Music: Million-Word Charm

Encyclopedia Britannica of the music world is the late Sir George Grove's five-volume Dictionary of Music and Musicians. Every 20 years or so the learned editors of Sir George's brain child rack their teeming brains and bring forth a new edition. Between these monumental foalings there is spawned a smaller fry of musical dictionaries and encyclopedias, offering fresher if skimpier information at more modest prices. For these, the 1938 birth rate has been the highest in years.

In the past two months, three one-volume music dictionaries have seen the light. First to...

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