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Baker's Biographical Dictionary of Musicians
Baker's Biographical Dictionary of Musicians is a major reference originally compiled by Theodore Baker, PhD, and published in 1900 by G. Schirmer, Inc. The ninth edition, the most recent edition, was published in 2001 -- one hundred and one years after the first edition.
Leading up to the initial publication of Baker's Biographical Dictionary of Musicians, Baker had compiled and edited three editions of A Dictionary of Musical Terms -- published 1895, 1896, and 1897, respectively, by G. Schirmer, Inc..
The first edition, published in 1900, has 647 pages plus an Appendix of 5 pages It includes 300 vignette portraits drawn in ink, from portraits or photographs, by Russian artist Alexander Gribayédoff (possibly a pseudonym for Valerian Gribayédoff).
The fourth edition, published in 1940, has 1,234 pages. American and Latin-American musicians were more fully represented in this issue than in any English work of the kind in its day.
The fifth edition of 1958, eighth edition of 1992, and ninth edition of 2001 were major rewrites and expansions.
The fifth edition was rewritten by new editor Nicolas Slonimsky, who would remain editor for several decades (up to the eighth edition in 1992) and have a considerable influence on the style and content of the dictionary. In preparing the fifth edition, Slonimsky expanded the size of the work (to 1,855 pages), and undertook a thorough review of the existing entries, expending considerable effort verifying and correcting biographical details such as birth and death dates by reference to archival sources.
The eighth edition of 1992 revised 1,300 entries and added 1,100 new ones, coming to 2,115 pages, with an emphasis on expanding coverage of female and Asian musicians, multimedia composers, performance artists, and ethnomusicologists. The seventh and eighth editions were pre-titled The Concise Edition.
The ninth edition of 2001, billed the "Centennial Edition", was the first not to be a single-volume work, taking up six volumes, partly due to expanded coverage and partly due to somewhat more generous formatting to improve readability. The ninth edition included a focus on increasing coverage of popular music and jazz.