C.B. Oldman prize 2020 (2019 publications)

Herbert, Trevor, Myers, Arnold, & Wallace, John (eds). The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Brass Instruments. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2019). ISBN: 978-1-10718-000-0

The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Brass Instruments is the first major dictionary on this subject. Entries have been selected from four broad categories of instruments, biographical entries, entries on works of music, and topics and themes that cast light on the way brass instruments are used in the present and have been in the past. It is aimed at both specialists and non-specialists, with an extensive coverage of brass instruments across the world providing wide geographic diversity, and including historical context from ancient times to the present. Technical language was not discouraged by the editors although clarity was encouraged.

Hugely useful appendices include pitch ranges of instruments, a list of vernacular horns and trumpets, and a selective list of brass instrument makers and museum collections. There are contributions from a wide range of experts, and the editors are widely-known experts in their field. Entries even include mention of specialist fields such as conservation and curators.

The introduction explains why the editors had to streamline some content and therefore, considering the scope of the publication, give in to some possible omissions. The bibliography is specifically limited to works cited within the publication rather than giving a broader coverage of the literature. However, this is an impressive volume which has significant broad use across the spectrum of students, teachers, players and researchers with significant inclusions of entries relating to classical music, sacred rituals, popular music, jazz, brass bands and military bands.

The committee commends this volume for the C.B. Oldman award for the year 2020.