This page would be called “Bibliography,” were it not that it includes institutions, organizations, and websites, as well as books.
Hence my contrived title “Orchestralogy.”
This includes the resources that I personally find most useful, in hopes that others may find the same. It is divided into three sections:
Jerzy Chwialkowski. The Da Capo Catalog of Classical Music Compositions. Da Capo Press, 1996.
A ponderous paperback, listing the complete works of 132 major composers, from Monteverdi to Stockhausen. Useful in surprising and unpredictable ways. Includes thematic index numbers not just for Mozart and Bach, but for composers you never thought had them (Albéniz, W.F. Bach, and Martinu, for example). Includes lists of opera excerpts: Do you need to check the name of an aria from Rossini’s Elisabetta, Act II? More than a dozen of them are there, on page 1040, in the order in which they occur in the opera, though, alas, without identification as to which character sings them.
Theodor Müller-Reuter. Lexikon der deutschen Konzertliterature: ein Ratgeber für Dirigenten, Konzertveranstalter, Musikschriftsteller und Musikfreunde. 2 vols. Leipzig: G.F. Kahnt, 1909-1921. (Reprints: Da Capo Press, 1972 [may be out of print]; Ulan Press, 2012 [v.2 only?]).
About a century old, but I still often turn to it. Gives full and detailed information on individual works, including instrumentation, duration, movement titles, and rich background information. An oddly idiosyncratic selection of 15 composers. Although the title proclaims it a lexicon of German concert literature, it includes Berlioz and Liszt amongst the Germans and Austrians—but Beethoven, Brahms, and Haydn were not included until the 1921 supplement, and Mozart never made it at all! Includes some now-obscure composers (Draeseke and Gernsheim), and others presently enjoying a revival of interest (Raff, Reinecke).
Wilhelm Buschkötter & Hansjürgen Schaefer. Handbuch der internationalen Konzertliteratur (Manual of International Concert Literature). 2nd ed., revised and expanded. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 1996.
Analogous to the present book. In German, and reflective of German repertoire; the foreword and the list of abbreviations are in English as well as German.
Jennifer Goodenberger. Subject Guide to Classical Instrumental Music. Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press, 2001 (paperback reprint of original 1989 edition).
Originally intended for producers of film, television, and radio, but useful to musicians as well. Lists of instrumental compositions (not just orchestral) organized by subject matter or topic, such as Arabia, Autumn, Bears, Bells, and the like. May be helpful in planning thematic programs.
Robert A. Fradkin. The Well-Tempered Announcer: A Pronunciation Guide to Classical Music. Bloomington & Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, 1996.
Intended for radio announcers at classical music stations, but useful to all of us who are required by our jobs to mangle names and titles in a variety of languages.
Matthew Naughtin. Ballet Music: A Handbook. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2014.
The book I wish I had owned 40 years ago. Explains how ballet companies work, the supremacy of the choreographer (as opposed to the composer) in determining the shape and order of a production, the necessity of a good relationship with the rehearsal pianist, and many other factors that may seen topsy-turvy to someone from the orchestra world. The author is Music Librarian of the San Francisco Ballet. Detailed information on over 120 ballets in the standard repertoire. In addition to the usual duration, instrumentation, and publisher for each ballet, it includes synopses, alternative versions, and the various interpolations that have been made over time to classic ballets. Helpful appendices deal with Grand Rights, commissioning agreements, Master Use licenses, and the like.
Dirk Meyer. Chamber Orchestra & Ensemble Repertoire: A Catalog of Modern Music. Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press, 2011.
Includes nearly 4000 works by 1100 composers of the 20th and 21st centuries. A clever system of appendices will be particularly useful in designing programs. An especially welcome feature is the list of the 22 arrangements for large chamber ensemble created for the Verein für Musikalische Privataufführungen (Society for Private Musical Performances)—the legendary group formed by Arnold Schoenberg and Alban Berg in 1918.
Jonathan Green. A Conductor’s Guide to Choral-Orchestral Works. Lanham, MD & London: Scarecrow Press, 1994- .
An ongoing series, of which six volumes have appeared: 20th-century works with English texts (1994); Rachmaninof through Penderecki (1998); J.S. Bach (2000); Haydn and Mozart (2001); Nineteenth Century (2008); and Selected Baroque Works (2013). An omnibus edition, combining all these, is in preparation. Rich detail on each work, including background, performing forces, duration, contents and performance issues.
Translations and Annotations of Choral Repertoire. Corvallis, OR: Earthsongs, 1988-2009.
Vol.1: Sacred Latin Texts (Ron Jeffers)
Vol.2: German Texts (Ron Jeffers & Gordon Paine)
Vol.3: French & Italian Texts (Gordon Paine)
Vol.4: Hebrew Texts (Ethan Nash & Joshua Jacobson)
Translations are given at the micro-level (word-by-word) and the macro-level (line-by-line). Excellent background information on each text and its source. An International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) pronunciation guide is also available for vol.2 (German Texts).
Nicholas Ivor Martin. The Opera Manual. Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press, 2014.
Just about everything you need to know to produce one of the almost 900 operas in this book. Each entry includes the number of acts, scenes, and sets; durations; hazards; roles (categorized as major, minor, or bit); chorus; dance or movement; orchestration; stageband if any; publisher; and the copyright owner (if not in the public domain).
Nico Castel. Operatic Libretti Series. Mt. Morris, NY: Leyerle Publications, 197?- .
A monumental series of opera librettos, in a 3-line format: the original opera text in boldface, a phonetic version directly above (in the International Phonetic Alphabet), and a word-for-word English translation directly below. Where needed, a fourth (lowest) line gives an idiomatic English version. 23 volumes are currently available in the series, with more in preparation. Each volume contains several operas, so consult castelopera.com to determine which volume you need.
John Yaffé & David Daniels. Arias, Ensembles, & Choruses: An Excerpt Finder for Orhestras. Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press, 2012.
Lists vocal excerpts suitable for concert performance from operas, oratorios, cantatas, musicals, and the like, with instrumentation, duration, publisher, and often helpful commentary.
Russ Girsberger. A Practical Guide to Percussion Terminology. Ft. Lauderdale, FL: Meredith Music Publications, 1998.
A handy dictionary of percussion instruments, terms and technique. Includes a compendium of lengthy explanatory phrases used in standard orchestral repertoire from Berlioz to Bartók.
Raynor Carroll. Symphonic Repertoire Guide for Timpani and Percussion. Pasadena, CA: Batterie Music, 2005.
One of the best of several books that give percussion assignments for orchestral works. 3000 orchestral works are covered: each entry lists (a) how many timpanists and percussionists are required, (b) what instruments are needed, and (c) a schema for who plays what. A polyglot glossary in the back of the book defines over 600 percussion instruments and gives in each case an example of a composition that makes characteristic use of the instrument in question.
Lucy Manning. Orchestral “Pops” Music: A Handbook. 2nd edition. Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press, 2013.
Analogous to the present book, but emphasizing music for pops concerts.
B. INSTITUTIONS AND ORGANIZATIONS
MOLA (Major Orchestra Librarians’ Association) | www.mola-inc.org
MOLA is open to orchestras, opera and ballet companies, concert bands, music schools, and music festivals worldwide. Membership is by institution; individuals become members only by being voted Honorary or Emeritus status. There is an annual conference, a quarterly newsletter (Marcato—to which non-members may subscribe), and an online forum. Especially helpful features of the website are the errata lists, and the section of “Publishers, Agencies & Dealers” (PAD), constantly updated.
Membership is open to any conductor, student, institution, library or individual interested in supporting the art and profession of conducting. There is an annual conference, a semi-annual Journal for scholarly articles, an online newsletter (Podium Notes), a monthly Conductor Opportunities Bulletin (conducting vacancies, study opportunities, competitions, workshops), an Annual Membership Directory, an internet mailing list (GuildList). The Guild’s Mentoring & Consulting Program allows members to receive guidance from experienced colleagues. The Guild store offers various books and other materials at discounted prices.
CODA (College Orchestra Directors Association) | www.codaweb.org
An international organization for college and university orchestra directors, as well as conductors of youth and community orchestras and student conductors. Founded 2003, with more than 200 members in 41 U.S. states and around the globe. It offers a library of bowings, program notes, and errata lists, and provides support in promotion and tenure efforts. Peer-reviewed journal and newsletter. Repertoire ideas on such things as music for less experienced orchestras. Information on technology in the classroom, fund-raising, touring and pedagogical materials. A biennial international composition competition, and an annual conference, which includes masterclasses with prominent conductors.
OPAS (Orchestra Planning and Administration System) | www.fineartssoftware.com
Fine Arts Software
112 Covington Square Drive
Cary, NC 27513
A comprehensive software program specifically designed to manage virtually every facet of orchestra administration. Its most powerful version integrates the repertoire, artistic, scheduling, personnel, finance, library, and tour operations of any performing ensemble. In use by over 200 organizations worldwide. Available in three configurations: OPAS Lite, Basic, and Extended. Price structure is based on the organization’s total annual expenses.
Center for Black Music Research (CBMR)
600 South Michigan Ave.
Chicago, IL 60605-1996
618 S. Michigan Avenue, 6th floor
A unit of Columbia College Chicago, devoted to the research, preservation and dissemination of information about the history of black music on a global scale. Orchestral music of black composers constitutes just one part of the Center’s activities, but the staff responds very promptly to research inquiries about concert music and can provide repertoire suggestions as well as background information. For direct access to reference services, e-mail: email@example.com.
National Anthem Protocols
U.S. Army Band, Fort Myer, VA Tel: 703-696-3648
The United States government has assigned to the U.S. Army Band at Fort Myer, Virginia, the responsibility for keeping track of correct, current national anthems for all nations. Band arrangements, which can easily be adapted for orchestral use, may usually be obtained from this source. Governments of other nations are likely to maintain similar arrangements through either their military or foreign affairs departments.
If more than one anthem is to be played for a particular occasion, protocol dictates that the anthem of the home country (e.g., U.S.A. when on U.S. soil) be played last. If there is to be more than one preceding anthem, these should be played in alphabetical order.
National anthem sites exist on the Internet, but there is no guarantee that their information is either current or correct. Rather than risk embarrassment—or even an international incident—one might prefer to consult an official government source such as the Department of State, an embassy or consulate, or the Army Band. Nevertheless, the following sites might be useful in certain circumstances:
(1) www.nationalanthems.info has extensive information on each of more than 400 anthems, with music as well as lyrics in the original language and in English translation.
(2) www.colin-kirkpatrick.com/national-anthems/links.html (“Colin Kirkpatrick’s National Anthems Online”) makes parts available for 65 anthems, freely downloadable. The arrangements consist of six independent parts in different transpositions and various octaves, making them usable for almost any sort of ensemble.
Edwin A. Fleisher Collection of Orchestral Music
Please see Fleisher in Appendix L: Publishers & Sources.
A worldwide network of organizations promoting new music. Member-organizations exist in some 40 countries. Complete contact information for all members may be found on the IAMIC website. Each is an excellent source of information on new music in its particular region.
6286-2100 Bloor St. W.
Toronto, Ontario M6S 5A5
23 rue Léopold
Tel & Fax: +32 2 217 6705
Service organizations for opera,with memberships of about 150 professional companies (U.S.), 13 companies (Canada), and 148 companies from 39 different countries (Europe).
25 Plymouth Road
South Glamorgan UK
Tel & Fax: +44 (0) 2920 703447
A specialist publisher of orchestral reductions of opera scores, under the direction of Tony Burke, formerly librarian of the Welsh National Opera Orchestra. Reductions as well as sets of full orchestrations are for hire; a great many individual arias and ensembles (reduced or full) are also available, as are choral and purely orchestral works. Often there are several different reductions of the same work for varying size ensembles.
Almost everything these days—be it a publisher, an organization, a business—has a website. The list that follows, however, consists of useful websites and listserves at least some of which have no independent existence in the “real” world.
Gaylord Music Library Necrology | http://library.wustl.edu/units/music/gaylord-music-library-music-necrology/
Founded by the late Nathan Eakin, at Washington University in St. Louis. This is one of the best of the various online music necrologies.
Gigfix.com | firstname.lastname@example.org
An intriguing website apparently designed for freelance musicians in the UK. There are many links useful for musicians all over the world, however. One of the best features is a searchable repertoire database where, for example, flutists can check the repertoire being played to see whether they should bring their piccolos.
Music-In-Print | www.emusicquest.com
Successor to the Music-In-Print series of books from Musicdata, Inc., which began in 1973. Donald Reese started emusicquest in 2000 to provide an Internet-based searchable sheet music index for piano, band, and popular guitar—areas not covered by Music-In-Print. He later acquired the assets of Musicdata, Inc., and expanded his index to include 15 specific music areas, the most relevant for users of this book being “Orchestral.”
Access to the site is available via annual subscription. Pricing information may be found on the site. Trial subscriptions are available.
Searches in the Orchestral area of the emusicquest site will yield publication information, instrumentation, and duration. There is a very complete Publisher Directory. The databases are frequently updated, and Mr. Reese is eager to make corrections as needed.
Orchestra Library Information Yahoo! Group | OrchLibInfo@yahoogroups.com |
This group serves primarily as a way to pick the brains of Clinton F. Nieweg, Principal Librarian, the Philadelphia Orchestra (ret.), who has been a pedagogue and mentor to students of orchestral librarianship for many years. The listserve owner is Thomas Pease of the Library of Congress. It is possible to peruse past messages, post new ones, and subscribe for either the daily digest or individual e-mails.
Orchestralist | http://launch.groups.yahoo.com/group/orchestralist
An international listserve for the orchestra world, created by conductor/composer Andrew Levine. Regular participants include many conductors, composers, players, publishers, and the like. Ask a question and receive prompt answers from others in the field. Very long threads tend to develop on certain subjects. No-cost subscriptions may be set to receive either a daily digest or individual messages as they are posted. Archives may be searched.
Oxford Music Online | www.oxfordmusiconline.com
All musicians know The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians (2nd edition, 2000, ed. Stanley Sadie and John Tyrrell) as a peerless English-language reference source. It is the cornerstone of the ever-growing Oxford Music Online, which now includes in addition the following:
The Oxford Companion to Music
The Oxford Dictionary of Music
Encyclopedia of Popular Music
The Grove Dictionary of American Music
The Grove Dictionary of Musical Instruments
The New Grove Dictionary of Jazz
The New Grove Dictionary of Opera
One annual subscription—not inexpensive, but worth it—gives the subsciber access to all of these via one easy search mechanism: just type what you want to find in the search box and you are rewarded with a whole list of articles from these works to which you can link. All the components are updated frequently.
Percussion Orchestrations Ltd. | www.percorch.com
Founded in 2004 by Ed Cervenka, a British percussionist (and, one might add, cimbalom player). The site gives the percussion requirements for over 8000 works, including orchestral, operatic, and contemporary repertoire. Each work displays, in a clever and clear grid system, the number of players and the list of instruments required, movement by movement.
Special features include a dictionary of percussion instrument names in five languages, the ability to search for works which require a specific number of percussionists, a “scheduler” for linking works to a season calendar, and even lists of works that require no percussion at all. The site itself may be read in five languages.
The site is constantly being upgraded with new features. It is available by subscription, with prices varying depending on the status of the user. Free trial subscriptions are possible.
Symphony Orchestra Library Center | www.orchestralibrary.com
This one should be called “The Mother of All Websites,” at least for orchestral information. Created and maintained by Steven Sherrill, Principal Librarian of the Atlanta Symphony (ret.). The home page consists almost entirely of links—several hundred of them—invitingly arranged for browsing or for searching. You’ll find just about anything here, including transposed parts for those nasty bass clarinets in A or in bass clef, and D clarinet parts transposed for E-flat instruments.