Bibliography | The Canadian Encyclopedia



Bibliography may be described as the listing, in descriptive detail, of items of printed literature; in a wider sense the term embraces the research and the theories employed toward this end.


Bibliography may be described as the listing, in descriptive detail, of items of printed literature; in a wider sense the term embraces the research and the theories employed toward this end. No distinct term exists to describe the listing of scores; bibliography, within the context of this entry, includes notated music. (For the listing of sound recordings see Discography.) A bibliography may be compiled for the publications of a specific author or a publisher; or for items owned by a private collector or a library; or for material produced in a time period or in a country; or - probably the most frequently encountered type - around a subject. The items may include books and periodicals (or chapters and articles therein), pamphlets, catalogues, and theses. The descriptive detail ought to include author, title, city of publication, publisher, date, pagination, and series title, as well as information about physical format, collation, successive editions, prefatorial sections and appendices, notes on the origin of the work and its publishing history, and other details, as applicable. Many of the available sources of information about Canadian music and musical life, however, are no more than rudimentary checklists and indexes, many of which provide little more descriptive detail than author, title, publisher, and date.

The arrangement of the individual items in a bibliography can vary, but it is commonly alphabetical, by author's surname, or chronological, by date of publication. EMC has adopted a chronological order to enable the reader to trace the growth of research and the development of opinion from one author to another (or, in the case of a composer, the progress from one composition to another). It also makes it possible to identify the latest publication quickly.

The present entry is not designed to serve as a bibliography about music in Canada, but rather to survey bibliographical activity and to provide a bibliography of bibliographies. On p xxi EMC provides a bibliography of many of the basic sources of information about music in Canada and the abbreviated names used to refer to them throughout EMC. There also are selective bibliographies appended to many of the individual entries. See especially Archives; Biography; Canadian Association of Music Libraries; Canadian Music Centre; Canadian Music Library Association; Dictionaries; Discography; Hymns and hymn singing; Lande Collections; National Library of Canada; Periodicals; Publishing; Songbooks, school; Theory textbooks.

The Growth of Bibliographical Research

The earliest documents of bibliographical interest are the lists of copyright registrations appended annually to the Sessional Papers of the House of Commons 1868-1900 and printed in the Patent Office Records 1901-29. The copyright records provide information on an estimated two-thirds of Canadian music published between 1868 and 1929. The more than 42,000 items registered include much of musical interest, especially information on sheet music but also on songbooks and hymnbooks. Each entry contains a brief statement of the composer's name, the item's title, the name of the copyright owner or publisher, and the date of registration. The entry number provides a chronology of copyright music publications. An enterprising group of music publishers issued an extract of the musical items: Complete List of Canadian Copyright Musical Compositions (entered from 1868 to January 19th, 1889) compiled from the Official Register at Ottawa (no publisher; no place of publication 1889). This remained a unique example in Canada of a bibliography based on a copyright list until Patrick B. O'Neill's 1989 compilation of A Checklist of Canadian Copyright Deposits in the British Museum 1895-1923. (vol 4, sheet music, Halifax, NS 1989). O'Neill's volume isolates the music and unites in one alphabet what is scattered among countless annual or monthly lists in the original official listings.

Interest in musical bibliography, though sporadic and often incidental to other pursuits, was apparent first in the province of Quebec. The writings of Ernest Gagnon, Nazaire LeVasseur, and Ernest Myrand contain bibliographical references to musical literature, and Philéas Gagnon's Essai de bibliographie canadienne (Quebec City 1895; supplement Montreal 1913; the collection is in the Montreal City Library) lists many music publications. Early bibliographies relating to individual musicians include a list of Jehin-Prume's compositions (Une Vie d'artiste, Montreal, ca 1900), a list of writings about Calixa Lavallée (Le Passe-Temps, 864, August 1933) and, at a more general level, Mary Smitherman's bibliography of 61 composers in 'Canadian composers' (Ontario Library Review, vol 15, August 1930). However, true musical bibliography in Canada may be said to have begun with Jean Ross MacMillan's 'Music in Canada: a short bibliography' (Ontario Library Review, vol 24, November 1940), a list of some 190 books, song collections, and articles by Canadians. Supplements were provided in the same journal by Lucille May (vol 33, August 1949) and Nancy J. Williamson (vol 38, May 1954).


The stocktaking of Canadian composers and their works became a necessity to the CBC in the fulfilment of its mandate to seek out and provide exposure for Canadian music. The Catalogue of Canadian Composers (see also Dictionaries), compiled mainly 1943-4 but issued only in 1947, provides basic information about the works of 238 living composers. It revealed for the first time the quantity and identity of Canada's composers and provided performers and program planners with a great incentive. A revised edition, expanded to include newer names as well as composers from the 17th to early 20th centuries, contained full treatments of 356 composers and brief treatments of over 100. Compiled 1950-1, it was issued in 1952.

The 1950s witnessed the appearance of several institutions and associations with a strong interest in musical bibliography. The Canadian Bibliographic Centre (1950) and its successor, the National Library of Canada (1953), have issued Canadiana, a monthly bibliography of new Canadian publications. This bibliography listed only books when it was begun in 1950 but added scores in 1953 and recordings in 1970. The NL of C also is responsible for compiling a retrospective 19th-century Canadian bibliography in all subject areas and for supplying bibliographical services through its national union catalogues and its reference, music, and other divisions. The Bibliothèque nationale du Québec in 1968 began to issue a monthly Bibliographie du Québec, listing Quebec and Quebec-related publications, including printed but not recorded music. The CLComp and, after 1959, the CMCentre assumed the main responsibility for compiling and publishing detailed catalogues of the works of composers of concert music. Both Canadiana and the CMCentre catalogues were computerized in the 1970s.

The CMLA and its successor, the CAML, have devoted much of their members' energy to the preparation of several useful bibliographies and related projects, including Musical Canadiana: A Subject Index (1967) and Canadian Music: A Selected Checklist 1950-73/La Musique canadienne: une liste sélective 1950-73 (ed Lynne Jarman, 1976), as well as other works noted below. The organizations' largest project, begun in 1966, was the detailed cataloguing of early Canadian music publications. The records from this project were deposited at the NL of C and developed as a union catalogue of Canadian music publications to 1950. They provide descriptions of approximately 19,000 items located in some 25 libraries and 20 private collections or listed in copyright entry lists or publishers' advertisements. Access is by composer, title, date of publication, and name of publisher. The Patrick O'Neill compilation of copyrights 1895-1923 mentioned above complements the union catalogue and has the advantage of being published.

Giles Bryant compiled the first book-length listing of a Canadian composer's works, the Healey Willan Catalogue (Ottawa 1972) - a detailed description of 784 works followed by extensive bibliographical and discographical sections. The first in a projected NL of C series, it was followed in 1982 by a supplement and by Stephen C. Willis' Alexis Contant Catalogue. The third in the series, a Glenn Gould Catalogue by Ruth Pincoe and Stephen C. Willis, listing not only compositions but the contents of the Gould collection, was near publication in 1991. Francine Pilote and Jacques Ducharme compiled the Répertoire numérique du Fonds Guillaume-Couture (P14) (Montreal 1979), and Micheline Vézina-Demers and Claire Grégoire-Reid compiled a Catalogue des oeuvres musicales du fonds Léo Roy (Quebec City 1987). Focussing on a single composition is an 'O Canada' bibliography-discography-iconography compiled in 1982 by Patricia Wardrop and Helmut Kallmann for use at the NL of C.

George Proctor'sCanadian Music of the Twentieth Century (Toronto 1980) contains a 'Selective Bibliography' of some 400 items on composition listed by author. The CMLA published Lucien Poirier'sCanadian Musical Works 1900-1980: A Bibliography of General and Analytical Sources (Ottawa 1983) which is arranged by composer and composition title. Theses surveying specific genres of Canadian music often provide annotated lists and bibliographies, eg, Ireneus Zuk's on the piano concerto, Timothy Maloney's on wind ensemble music, and Robin Elliott's on some 370 Canadian string quartets.

Folk Music

Another organization seriously concerned with bibliography is the Canadian Society for Musical Traditions (formerly Canadian Folk Music Society), whose A Reference List on Canadian Folk Music, compiled by Barbara Cass-Beggs and Edith Fowke, has gone through three editions (1966, 1973, 1978, the last two appearing also in the Canadian Folk Music Journal, vols 1, 1973, and 7, 1978) and is one of the most useful and practical tools available to the student of Canadian music. Its first section lists books, pamphlets, and articles; its second lists compositions based on folksong; and its third is a discography. The society also embarked on a more exhaustive bibliographical project, which remained incomplete in 1991. It includes information about 1600 items (literature, songbooks, folk music arrangements and compositions, recordings, and iconography); the files have been deposited at the NL of C. Two members of the CSMT, Edith Fowke and Carole Henderson Carpenter, published the comprehensive Bibliography of Canadian Folklore in English (Toronto 1981), which includes a section on folk music and dance.

The Archives de Folklore of Laval University also have issued important bibliographical publications, beginning with Clarisse Cardin's 'Bio-bibliographie de Marius Barbeau' (Archives de Folklore, vol 2, 1947) and continuing with Conrad Laforte'sLe Catalogue de la chanson folklorique française (6 vols, Quebec City 1977-87): vol 1 Chansons en laisse (1977); vol 2 Chansons strophiques (1981); vol 3 Chansons en forme de dialogue (1982); vol 4 Chansons énumératives (1979); vol 5 Chansons brèves (les enfantines) (1987); vol 6 Chansons sur les timbres (1983).

The Bibliothèque nationale du Québec issued La Chanson au Québec 1965-1975 (Montreal 1975) as no. 3 in its series of Bibliographies québécoises. Holdings of specific folk music collections are listed in Catalogue of Canadian Folk Music in the Mary Mellish Archibald Library and Other Special Collections (Mount Allison University, Bell Library Publications in Music, no. 1, Sackville, NB, 1974) and in Songs Sung by French Newfoundlanders, compiled by Gerald Thomas and itemizing the material at the Folklore and Language Archive at Memorial U (St John's, Nfld, 1978). Marie-Françoise Guédon and Beverley Diamond prepared bibliographies of Indian and Inuit music, respectively, for the Canadian issue of Ethnomusicology (vol 16, Sep 1972).

Other Specialized Areas

Bibliographical initiative often is a byproduct of other research. Helmut Kallmann who, having edited the revised edition of the CBC's Catalogue of Canadian Composers, went on to explore the musical history of Canada and simultaneously compiled a general bibliography of music in Canada (unpublished but largely integrated into EMC). Other byproducts were 'A check-list of Canadian periodicals in the field of music,' (CMJ, vol 1, Winter 1957), the CLComp's Catalogue of Orchestral Music (Toronto 1957), and the listing of pre-1951 music imprints which remained his responsibility for many years. His private research formed the basis of CMLA's Bio-Bibliographical Finding List of Canadian Musicians (Ottawa 1961), revised as Musicians in Canada: A Bio-Bibliographical Finding List, eds Kathleen M. Toomey and Stephen C. Willis (Ottawa 1981). His History of Music in Canada offered the first generally available bibliography arranged by broad subject. Kallmann also was entrusted with devising the CSMT's large-scale bibliography mentioned above.

Bibliographies of the writings of Canadian musicians appear in certain biographies of Canadian musicians, eg, Stephen Adams' R. Murray Schafer (1983), Marie-Thérèse Lefebvre'sSerge Garant et la révolution musicale au Québec (1986), Gene Lees'Oscar Peterson: The Will to Swing (1988), and Otto Friedrich's Glenn Gould (1989). Musical Canada (1988) contains a list of the writings of Helmut Kallmann.

Two fine examples of specialized bibliography are Barclay McMillan's 'Tune-book imprints in Canada to 1867: a descriptive bibliography' published in Papers of the Bibliographical Society of Canada/Cahiers de la Société bibliographique du Canada (vol 16, 1977) and John Beckwith's 'Tunebooks and hymnals in Canada, 1801-1939' published in American Music (vol 6, Summer 1988).

Of utmost importance to researchers is a new type of documentation, pioneered in Austria by Otto Erich Deutsch in his Schubert research early this century: bibliographical listing of printed or manuscript sources on a given subject combined with the reproduction of the relevant text itself. This principle was applied in Canada during the 1980s to the scanning of early newspapers in Halifax, Kingston, Hamilton, and other cities. One of these projects is the Répertoire des données musicales de la presse québécoise, projected to cover the years 1764-1918 in 6 volumes, under the direction of Juliette Bourassa-Trépanier and Lucien Poirier of Laval University. The first volume (1764-99) was published in Quebec City in 1990. Another fine example is Robert Dale McIntosh'sA Documentary History of Music in Victoria, British Columbia, vol.1: 1850-1899 (Victoria 1981).


Among general surveys of the literature about Canadian music, Victor Legendre's Musique canadienne (Séminaire Saint-Augustin, Cap-Rouge, Que, 1970, mimeographed, about 400 items, mostly in French) had its English counterpart in A Basic Bibliography of Musical Canadiana, compiled by Frederick and Sharyn Hall, Bruce and Kathryn Minorgan, and Nadia Turbide (Toronto, 1970, mimeographed, about 700 items in English and French). Ian Bradley of the University of Victoria continued the initiative and in his A Selected Bibliography of Musical Canadiana (Victoria, BC, rev edn 1976) providesd dramatic proof of the growth of the literature about Canadian music - listing 10 times the number of items contained in Jean Ross MacMillan's 1940 pioneer effort. Neither MacMillan nor Bradley has been able, however, to cover adequately the large amount of 19th- and early 20th-century literature. Although unpublished, significant work in this area was done in the 1970s by Elaine Keillor of Carleton University, who listed articles and notices in Canadian and US turn-of-the-century magazines (copies deposited at NL of C). During the 1980s the NL of C's indexing of periodical articles has expanded to non-biographical writing and by 1991 covered approximately 15,000 biographical, 8,000 organizational and 3,000 topical items. It is especially important since the Canadian Periodical Index (Windsor, Ont, 1928-32; Toronto 1938-47; Ottawa 1948-63; and, under the title Canadian Index to Periodicals and Documentary Films, Ottawa 1964-), the Music Index (Detroit 1949-), and RILM (Répertoire international de la littérature musicale, New York 1967-) provide only limited coverage of Canadian music.

A sound bibliographical basis is the sine qua non of the writing of musical history and biography and indeed of any serious research. Surveys of the state of bibliographical work related to Canadian music were conducted in 1974 independently by Kallmann and George Proctor. The former, in the chapter on 'Subject bibliography - music' in Proceedings, National Conference on the State of Canadian Bibliography, Vancouver, Canada, 22-24 May 1974 (Ottawa 1977) contrasted existing work with the categories and quantities that should be covered in an ideal complete bibliography. He concluded that progress was considerable in several areas (eg, the listing of current publications, of Canadian compositions, of biographical and folk music literature), but that many valuable projects remained unpublished (eg, Keillor's analytical indexes, the exhaustive bibliography undertaken by the CFMS in the late 1960s, the union catalogue of Canadian music publications to 1950 and the index of articles maintained at the NL of C's Music Division, and Joachim Sandvoss' list of 496 music theses of Canadians).

Proctor's Sources in Canadian Music/Les Sources de la musique canadienne (Sackville, NB, 1975, 1979; also in CAUSM J, vol 4, Autumn 1974) providesd a useful examination of the source materials under such headings as 'General bibliography,' 'Periodicals,' 'Biography,' 'Bio-bibliography of individual composers,' 'Scores,' 'Music education,' 'Theses and papers' and includesd a list of 167 pertinent bibliographies. His conclusions were similar to Kallmann's: that there are more scores, recordings, and printed materials in the field of Canadian music than is realized generally, and certainly enough to nourish university courses on the subject.

Canadian Contributions to International Music Bibliography

Outstanding examples are Andrew Hughes'A Bibliography of Medieval Music: The Sixth Liberal Art (Toronto 1974, rev edn 1980) and Medieval Manuscripts for Mass and Office: A Guide to Their Terminology and Contents (Toronto 1982) and Lowell Cross' Bibliography of Electronic Music (Toronto 1967, 1970). (Cross is a US citizen who compiled his bibliography while doing graduate studies in electronic music and musicology at the University of Toronto.) James Parrott in 1972 began to compile a bibliography on acoustics, Bibliotheca harmonicum, and in the early 1990s Sabrina Ratner worked on a Saint-Saëns catalogue, Nicole Labelle on one for Albert Roussel, while Marc-André Roberge published a bio-bibliography of Ferruccio Busoni (New York, Westport, Conn, and London, 1991). Margit McCorkle'sJohannes Brahms: Thematisch-Bibliographisches Werkverzeichnis (Munich 1984), edited from preparatory work done with Donald McCorkle, provided a much-needed research tool, as did the catalogues of Bryan N.S. Gooch and David S. Thatcher: Musical Settings of Late Victorian and Modern British Literature: A Catalogue. (New York, London 1976); Musical Settings of Early and Mid-Victorian Literature (New York, London 1979); Musical Settings of British Romantic Literature: A Catalogue, 2 vols (New York, London 1982); and A Shakespeare Music Catalogue, 5 vols (Oxford 1991).

Canada participates in several projects undertaken by the International Association of Music Libraries (and several co-sponsors), RISM (Répertoire international des sources musicales; see Libraries), RILM, RIdIM (Répertoire international d'iconographie musicale; see Iconography), and RIPM (Répertoire international de la presse musicale). The last-named for some years had its secretariat at the University of British Columbia.