News of Members

Christine Ammer writes:

The long-awaited new, revised and updated edition of my book, Unsung: A History of Women in American Music, is now available.  Addressed to music lovers of every genre, it chronicles the activities of women composers, conductors, instrumentalists, orchestra and opera managers, conservatory founders, and educators from the late 1700s to 2016.  It can be purchased as an e-book or print-on-demand book from Amazon and booksellers everywhere. Biographical sketches show the active participation of women musicians in every genre, as well as the increasing strides they have made in recent decades.  Christine Ammer has many other titles to her credit, including American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms (approximately 10,000 idioms), Facts on File Dictionary of Cliches (approximately 3,000 cliches), and A to Z of Foreign Musical Terms (translation of expression marks from 35,000 scores).  Earlier word books now available as e-books include Fighting Words from War, Rebellion, and Other Combative Capers; Southpaws and Sunday Punches and Other Sporting Expressions; Fruitcakes and Couch Potatoes and Other Delicious Expressions; Seeing Red  or Tickled Pink, A Rainbow of Colorful Terms; and It’s Raining Cats and Dogs and Other Beastly Expressions.

Our former president, Terry Pratt, continues to compose music in his retirement. He has recently published “Four Short Songs of Love and Time,” including “Jenny Kissed Me,” “John Anderson, My Jo,” “Out Upon It!,” and “So We’ll Go No More A-Roving,” the first and fourth for SATB, the second for SSAA, and the third for TTBB. The publisher is Renforth Music (www.renforthmusic.com}.

Richard Bieman has been working on a project that will be of wide interest to our members. In his own words:

You asked about the dictionary I’ve been working on as part of my convalescence, and I just ran some numbers I’ll share with you. The project started out many, many years ago when a friend and I decided to make a list of all the synonyms for George Carlin’s 7 words you can’t say on television. Well, we quickly realized that was an overwhelming task, so we switched to just words related to sex in some manner … and it was still pretty overwhelming!! 🙂   As of 2/10/17, there are 32,272 headwords in the book with a total of 39,583 individual definitions. Total number of words is 527,586, comprising 2,049 pages.
If you do an Amazon search for books with “sex words” as the subject matter, you get 101 hits … or about 1 book published per year since 1900. But very few of those books are the result of serious research like mine is, and they certainly don’t have the breadth of content. The two most recent books that have been published are now 10 to 11 years old, and only contain 4,500 to 5,000 words each. As background for my book, I’ve read over 735 dictionaries, plus novels, magazines, TV shows, and anything that might contain sexually related words used in a serious or legitimate manner.
The criteria for inclusion in the book is that I must find a word, and its concomitant definition, in two independent sources, or one unimpeachable source, like the Oxford English Dictionary. I decided long ago that if the OED says “XXXX” means “a woman’s breasts,” I’ll take that at face value and include it, probably with a reference note, even if I don’t find the word or def anywhere else.
Part of the reason I wanted to renew my relationship with DSNA is because I believe I am closing in on completing something that should be publishable, and I have only a foggy idea about how to proceed from here. I also believe there are at least two more books that could be developed using the same research I’ve done for this dictionary … so more to come. I’ve read lots of “How to Publish Your Non-fiction Book” type of books, which are helpful in their own way, but nowhere near as helpful as talking with a few people who have actually walked down that road before and can point me in a good direction. I’m very open to ideas and suggestions what else I could/should be doing next.

Request for Member News

Please send your news for the next issue of the DSNA Newsletter to Peter Chipman at dsna.membernews@gmail.com.