The Oxford Dictionary of Music – out today in paperback


I’m very pleased to announce that today the sixth edition of the Oxford Dictionary of Music makes its way into the world as a paperback. Look – there’s my name on it! My sincere thanks to everyone at OUP who has made this happen.

As well as the usual smaller format, different cover etc. the paperback has been slightly updated from the hardback edition of 12 months ago, mostly to account for a number of significant musical deaths in recent months. If you want a proper doorstop/footstool/weapon, however, you should probably still go for the hardback.

You can check out a sample of the first few pages on the OUP website. The gratifying inclusion of entries for Van der Aa, Ablinger, Abrahamsen, afrobeat and afropop in that sample gives you some idea of the additions made between the fifth and sixth editions. You might also find interest in the list of weblinks compiled in support of the dictionary’s text.

Some more features (taken from the OUP website):

  • Contains over 10,000 entries providing broad coverage of musical terms from many periods of history
  • Thoroughly revised and updated with many entries expanded for the new edition
  • Over 250 new entries covering popular music, ethnomusicology, modern and contemporary composers, music analysis, and recording technology
  • Includes 100 entry-level web links, which are listed and regularly updated on a dedicated companion website
  • Now contains two useful appendices: a list of French, German, and Italian musical terms and their English translations, as well as an abbreviations list for letters commonly used in musical scores and musical writing.

I know I would say this, but this really is a must-buy reference for all music students starting out this autumn. You won’t find a more up-to-date or wide-ranging reference book for this kind of price anywhere – get it directly from OUP (RRP £12.99) or from all the usual places. (Here’s the Amazon link, if you must.)


One thought on “The Oxford Dictionary of Music – out today in paperback

  1. Hi Tim

    Langham Research Centre (I’m one of them) are premiering a new work in Brixton on 31 August, as part of a Borealis Festival day of events celebrating the Suffragettes.
    We play the closing event, at 7.30pm at Simulacra Studios, 302 Barrington Rd, SW9 7JJ. Also on the bill, a solo set by Anat Ben-David, vocalist/composer & member of Chicks On Speed.
    Tickets are £10 on the door.
    More notes on our new piece below.
    Hope to see you there,


    Freedom or Death

    For “March on London” Langham Research Centre have taken inspiration from the words of the suffragettes, in particular Emmeline Pankhurst’s 1913 speech “Freedom or death”, delivered in the United States of America.

    Using their trademark instrumentarium of tape decks and early synthesizers, combined with live mezzo-soprano voice (Catherine Carter), they have devised a 5-movement structure which refers at a subcutaneous level to the 5 movements of the Mass, moving from sadness through torment and increasing self-assertion towards an affirmation of belief and hope.
    Recordings of the real world are the building blocks of musique concrete, and for this piece, the LRC recorded the original printing press, used to print Suffragette propaganda material, which still functions in a printing shop in Bow, East London. They also recorded the “Rough Music” of pots and pans, a traditional source of proletarian protest. These sounds are heard both raw and tape-processed throughout the piece.
    Catherine Carter’s performance involves choreographed movement and elements of controlled improvisation.

    Hear one movement of Freedom or Death here:

    Costume Design: Monica Soto
    Choreographed movement: Mariana Marquez & Emma Zangs

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