Deane Root Named Editor in Chief of Oxford U. Press’ Grove Music Program

Issue Date: 
September 21, 2009
Deane RootDeane Root

Oxford University Press’ (OUP) Grove Music Program—renowned as the most prestigious and authoritative single reference work on Western music, as well as the largest—has tapped Pitt Center for American Music Director Deane Root, one of the nation’s leading music historians, to be its editor in chief.

Root, Pitt professor of music and Fletcher Hodges Jr. Curator of Pitt’s Foster Hall Collection, will select and chair an editorial board to guide the academic direction of Grove Music Online, the leading Web resource for music research, and related print projects. In his new post, Root will help determine new subject areas to add, oversee revisions and updates, and recommend scholars to serve as reviewers or editors.

The content of Grove Music Online includes the full texts of The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, 2nd Edition (2001), The New Grove Dictionary of Opera (1992), and The New Grove Dictionary of Jazz, 2nd Edition (2001). The New Grove Dictionary of Musical Instruments and The New Grove Dictionary of American Music, both of which have their own separate editors and are being published as printed reference works, will become part of Grove Music Online under Root’s editorship. Overall, Grove Music Online includes more than 50,000 articles and 28,000 biographies contributed by more than 6,000 scholars from around the world.

Root comes to the position with impeccable credentials. He worked as a copy editor and advisory editor on the 1980 New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians and was an integral part of the creation of Resources of American Music: A Directory of Source Materials from Colonial Times to World War II (University of Illinois Press, 1981), a major reference tool for American music studies. He has been an advisor and written entries for The New Grove Dictionary of American Music first and second editions.

An internationally renowned scholar and expert on American music and its history, Root earned his master’s degree and PhD in musicology at the University of Illinois in 1972 and 1977, respectively. He has made Pitt’s campus the epicenter of activity in American music history. He built the Stephen Foster Memorial Collection into a world-class research archive, relocated the Society of American Music to campus, and, as director of Pitt’s Center for American Music, developed an educational resource called Voices Across Time, which brings secondary school teachers of language arts and social studies to Pitt’s Pittsburgh campus every two years for intensive workshops on how to use music effectively in their classrooms.

Root, who will continue in his positions at Pitt, has been appointed to the post following a seven-month worldwide search.