Education & academia
Brook received his master's degree from Columbia University, where he studied with Paul Henry Lang, Erich Hertzmann (1902–1963), Hugh Ross, and Roger Sessions, in 1942; he received the doctorate from the Sorbonne in 1959. He became a fellow at City College of New York (1940–42), continued at Queens College (1945–89), and founded the graduate program in music at the City University of New York in 1967; he served as the program’s Executive Officer until his retirement in 1989.
Brook taught frequently at the Sorbonne. In 1984, the Centre National de la Recherche ScientifiqueCentre National de la Recherche Scientifique asked him to design a new doctoral program in musicology at the École Normale Supérieure in Paris. Along with his duties at City University, he spent much time teaching in that new program in Paris.
Brook’s research interests included Renaissance secular music, 18th- and 19th-century music and aesthetics, music iconography, and the sociology of music. He served as editor of a facsimile edition of the Breitkopf Thematic Catalogues (New York, 1966), an important source for the identification and dating of 18th-century compositions. His interest in music bibliography and its history led him to found RILM, the first international bibliography of music scholarship, in 1966; he served as the project’s Editor-in-Chief until 1989.
Although he was known principally for his work in classical music, in the later years of his life Brook became fascinated with ethnomusicology. He often sought out and trained budding music historians in how to bring their reports and studies of local music traditions into the mainstream, academic world of music history.
- Biography: The Barry S. Brook Center for Music Research and Documentation, Graduate Center, The City University of New York
- The ASCAP Biographical Dictionary, Third edition, American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers, New York (1966) OCLC 592540213, 598257, 479509729
- ASCAP Biographical Dictionary, Fourth edition, compiled for the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers by Jacques Cattell Press, R.R. Bowker, New York (1980) OCLC 7065938 ISBN 0835212831 ISBN 9780835212830
- Contemporary Authors, A bio-bibliographical guide to current writers in fiction, general nonfiction, poetry, journalism, drama, motion pictures, television, and other fields, Volumes 25-28, 1st revision. Detroit: Gale Research (1977)
- Contemporary Authors, New Revision Series. A bio-bibliographical guide to current writers in fiction, general nonfiction, poetry, journalism, drama, motion pictures, television, and other fields. Volume 16. Detroit: Gale Research (1986)
- Contemporary Authors. A bio-bibliographical guide to current writers in fiction, general nonfiction, poetry, journalism, drama, motion pictures, television, and other fields, Volume 163. Detroit: Gale Research (1998)
- International Who's Who in Music and Musicians' Directory. Ninth edition, edited by Adrian Gaster, Cambridge, England: International Who's Who in Music (1980)
- The New Grove Dictionary of American Music, Four volumes, edited by H. Wiley Hitchcock and Stanley Sadie, London: Macmillan Press (1986)
- The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians. 20 volumes, edited by Stanley Sadie, London: Macmillan Publishers (1980)
- The New York Times Biographical Service, A compilation of current biographical information of general interest, Volume 28, Numbers 1- 12, Ann Arbor, MI: UMI Co. (1997)
- Baker's Biographical Dictionary of Musicians, Eighth edition, revised by Nicolas Slonimsky, New York: Macmillan Publishing Co. (1992)
- Baker's Biographical Dictionary of Twentieth-Century Classical Musicians, by Nicolas Slonimsky, New York: Schirmer Books (1997)
- Baker's Biographical Dictionary of Musicians, Ninth edition, edited by Laura Kuhn, New York: Schirmer Books (2001)