Music Research and Resources

by Ruth Gustafson – September 11, 2020

This subject guide links to music resources including:  core literature databases; online resources including major reference works (encyclopedias, handbooks, dictionaries); digitized music collections; key portals to open access music resources; and sources of streaming audio.

FOR UCD students, faculty, and staff:  During this COVID-19 time, feel free to book a Zoom appointment with Ruth for assistance in using these resources or for any questions you may have about searching music literature:

Book an APPOINTMENT with Ruth

For requesting music course materials, please email your questions about Course Reserves to   You should also look at the Course Reserves for Instructors webpage for further information.

For other music resources you would like to be considered for purchase, please fill out the Purchase Recommendation Form at the bottom of this Subject Guide or contact Belen Fernandez directly at

Ruth Gustafson

Student Services
Student Services Librarian


In this Guide:

For onsite music department assistance:
  • Nick Carvajal  |  Music Department: Librarian

Office Hours: 9:00 am – 4:00 pm

(530) 754-1814
Room 112b, Music Building

Searching in a library catalog requires looking for broader topics such as choral singing rather than the more specific health benefits of choral singing.   

CALL NUMBER areas for music are in the M (Music Scores) or ML (Literature on Music) or MT (Music Instruction and Study) areas.  Consult the Library of Congress Classification Outline for specific categories

  • UC Davis Library Catalog
    Replacing Harvest on August 18, 2016, the new UC Davis Library Catalog includes the collections of all four UC Davis General Libraries. It does not include the holdings of the Law Library. If you log in (My Account) using your UCD login and Kerberos passphrase, you are prompted with your loan period, can renew books online, and request items that have been checked out to another borrower, or are in storage.


  • WorldCat [via FirstSearch/OCLC]  OCLC catalog of millions of records for books, journal titles, musical scores, dissertations, theses and materials in other formats from approximately 12,000 libraries worldwide.  Coverage: 1000 A.D.-present


  • Understanding Call Numbers

    Author: Library Instruction Services, Shields Library

    Library of Congress Classification is used for all of the UCD libraries except the health sciences libraries (which use NLM — National Library of Medicine — classification).  Learn about how books are arranged in the UCD libraries with this guide.

    Date: 2004

The UCD Library has licensed the entire Music Video Collection from Alexander Street Press (April 2020).

Below are links to the full collection and then to the six subsections: American Music, Classical Music, Contemporary World Music, Jazz Music, Popular Music, Smithsonian Global Sound.

Please turn on the Library VPN, Pulse Secure, to CONNECT & remotely access any of the video collections below.

Music Video Collection

    NOTE: For opera resources, type  Opera in Video into the search box for the entire collection


Music Online: American Music


Music Online: Classical Music Library


Music Online: Contemporary World Music


Music Online: Jazz Music Library


Music Online: Popular Music Library


Music Online: Smithsonian Global Sound for Libraries

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 (Oxford Reference access) and The Grove Dictionary of Musical Instruments are still being put online, and new articles are added to GMO with each site update.

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.

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.

A bibliography of music literature providing international coverage of Western and Eastern classical, pop, folk, and jazz music, as well as interdisciplinary studies on music. Includes abstracts and citations drawn from articles, books, conference proceedings, bibliographies, catalogues, dissertations, Festschriften, iconographies, critical commentaries to complete works, ethnographic recordings, videos, and reviews. (Repertoire International de Litterature Musicale - International Repertory of Music Literature) This database includes over 1,000,000 records in 143 languages from 178 countries.
Coverage: 1800-present
Tags: Music
This database provides indexing and abstracts for several 100 international music periodicals from over 20 countries, plus full text for more than 140 of the indexed journals. Includes over 1.3 million records, the majority from the most recent ten years of publication. Some complete journal runs are included. Covers the full spectrum of subjects and all aspects of music, including music education, performance, ethnomusicology, musical theatre, theory, popular music forms and composition. Formerly titled IIMP Full Text: International Index to Music Periodicals.
Coverage: 1874 - current
Tags: Music
Related links: Performing Arts Periodicals Database

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.

Coverage: 19th century
Tags: Music
Produced by the American Musicological Society, this is 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 started as a scholarly journal archive – JSTOR is an abbreviation for Journal STORage.  JSTOR primarily provides online article access to back files (non-current) of hundreds of important scholarly journals in nearly 50 disciplines spanning the arts, humanities, social sciences and the sciences.  Current issues are only included for a few titles.  Date ranges of coverage vary by journal title.  JSTOR is a not-for-profit organization established with the assistance of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

PLEASE NOTE:  JSTOR is now providing some eBook collections as it expands to become a “highly selective digital library academic content in many formats and disciplines.”

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
Online access to Oxford University Press reference handbooks in music. Each Handbook has in-depth essays by the world’s leading scholars. Search contents through one interface, individually or by modules.
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.

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