Vincent H. Duckles Award

Voncent H. DucklesThe Vincent H. Duckles Award is the Music Library Association's annual prize for the best book-length bibliography or reference work in music. The prize, awarded since the 1976 publication year, was named in honor of Vincent Duckles in 1985.

Vincent H. Duckles (1913–1985) was Head of the Music Library and Professor in the Department of Music at the University of California, Berkeley. During his long and distinguished career he made major contributions to music libraries, librarianship, and scholarship. In his 33 year tenure at Berkeley he built the music library into one of the country's most important collections. He was active in the Music Library Association, serving on the board of directors as member-at-large and MLA President in 1961. He also chaired the Survey of Library Resources, Constitutional Revision, and Program committees. In recognition of his stature in the profession MLA awarded him its highest honor, the MLA Citation, in 1980. Vincent Duckles' most widely known work is Music Reference and Research Materials, which grew out of his famous music bibliography course at Berkeley. First published in 1967, it rapidly became and has remained the standard book in its field. The last edition to appear under his sole authorship was the third, in 1974; it is now in its fifth edition, under the editorship of Ida Reed (New York, Schirmer Books).

Vincent Duckles received his Ph.D. in musicology from the University of California at Berkeley in 1953. He was a specialist in seventeenth-century English song and the author of Thematic Catalog of a Manuscript Collection of Eighteenth-Century Italian Instrumental Music in the University of California, Berkeley, Music Library, published in 1963. Toward the close of his career he turned his attention to historiography of music and the history of musical scholarship. He was active in the local musical scene as a performer on the double bass, organ, and piano. He was a dedicated concert-goer, and had a large and admiring circle of students, colleagues, and friends.

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2020 recipient:

This year’s Duckles Award is granted to John Gray for Music of Sub-Saharan Africa: An International Bibliography and Resource Guide, part of the Black Music Reference Series published by African Diaspora Press, 2018.

The Publication Awards Committee wrote:

John Gray’s Music of Sub-Saharan Africa is an in-depth resource and bibliography for the music of Sub-Saharan Africa. Including general works offering broad historical and critical perspectives, covering musical instruments, regional studies, dictionaries, encyclopedias, and biographies covering nearly 1,500 musicians, composers, ethnomusicologists, dancers, and others involved with or influenced by Sub-Saharan African music, it can guide and support research of anyone studying or interested in African music, as well as librarians who may catalog or want to acquire reference works regarding Sub-Saharan Africa.

Past recipients

2019 Inger Sørensen, J.P.E. Hartmann, Thematic-Bibliographic Catalogue of His Works, ed. Birthe Skou, Danish Humanist Texts and Studies 56 (Copenhagen: Dansk Center for Musikudgivelse, Det Kongelige Bibliotek, 2017)
2018 Jane Gottlieb, Music Library and Research Skills, 2nd ed. (New York; Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016)
2017 Reinmar Emans and Ulrich Krämer, editors, Musikeditionen im Wandel der Geschichte (Berlin; Boston: De Gruyter, 2015)
2016 Edward Komara and Greg Johnson, 100 Books Every Blues Fan Should Own (Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2014)
2015 John Gray, Baila! A Bibliographic Guide to Afro-Latin Dance Musics from Mambo to Salsa (Nyack, NY: African Diaspora Press, 2013)
2014  Richard Griscom and David Lasocki, The Recorder: A Research and Information Guide, 3rd edition (Routledge Music Bibliographies, 2012)
2013 Jerry McBride, Douglas Moore: a Bio-Bibliography (Middleton, Wis.: A-R Editions, 2011)
2012 Christophe Grabowski and John Rink, Annotated Catalogue of Chopin's First Editions (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010)
2011 No award given
2010 Laurie J. Sampsel, Music Research: A Handbook (New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 2009)
2009 David Williams and C. Matthew Balensuela, Music Theory from Boethius to Zarlino: A Bibliography and Guide (Hillsdale, NY: Pendragon Press, 2007)
2008 Diccionario de la Zarzuela: España e Hispanoamérica. under the direction of Emilio Casares Rodicio. 2nd edition in 2 volumes, (Madrid: Instituto Complutense de Ciencias Musicales, 2006)
2007 Mary Lewis, Antonio Gardano, Venetian Music Printer, 1538–1569 (New York: Garland Press, 2005)
2006 James R. Cowdery, Zdravko Blažekovic, Barry S. Brook, gen. eds., Speaking of Music: Music Conferences, 1835–1966 (Répertoire International de Littérature Musicale, 2004) RILM Retrospective Series, No. 4.
2005 Joël-Marie Fauquet, Dictionnaire de la musique en France au XIXe siècle (Fayard, 2003)
2004 Sabina Teller Ratner, Camille Saint-Saëns, 1835–1921: A Thematic Catalogue of His Complete Works (New York: Oxford University Press, 2002)
2003 Horst Leuchtmann and Bernhold Schmid, Orlando di Lasso: seine Werke in zeitgenössischen Drucken, 1555–1687. Orlando di Lasso: Sämtliche Werke: Supplement (Kassel; New York: Bärenreiter, 2001)
2002 Robert Shay and Robert Thompson, Purcell Manuscripts: The Principal Musical Sources (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000)
2001 David Fallows, A Catalogue of Polyphonic Songs, 1415–1480 (Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, 1999)
James B. Sinclair, A Descriptive Catalogue of the Music of Charles Ives (New Haven [Conn.] : Yale University Press, 1999)
2000 Glenda D. Goss, Jean Sibelius: A Guide to Research (New York, NY: Garland Publishomg, 1998)
1999 Paul Bryan, Johann Wanhal, Viennese Symphonist: His Life and His Musical Environment (Stuyvesant, NY: Pendragon Press, 1997)
1998 Michael Twyman, Early Lithographed Music: A Study Based on the H. Baron Collection (London: Farrand Press, 1996)
1997 Lawrence Earp, Guillaume de Machaut: A Guide to Research (New York: Garland Publishing, 1995)
1996 Donald Burrows and Martha J. Ronish, A Catalogue of Handel's Musical Autographs (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1994)
1995 Helen Myers, ed., Ethnomusicology: Historical and Regional Studies (New York: W. W. Norton & Co., 1993)
1994 Mary Kay Duggan, Italian Music Incunabula: Printers and Type (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1992)
1993 Richard Kitson, Dwight's Journal of Music (1852–1881) (Ann Arbor, Mich.: U.M.I., 1991)
1992 Allen Perdue Britton, Irving Lowens, and Richard Crawford, American Sacred Music Imprints, 1698–1810: A Bibliography (Worcester: American Antiquarian Society, 1990)
1991 Hans-Joachim Schulze and Christoph Wolff, Bach Compendium: Analytisch-bibliographisches Repertorium der Werke Johann Sebastian Bachs (Frankfurt, New York: C.F. Peters, 1985–89)
1990 Anik Devries and Franois Lesure, Dictionnaire des éditeurs de musique francais, vol. II (Géneve: Editions Minkoff, 1988)
Thomas J. Mathiesen, Ancient Greek Music Theory: a Catalogue Raisonné of Manuscripts (RISM B/XI) (Munchen: G. Henle, 1988)
1989 Arthur B. Wenk, Analyses of Nineteenth- and Twentieth-Century Music (Boston: Music Library Association, 1987)
1988 H. Wiley Hitchcock and Stanley Sadie, ed., The New Grove Dictionary of American Music (London: Macmillan, 1986)
1987 John Reed, The Schubert Song Companion (New York: Universe Books, 1985)
1986 Donald L. Hixon, Thea Musgrave: A Bio-Bibliography (Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1984)
1985 Boston Area Music Libraries, The Boston Composers Project (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1983)
1984 Carol J. Oja, ed., American Music Recordings: A Discography of 20th Century U.S. Composers (Brooklyn: Institute for Studies in American Music, 1982)
1983 D. W. Krummel et al., Resources of American Music History: A Directory of Source Materials from Colonial Times to World War II (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1981)
1982 Anna Harriet Heyer, comp., Historical Sets, Collected Editions, and Monuments of Music: A Guide to Their Contents, 3d ed. (Chicago: American Library Association, 1980)
1981 No award given
1980 Maurice Hinson, The Piano in Chamber Ensemble: An Annotated Guide (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1978)
1979 Rita Benton, Ignace Pleyel: A Thematic Catalogue of His Compositions (New York: Pendragon Press, 1977)
1978 E. Ruth Anderson, comp., Contemporary American Composers: A Biographical Dictionary (Boston: G.K. Hall, 1976)



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The Music Library Association is the professional association for music libraries and librarianship in the United States. Founded in 1931, it has an international membership of librarians, musicians, scholars, educators, and members of the book and music trades. Complementing the Association’s national and international activities are eleven regional chapters that carry out its programs on the local level.