How to find articles
Individual journal articles are not listed in the Library catalogue. Instead, articles are indexed in separate databases (both online and in print). Many online full-text articles are available directly from these databases or via McGill Library's e-journal subscriptions.
Choose a database
Music literature databases
No single database indexes every article in a discipline; therefore, search in several. Other relevant music databases are listed on the Music Library Music literature databases page.
Databases in other disciplines
Music articles also appear in publications in related disciplines (for example, education, psychology, literature). Explore other databases by subject in the McGill Library Article Indexes and Databases list.
Online databases do have limitations. Often older literature is only indexed in print indexes. For example, much music literature written between 1949 and the late 1960s is only searchable in the Music Index print volumes, which are shelved in the Reference section (3rd floor) at ML118 M84.
Online article databases are searchable by general keyword as well as several other methods. Ask a member of the Music Library staff for search advice. In most databases a complete article record will provide a citation as well as a brief description (a.k.a. abstract) of the article's main argument.
Find the full text
To find an article's full text from a database
1. Full text is often linked directly from an article record in a database. Click on the "Find it @ McGill" button to determine whether McGill Library provides online access to the article.
2. If no "Find it @ McGill" button is present in a database or if the full text is not available online, record the complete citation information (see below) and search the journal title in the Library catalogue. Select the journal title if it appears, then click on "Holdings" to make sure McGill owns the volume and issue in which the article appears.
Print Periodicals in the Music Library
Recent print issues of music periodicals are located on the 5th floor of the Music Library. Many titles are displayed in alphabetical order by journal title at the front of the periodical section. Other titles are filed by call number with the earlier bound issues.
To find an article's full text for which you already have a citation (from a bibliography, for example, or from a professor)
1. Simply follow step 2 above: search the journal title in the Library catalogue. If the journal is available online, a separate record will appear. Holdings information for e-journals appears after clicking the "Find it @ McGill" button.
2. McGill Library's Citation Linker will locate an online copy if available. Google Scholar can work too.
A complete article citation includes:
2. article title
3. journal title
6. page numbers
Caplin, William E. "The Classical Cadence: Conceptions and Misconceptions." Journal of the American Musicological Society 57, no. 1 (2004): 51-117.
1. Caplin, William E.
2. "The Classical Cadence: Conceptions and Misconceptions."
3. Journal of the American Musicological Society
4. 57, no. 1
Always record an article's full citation. Even if the citation is not needed to access the article's full text online, the citation must appear in a term paper bibliography if used.
Incomplete article citation information can be verified by entering the known information in an appropriate article database for music (for example, IIMP and RILM) or other disciplines. Ask a member of the Music Library staff for further assistance.
If it's not at McGill...
Always doublecheck with a full-time member of the Library staff before deciding that McGill does not own a particular item.
Check other Library catalogues in Montreal or beyond.
Borrowing from other libraries
If an item is not in the McGill Library collection, it may be available for consultation or loan at another Quebec library. Holders of McGill photo ID cards may obtain a CREPUQ borrowing card, which grants its holder limited borrowing privileges at participating institutions.
All Montreal residents may obtain borrowing privileges at the Bibliothèque nationale du Québec and other local public libraries.
Print music resources (scores, books, and articles) may be requested from more distant libraries by completing an Interlibrary Loan (ILL) form. For more information, visit the McGill Library borrowing items from other libraries page. Due to their fragility, music recordings are rarely available via ILL.
Suggest a purchase
The Marvin Duchow Music Library aims to provide collections that support and strengthen music performance, teaching, learning, and research at McGill University and beyond. Please direct any suggestions for expanding the collection to cynthia [dot] leive [at] mcgill [dot] ca (Cynthia Leive) .