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General Concerns
About the Compilers


General Concerns

The information provided at this site was statistically arrived at; i.e., decisions as to which composers and which of their works should be included were based on objective criteria, not subjective preferences. The particular 500 composers selected scored highest on a combination of diagnostic variables--for more information, see the Statistics feature.

The approach taken here--focussing as it does on identifying what might be termed the 500 "currently most relevant" classical composers--forces us to take some care in interpreting the results. For example, the Basic Works Library as compiled does not deliberately seek to represent all of the 500 composers treated here; many of the more minor of these individuals produced no single work that merits special singling out above the rest of their oeuvre. Moreover, there are undoubtedly works that belong in a "Basic Library" list that were written by composers not among the 500 treated here.

About the Compilers

This project was originally conceived by Charles H. Smith (B.A., M.A., Ph.D., M.L.S.; currently Professor of Library Public Services at Western Kentucky University, Bowling Green) in 1993, at which time data collection was begun. Dr. Smith personally collected and integrated all of the basic information represented here, but eventually enlisted two additional individuals to assist him in finalizing Version One of the project in 1999. These individuals were: Brian Newhouse (M.A., M.L.S.), long-time music cataloger at Princeton University (who was especially helpful in coming up with the classification of composer styles), and Amy Wiedenbein (M.M.), a musician and researcher currently teaching at the Cincinnati State College in Cincinnati. Dr. Smith researched and implemented all of the revisions for Version Two.

Dr. Smith would like to specially acknowledge the Web page production assistance of Yinghua Lu, Jennifer Rakestraw and Megan Derr. Comments may be addressed to Dr. Smith at: University Libraries, 1906 College Heights Blvd., Western Kentucky University, Bowling Green, KY 42101; or by email: charles.smith@wku.edu.

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