Historical Dictionary of Choral Music

Rowman & Littlefield. (Historical Dictionaries of Literature and the Arts). 2nd ed. Sept. 2023. 698p. ISBN 9781538124338. $250. REF
This second edition of Unger’s (director emeritus, Sch. of Music, SUNY Fredonia) book is an excellent guide to choral music. The first edition was published in 2010, and it covered composers of choral music and their major works (two thirds of the entries), conductors, genres, styles, technical terms, and institutions. This extraordinary new edition adds 300 entries to the original 1,000 and updates many existing ones. Alphabetically arranged, the listings are generally a paragraph or two, except for longer entries on composers such as Bach, Handel, Haydn, among other key musical artists. Unger includes a basic chronology and an exceptional bibliography that’s divided into sections ranging from general reference works and general studies of choral music to guides of repertoire, examinations of traditions, activities by region, and studies of individual composers and conductors.
VERDICT A remarkable resource that will please both musical professionals and amateurs, along with teachers and their students, and conductors and singers.
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