Music Research Guide

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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 Periodicals 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.

For more databases, use the subject filter on A-Z Databases


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.
  • Oxford Bibliographies Online-Music
    Scholarly bibliographies that provide authoritative guides to nearly 200 topics in music, written and reviewed by academic experts, with original commentary and annotations.
  • 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.

Digitized Scores

Also see the Primary Sources research guide.


Find images and streaming audio and video in these collections (also see the Images Research Guide).
  • Music & Performing Arts
    Cross-searches audio, video, scores, and full-text reference content from all Alexander Street Press music databases.
  • Classical Music Library
    Classical music recordings (14,000+ albums) including vocal, choral, chamber, orchestral, solo instrumental music and opera.
  • Popular Music Library
    Includes hundreds of thousands of tracks from major genres in world pop music, including alternative, country, Christian, electronic, hip-hop, metal, punk, new age, R&B, reggae, rock, soundtracks and many more.
  • Jazz Music Library
    Streaming jazz recordings. Includes nearly 11,000 titles.
  • 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.
    Collection of live broadcasts, archived concerts, artist portraits, documentaries and education programs for classical music, operas, and ballets.
  • 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.


Selected free audio online collections 
  • American Folklife Center. Library of Congress
  • British Library Sounds
  • CHARM: Centre for the History and Analysis of Recorded Music
  • Cylinder Preservation and Digitization Project
  • D. K. Wilgus Folksong Collection
  • Frontera Collection of Mexican American Music
  • Global Music Archive
  • Judaica Sound Archives
  • National Juke Box
  • Phonobase
  • Virtual Gramophone



Start with these recommended freely available resources in this discipline (also see the Media tab in this guide).
  • 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.
  • American Folklife Center. Library of Congress
    American vernacular songs and stories from the Library of Congress collections
  • 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.

New Titles

Konzert Nr. 1 D-Moll für Klarinette in B und Orchester (Müller, Iwan, 1786-1854.) Music Library; M1025 .M85 no.1 2012 x

Two moments : for guitar (Paulus, Stephen, composer.) Music Library; M126.P333 M73 2014 x

The best Christmas songs ever Music Library; M1629.3.C5 B4 2012 x

The most requested Christmas songs. Music Library; M1629.3.C5 M915 2011 x

Concerti, opus 7 : chamber works for four to six voices and instruments (Marini, Biagio, 1597?-1665, composer.) Music Library; M2 .R238 v.196 x

Il secondo libro delli concerti : (Milan, 1627) (Cima, Andrea, active 1610-1627, composer.) Music Library; M2 .R238 v.202 x

The judgment of Paris (Eccles, John, -1735, composer.) Music Library; M2 .R238 v.203 x

Six settings of "Ave regina coelorum" (ZWV 128) (Zelenka, Johann Dismas, 1679-1745, composer.) Music Library; M2 .R238 v.204 x

The hymn cycle of Vienna 16197 Music Library; M2 .R2384 v.169

Canzoni francese, libro primo Music Library; M2 .R2384 v.170

Grand Mass : in E-flat major, opus 5 (Beach, Amy, 1867-1944, composer.) Music Library; M2.3.U6 R4 v.84 x

The Rosewood book : 30 duets for guitar and flute (or any C instrument) Music Library; M296 .R67 1977 x

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

Banjo roots and branches Frost Library; ML1015.B3 B34 2018

Future sounds : the story of electronic music from Stockhausen to Skrillex (Stubbs, David, 1962- author.) Frost Library; ML1380 .S78 2018

Mysteries from the history of ancient music (Gert︠s︡man, E. (Evgeniĭ), author.) Frost Library; ML162 .G4713 2017

Curtain, gong, steam : Wagnerian technologies of nineteenth-century opera (Kreuzer, Gundula Katharina, 1975-, author.) Frost Library; ML1700 .K74 2018

A mad love : an introduction to opera (Schweitzer, Vivien, author.) Frost Library; ML1700 .S395 2018

Broadway to Main Street : how show tunes enchanted America (Maslon, Laurence, author.) Frost Library; ML1711.8.N3 M372 2018

Polyphony in medieval Paris : the art of composing with plainchant (Bradley, Catherine A., author.) Frost Library; ML172 .B83 2018

Neither voice nor heart alone : German Lutheran theology of music in the Age of the Baroque (Irwin, Joyce L., author.) Frost Library; ML194 .I79 2017

Singing in the age of anxiety : lieder performances in New York and London between the World Wars (Tunbridge, Laura, 1974-, author.) Frost Library; ML2811.8.N48 T76 2018

The Bhangra wrap Frost Library; ML3476 .B42

Stolen time : black fad performance and the calypso craze (Vogel, Shane, author.) Frost Library; ML3486.A1 V64 2018

K-pop live : fans, idols, and multimedia performance (Kim, Suk-Young, 1970-, author.) Frost Library; ML3502.K6 K577 2018

Listening to rap : an introduction (Berry, Michael (Musicologist), author.) Frost Library; ML3531 .B47 2018

A social history of early rock 'n' roll in Germany (Sneeringer, Julia, author.) Frost Library; ML3534.6.G3 S62 2018

Wake up you! : the rise and fall of Nigerian rock, 1972-1977. Vol. 2 Frost Library; ML3534.6.N6 I37 2016

Stars in de elements : a study of Negro folk music (James, Willis, 1900-1966.) Frost Library; ML3556 .J36 1995

May we forever stand : a history of the black national anthem (Perry, Imani, 1972-, author.) Frost Library; ML3561.L54 P37 2018

Experiencing Jewish music in America : a listener's companion (Frühauf, Tina, author.) Frost Library; ML3776 .F88 2018

Grounds for possible music : on gender, voice, language, and identity Frost Library; ML3838 .G768 2018

Eduard Hanslick's On the Musically Beautiful : a new translation (Hanslick, Eduard, 1825-1904, author.) Frost Library; ML3847 .H3 2018

Burning down the Haus : punk rock, revolution, and the fall of the Berlin Wall (Mohr, Tim, author.) Frost Library; ML3917.G3 M63 2018

Hip hop, Hegel, and the art of emancipation : let's get free (Vernon, Jim, author.) Frost Library; ML3918.H57 V47 2018

Playing to the crowd : musicians, audiences, and the intimate work of connection (Baym, Nancy K., author.) Frost Library; ML3918.P67 B39 2018

I got something to say : gender, race, and social consciousness in rap music (Oware, Matthew, author.) Frost Library; ML3918.R37 O93 2018

The contemporary piano : a performer and composer's guide to techniques and resources (Shockley, Alan Frederick, 1970-, author.) Frost Library; MT40 .S56 2018

Major and minor diatonic scales for guitar (Buckingham, Jack.) Music Library; MT585 .B841 1977 x

Music theory remixed : a blended approach for the practicing musician (Holm-Hudson, Kevin, author.) Music Library; MT6.H5736 M87 2017

Creative jazz composing & arranging (Berger, David, 1949-, author.) Music Library; MT68 .B474 2018

The study of orchestration (Adler, Samuel, 1928-, author.) Music Library; MT70 .A3 2016

Workbook for the study of orchestration (Adler, Samuel, 1928-, author.) Music Library; MT70.A35 S7 2016

Cello secrets : over 100 performance strategies for the advanced cellist (Hodges, Brian, 1973- author.) Frost Library; MT785 .H64 2018

The free voice : a guide to natural singing (Reid, Cornelius L., author.) Frost Library; MT820 .R365 2018

Complete vocal fitness : a singer's guide to physical training, anatomy, and biomechanics (Friedlander, Claudia, 1964- author.) Music Library; MT821 .F75 2018

Oxford anthology of Western music Music Library; MT91 .O94 2019 xx

Novoe sobranie sochineniĭ (Shostakovich, Dmitriĭ Dmitrievich, 1906-1975.) Music Library; $hM3 .S537 2000