Barry Kernfeld
814-867-4288 (cell); bkernfeld@gmail.com


Staff archivist, Historical Collections and Labor Archives, Special Collections Library, the Pennsylvania State University, 2005–2014

Freelance writer on music, 1981–


Cornell University, 1975–1981, M.A., musicology (1978), Ph.d., musicology (1981)

University of California, Davis, 1972–1975, B.A., music (1975)

University of California, Berkeley, 1968–1970


Association for Recorded Sound Collections award, "best history" in the category "best research in rock or popular music," 2012

“Outstanding Academic Titles, 2002: Humanities: The New Grove Dictionary of Jazz," in Choice 40 (Jan. 2003): 752

Richard S. Hill award, Music Library Association, best article of a music-bibliographic nature, 1995

Grant-in-Aid, Martha Baird Rockefeller Fund-for-Music, 1980–1981

Regents' Scholar, University of California, 1968–1970, 1972–1974



author, Pop Song Piracy: Disobedient Music Distribution Since 1929 (Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press, 2011)

author, The Story of Fake Books: Bootlegging Songs to Musicians (Lanham, MD, Toronto, and Oxford, England: Scarecrow, 2006)

author, What to Listen for in Jazz (New Haven, CT, and London: Yale University Press, 1995)

editor, The New Grove Dictionary of Jazz, 2 vols. (London: Macmillan Press Limited, 1988); unabridged reprint in 1 vol. (London: Macmillan Press Limited, and New York: St. Martin's Press, 1994; Chinese trans. 2009); revised and expanded second edition, 3 vols. (London: Macmillan Publishers Limited, 2001; acquired by Oxford University Press, 2003); electronic edition at Oxford Music Online (2003–)

editor, The Blackwell Guide to Recorded Jazz (Oxford, England: Blackwell Publishers, 1991); updated paperback edition (1992), translated as Die Enzyklopadie des Jazz: Die Geschichte des Jazz im Spiegel der wichtigsten Augnahmen (Bern, Vienna, and Munich: Scherz, 1993); revised and expanded second edition (Oxford: Blackwell Publishers, 1995)


"John Coltrane in Rudy Van Gelder's Studio," Names & Numbers, no.33 (April 2005): 2–7; no.34 (July 2005), 3–9, 14–15

co-author, with Howard Rye, "Comprehensive Discographies of Jazz, Blues, and Gospel," Notes: Quarterly Journal of the Music Library Association 51 (Dec. 1994): 501–547; (March 1995): 865–891

"Two Coltranes," Annual Review of Jazz Studies 2 (1983): 7–66


158 articles on jazz and blues musicians in American National Biography, ed. John A. Garraty and Mark C. Carnes (New York: Oxford University Press, 1999); 8 further articles for the 2005 supplement; new articles 2014–, and advisory editor in the field of popular, 2015–, for the online edition of ANB, ed. Susan Ware.

"Jazz" and "Blues" in Collier's Encyclopedia (New York: P. F. Collier, 1997 edition)

350 jazz and blues biographies in The New Harvard Biographical Dictionary of Music, ed. Don M. Randel (Cambridge, MA, and London: Belknap Press, 1996)

"Jazz" in The Encyclopedia of New York City, ed. Kenneth T. Jackson (New Haven, CT, and London: Yale University Press, 1995)

65 entries, mainly on jazz, in The New Grove Dictionary of American Music, ed. H. Wiley Hitchcock and Stanley Sadie (London: Macmillan Press Limited, 1986)

100 entries on 20th-century African-American musical terms, genres, and styles in The New Harvard Dictionary of Music, ed. Don M. Randel (Cambridge, MA, and London: Belknap Press, 1986)


"Pop Song Piracy: Napster in the 1930s and the Story of Fake Books," Stay Free (June 2004): 32–34

"In the Mode: Modal Jazz and its Influences," Jazz Changes, no.6 (spring 1999): 23–25



Invited speaker, Copyright and the Networked Computer, Washington, DC, 2003

            "Pop Song Piracy, Fake Books, and a Pre-History of Sampling," (Spanish trans.: http://barcelona.indymedia.org/newswire/display/358326/index.php)

Invited speaker, Music Library Association Mid-Atlantic Chapter, University Park, PA, 2003

            "Napster in the 1930s: Bootlegging Song Sheets"

Keynote speaker, fifth Jyväskylä Summer Jazz Conference, Finland, 2003

"Pop Song Piracy: A History of Fake Books and America's First Criminal Copyright Trials"; "The Making of The Real Book"

Invited speaker, Leeds International Jazz Education Conference, England, 2001

            "The 'Right' Changes: From the Tune-Dex to The Real Book"

Keynote speaker, Prague International Jazz Conference, Czech Republic, 2000

            "Jazz Research Through the Eyes of Grove"

Keynote speaker, first Jyväskylä Summer Jazz Conference, Finland, 1999

            "The 'Right' Changes: How Fake Books Have Altered Jazz"


Historical consultant and cataloguer, Guernsey's jazz auction, Lincoln Center, Feb. 20, 2005; estates of John Coltrane, Charlie Parker, Louis Armstrong, Gerry Mulligan, etc.

Jazz disc jockey, WKPS, 90.7FM, State College, PA, 2002–2003 

Jury member, International Bird Award, North Sea Jazz Festival, Netherlands, 1997–2000

Reed player, jazz and musical theater, 1972–1984, 1994