Cover image for Music since 1900
Music since 1900
Kuhn, Laura Diane.
Personal Author:
Sixth edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Schirmer Reference/Gale Group, [2001]

Physical Description:
xvii, 1174 pages ; 29 cm
General Note:
Includes index.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
ML197 .S634 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Grosvenor Room-Reference-Music

On Order



This 6th edition brings music of the 20th century to a close with coverage of years not included in the 5th edition--1992-2000. Entries on roughly 1,000 more composers, performers, musicologists, critics, and opera directors offer critical commentary, notable premieres and debuts, deaths of significant figures, as well as important festivals and concerts around the world.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

For the latest edition of Music Since 1900, editor Laura Kuhn has taken over the reins from eminent musicologist Nicolas Slonimsky, who died in 1995, just a year after the fifth edition of this work was published. The book is now in a larger format, which allows more content to fit into fewer pages. As with earlier editions, the main text is called the "Descriptive Chronology," with events such as deaths, performances and productions of importance (usually debuts of new works), music-publishing milestones, and more, arranged by date. New to this edition are more than 1,500 entries from January 1, 1992 (the first performance of a Jonathan Lloyd composition), through December 14, 2000 (the start of a three-day festival celebrating Messiaen). Each entry notes relevant data (e.g., performer or composer name, title and type of work, place of performance, cause and place of performer's or composer's death, festival program listings) in a single sentence. The scope is international, with a primary focus on music in the classical realm. Although there are inevitable omissions (e.g., guitarist and composer Celedonio Romero's death in 1996), the breadth of coverage is impressive, and the opinionated writing makes for interesting browsing. The entire, lengthy text of the 1985 Senate hearing on record labeling, including the testimony of the late Frank Zappa, has been added to the "Letters and Documents" section. A "Dictionary of Terms" yields a few surprises along with more serious stuff, such as a little essay on a sleep disorder that notes "symphony concerts are notoriously conducive to narcolepsy." A detailed index to proper names and musical terms is included. Libraries with older editions will want this update.

Choice Review

When Nicholas Slonimsky died in 1995 at the age of 101, music scholars reflected not only on his unique contribution to music scholarship but on what may be his best-known publication, Music since 1900, and wondered whether an updated version would retain Slonimsky's unique imprint. Kuhn's sixth edition retains that character while updating the entries. Kuhn's preface points out that barely five years after Slonimsky's death (Christmas Day, 1995), there seems in music much that is observably new; "it is literally breathtaking to reflect upon the fact that all of this has come to pass in just five years' time." Although this edition includes much that is new, Kuhn explains that innovations like fiber-optic technology, MIDI (musical instrument digital interface), and high-speed computers have had little effect on classical music, so they are not given great place. But many new entries grace this edition, including more than 1,000 musicians who compose chiefly in the 19th-century tradition. That aside, the new edition delights and sometime amuses in the tradition of the former editions, and the work is still a mine of information about classical music, musicians, and composers. Highly recommended for all public and academic libraries, and all readers concerned with the amazing diversity and interest of classical music. R. L. Wick University of Colorado at Denver