as well as a part of the
Manuscript and Greek Songs Collections that belong to the Library. The
collection has recently been enriched by the archive of Dimitrios Lialios,
the collections of concert programmes and other cultural events, Greek
musical periodicals, books of Byzantine music and vinyl records.
Certain categories of documents are not available online; i.e. items related
to public organizations, corporations and personal documents. All material
that integrates in the above-mentioned categories is accessible only within
the Library premises.”

Dal segno al suono

Dal Segno al suono: Il Conservatorio di Musica San Pietro a Majella: Repertorio del patrimonio storico-artistico e degli strumenti musicali. A cura di Gema Cautela, Luigi Sisto, Lorella Starita

This beautiful and lavishly illustrated volume is an exhaustive catalogue of all the portraits, instruments and museum artifacts conserved at the Conservatorio di Musica San Pietro a Majella in Naples, Italy. Every item is accompanied with a photograph, many in full color.

Bavarian State Library Launches a Major Digital Scores Project

In November 2011 the German Research Foundation of the Bavarian State Library approved funding for the first stage of a four-year digitization project. The Bavarian State Library owns about 1,800 music prints dating from the 16th and 17 centuries, including polyphonic vocal and instrumental music. The project will create one of the world’s richest collections of the most popular pieces from the beginnings of music printing. The materials to be scanned are listed in the bibliographies of collected prints RISM BI, 1 and individual prints RISM AI. Printed music of the 16th and 17 centuries was usually presented as “Stimmbücher” or several different works (up to 20 different prints) in the form of an anthology. They are often bound in fragile historic bindings, including many with parchment covers.

The first phase of the project (February 2012 to 2014) will digitize approximately 1,050 titles.

(Adapted from ViFaMusik-Blog)

Ethnomusicology: A Research and Information Guide, 2nd edition

Post, Jennifer C. Ethnomusicology: A Research and Information Guide. 2nd ed. Routledge Music Bibliographies. New York; London: Taylor & Francis, 2011.

Jennifer C. Post’s second edition of Ethnomusicology: A Research and Information Guide is designed, in the author’s own words, to help researchers “embrace the discipline in the twenty-first century,” and consequently provides a detailed guide to various sources profitable to ethnomusicological research. The book contains 1,933 items such as reference works, archival sources, audio and video recordings, online resources, research guides, and indexing and abstracting tools, all published predominantly between 1994 and 2010. Particularly useful to students is the introduction, which describes at length the field of ethnomusicology, its purposes, its methodologies, and a 52-item annotated bibliography of resources explaining the discipline. The bibliography itself has been divided into two sections: Reference and Information Sources and Sources for Research and Study. An annotation accompanies each citation as well as an ISBN, ISSN, or LC call number, when appropriate. The annotations for the “recent books” section are unusually descriptive, often including a list of contents. Up-to-date and crammed with information, Post’s work can benefit both fledgling student and advanced researcher.

Lindsay Weaver
Research Assistant 

Dictionnaire chronologique de l’opéra de 1597 à nos jours

Dictionnaire chronologique de l’opéra de 1597 à nos jours. Translated by Sophie Gherardi. Paris: Ramsay, 1979. Revised and augmented by Louis Jambou. Paris: Le Livre de Poche, 1994

 

The Dictionnaire Chronologique de l’opéra de 1597 à nos jours was translated from Italian into French by Sophie Gherardi.  Aimed at a general audience of opera enthusiasts, this dictionary  provides a guide to operas in the standard Western repertory dating from 1579 through 1994.  It begins with a short preface by the Swiss composer and music administrator, Rolf Liebermann.  Following that, users can find basic information on each of the included operas, such as the title, the date of the first performance, the author of the libretto, the genre, the number of acts, and the premier information.  Additionally, entries also describe the main characters and their vocal parts, and provide a brief plot of the performance, the composer’s life, musical aspects of the work.  The simplicity of the layout and information makes it a perfect resource on hand for anyone interested in operas.

Clara Compare
Research Assistant 

 

Historical Dictionary of Choral Music

The Historical Dictionary of Choral Music by Melvin P. Unger embraces all things choral, including over 1,000 entries about composers, genres, conductors, institutions, styles, and other general choral music terminology. Coverage extends to choral music from Europe and the United States, focusing on composers with the most significant contributions to the world of choral music. A written explanation of the history of choral music and a chronology of key events that contributed to its development precede the dictionary proper. Intended for all who wish to learn more about choral music from the layperson to the professional.

Devan Weixler
Research Assistant 

Opéra-Comique: A Sourcebook

Letellier, Robert Ignatius. Opéra-Comique: A Sourcebook. Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars, 2010.


As might be gathered from the title, Robert Letellier’s Opéra-Comique: A Sourcebook is a handbook of the opéra-comique genre as it developed in Paris from 1762 to 1915.  The book itself chiefly consists of a chronology listing all known works premiered specifically at the Opéra-Comique and a separate index which lists these works by composer.  Though author focuses primarily upon the single theatrical entity known as the Opéra-Comique (which occupied various buildings throughout the nineteenth century), the index’s works lists also include operas premiered by other rivaling theatrical companies such as the Théâtre-Lyrique, because these operas substantially contributed to the development of opéra-comique as a genre and provide a fuller understanding of a composer’s participation its evolution.

This handbook provides ready access to basic facts about a given work: the form, number of acts, librettists, the date and theatre of the premiere, and frequently a descriptive analysis. Users thumbing through the concluding, cross-referenced indexes can also access this information by the names of the librettists or singers who performed the roles, among other ways.  Additionally, individuals new to the occasionally complicated history of nineteenth-century Parisian opera will benefit from Letellier’s relevant introduction on the subject, making this book appropriate for both music students and advanced researchers alike.

Lindsay Weaver
Research Assistant

Douglas Moore: A Bio-Bibliography

 McBride, Jerry L. Douglas Moore: A Bio-Bibliography. Music Library Association Index and Bibliography Series, ed. Mark Palkovic, no. 36. Middleton, Wisconsin: MLA Association; A-R Editions, Inc., 2011.

Jerry L. McBride’s Douglas Moore: A Bio-Bibliography is an easily-navigated guide to the composer Douglas Moore, his works, and the literature written about him. The bibliography contains over 3,000 items ranging from reviews to dissertations, compiled from indexes, databases, bibliographies, discographies, and catalogs. Beyond the bibliography, this book includes an extensive biography, a list and bibliography of musical works (which also addresses performances, published scores, and recordings), a chronological list of musical works, and a classified list of musical works. Wherever possible, entries have been verified by the author and those which haven’t are indicated.  In short, the scope of this book is plainly explained and understood, easy to navigate, and includes an extensive index.

Lindsay Weaver
Research Assistant

Estonian Sound Recordings 1939

Steinbach, Kadri and Urve Lippus, ed. Eesti helisalvestised 1939. Tallinn: Eesti Muusika- ja Teatriakadeemia, 2009.

“Estonian Sound Recordings 1939″ was created as a representative anthology of recordings documenting important Estonian musicians in the 1930′s, specifically those created by the Estonian State Broadcasting Company in Tallinn during 1939 (drawn from archives in Århus and Hayes).  Beyond its presentation as a discography, this source also includes twelve CDs of music as well as essays on relevant topics such as the history of Estonian music during this period and the processes involved in restoring the recordings. Additionally, the text itself is entirely bilingual with all entries and essays printed in both Estonian and English.  Perhaps the most intriguing aspect of this reference source is the unique, physical design of the binding. It effectively and efficiently protects the 12 CDs that accompany it, so they cannot easily escape their sleeves and become damaged or lost.

Lindsay Weaver
Research Assistant