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Book Review

KEITH BRAMICH consults K.G. Saur's new European Music Directory

A new edition to the ever increasing choice of music directories and handbooks is the 1999 European Music Directory - a two volume hardback directory of music contact information from all over Europe. Based on Stadler's Musik-Handbuch of 1993 (and before that, on Paul de Witt's 'Weltadressbuch der Musikindustrie und des Musikfachhandels' of 1883 which appeared until 1925/6), the new directory is of very high production, printing and paper quality.

The organisation of this work seems very logical. For example, the Performed Music section consists of the following chapters:

European Music Directory 1999. Copyright (c) K.G. Saur Verlag, MunichOrchestras
Music theatres
Competitions and Prizes

The orchestras chapter is organised by country, then by the following individual types of orchestra:

Symphony Orchestras
Chamber Orchestras
Orchestras for Contemporary Music
Jazz Bands
Orchestras for Ethno Music
Brass Bands
Orchestras for Light Music
Other Orchestras

Finally, within each of these categories, the orchestras are listed alphabetically, first by city and then by the name of the orchestra. Each entry has its own unique five-digit index number, from 00001 to 38997. These numbers are used in the indexes for cross-referencing, as shown in the detail below, taken from the Associations and Foundations section. The scheme works well.

European Music Directory 1999 - Detail from 'Associations and Foundations' section - Czech Republic - Praha. Copyright (c) 1999 K.G. Saur verlag, Muenchen

The biggest omission from this directory appears to be a section on music venues and concert halls. My only other reservation is that there is a certain lack of detail in some of the entries - e.g. festival listings don't provide information about the individual venues. The directory has no entries for Turkey (which is usually treated as being partly in Europe).

The information provided appears to be quite accurate, although email and web site addresses are thinly represented, and less accurate than other information. I sent a test email to 280 addresses from the orchestras section. 64 of these emails were returned to me as undeliverable. This 77% accuracy can not be judged as a failing of this book, since online addresses are still new and unknown to many people, and are changing so quickly at the present time. Perhaps, though, there is little point in listing online resources in a printed handbook.

Bowker-Saur's UK catalogue does not mention a web-based or CD-ROM version of this product. I wonder if they have plans to provide this useful information in a more easily updateable form?

 Copyright © Keith Bramich, August 5th 1999

European Music Directory 1999

Editors: Bettina Bartz and Peter Nouwens

Two volumes; hardback; c.850 pages; nearly 40,000 entries

Volume I

1. Performed Music
2. Concert Management and Promotion Agencies
3. Radio and Television
4. National Music Councils, Associations and Foundations
5. Teaching and Instruction
6. Documentation and Research

Volume II

7. Music Industry
8. Music Trade
9. Sound Studios and Record Companies
10. Music Publishers
Index of Institutions and Firms
Index of Persons
Index of Instruments

Copyright 1999 by K.G.Saur Verlag GmbH & Co. KG, Munchen

ISBN 3-598-11347-1


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