Musicians & Composers of the 20th Century Review

“Gr 6 Up–Composers, instrumental and vocal performers, and teachers who “made an enduring impact” on the field during the last century are covered in this solid set. The 614 alphabetically arranged entries list their principal works and associations, provide brief biographical summaries, and focus on the subjects’ works and legacies, in 1500-2500 words each. While world music is included, the emphasis is on American and European music, with 428 of the biographies coming from the United States. Genres covered range from classical to New Age, folk to opera, country to musical theater, and rock to avant garde. Clearly written essays, illustrated with black-and-white photographs, put the musicians in historical context, with an end result that is enjoyable for browsing and useful for reference. Suggestions for further reading and related entries close each article. Volume 5 incorporates an extensive general bibliography arranged by genre, a thorough glossary, a chronological list of musicians arranged by decade, and a list of pertinent Web sites, as well as indexes by subject; geographical region; and names of musicians, groups, and works.”
-School Library Journal

“This guide is recommended for school and public libraries.”
-Lawrence Looks at Books

“This is an impressive work. It is highly recommended for all larger academic and public library collections, and for specialized music collections.”
-ARBA Online

“Cramer (Pomona Coll.) has assembled over 200 primarily academic contributors to produce a solid biographical reference work on 20th-century music for high school-aged and general readers… BOTTOM LINE This work provides valuable, basic information on the topic as well as multiple, easy-access routes to it. Highly recommended.”
-Library Journal

“The language will be accessible to most high school students. More than 400 black and white photographs are scattered throughout the set, which can serve as a springboard for students seeking to learn more about music and musicians. Recommended for high school and public libraries.”
-Reference Reviews

“This substantial set offers a comprehensive overview of major performers and composers of the 20th century. Genres covered are wide-ranging and encompass classical, jazz, pop, and world music. The figures included are those that the editor (Pomona College) believes “have gained significance as composers, performers, instrumentalists, vocalists, and teachers... Articles are divided into sections on life, music, and musical legacy, and include lists of works and principal recordings (but not video recordings). Further reading suggestions relate mostly to nonspecialist books. Helpful summaries describe each reading. Category and geographical indexes help readers draw connections between musical figures. Summing Up: Recommended. Two Stars. Lower-level undergraduates and general readers.”