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We are excited to share our new Library catalog and search tool! We hope that you will find it easy to search and explore our collections. If you need help, have questions, or want to share feedback, visit the Ask a Librarian page.

Basic Music Research: Methods and Resources

Basic Research method, Evaluating sources, Citation styles and scholarly communication, basic music research sources

Biographical information:

Baker's biographical dictionary of musicians.  6 volumes.  In print.

Online version

Biographical information on performers, musicologists, theorists, composers, music librarians; historical and contemporary.

Encyclopedia of Popular Music  (Online)

Edited by Colin Larkin, "this encyclopedia's 30,000 entries cover all genres and periods of popular music from 1900 to the present day, including jazz, country, folk, rap, reggae, techno, musicals, and world music."

Norton/Grove dictionary of women composers 1 volume.  In print.

Included in: Grove Music Online 

Biographical information on women composers.

Oxford Companion to Music (Online)

Brief articles on musical persons and subjects. 


Subject Information

The Harvard Dictionary Of Music 1 volume. In print.

Brief definitions of music subjects.

Oxford Music Online. 

 The Oxford Companion to Music and the Oxford Dictionary of Music include articles on musical persons and subjects. Part of Oxford Music Online. 

Musical instruments:

The Grove dictionary of musical instruments 5 volumes. In print.

Included in: Grove Music Online 

Excellent source for articles on musical instruments. Good bibliographies.

World Music:


Continuum encyclopedia of popular music of the world. 12 volumes. In print.


Garland Encyclopedia of World Music 10 volumes with accompanying CDs

Garland encyclopedia of world music. (Online version; includes audio.)

Volume 1, Africa

Volume 2, South America, Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean

Volume 3, The United States and Canada

*Volume 4, Southeast Asia

Includes Indonesia.

*Volume 5, South Asia, the Indian subcontinent

 Volume 6, The Middle East

Volume 7, East Asia : China, Japan, and Korea

Volume 8, Europe

Volume 9, Australia and the Pacific Islands

*Vol 10, The world's music,: general perspectives and reference tools

This encyclopedia has a wealth of good information, but article arrangement is not typical.  Coverage in sections entitled "Issues and Processes" is not clear.  Begin by using the index in each volume as well as the general index in volume 10.  Also use the subsections in the Table of Contents at the front and the index at the back of each volume.