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Music-related Web Sites, Books, and Other Resources


Web Site Links

  • ASCAP Repertoire Index -- search the current repertoire of the ASCAP performing rights society, by title, or by composer.

  • BMI Repertoire Index -- search the current repertoire of BMI (Broadcast Music, Inc.) performing rights society, by title, or by composer.

  • Memory Lane Records (out of print recordings) --has a large database of available vinyl online, from this rare record store in Tempe, Arizona, near Phoenix.

  • Robert Farnon Society Web Site -- the official Web Site of the longest-running light music society in the world, devoted not only to music by Robert Farnon, but all light music composers. Worldwide members enjoy the informative periodical newsletter "Journal Into Melody" as well as the Robert Farnon Society Record Service -- which is the source of one-of-a-kind Mood Music CDs as well as British and American CDs of light music. Run from the UK by David Ades and other staffers and volunteers, since 1956.

  • Percy Faith and Robert Farnon Web Site -- features a large Percy Faith discography. A discography of British light music pioneer Robert Farnon is to follow in the future. This site is maintained by Alan Bunting in the UK.

  • Mood Music Pages of Bill Halvorsen, featuring Percy Faith -- music of Percy Faith, with articles about newly released CDs of Percy Faith and Hugo Winterhalter (CDs compiled by Bill Halvorsen for "The Good Music Record Company"), and back issues of the newsletter of the Percy Faith Society.

  • Bernard Herrmann Web Site -- features a filmography and discography of this legendary film composer's oevre. The professional site is maintained with loving care, by Kurt George Gjerde, Rusty Falk, and other contributors. They recently added a periodical journal.

  • Elmer Bernstein Web Site -- the "official" site includes a filmography and discography of the composer's works for film and television, plus other information and merchandise.

  • John Williams Web Pages -- includes a filmography and discography of this master film composer's works, and other information. The site is well maintained in thorough detail, by professor Jeff Eldredge of Seattle.

  • Music Obituaries of Stanford University -- although birthdates of musicians are often found in Biographical Dictionaries, dates of deaths are not as easily discovered. This site is maintained by the Music Librarian's Association at Stanford University.

  • The FilmScore Monthly Web Site -- Web Site of the periodical magazine of Film (and some TV) music including new releases, film composing assignments, and articles about film and TV composers. The site is updated frequently, and attempts to cover current film music in a comprehensive manner as does the magazine founded by Lukas Kendall. They also sponsored a series of limited releases of classic film score CDs, and sell the CDs and some film music books and soundtracks from their site.

  • SoundTrack Net -- film score information and new releases, a project of Ellen Edgerton and others in the UK.

  • UCLA Music Dept./Special Collections of Film and TV Music Manuscripts -- lists manuscripts of scores, sketch/scores, parts, including a large collection of CBS Television scores from the 1950s -- 1970s...some composer information.

  • Intrada Web Site -- Web Site of a Berkeley, California company which includes a retail record store specializing in soundtracks, and a record label ("Intrada"). The store, run by Douglass Fake and Jeff Williams does stock most of the current soundtrack CDs and a few more collectible items. Their record label re-records film soundtracks in Europe in collaboration with Bruce Broughton, Jerry Goldsmith, Basil Poledouris, David Shire, and other contemporary film composers. Their CD productions have included a few gems from the past, including Miklos Rosza's score to "Julius Caesar".

Books

  • Who Wrote That Song? by Dick Jacobs. First edition 1988. Betterway Publications, Inc., P.O. Box 219, Crozet, VA 22932 USA. ISBN 1-55870-108-7.

    -- A large format book (8 1/2 x 11) originally available in both paperback and hardcover. This reference was written by a former Decca/Coral/Roulette Records A & R man and producer/arranger. It is a good representative list of 12,000 mainstream pop songs, going all the way back to the 1920s. It includes year the song was introduced, composers names, and names of artists who introduced and revived the song. Mentions song uses in films. Has a composer cross-reference.

  • The Oxford Companion to Popular Music 1993 edition, compiled by Peter Gammond. Published by Oxford University Press, New York and London.

    -- A medium paperback book which has thumbnail biographies on a wide range of composers and performers of popular music of the "English speaking world", which means the US and Great Britain. Some info on composers who are not listed in other references.

  • The ASCAP Biographical Dictionary Third (1966) edition, compiled and edited by the Lynn Farnol Group. Published by The American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers, New York.
    -- This medium-sized hardcover book, now out of print, does give unique biographical information about 5,238 composers who happen to belong to ASCAP performing rights society (as opposed to BMI.) Since ASCAP is the oldest such organization, most light music composers belong to it directly, or indirectly through affiliations with the British equivalent. The only weakness is that it seems to favor songwriters, rather than instrumental media composers. When credits for TV and film are given, they can be skimpy, compared to the song titles. But still this is a unique series, which is not published every year. Three other editions came out in 1948, 1952 and 1980, and all are hard to find (except in the library, of course.)

  • The ASCAP Index of Performed Compositions 1978 edition, published by The American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers, New York.

    -- a veritable telephone book-sized directory of small print titles listed every ASCAP composition which showed up in surveys of performances on radio and TV and wired music systems in 1977. The great thing is that it also lists themes, logos, and cue music for TV...along with composers and publishers for each listing. The weakness is that it kept track of everything in uppercase text, and often truncated titles, to fit the fixed-length data entry field of an ancient data processing system. An earlier survey took place in 1954. They don't publish them every year, and of course, now the database is online via the Internet.

  • Music Master: The 45rpm Record Directory in Two Volumes, by Paul C. Mawhinney. First Edition, 1982, published by Record-Rama Sound Archives, 4981 McKnight Rd., Pittsburgh, PA 15237. ISBN 0-910925-02-X.

    -- with the assistance of a computer expert Gene James, record store owner and collector Paul Mawhinney assembled a mammoth listing of 200,000 titles recorded on 45rpm singles and EP records. This mammoth project is printed on two huge (8 1/2 x 11) paperback volumes (resembling two telephone books)--one for Titles and the other for Artists. Each volume is over 1,000 pages!! The pages are unfortunately cheap acidic newsprint, so may not survive in the years ahead. It is a one-of-a-kind project, which yields collectors invaluable information about this format of recording.

  • TV Theme Soundtrack Directory--and Discography with Cover Versions by Craig W. Pattillo. First edition 1990. Braemar Books, P.O. Box 25296, Portland, OR 97225 USA. ISBN 0-9612044-2-7.

    -- One of the most interesting surveys of TV music, in this small soft bound book, Pattillo makes an attempt to list theme titles whenever possible, including some rare second themes and alternate themes. Sometimes the music director credits for shows are given, instead of the composer's names, which can lead to confusion. Shows many years of work, a major resource for TV music collectors.

  • Television Theme Recordings: an Illustrated Discography, 1951 - 1994 by Steve Gelfand. First edition 1994. Popular Culture, Ink., P.O. Box 1839, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. ISBN 1-56075-021-9.

    -- A large format (8 1/2 x 11) hardcover book, with a shellac cover, with thumbnail reproductions of most of the LP and EP album covers of television music. The focus in this book is on the available recordings, rather than the composers. Not as many second theme titles or alternate titles as Gelfand, but this is another major resource for TV music collectors.

  • TV's Biggest Hits: The story of Television Themes from "Dragnet" to "Friends" by UCLA professor Jon Burlingame. First edition, 1996, by Schirmer Books, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Macmillan, New York. ISBN 0-02-870324-3.

    -- This medium-sized hardcover book is one of the first books on the subject from a major publishing house. As opposed to Pattillo and Gelfand who produced reference books, this book has pretensions of entertaining you with "the story" of television themes. Perhaps the organization of the information is its weakest point--it is anecdotal, grouped by genre (perhaps a concession to the publisher)-- Cop and Detective Shows, The Westerns, Fantasy and Sci-Fi.

    As a collector, of course I find any stories about themes fascinating, but I'm not sure how many members of the general public will see it that way. Still, hats off to professor Burlingame for his efforts and research. As disorganized as it may seem, it included many interviews with composers and producers, which shed more light on some of the incestuous music re-packagers of the early 1950s, and other obscure topics.

  • The Complete Director of Prime Time Network TV Shows: 1946 - Present by Jeb H. Perry. Third edition, 1985, by Ballantine Books, of New York.

    -- The mid-sized book from a large paperback press offers a newsprint survey of TV series, starting in the very early days. A paragraph or two describes each show, and gives credit to the celebrities who hosted or acted in the show. It is one of the few TV survey books which has taken time to include the music theme credits with composers listed. Later editions exist. This one serves me fine, since I favor the early days of broadcasting anyway.

  • Total Television: a comprehensive guide to programming from 1948 to the present by Alex McNeil. Second edition, 1984, by Penguin Books, of New York. ISBN 0-14-00.7377-9
    -- This paperback reference includes not only the night-time shows covered by other books, but also gives coverage to the many shows which were syndicated nationally to local stations (not usually shown on networks), as well as Daytime and Saturday Morning shows.

  • Syndicated Television: the First Forty Years, 1947 - 1987 by Hal Erickson. First Edition, 1989, by McFarland & Co., Inc., of Jefferson, North Carolina and London, England. ISBN 0-89950-410-8

    -- This hardback reference includes much valuable detail about the lesser-known series which were "First-Run Syndicated" directly to local stations (not shown on networks first.) Includes some background about the production companies and producers of these often low-budget series.

  • Universal Television: the studio and its programs 1950-1980 by Jeb H. Perry. First edition, 1983, by Scarecrow Press, of Metuchen, New Jersey and London, England.

    -- This reference work is a survey of series produced by Universal Television and its Revue Studios production wing. It was compiled with the assistance of the New York City Television Information Office (prior to the Museum of Broadcasting), and some help from MCA/Universal. It contains a few composer credits among the credits it lists. But the disappointment is that it is not consistent in listing composer credits for main title themes, or separating that from a general music director credit.

  • On The Track: a guide to contemporary film scoring by Fred Karlin and Rayburn Wright. First edition, 1990, by Schirmer Books, a division of Macmillan, Inc., New York.

    -- This huge hardcover book (8 1/2 x 11 inches, 856 pages) is the most comprehensive look behind the scenes of scoring music for film and television yet. It is written by authors who work in the field, and contains interviews with major film/tv composers, printed excerpts of manuscript scores, a discussion of music production budgeting, concepts of the artistic and technical sides of writing music. An amazing achievement for both music students and others interested in seeing some "real world" material.


























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