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Article

Leonard Burkat

revised by Pamela Fox

Early settlers were concerned with musical education, and devotional singing is said to have had a place in the original curriculum at Harvard College, founded in 1636. The first published musical teaching material is the ‘admonition to the reader’, in the Bay Psalm Book of 1640, and the instructive introductions to 18th-century tune books extended this practice. By 1720 the traditional ‘old way of singing’ came under attack from those who favoured musically literate ‘regular singing’, and singing schools were established. A century of Yankee tunesmiths wrote and published the psalm settings and hymns that were their teaching pieces, but early 19th-century hymnodic reformers sought to replace earlier American psalmody with ‘scientific’ European models.

Lowell Mason studied the methods of Swiss educational theorist Pestalozzi and applied them to the children’s music classes that he taught in churches and private schools. In the Boston Academy of Music he held teacher-training classes in addition to its concerts. In ...

Article

David Hall, Gary-Gabriel Gisondi, and Jim Farrington

Although there are no standards for discographies, the key elements given for each recording in nearly all discographical listings are the name of the record label, issue number, and program contents; the physical characteristics of the recording itself, such as type, size, the number of channels, playback speed, and type of groove, are also considered important features of true discographies. The complex catalogs that have come to be known as “systematic discographies” include such further details as master numbers (or matrix numbers for the earlier galvano-processed discs); take indicators (or transfer numbers for discs processed from tape sources); the date and location of, and the key participants in the recording session; the date and place of publication, and publisher of the various issues and reissues (with label names and numbers). Before the development of long-playing (LP) recordings, a unique matrix number was etched, embossed, or stamped onto the surfaces of most discs, near or under the label. However, early cylinders often bear no markings, making identification difficult if the recording has been separated from its container. Since it was a common practice for several versions of a performance to be made (in case of mishap, or with many cylinder recordings because producing multiple copies from the same master was difficult), each of the versions (or “takes”) was customarily assigned an additional number or letter, which was placed immediately after the matrix number. The convention of matrix and take numbers was abandoned with tape mastering, in which a fully edited master tape could be developed from all the material recorded during the sessions; successive modifications of a given master tape may be identified on the finished disc by the transfer numbers. (...

Article

Edward Berger and Jim Farrington

Accurate information about recorded performances is essential in jazz, where recordings rather than scores or sheet music are the principal sources for study. Take numbers are particularly important to the study of jazz, since two versions of the same piece, recorded only minutes apart, may differ significantly. With the advent of the LP tape mastering in the late 1940s (and subsequent elimination of unique disc masters), the discographically convenient use of matrix and take designations was lost; an LP may contain many unrelated performances of diverse origins (even within the same track), the identification of which poses particular problems for the discographer. These difficulties are often compounded by insufficient or misleading information supplied by record manufacturers.

The first extensive discographical works were devoted to jazz. The term “discography” itself was introduced in the 1930s as growing numbers of jazz enthusiasts sought to establish accurate information about personnel and recording dates. Early researchers also had to contend with the pseudonymous issuing of numerous recordings by well-known jazz bands. The field of jazz discography has been dominated from the start by Europeans. Two pioneering discographical works were published in ...

Article

David Hall, Gary-Gabriel Gisondi, Jim Farrington, and Edward Berger

Writings published in or otherwise distinctive to the United States. Period of coverage is given in brackets.Library of Congress, ed.: The National Union Catalog: Music and Phonorecords (Ann Arbor, MI, 1958 [1953–7]; New York, 1963[1958–62]; Ann Arbor, 1969[1963–7]; 1973[1963–72]; Totowa, NJ, 1978[1973–7]; Washington, DC, 1979– [1978–1989] as Music, Books on Music, and Sound Recordings)Catalog of Copyright Entries, ser.3, pt xiv: Sound Recordings, ed. US Copyright Office (Washington, DC, 1972–7; as ser.4, pt vii, 1980– [coinciding with the implementation of the copyright act of 1976]); now available at http://cocatalog.loc.gov.Sibley Music Library Catalog of Sound Recordings, ed. Eastman School (Boston, 1977)B. Rust: Discography of Historical Records on Cylinders and 78s (Westport, CT, 1979)The Rigler and Deutsch Record Index: a National Union Catalog of Sound Recordings (Syracuse, NY, 1985) [pt 1: 78 rpm recordings in the holdings of members of the Association for Recorded Sound Collections; in microform. These records were in the RLIN database until its merger with OCLC in 2006, at which time only modified bibliographic records were added to OCLC]...

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