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MU 342 - Music of the Classic and Romantic Eras


The following guide is intended to provide an overview of some of the resources available in the library and online for the study and research of music from the Classic and Romantic eras. For further research assistance, please take advantage of the reference services available to you in the Geisel Library. Stop by the Reference Desk in person or online at Ask a Librarian.


Research Basics

The reference librarians have created a group of Web pages named Research Help to help teach you the basics of library research and to introduce you to Geisel Library. On the Research Help pages, you will find a guide on Research Basics and a helpful guide on evaluating Web resources titled, our guide on Evaluating Websites. Please take advantage of these resources.


Reference Sources for Background Information

Reference books are shelved by Library of Congress call number in the reference stacks near the reference desk. They may not be checked out, but photocopiers are available on the lower level of the Library. Online reference sources can be found in the library catalog, or listed on E-Reference Resources.


Music Reference and Research Materials: An Annotated Bibliography
     Ref ML 113 .D83


Oxford Dictionary of Music
     Ref ML100 .K35

Dictionary of Musical Quotations
     Ref Ml66 .C86

Biographical Sources

Baker's Biographical Dictionary of Musicians
     Ref ML105 .B16

International Cyclopedia of Music and Musicians
     Ref ML 100 .T47

New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians
     Ref ML100 .N48

History and Background

Beethoven Handbook
     Ref ML 410 .B42 N4

Cobbett's Cyclopedic Survey of Chamber Music
     Ref ML 1100 .C7

Musical Instruments of the World
     Ref ML 102. I5 D5

New Harvard Dictionary of Music
     Ref ML100 .A64

New Oxford History of Music Series
     Ref ML 160 .N44
     The Age of Enlightenment, 1745-1790 -- vol. VII
     The Age of Beethoven, 1790-1830 -- vol. VIII
     Romanticism, 1830-1890 -- vol. IX

The Orchestra Origins and Transformations
     Ref ML 1200 .O75

Writing About Music
     Ref ML3797 .W54


Classical Music: the Listener's Companion
     Ref ML 156.9 .C58

Penguin Companion to Classical Music
     Ref ML 100 .G84

Penguin Guide to Compact Discs and DVDs
     Ref ML 156.9 P46


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Electronic Reference Sources

Encyclopaedia Britannica Online
Find background information, keywords, biographies, and bibliographies.


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Finding Books/Secondary Sources

Subject Headings Suggestions for searching the Catalog

Composers by name, last name first.

For example:   Beethoven, Ludwig Van

Music - 18th century

Music - 19th century

Classicism in music

Romanticism in music

Symphony - 18th century

Symphony - 19th century

Instrumental music - 18th century

Instrumental music - 19th century

Chamber music

String Quartets


Keyword suggestions for searching the Catalog. Consider combining keywords using the connector "and".

  • Name of composer
  • Name of instrument
  • Words in the title of the music
  • Geographic area: Vienna, Paris, Germany, etc.
  • Types of musical form: symphony, sonata, concerto, quartet, orchestral music, vocal music, ballet, opera, etc.

If you are unable to locate materials in the Geisel Library Catalog, search libraries worldwide using WorldCat.


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Find Journal Articles

MasterFILE Premier
Similar to the Readers' Guide to Periodical Literature, "this multidisciplinary database provides full text for nearly 1,950 general reference publications with full text information dating as far back as 1975. Covering virtually every subject area of general interest, MasterFILE Premier also includes 316 full text reference books, 88,000 biographies, 83,500 primary source documents, and an image collection of 107,000 photos, maps and flags."

Academic Search Premier
Gain access to full-text as well as indexing and abstracting for a wide range of journal titles covering the arts and music, business, social sciences, humanities, general science, and education. Full-text titles include 19th Century Music; Beethoven Forum; Brahms Studies.

Historical Abstracts
This index provides abstracts to key history journals from around the globe, covering world history from 1450 to the present (excluding North America). Historical Abstracts includes citations from books, dissertations, and a targeted selection of journals in the social sciences and humanities. (1964-current).

Search here for full-text articles from major journals in the humanities and social sciences, including The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism; Slavonic and East European Review; English Historical Review; and Eighteenth Century Studies. Coverage is generally from the beginning of publication to within 5 years of the current issue.

Arts & Humanities Citation Index
Provides indexing to the world's leading arts and humanities journals and selections from social science and science journals. Includes articles, bibliographies, editorials, letters, and reviews. (1980 - present) Does not include full-text of the articles.

New York Times
"The New York Times (1851-2001) offers full page and article images with searchable full text back to the first issue. The collection includes digital reproductions providing access to every page from every available issue."


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Finding Recordings


Geisel Library has extensive recordings on compact disc that are available for listening in the library as well as for check-out. Most CDs are located at the Periodicals Desk of the lower level of the library. To find a recording using the Geisel Library Online Catalog:

  • Search for the recording by title, or author (composer-last name first).
  • Press the "Limit/Sort Search" button.
  • Pull down the menu at "Material Type", and select "Sound Record".
  • Press the limit button at the bottom to complete the search.

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Finding Scores

Geisel Library has a variety of scores, including complete works of classical composers. They are located in the general collection of the library. The easiest way to locate a score is to use the Geisel Library Online Catalog:

  • Click on "Author" search, and type the composer's name (last name first).
  • Press the "Limit/Sort Search" button.
  • Pull down the menu at "Material Type", and select "Printed Music".
  • Press the limit button at the bottom to complete the search.

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Selected Websites

Music Research Guides: Meta-Websites

These are the most complete music metasites on the web, offering a huge range of music-related links to information.

Concordia College Music Research Guides

University of Indiana Music Research Guides

Composer Websites

These sites offer links to composer websites, including biographical information as well as examples of compositions and other work.

Classic Period Composers

Romantic Period Composers

Music Reviews and Audio Files

DW3 Classical Music Resources
Duke University's music page, including links to composer's homepages, and audio links.

Classical Net
Features reviews of over 2,000 CDs, and offers over 3,800 links to other classical music websites. Includes links to commercial sites (publishers, CD labels), composers, musicians, ensembles and orchestras, festivals, instruments and instrument makers, societies and organizations, etc.

Music Forms Websites

Genres and Types of Music - Links from Indiana University
Links to a variety of musical forms, including chamber, choral, and orchestral music.

Opera Glass
An internet database offering information on all aspects of opera. Includes links to: libretti, performance histories, synopses, discographies, composers, librettists, operas, opera companies, etc.

Websites Selected by Your Textbook

Classical Music Related Websites
These are internet sites recommended by the publishers of your textbook.

Audio Clips from your Textbook
Learn how Beethoven constructed his 3rd Symphony, among other audio excerpts.


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Documenting Your Sources

Work cited in this class should use formats as described in the Chicago Manual of Style.


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