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Dissertation Information for Richard Halsey

- Richard Halsey
- (Alias) Richard Sweeney Halsey

- Ph.D.

- Library and Information Science

- Case Western Reserve University (USA) (1972)

- William Goffman

- Conrad H. Rawski
- Bertram B. Masia
- Tefko Saracevic

MPACT Status: Fully Complete

Title: A Bibliometric Analysis of the Serious Music Literature on Long-Playing Records

Abstract: A total population of 42,943 serious music titles issued on long-playing records in the United States and added to the Schwann Long playing Record Catalog during the years 1961 through 1969 is examined. Compositions are grouped into ten categories: (1) works by composers born before 1550 A.D., (2) choral works, (3) keyboard pieces, (4) chamber music, (5) symphonies, (6) concerti and other works for solo instruments and orchestra, (7) other orchestral titles, (8) compositions for vocal soloists, (9) operas, and (10) electronic music. For each title the following data has been transcribed: Manufacturer identification, issuance month and deletion month if it occurred during the term of analysis, composer, composer's birth year, music category, work title, and name(s) of recording artist(s). Interrelationships between these and other factors are surveyed.

The primary intent is to demonstrate that the dissemination of a creative product in this format parallels distribution and dispersion phenomena which have been observed within the periodical literature and that this activity complies with certain mathematical laws. Secondary purposes include (1) the documentation of repertory stability over time despite substantial changes in production auspices and (2) the preparation of a comprehensive, retrospective, and comparative summary of 236 company labels' output during a nine year cycle.

The disciplinary perspectives and tools of information science, applied mathematics, and musical aesthetics have been joined in this nomological experiment. Traditional and contemporary views of musical structure are summarized, compared, and critiqued. Syntactic, semantic, and psychological domains are dissected and a prescriptive definition of recorded music's value is developed. Relationships between titles' music worth’s, market life-times, and issuance frequencies are analyzed and all titles recorded three or more times are displayed with their replication frequencies and market longevity indices. The population's generic distributive characteristics and specific title representation in each category are interpreted. Aesthetic implications derived from the author's findings are posited.

Three conclusions are reached: (1) A very few serious music works which are audience favorites compete with a vast numerical majority in accordance with the (Zipf) log-log or hyperbolic distribution. Titles replication frequencies plot as a straight line on log ranking-log percentage. (2) If record companies are grouped so that each set of companies yields the same number of different works by a major composer, the number of labels needed in successive groupings to attain equal increments to the composer’s works increases exponentially. (3) Titles with moderately high duplication and low deletion rates include most of the works considered exemplary in structure and content by authorities in the field of musical aesthetics. There has been a direct correlation between musical quality and title longevity on the long playing record market.

This thesis is a reading of heavy traffic at an intersection where the component vectors of American tests in serious music and a billion dollar commercial enterprises have emerged. As such, it should interest researchers in the sociology of music who desire an inventory of titles which flourished in this medium in response to functional societal demand. The composition listings may also serve institutional or private acquirers of the serious music literature on records.

MPACT Scores for Richard Halsey

A = 1
C = 0
A+C = 1
T = 1
G = 1
W = 1
TD = 1
TA = 0
calculated 2008-01-31 06:12:58

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Students under Richard Halsey

- Francis Whittle - SUNY, Albany (1996)