Music Librarians Announce Winners of C. B. Oldman Award 2020 and 2021

IAML(UK & Irl) are delighted to share the two citations for the winners of the 2020 and 2021 awards. 

2020: Trevor Herbert, Arnold Myers and John Wallace

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.

2021: Donald Burrows, Helen Coffey, John Greenacombe and Anthony Hicks

Burrows, Donald, Coffey, Helen, Greenacombe, John, & Hicks, Anthony (eds).  George Frideric Handel: collected documents.  Volume 4, 1742-1750.  (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2020).  ISBN: 978-1-10708-021-8 

Volume 4 of the Handel Collected Documents project contributes what is and continues to be a focussed and all-encompassing rich set of reference material relating to the composer George Frideric Handel in manuscripts, correspondence, programmes, advertisements, newspapers, diaries, poetry and literature, art and many other printed formats which the editors have included.

The committee noted that the editors realise that some entries had been discussed in publication over many decades, however, we found the usefulness of bringing all together in one chronological sweep created an immense resource.  For instance, the composer’s correspondence has appeared in several publications but is here included, obviously, in the chronological sequence.

When social life was often structured around “the season” we find that the data collection in this publication includes a useful summary of the dates of a season, such as the stage and opera seasons, or the Lenten oratorio season, both of which contextualize the texts for the reader and highlight Handel’s musical prominence in various spheres and at different periods of time.

The committee enjoyed the excellently described and non-patronising textual commentary.  The summaries included citations and locations to sources such as the manuscript and correspondence, notes on where images of such items have appeared in print in the past, and incredibly helpful and detailed cross-referencing to other entries in the publication.  The index is thorough and helpfully guided and when there are multiple entries under a name entry these topics have been narrowed to useful subject matter entries. The volume usefully includes English translations of other-language based materials.

This volume in the series continues to provide an essential reference resource for Handel scholars and those with an interest in the eighteenth century, and embodies enormous scholarly research.

The committee commends this volume for the C.B. Oldman award for the year 2021.