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Guide to Research and Resources in Music

by Ruth Gustafson – April 2, 2020

This subject guide links to music research resources including full text resources, digitized music collections, and sources of streaming audio.

Ruth Gustafson

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In this Guide:

Articles in music may appear in journals that are not specific to music. These articles may or may not be indexed in the music indexes. Check these databases to expand your search.


Oxford Music Online

With over 60,000 articles written by over 6,000 music scholars, Grove Music Online (GMO) is the authoritative resource for music research with an ongoing mission to chart the diverse history and cultures of music and musicians from around the globe. Includes the eighth edition of Grove’s Dictionary of Music and Musicians, and contains articles commissioned specifically for the site as well as articles from New Grove 2001, Grove Opera, and Grove Jazz. The recently published second editions of The Grove Dictionary of American Music and The Grove Dictionary of Musical Instruments are still being put online, and new articles are added to GMO with each site update.

RILM Abstracts of Music Literature

RILM Retrospective Abstracts of Music Literature now includes RILM Abstracts of Music Literature. The full bibliography is a single product.​ It’s the full database, from 1800 to the present. RILM is the Repertoire International de Litterature Musicale or International Repertory of Music Literature.

International Index to Music Periodicals (Music Periodicals Database)

IIMP Full Text covers nearly all aspects of the world of music, from the most scholarly studies to the latest crazes. IIMP Full Text draws its current content from more than 370 international music periodicals from over 20 countries with over 60 Full Text titles. IIMP Full Text also includes retrospective coverage from over 185 periodicals dating back as far as 1874.

Garland Encyclopedia of World Music

The Garland Encyclopedia of World Music Online is a comprehensive online resource devoted to music research of the world’s peoples. It contains more than 9,000 pages of material, combined with entries by more than 700 expert contributors from all over the world.This release includes 1,217 essays and images from 10 sources and hundreds of audio examples.

RIPM Retrospective Index to Music Periodicals

Search across 125 rare primary source, full-text journals. Includes original volumes, reprints, microforms, and photocopies of music periodicals covering nearly 200 years of musical life in Europe in 14 languages.

RISM International Inventory of Musical Sources

The International Inventory of Musical Sources (RISM) aims to comprehensively document the world’s musical sources of manuscripts or printed music, works on music theory and libretti stored in libraries, archives, monasteries, schools and private collections. The online-catalogue offered here contains around 700,000 references almost exclusively to music manuscripts.

American Musicological Society
Doctoral Dissertations in Musicology

This is not, in fact a full text resource, but an international database of bibliographic records for completed dissertations and new dissertation topics in the fields of musicology, music theory, and ethnomusicology, as well as in related musical, scientific, and humanistic disciplines.

Articles in music may appear in journals that are not specific to music. These articles may or may not be indexed in the music indexes. Check these databases to expand your search.


Academic Search Complete

The multi-disciplinary database Academic Search Complete (ASC) provides full-text access to more than 5,500 periodicals, including over 4,600 peer-reviewed journals, and indexing and abstracts for an additional 9,500 journals and 10,000 publications, including monographs, reports, conference proceedings, etc. This scholarly collection offers coverage of information in many areas of academic study including, but not limited to: animal science, anthropology, area studies, astronomy, biology, chemistry, civil engineering, electrical engineering, ethnic & multicultural studies, food science & technology, general science, geography, geology, law, materials science, mathematics, mechanical engineering, music, pharmaceutical sciences, physics, psychology, religion & theology, veterinary science, women’s studies, zoology and many other fields. The database features PDF content going back as far as 1887, with the majority of full text titles in native (searchable) PDF format.

JSTOR: The Scholarly Journal Archive

JSTOR provides Full-Text access to back files of hundreds important scholarly journals in nearly 50 disciplines spanning the arts, humanities, social sciences and the sciences. Current issues are now included for selected titles. Holdings vary by journal. JSTOR is a not-for-profit organization established with the assistance of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Entertainment Industry Magazine Archive

An archival research resource containing the essential primary sources for studying the history of the film and entertainment industries, from the era of vaudeville and silent movies through to 2000. The core US and UK trade magazines covering film, music, broadcasting and theater are included, together with film fan magazines and music press titles. Magazines have been scanned cover-to-cover in high-resolution color, with granular indexing of all articles, covers, ads and reviews.

Performing Arts Encyclopedia (Library of Congress)

A guide to the performing arts collections (both print and digital) and exhibitions at the Library of Congress. Includes digitized items from the collections, with some works by composers Amy Beach, George W. Chadwick, Charles Ives, Edward MacDowell, Gerry Mulligan and several others. Also topical material, such as Civil War Sheet music and American Choral Music.

Turabian Citation Guide

A concise reference list from Kate L. Turabian’s A Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses and Dissertations. Provides basic guidelines for bibliographic information in footnotes, endnotes and a bibliography.

MPA Copyright Resource Center
A guide to copyright law as it applies to music. Prepared by the Music Publishers Association.

The Oxford History of Western Music discusses the history of Western classical music from the perspective on the renowned musicologist, Richard Taruskin. The online version contains the entire text of all 69 chapters from the print 2009 edition, as well as the 500 illustrations and 1800 musical examples. It also offers links to relevant entries in Grove Music Online and search and browse options for navigation of the text.

Tags: History, Music

Compiled by leading scholars in music fields, this set of bibliographies covers several musical areas, including composers, instruments, musical forms, ethnomusicology, countries, and more. Each article is reviewed and updated annually; new bibliographies are slated to be added as well.

Tags: Music
Naxos Classical Music Library

The Naxos Classical Music Library consists of 98,977 albums, comprising 1,436,654 tracks, with new content added regularly.

Naxos Music Library Jazz

Naxos Music Library Jazz offers close to 20,000 tracks of jazz from over 1,900 albums. Over 500 jazz artists are represented. Naxos Music Library Jazz comprises Naxos Jazz and the 22 labels of Fantasy Jazz. New content is added regularly.