Best Music Terminology book??
Anyone recommend a good all around book of music terminology?
The best is naturally The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians - but that likely won't fit on your bookshelf - I personally access it from my campus library :P
I was given an earlier version of this dictionary as a gift by my violin teacher. I learned a lot from it (I was 8 years old, and loved reading dictionaries):
Thank you so much! Looking into all of these :)
Depending how good your reading French is, I find a useful and handy paperback reference is Dictionnaire de Musique by Roland de Candide, published by Microcosme. About the only thing it does not have is biographies of composers.
Candide's boek has, for example, one of the most comprehensive tables of intervals I have seen - 54 intervals in the octave, each with its definition as a fraction (or as a mathematical expression in the case of the irrationals), its name, its note, and its relationship in the octave. In the table there is also another unit, known in French as a "savart", which I have not come across before; a savart is defined as the interval log 0.001, so there are 301030 savarts in the octave. The smallest interval in the table is the Schisma, defined by the fraction 32805/32768, used in the Zarlino temperament system.
Good info Trevor.
The New Harvard is a fine standard. A very good one-volume book is the New College Encyclopedia of Music. And I'm pleased to have the rare Grove original edition in about 6 volumes - kind of the musical Encyclopedia Britannica! But for what I think the OP is asking - a quick, practical handbook of musical terminology, I'd highly recommend the "Musician's Handbook of Foreign Terms" by Christine Ammer, published by Schirmer. It is thorough (with a lot of German as well as Italian words defined) yet thin and light enough to fit easily in the sheet music compartment of any violin case.
I used to have the original Groves. Now my ex wife has it. Come to think of it, I used to have a lot of things...
This discussion has been archived and is no longer accepting responses.