Music Research Guide

Questions about this guide? Contact
  • Databases
  • Reference
  • Digitized Scores
  • Media
  • Web
  • Archives
  • Music
  • New Titles
Try these databases first to find journal articles in this discipline.
  • Music Periodicals Database (1874 to present)
    Provides indexing and abstracts for more that 425 international music periodicals, plus full text for around 140 journals.
  • Music Index Online (1974 to present)
    Featuring digitized content from 1970 to the present, the Music Index contains cover-to-cover indexing and abstracts of articles about music, musicians and the music industry for more than 480 periodicals. It also provides selective coverage for more than 200 periodicals.
  • Arts & Humanities Database
    Full-text publications that focus on art, architecture, design, history, philosophy, music, literature, theatre and cultural studies.
  • Performing Arts Database (1864 to present)
    Covers a broad spectrum of the arts and entertainment industry - including dance, drama, theater, opera, film, television and more.
  • Jazz Discography - TJD Online (1896-2008)
    Comprehensive discography of all categories of recorded jazz compiled from existing general and individual jazz discographies as well as international jazz periodicals.
  • RIPM: Retrospective Index to Music Periodicals (1800-1950)
    RIPM was established to provide access to eighteenth-, nineteenth- and twentieth-century periodical literature dealing with music.
  • Folk Music Index
    Index to recorded and print resources.
  • RILM Abstracts of Music Literature (1967 to present)
    Covers literature on music from all over the world.
Use these encyclopedias and reference works to get started on a topic.
  • Oxford Music Online
    Oxford Music online is the access point for Grove Music Online and Oxford Dictionary of Music, Oxford Companion to Music, and the Encyclopedia of Popular Music.
  • Classical Music Reference Library
    Classical Music Reference Library brings together more than 40,000 pages of essential reference materials, spanning the entire history of Western classical music, in a unified online database. Included are the authoritative reference titles Baker's Dictionary of Music, Baker's Biographical Dictionary of Musicians, and Baker's Student Encyclopedia of Music.
  • African American Music Reference
    Essays and images for study of all forms of black music: blues, spirituals, jazz, rap, and more.
  • Garland Encyclopedia of World Music Online
    Comprehensive online resource devoted to music research of all the world's peoples.
  • Oxford History of Western Music
    An account of the evolution of western music by Richard Taruskin.
  • LiederNet Archive
    The LiederNet Archive is the world's largest reference archive of texts and translations of art songs and choral works. 133,778 vocal pieces have been cataloged. 24,579 translations are available.
Also see the Primary Sources research guide.
Find images and streaming audio and video in these collections (also see the Images Research Guide).
  • Classical Music Library
    Classical music recordings (14,000+ albums) including vocal, choral, chamber, orchestral, solo instrumental music and opera.
  • Naxos Music Library
    Streaming music; listen to songs or the complete CD. Most extensive collection of classical music available, but also includes jazz, world music, spoken word, and more. Adobe Flash Player 10 is required for streaming.
  • Naxos Music Library Jazz
    Over 100,000 tracks of top jazz music from 260 labels including Fantasy, Blue Note, ACT, Effendi, Atlantic and Elektra.
  • Smithsonian Global Sound
    In partnership with Smithsonian Folkways Recordings, a virtual encyclopedia of the world's musical and aural traditions.
  • Database of Recorded American Music (DRAM)
    Scholarly resource of recordings including New World, Composers Recordings (CRI), Albany Records, Mode, Frog Peak and BMOP.
  • Met Opera on Demand (1936 to present)
    More than 450 extraordinary Met performances, video and audio streaming.
  • American Music
    Nearly 7,000 albums of music from America's past, including civil rights, political campaigns, Prohibition, wars, and more.
  • Contemporary World Music
    Contemporary World Music delivers the sounds of all regions from every continent. The database will contain important genres such as reggae, worldbeat, neo-traditional, world fusion, Balkanic jazz, African film, Bollywood, Arab swing and jazz, and other genres such as traditional music - Indian classical, fado, flamenco, klezmer, zydeco, gospel, gagaku, and more.
  • Naxos Video Library
    Streaming video library of classical music performances, opera, ballet, live concerts and documentaries.
  • Kanopy Streaming Video
    Kanopy offers a broad selection of thousands of streaming films, documentaries, and theatrical releases covering a wide variety of subject areas, with additional new releases launched monthly. If close-captioning is not included, it can be requested. Interactive transcripts are included. Note that US feature films are not typically part of the Kanopy offerings.
Start with these recommended freely available resources in this discipline.
  • Harvard Library Online Resources for Music Scholars
    The following guide provides a basis for beginning electronic research on a wide variety of topics in music, including historical musicology, ethnomusicology, music theory, composition, and performance practice. It collects links to archival collections, online scores and sound recordings; article indexes, discographies and bibliographies; scholarly societies; musical reference works; and a miscellany of useful websites.
  • Ira F. Brilliant Center for Beethoven Studies
    Maintained at San José State University. Includes Beethoven Gateway.
  • New Music USA
    New Music USA was formed by the merger of the American Music Center and Meet The Composer. We provide over $1 million each year in grant support for the creation and performance of new work and community building throughout the country. We amplify the voice of the new music community through NewMusicBox, profiling the people and ideas that energize and challenge music makers today. We stream a wide-ranging catalog of new music around the clock on Counterstream Radio and provide an online home for composers to feature their own music.
  • OperaGlass
    Information on many operas including libretti, source texts, performance histories, synopses, discographies and role creators.
  • Operabase
    Information on opera performances, artists, managers, companies, statistics and obituaries.
  • Ethnomusicology Musical Instrument Collection
    The University of Washington Ethnomusicology Division houses over 400 musical instruments from around the world. Each year since the founding of the Ethnomusicology program in 1962, one or more international artists have been invited to the campus to share their musical traditions through teaching and performance. The musical instrument collection has grown over the years as the result of these residencies, and its make-up reflects the instrumental traditions of the artists who have been our guests. Additional donations have expanded the collection to its present size. The digitized images in the musical instrument database are intended for educational and instructional use. If you cite or download images, please acknowledge the University of Washington Ethnomusicology Archives. Downloading of audio or video examples is prohibited.
  • Library of Congress American Memory
    Performing Arts sites.
  • American Folklife Center
    The collections in the Center's Archive of Folk Culture include folk cultural material from all fifty states.
  • New York Philharmonic Leon Levy Digital Archives
    Current material available in the Digital Archives includes: 1,781 scores marked by Leonard Bernstein, Andre Kostelanetz, and others, 15,896 music parts marked by Philharmonic musicians, 3,235 printed programs, 1943—70, 4,069 business and planning folders, and 16,339 photographs and images.
  • Metropolitan Opera Archives Metopera Database
    Performance archive.
  • Virtual Instrument Museum
    Online museum (established fall 2003) of the World Music Musical Instrument Collection of the Music Department of Wesleyan University.
  • Monterey Jazz Festival Collection
    Each fall since 1958, the seaside city of Monterey, California, has been the site of performances by the world's finest jazz and blues performers. The festival's archive - preserved by the Stanford University Archive of Recorded Sound - contains recordings of live festival performances throughout the history of this enduring American cultural institution.

Sensemayá (Revueltas, Silvestre, 1899-1940.) Music Library; M1045.R373 S46 1949 x

Fidelio : Oper in zwei Akten Frost Library; M1500.B4 F53

Il trovatore : study score from the critical edition (Verdi, Giuseppe, 1813-1901, composer.) Music Library; M1500.V48 T76 2016

Georg Büchners Wozzeck : Oper in 3 Akten (15 Szenen) : Op. 7 (Berg, Alban, 1885-1935.) Music Library; M1503.B48 W69 x

Balladen = Ballades (Chopin, Frédéric, 1810-1849, composer.) Music Library; M22.C545 B43 2008 x

The complete works (Bach, Carl Philipp Emanuel, 1714-1788.) Music Library; M3 .B103 2005 x

Werke (Beethoven, Ludwig van, 1770-1827.) Music Library; M3 .B44 x

Trio für Klavier, Klarinette in B und Horn is Es, Es-Dur = for piano, clarinet in B flat, and horn (Jenner, Gustav, 1865-1920.) Music Library; M317 .J45 E♭ maj. 1990 x

Harp studies : perspectives on the Irish harp Frost Library; ML1015.C3 H37 2016

A perfectly good guitar : musicians on their favorite instruments (Holley, Chuck, author.) Frost Library; ML1015.G9 H67 2017

Popular music : the key concepts (Shuker, Roy, author.) Frost Library; ML102.P66 S58 2017

Between air and electricity : microphones and loudspeakers as musical instruments (Eck, Cathy van, author.) Frost Library; ML1055 .E25 2017

Consuming music : individuals, institutions, communities, 1730-1830 Frost Library; ML112 .C72 2017

Upbeat : the story of the National Youth Orchestra of Iraq (MacAlindin, Paul, author.) Frost Library; ML1251.I72 M33 2016

Women's bands in America : performing music and gender Frost Library; ML1311 .W66 2017

Catalogue of Carl Nielsen's works Frost Library; ML134.N42 F65 2016

Electri_city : the Düsseldorf school of electronic music (Esch, Rüdiger, 1966- author.) Frost Library; ML1380 .E8313 2016

Music in medieval Europe (Yudkin, Jeremy, author.) Frost Library; ML171 .Y8 2016

Music, theater, and society in the comedies of Luiz Carlos Martins Penna (1833-1846) (Costa-Lima Neto, Luiz, 1964-, author.) Frost Library; ML1717.B84 C67 2017

Victory over the sun. Frost Library; ML1737.5 .V53 2009

Chinatown opera theater in North America (Rao, Nancy Yunhwa, author.) Frost Library; ML1751.C5 R36 2017

Machine music : a media archaeological excavation (Riis, Morten, 1980-, author.) Frost Library; ML197 .R42 2016

Music after the fall : modern composition and culture since 1989 (Rutherford-Johnson, Tim, author.) Frost Library; ML197 .R94 2017

The Cambridge companion to film music Frost Library; ML2075 .C3545 2016

Hymns for the fallen : combat movie music and sound after Vietnam (Decker, Todd R., author.) Frost Library; ML2075 .D43 2017

Experiencing film music : a listener's companion (LaFave, Kenneth, author.) Frost Library; ML2075 .L32 2017

Music in comedy television : notes on laughs Frost Library; ML2080 .M79 2017

Music, dance, affect, and emotions in Latin America Frost Library; ML231 .M87 2017

Musique et geste en France de Lully à la Révolution Frost Library; ML270 .M86 2009

Message to our folks : the Art Ensemble of Chicago (Steinbeck, Paul, author.) Frost Library; ML28.C4 A774 2017

Kinshasa symphony [videorecording] Frost Library; ML28.K56 K56

On Raglan Road : great Irish love songs and the women who inspired them (Hanberry, Gerard, author.) Frost Library; ML2832 .H36 2016

Beyond boundaries : rethinking music circulation in early modern England Frost Library; ML286.2 .B49 2017

Angel song : medieval English music in history (Colton, Lisa, author.) Frost Library; ML286.2 .C65 2017

O sing unto the Lord : a history of English church music (Gant, Andrew, 1963-, author.) Frost Library; ML2931 .G36 2017

Artistic disobedience : music and confession in Switzerland, 1648-1762 (Bacciagaluppi, Claudio, author.) Frost Library; ML2949.2 .B33 2017

Interlacing traditions : neo-Gregorian chant propers in Beneventan manuscripts (Nardini, Luisa, author.) Frost Library; ML3082 .N37 2016

Traveling home : sacred harp singing and American pluralism (Miller, Kiri.) Frost Library; ML3111 .M54 2008

With God on our side : towards a transformational theology of rock and roll (Felix-Jager, Steven, author.) Frost Library; ML3187.5 .F455 2017

The great Maltese composers : historical context, lives, and works (Vella Bondin, Joseph, 1934-, author.) Frost Library; ML325.M3 V4 2016

Field recordings from the inside : essays (Bonomo, Joe, 1966-, author.) Frost Library; ML3470 .B69 2017

The poetry of pop (Bradley, Adam, author.) Frost Library; ML3470 .B735 2017

The value of popular music : an approach from post-Kantian aesthetics (Stone, Alison, 1972-, author.) Frost Library; ML3470 .S765 2016

Talking music 2 : blues and roots, music mavericks Frost Library; ML3470 .T353 2016

America's songs III : rock! (Pollock, Bruce, author.) Frost Library; ML3477 .P65 2017

Blackface nation : race, reform, and identity in American popular music, 1812-1925 (Roberts, Brian, 1957-, author.) Frost Library; ML3479 .R63 2017

Buena Vista Social Club Frost Library; ML3486.C8 B8a

Wake the town & tell the people : dancehall culture in Jamaica (Stolzoff, Norman C., 1966-) Frost Library; ML3486.J3 S76 2000

Perspectives on German popular music Frost Library; ML3490 .P45 2017

Popular music in Eastern Europe : breaking the Cold War paradigm Frost Library; ML3499.E852 P67 2016

Made in Hungary : studies in popular music Frost Library; ML3499.H85 M34 2017

Tokyo boogie-woogie : Japan's pop era and its discontents (Nagahara, Hiromu, author.) Frost Library; ML3501 .N18 2017

Breaking rocks : music, ideology and economic collapse, from Paris to Kinshasa (Trapido, Joe, author.) Frost Library; ML3503.C68 T73 2017

Bop apocalypse : jazz, race, the beats, and drugs (Torgoff, Martin, author.) Frost Library; ML3508 .T66 2016

Loft jazz : improvising New York in the 1970s (Heller, Michael C., 1981-, author.) Frost Library; ML3508.8.N5 H45 2017

Jazz Italian style : from its origins in New Orleans to fascist Italy and Sinatra (Celenza, Anna Harwell, author.) Frost Library; ML3509.I85 C44 2017

The Americana revolution (Cain, Michael Scott, author.) Frost Library; ML3512 .C35 2017

The original blues : the emergence of the blues in African American vaudeville (Abbott, Lynn, 1946-, author.) Frost Library; ML3521 .A23 2017

Hip hop at Europe's edge : music, agency, and social change Frost Library; ML3531 .H567 2017

Hip-hop authenticity and the London scene : living out authenticity in popular music (Speers, Laura, author.) Frost Library; ML3531 .S72 2017

Metal music manual : producing, engineering, mixing, and mastering contemporary heavy music (Mynett, Mark, author.) Frost Library; ML3534 .M99 2017

Magic city nights : Birmingham's rock 'n' roll years (Millard, A. J., author.) Frost Library; ML3534.3 .M586 2017

Weekend societies : electronic dance music festivals and event-cultures Frost Library; ML3540.5 .W44 2017

Song loves the masses : Herder on music and nationalism (Herder, Johann Gottfried, 1744-1803, author.) Frost Library; ML3545 .H47 2017

Seismographic sounds : visions of a new world Frost Library; ML3545 .S435 2015

Roots music in America : collected writings of Joe Wilson (Wilson, Joe, 1938-2015, author.) Frost Library; ML3550 .W55 2017

Sing me back home : southern roots and country music (Malone, Bill C., author.) Frost Library; ML3551 .M256 2017

Conjuring freedom : music and masculinity in the Civil War's "Gospel Army" (Jabir, Johari, author.) Frost Library; ML3556 .J33 2017

Solidaridad en Saya : un movimiento musical afroboliviano Frost Library; ML3575.B6 S65

Across the western ocean : songs of leaving and arriving (Moloney, Mick, 1944-, author.) Frost Library; ML3654.4 .M65 2016

When genres collide : Down Beat, Rolling Stone, and the struggle between jazz and rock (Brennan, Matt, author.) Frost Library; ML3785 .B76 2017

Music and the racial imagination Frost Library; ML3795 .M782 2000

Perspectives on artistic research in music Frost Library; ML3797 .P45 2017

Theorizing sound writing Frost Library; ML3797 .T46 2017

Modeling ethnomusicology (Rice, Timothy, 1945-, author.) Frost Library; ML3798 .R55 2017

Changing the tune : the Kansas City Women's Jazz Festival, 1978-1985 (Brewer, Carolyn Glenn, author.) Frost Library; ML38.K18 K364 2017

Music, evolution, and the harmony of souls (Harvey, Alan, author.) Frost Library; ML3800 .H28 2017

Sound knowledge : music and science in London, 1789-1851 Frost Library; ML3805 .S656 2016

Handbook of musical identities Frost Library; ML3830 .H36 2017

Music, passion, and cognitive function (Perlovsky, Leonid I., author.) Frost Library; ML3830 .P374 2017

Why are we attracted to sad music? (Garrido, Sandra, author.) Frost Library; ML3838 .G37 2017

Ludic dreaming : how to listen away from contemporary technoculture Frost Library; ML3838 .L73 2017

Music and empathy Frost Library; ML3838 .M948 2017

The dawn of music semiology : essays in honor of Jean-Jacques Nattiez Frost Library; ML3845 .D385 2017

Recognizing music as an art form : Friedrich Th. Vischer and German music criticism, 1848-1887 (Titus, Barbara, 1973- author.) Frost Library; ML3845 .T58 2016

Music for the superman : Nietzsche and the great composers (Huckvale, David, author.) Frost Library; ML3849 .H79 2017

Musik und Medien : vom Klang im technischen Zeitalter (Weibel, Peter, author.) Frost Library; ML3849 .W45 2016

Music into fiction : composers writing, compositions imitated (Ziolkowski, Theodore, author.) Frost Library; ML3849 .Z57 2017

Music as multimodal discourse : semiotics, power and protest Frost Library; ML3916 .M8738 2017

Music in the world : selected essays (Taylor, Timothy Dean, author.) Frost Library; ML3916 .T4 2017

Soundtrack of the revolution : the politics of music in Iran (Seyedsayamdost, Nahid, author.) Frost Library; ML3917.I7 S49 2017

Singing the rite to belong : music, ritual, and the new Irish (Phelan, Helen, author.) Frost Library; ML3917.I74 P54 2017

The great woman singer : gender and voice in Puerto Rican music (Fiol-Matta, Licia, author.) Frost Library; ML3917.P9 F56 2017

Lions of the north : sounds of the new Nordic radical nationalism (Teitelbaum, Benjamin R., author.) Frost Library; ML3917.S94 T45 2017

Popular music scenes and cultural memory (Bennett, Andy, 1963-, author.) Frost Library; ML3918.P67 B446 2016

National myth and the First World War in modern popular music (Grant, Peter, 1955 February 21-, author.) Frost Library; ML3918.P67 G74 2017

Rockin' the free world! : how the rock & roll revolution changed America and the world (Kay, Sean, 1967-, author.) Frost Library; ML3918.R63 K39 2017

The Bloomsbury handbook of religion and popular music Frost Library; ML3921.8.P67 B6 2017

El Sistema : music for social change Music Library; MT1 .S5325 2016

Phrase rhythm in tonal music (Rothstein, William Nathan.) Music Library; MT42 .R84 1989