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Music Subject Guide

Selected Reference Books


Baker's Student Dictionary of Music (3 vols.)
     Ref ML100 .B26

The Oxford Dictionary of Music
     Ref ML100 .K35

The Harvard Dictionary of Music
     Ref ML100 .A64
Explains music terms (articles vary in length); some articles have bibliographies.

The New Grove Dictionary of American Music (4 vols.)
     Ref ML101.U6 N48

The New Grove Dictionary of Jazz
     Ref ML102.J3 N48

A Dictionary of Musical Quotations
     Ref ML66.C86

Musical AKAs:  Assumed Names and Sobriquets of Composers, Songwriters, Librettists, Lyricists, Hymnists, and Writers on Music
     Ref ML105 .D76

Music Abbreviations:  A Reverse Dictionary
     Ref ML 100 .H45

Biographical Sources

Women and Music in America since 1900:  An Encyclopedia (2 vols.)
     Ref ML82 .W625

Baker's Biographical Dictionary of Musicians
     Ref ML105.B16
Short bios on composers (including jazz and pop composers), some with brief lists of works and writings.

Baker's Biographical Dictionary of Twentieth-Century Classical Musicians
     Ref ML105 .S612
Entries include a brief biography and a list of writings and/or compositions.

The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians (29 vols.)
     Ref ML100 .N48
Actually an encyclopedia, this is the most comprehensive scholarly resource on music in English. The articles about composers have complete lists of works and extensive biographies. There are also entries about genres, terms, instruments, and non-western music.

History and Criticism

Encyclopedia of Popular Music

The Oxford Companion to Music
Please remember to click "log out" when finished with this resource.
     Ref ML100 .S37 (print version)

Music Reference and Research Materials:  An Annotated Bibliography
     Ref ML113 .D83

American Song:  The Complete Musical Theatre Companion (2 vols.)
     Ref ML128.M78 B6 (1877-1995)

New Oxford History of Music (10 vols.)
     Ref ML160 .N44
Comprehensive treatment of separate eras or genres of Western (mainly) music. Ranging from Ancient and Oriental music to the Modern Age, 1890–1960.


Bibliographical Handbook of American Music
     Ref ML120.U5K78

The Literature of American Music in Books and Folk Music Collections:  A Fully Annotated Bibliography
     Ref ML120.U5 H7


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Find Journal Articles


CrossSearch  Music

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Search the following indexes to locate citations to and/or full-text of journal articles. If the article does not appear to be full-text online, search for its availability using the Journal Finder. Journals listed as "in Geisel Library Paper Holdings" are shelved alphabetically by journal title on the Lower Level of the Library. Many others are available full-text online by following the links provided.

Search here for full-text articles from major journals in the humanities and social sciences, including Annual Review of Sociology, Nineteenth-Century Literature, Philosophical Quarterly, and the Quarterly Journal of Economics. Coverage is generally from the beginning of publication to within 5 years of the current issue. Geisel Library subscribes to five JSTOR collections. Here are their journal title lists:     Arts & Sciences I   Arts & Sciences II     Arts & Sciences III     Arts & Sciences VII     Biological Sciences   (User Guide)

Academic Search Premier
This is the world's largest scholarly source of full-text articles. Search here for citations and abstracts in areas including: social sciences, humanities, education, computer sciences, physics, chemistry, language and linguistics, arts and literature, medical sciences, ethnic studies and more. (Coverage varies by publication. Click on Publications tab for more information.)

ProQuest Central
A massive database covering a wide range of subjects, with full-text of scholarly journal articles, newspaper articles, and dissertations.

Project MUSE
This database offers all full-text articles from over 300 peer-reviewed journals; subjects include humanities, arts, medicine, mathematics, social sciences, and more. (See Journal List for dates of coverage.)

LexisNexis Academic
Find full-text newspaper articles from local, national, and international papers. Gain access to full-text music reviews and general reference information, such as musician biographies.

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, which is covered in America: History & Life). Historical Abstracts includes citations from books, dissertations, and a targeted selection of journals in the social sciences and humanities. (1964–present)

America:  History and Life
If you want to know where to find articles on the history of the United States or Canada, start your search here. You'll find abstracts from over 1,700 journals published worldwide, book/media reviews, and dissertations, all with a focus on North American history and culture from prehistoric times to the present. (For citations related to world history, see Historical Abstracts.)  (1964–present)

This bibliography pertaining to the Middle Ages and Renaissance (400–1700) also offers full-text articles of Renaissance Quarterly (2000–present), Early Theatre (1998–present), and Renaissance and Reformation (2000–present). There are citations for journal articles (1842–present), reviews, bibliographies, abstracts, and more. (1784–present)  User Guide

APh:  L'Annee Philologique
For the most comprehensive database of citations in Classical studies, search here. Over 1,800 journals from several countries are represented, as well as books, book reviews, and conference proceedings, on all aspects of Graeco-Roman antiquity. The scope of subjects includes literature, religion, archaeology, history, and philology. (1959–present) Earlier volumes are available in paper in the Reference area, with the indexes.    User Guide     Journal List (English-language titles only) (PDF/76KB)


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Find Books and CDs


Search the library catalog to locate books in Geisel Library. Search by keyword if you are unsure of the title you are looking for. Music books are located on the Upper Level of the library in the M (Music and Books on Music) area and also on the lower level with the oversize books under M.

Search WorldCat to search the collections of libraries worldwide. Find a book in this database, and, if not owned by SAC, you can request it from Interlibrary Loan with one click. Your book(s) will be available for pickup in the library within 7–14 days. Ask for help in using this database at the reference desk, in person, or online at Ask a Librarian.

Ebrary is an online library containing thousands of e-books spanning across all scholarly disciplines. Books can either be opened in QuickView for instant viewing or in the ebrary Reader (a downloadable plug-in), which provides enhanced functionality such as the ability to copy/paste, highlight, or take notes in a particular book.

To find a particular CD, search the catalog by keyword and, using the drop down menu, limit the Location to Krantz Music Collection. You may enter a style of music as your keyword, or composer's or musician's name.


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Selected Websites

Searching the World Wide Web can yield a vast amount of information, but in terms of quality and reliability, your results may be uneven at best. The ease and speed with which individuals can publish information on the web, regardless of accuracy or quality, makes it imperative that when doing research on the web you know how to evaluate the information you find. To learn more, see our guide on Evaluating Websites.

Library of Congress American Memory Project
Covers a number of subject areas, including music. Follow the links to explore the great American musical heritage.

AMG All Music Guide
A searchable database which covers over 307,000 recordings and over 1.5 million song titles, with 45,000 biographies and over 107,000 reviews.

ArtPromote:  Art and Culture Online:  Music in Art
A "webliography" with links to excellent sites for Museums and Exhibits, Sheet Music, Instruments, and Resources. It includes images of art works depicting music and dance.

Classical Net
Covers all aspects of classical music - genres, composers, performers, period links and geographical guides to instrumental music.

Ethnomusicology, Folk Music and World Music

Historic American Sheet Music, 1850–1920
3,042 pieces of sheet music from the Duke University digital project.

International Computer Music Association

Internet Resources for Music Scholars (Loeb Music Library, Harvard University)
300 of the best scholarly music resources on the web.

Music Resources on the Internet

Musicalonline: Music Schools and Departments on the Web

Sheet Music Consortium
Links to the sheet music projects of Indiana University, Johns Hopkins University and UC Los Angeles

Worldwide Internet Music Resources (Indiana University)
Serves as a subject directory to Internet resources developed by musical organizations and individuals. Organized by genres of performers, composers, compositions, and music-related organizations. Comprehensive site for popular and scholarly material.


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Citing Sources

The Fine Arts Department prefers students to use The Chicago Manual of Style.  An additional style manual that uses the same format is A Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Disserations by Kate Turabian. For special citation formats that are unique to music, see Writing About Music:  An Introductory Guide by Richard J. Wingell.


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