Baker's Biographical Dictionary of Musicians is a major reference work in the field of music, originally compiled by Theodore Baker, PhD, and published in 1900 by G. Schirmer, Inc.. The ninth edition, the most recent edition, was published in 2001 — one hundred and one years after the first edition.
Leading up to the initial publication of Baker's Biographical Dictionary of Musicians, Baker had compiled and edited three editions of A Dictionary of Musical Terms — published 1895, 1896, and 1897, respectively, by G. Schirmer, Inc..
The first edition, published in 1900, has 647 pages plus an Appendix of 5 pages. It includes 300 vignette portraits drawn in ink, from portraits or photographs, by Russian artist Alexander Gribayédoff (possibly a pseudonym for Valerian Gribayédoff).
The fourth edition, published in 1940, has 1,234 pages. American and Latin-American musicians were more fully represented in this issue than in any English work of the kind in its day.
The fifth edition was rewritten by new editor Nicolas Slonimsky, who would remain editor for several decades (up to the eighth edition in 1992) and have a considerable influence on the style and content of the dictionary. In preparing the fifth edition, Slonimsky expanded the size of the work to 1,855 pages and undertook a thorough review of the existing entries, expending considerable effort verifying and correcting biographical details such as birth and death dates by reference to archival sources.
The eighth edition of 1992 revised 1,300 entries and added 1,100 new ones, coming to 2,115 pages, with an emphasis on expanding coverage of female and Asian musicians, multimedia composers, performance artists, and ethnomusicologists. The seventh and eighth editions were pre-titled The Concise Edition.
The ninth edition of 2001, billed the "Centennial Edition", was the first not to be a single-volume work, taking up six volumes, partly due to expanded coverage and partly due to somewhat more generous formatting to improve readability. The ninth edition included a focus on increasing coverage of popular music and jazz.
History of its publishers
G. Schirmer, Inc., publisher of Baker's since the first edition, was sold to Macmillan Inc. in 1969.
Macmillan sold G. Schirmer, except for its reference holdings, to Music Sales Corporation of London in 1986. Schirmer Reference is currently owned by Gale, a division of Cengage Learning.
Edited by Theodore Baker (1851–1934)
- Supplement (1905); OCLC 1915971
Edited by Theodore Baker and Alfred Remy (1870–1927)
Edited by Nicolas Slonimsky (1894–1995)
- Second printing (revised & enlarged) (1940); OCLC 557935009
- Third printing (revised & enlarged) (1949); OCLC 6218573, 557935018
- Supplement (1965); OCLC 658821397
- Supplement (1971); OCLC 1130888, 29058886
- Abridged (1988); OCLC 17225213, 59699073
Edited by Laura Diane Kuhn, PhD (born 1953)
- Vol. 1: Aalt–Cone; OCLC 313884911
- Vol. 2: Conf–Gysi; OCLC 313884977
- Vol. 3: Haar–Levi; OCLC 313884997
- Vol. 4: Levy–Pisa; OCLC 313885028
- Vol. 5: Pisc–Stra; OCLC 313885106
- Vol. 6: Stre–Zyli; Indexes (genre, nationality, women); OCLC 313885131
- pdf version; OCLC 312475801
- eBook version (released 2007); OCLC 874280359, ISBN 978-0-02-866091-2, ISBN 0028660919
- Slonimsky (ed.); Richard Kostelanetz (ed.); Michael Stutzman (assistant ed.)
Other works of similar nature
- Earlier works
- 1844: Complete Encyclopedia of Music, Elementary, Technical, Historical, Biographical, Vocal, and Instrumental, by John Weeks Moore, Boston; OCLC 4659526
- 1879: A Dictionary of Music and Musicians, George Grove (ed.), London; OCLC 313377471, 717493999
- Later, contemporaneous American works
- 1939: International Cyclopedia of Music and Musicians, Oscar Lee Thompson (1887–1945) (ed.), Dodd, Mead and Company, New York; OCLC 518786
- ^ A Dictionary of Musical Terms, Theodore Baker (compiler & editor), G. Schirmer, Inc.
1st ed. (1895); LCCN 06-32762
2nd ed. (1896); OCLC 12925703
3rd ed. (1897); OCLC 2792172, 690499155
5th ed. (1901); OCLC 10973980
- ^ a b (August 1941). "Baker's Biographical Dictionary of Musicians. Fourth Edition" (book review). Musical Times, Vol. 82, N° 1182, pps. 299–300 (retrieved December 20, 2016, via JSTOR at www.jstor.org/stable/921436); OCLC 6733210712, 5548108308, ISSN 0027-4666
- ^ Kozinn, Allan (December 27, 1995). "Nicolas Slonimsky, Author of Widely Used Reference Works on Music,Dies at 101". The New York Times. p. 6.
- ^ Lionel Paul Salter (1914–2000) (October 1979). "Baker's Half-Dozen" (book review of the 6th ed. of Baker's Biographical Dictionary of Musicians). Musical Times, Vol. 120, N° 1640, pps. 825–826 (retrieved December 20, 2016, via JSTOR at www.jstor.org/stable/962264); OCLC 6733368435, 5556224576, ISSN 0027-4666
- ^ "G. Schirmer is Sold," The New York Times, May 16, 1986