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General Music titles
The Harvard Biographical Dictionary of Music by
A guide to the thousands of characters, from humble artisan to lofty genius, who people the unfolding history of music, this volume brings together all the pertinent biographical information about composers, performers, music theorists, and instrument makers from the days of praise chants to the bop and pop of today.
The Harvard Dictionary of Music by
Wide ranging and reliable, 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.
The New Penguin Dictionary of Music by
Succinct and comprehensive guide to the history, forms, and personalities of classical music. Readers will find biographies of thousands of composers from Albinoni to Zappa, with in-depth treatment of major figures, coverage of individual works, including plot summaries of operas and ballets, articles on the history of music and instruments, entries on musical forms, from medieval plainchant to contemporary minimalism, and clear definitions of technical terms and jargon.
Musical Handbooks and Encyclopedias
Faber Companion to 20th Century Popular Music
Covers the major players in the vast history of popular music in the twentieth century--everything from bebop to western swing.
Harvard Dictionary of Music
Another classic reference work, with entries on all the styles and forms in Western and non-Western music, including classical, pop, jazz, pop, etc.; also good articles on musical instruments.
New Penguin Dictionary of Music
"The essential A-Z of some 1000 years of Western music." Composers, music history, performers, and theory.
St. James Encyclopedia of Popular Culture
Ideas, people, events, and products that symbolize America; topics include sports, television, movies, music, art, fashion, advertising, health, etc.
Here are a few direct links from the Garland Encyclopedia of World Music: