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.
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.
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.

Brandenburgisches Konzert Nr. 1 (Bach, Johann Sebastian, 1685-1750.) Music Library; M1040 .B22 no.1 B3 1998

Brandenburgisches Konzert Nr. 2, F-dur = Brandenburg concerto no. 2, F major : BWV 1047 (Bach, Johann Sebastian, 1685-1750.) Music Library; M1040 .B22 no.2 B3 2000z x

Brandenburgisches Konzert Nr. 5, BWV 1050 und Konzert Nr. 5 "Frühfassung", BWV 1050a, D-Dur = Brand (Bach, Johann Sebastian, 1685-1750.) Music Library; M1040 .B22 no.5 B3 1999 x

Brandenburg concerto no. 5 : in D, BWV 1050 (Bach, Johann Sebastian, 1685-1750.) Music Library; M1040 .B22 no.5 K32 x

Iolanthe, or, The peer and the peri (Sullivan, Arthur, 1842-1900, composer.) Music Library; M1500.S92 I65 2017 x

Rigoletto (Verdi, Giuseppe, 1813-1901, composer.) Music Library; M1500.V48 R5 R5 2017

The Sheldon Harnick songbook. (Harnick, Sheldon,) Music Library; M1507 .S532 2008 x

The art song anthology Music Library; M1619 .A7827 2009 x

Hispanic folk music of New Mexico and the Southwest : a self-portrait of a people Music Library; M1629 .H67 2014

Festival : folk music at Newport, 1963-1966 Frost Library; M1630.18 .F478

Sheet music collection, 1967-2016 (Cohen, Leonard, 1934-2016, composer.) Music Library; M1630.18.C64 S53 2017 x

Folk songs from the West Virginia Hills Music Library; M1658.W5 F65 2017

An English medieval and Renaissance song book : part songs and sacred music for one to six voices Music Library; M1740 .E588 2000

Secular vocal music (Barsanti, Francesco, approximately 1690-1775, composer.) Music Library; M2 .R238 v.197 x

Requiem : with two related motets (Salieri, Antonio, 1750-1825, composer.) Music Library; M2 .R2381 v.108 x

Motets from the Chansonnier de Noailles Music Library; M2 .R2383 v.42 x

The padrone (Chadwick, G. W. (George Whitefield), 1854-1931, composer.) Music Library; M2.3.U6 R4 v.82 x

Anthems (Hastings, Thomas, 1784-1872, composer.) Music Library; M2.3.U6 R4 v.83 x

Essential keyboard repertoire. Vol. 2, Advancing intermediate selections in their original form Music Library; M21 .E78 v.2 x

Masterpieces of solo piano Music Library; M21 .M2444 2017 x

Sabbahtische Seelenlust (1651) Johann Rist (Rist, Johann, 1607-1667, author.) Music Library; M2138.R62 S3 2016

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

[Opere] (Vivaldi, Antonio, 1678-1741.) Music Library; M3 .V69 1982

Sonata for two violins and piano, op. 15 (1914) (Milhaud, Darius, 1892-1974.) Music Library; M312.4 .M55 op.15 1993 x

Streichquartett Nr. 1 = String quartet no. 1 = I. Vonósnégyes, op. 7 (Bartók, Béla, 1881-1945.) Music Library; M452 .B29 no.1 2010 x

Third string quartet (Bartók, Béla, 1881-1945.) Music Library; M452 .B29 no.3 2000z x

Streichquartett Nr. 5 (1934) (Bartók, Béla, 1881-1945, composer.) Music Library; M452 .B29 no.5 2013 x

Sixth string quartet (Bartók, Béla, 1881-1945.) Music Library; M452 .B29 no.6 2005

The Cambridge companion to electronic music Frost Library; ML1380 .C36 2017

Live-electronic music : composition, performance, study Frost Library; ML1380 .L6 2018

Live wires : a history of electronic music (Warner, Daniel, 1954-, author.) Frost Library; ML1380 .W37 2017

The great jazz and pop vocal albums (Friedwald, Will, 1961-, author.) Frost Library; ML156.4.J3 F76 2017

Temple of the scapegoat : opera stories (Kluge, Alexander, 1932-, author.) Frost Library; ML1700 .K5713 2018

Twenty-first century musicals : from stage to screen Frost Library; ML1706 .T84 2018

Just one of the boys : female-to-male cross-dressing on the American variety stage (Rodger, Gillian M., author.) Frost Library; ML1711.4 .R64 2018

A taste of Broadway : food in musical theater (Packard, Jennifer, 1970-, author.) Frost Library; ML1711.8.N3 P33 2018

Broadway rhythm : imaging the city in song (Symonds, Dominic, author.) Frost Library; ML1711.8.N3 S96 2017

French baroque opera : a reader (Wood, Caroline, 1948-, author.) Frost Library; ML1727 .W64 2017

Some other note : the lost songs of English Renaissance comedy (Duffin, Ross W., author.) Frost Library; ML1731.2 .D84 2018

National identity in contemporary Australian opera : myths reconsidered (Halliwell, Michael, 1950-, author.) Frost Library; ML1751.A92 H35 2018

Cross-gender China : across Yin-Yang, across cultures, and beyond Jingju (Bao, Huai, author.) Frost Library; ML1751.C58 B44 2018

Tempesta : stormy music in the eighteenth century (McClelland, Clive, author.) Frost Library; ML195 .M43 2017

Eight lectures on experimental music Frost Library; ML197 .E33 2018

Musical portraits : the composition of identity in contemporary and experimental music (Walden, Joshua S., 1979-, author.) Frost Library; ML197 .W36 2018

Nationalist and populist composers : voices of the American people (Schwartz, Steve, 1946- author.) Frost Library; ML200.5 .S38 2018

Film (Audissino, Emilio, author.) Frost Library; ML2075 .A92 2017

Making music in Selznick's Hollywood (Platte, Nathan, author.) Frost Library; ML2075 .P536 2018

Score Frost Library; ML2075 .S44

Tyranny and music Frost Library; ML240.1 .T97 2017

Czech music around 1900 Frost Library; ML247 .C925 2017

Orphée phrygien : les musiques de la Révolution Frost Library; ML270.3 .O76 1989

From vocal poetry to song : towards a theory of song objects (De Surmont, Jean-Nicolas, 1968-, author.) Frost Library; ML2800 .D413 2017

Making congregational music local in Christian communities worldwide Frost Library; ML3000 .M16 2018

Listening to early modern Catholicism : perspectives from musicology Frost Library; ML3002 .L57 2017

Chant, liturgy, and the inheritance of Rome : essays in honour of Joseph Dyer Frost Library; ML3082 .C475 2017

The masses of Seán and Peadar Ó Riada : explorations in vernacular chant (O'Keeffe, John, 1964- author.) Frost Library; ML3088 .O34 2017

Sixteen cantigas de Santa Maria with dotted rhythm (Cunningham, Martin G., author.) Frost Library; ML315.2.A54 C86 2017 x

Singing Yoruba Christianity : music, media, and morality (Brennan, Vicki L., author.) Frost Library; ML3151.N547 L34 2018

The Lord's radio : gospel music broadcasting and the making of evangelical culture, 1920-1960 (Ward, Mark, 1958-, author.) Frost Library; ML3187 .W37 2017

New mansions for music : performance, pedagogy, and criticism (Subramanian, Lakshmi, author.) Frost Library; ML338 .S873 2018

What the doctor overheard (Müller, Leopold, 1824-1893, author.) Frost Library; ML340.4 .M85 2017

American sabor (Berríos-Miranda, Marisol, author.) Frost Library; ML3477 .B46 2018

The ballad in American popular music : from Elvis to Beyoncé (Metzer, David Joel, 1965-, author.) Frost Library; ML3477 .M48 2017

Music and the road : essays on the interplay of music and the popular culture of the American road (Slethaug, Gordon, author.) Frost Library; ML3477 .S6 2017

My guitar is a camera (Casey, Watt M., Jr., 1950-, photographer.) Frost Library; ML3477.8.A97 C37 2017

Made in France : studies in popular music Frost Library; ML3489 .M33 2018

Made in the Low Countries : studies in popular music Frost Library; ML3495 .M34 2018

Playing with identities in contemporary music in Africa Frost Library; ML350.5 .P55 2002

Vamping the stage : female voices of Asian modernities Frost Library; ML3500 .V36 2017

Popular music in Southeast Asia : banal beats, muted histories (Barendregt, Bart A., 1968-, author.) Frost Library; ML3502.A785 B274 2017

Landscape of music in Istanbul : a cultural politics of place and exclusion Frost Library; ML3502.T98 I785 2017

Jazz in the 1970s : diverging streams (Shoemaker, Bill, 1953-, author.) Frost Library; ML3506 .S48 2018

Jazz transatlantic. Volume I : the African undercurrent in twentieth-century jazz culture (Kubik, Gerhard, 1934-, author.) Frost Library; ML3508 .K83 2017

Jazz transatlantic, Volume II : Jazz derivatives and developments in twentieth-century Africa (Kubik, Gerhard, 1934-, author.) Frost Library; ML3509.A35 K83 2017

Jazz Latino Frost Library; ML3509.C88 C83

Pioneers of the blues revival (Cushing, Steve, author.) Frost Library; ML3521 .C87 2018

Stomping the blues (Murray, Albert, author.) Frost Library; ML3521 .M87 2017

Ghostnotes : music of the unplayed Frost Library; ML3531 .G46 2017

Rap beyond resistance : staging power in contemporary Morocco (Moreno Almeida, Cristina, author.) Frost Library; ML3531 .M67 2017

Brave punk world : the international rock underground from Alerta Roja to Z-off (Greene, James, Jr., 1979-, author.) Frost Library; ML3534 .G745 2017

Science fiction in classic rock (McParland, Robert, author.) Frost Library; ML3534 .M472 2017

Selling folk music : an illustrated history (Cohen, Ronald D., 1940-, author.) Frost Library; ML3551 .C584 2018

American folk music as tactical media (Svec, Henry Adam, author.) Frost Library; ML3551 .S84 2018

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

Gypsy music : the Balkans and beyond (Ashton-Smith, Alan, author.) Frost Library; ML3600 .A84 2017

Global tarantella : reinventing southern Italian folk music and dances (Inserra, Incoronata, author.) Frost Library; ML3660 .I57 2017

Broken voices (Maliangkay, Roald, author.) Frost Library; ML3752.5 .M35 2017

The music of Central Asia Frost Library; ML3758.A783 M87 2016

Commemorating Gallipoli through music : remembering and forgetting (O'Connell, John Morgan, author.) Frost Library; ML3780 .O26 2018

Digital music distribution : the sociology of online music streams (Spilker, Hendrik Storstein, author.) Frost Library; ML3790 .S725 2018

Mute : a visual document : from 1978-tomorrow (Burrows, Terry, author.) Frost Library; ML3792.M88 B87 2017

Ethnomusicology : a contemporary reader. Volume II Frost Library; ML3799 .E79 2018

David Bowie made me gay : 100 years of LGBT music (Bullock, Darryl W., author.) Frost Library; ML3800 .B957 2017

Deep refrains : music, philosophy, and the ineffable (Gallope, Michael, author.) Frost Library; ML3800 .G18 2017

The sound of ontology : music as a model for metaphysics (LaFave, Kenneth, author.) Frost Library; ML3800 .L14 2018

Music, time, and its other : aesthetic reflections on finitude, temporality, and alterity (Savage, Roger W. H.) Frost Library; ML3800 .S176 2018

The integrated string player : embodied vibration (Alcantara, Pedro de, 1958-, author.) Frost Library; ML3820 .A44 2018

Managing stage fright : a guide for musicians and music teachers (Nagel, Julie Jaffee, author.) Frost Library; ML3830 .N333 2017

Musicians in the making : pathways to creative performance Frost Library; ML3838 .M98 2017

Polyphonic minds : music of the hemispheres (Pesic, Peter, author.) Frost Library; ML3838 .P436 2017