- McGill users only
- Open access resource
- Free resource
- In-library-use only
- Catalogue record
- Oxford Music Online (includes Grove Music Online)
- Garland Encyclopedia of World Music
ML100 G16 1997
- Encyclopedia of Music in Canada / Encyclopédie de la musique au Canada
- Continuum Encyclopedia of Popular Music of the World
- Guinness Encyclopedia of Popular Music, 2nd ed
ML102 P66 G84 1995
- Harvard Dictionary of Music
- Oxford Dictionary of Music
- Terminorum musicae index septem linguis redactus / Polyglot Dictionary of Musical Terms
- Harvard Biographical Dictionary of Music
- Baker’s Biographical Dictionary of Musicians, Centennial ed.
ML105 B16 2001
- Music Reference and Research Materials: An Annotated Bibliography, 5th ed.
ML113 D835 M9 1997
- Sourcebook for Research in Music, 2nd ed.
ML113 C68 2005
At the call number ML128 many bibliographies of music for individual instruments and voices and various ensembles may be found. Below are only a few examples:
- Music for Oboe, 1650-1800
ML128 O2 H55 1992
- Music for Piano and Orchestra: An Annotated Guide
ML128 P3 H53 1993
- Repertoire for the Solo Voice
ML128 S3 E8
- The Wind Ensemble Catalog
ML128 W5 G52 1998
Bibliographies of music literature list articles, books, dissertations and/or other materials written about musical topics.
Oxford University Press has launched an online series, Oxford Bibliographies, that deals with an expanding list of topics from "American Music Theory, 1955-2010" to "William Byrd."
Book-length bibliographies are also available online via the Library catalogue. (Here's just a sampling.) But to get a full sense of the variety of different approaches, make sure to browse the shelves between ML113 and ML134. Some examples of what you'll find:
- Baroque Music: A Research and Information Guide
ML116 B37 1993
- A Dictionary-Catalog of Modern British Composers
ML120 G7 P68 2000
- Jazz Research and Performance Materials: A Selected Annotated Bibliography, 2nd ed.
ML128 J3 M33 1995
- Dmitri Shostakovich: A Catalogue, Bibliography, and Discography, 3rd ed.
ML134 S485 H8 2002
ML134 B1 S3
Searching the Library catalogue
General search tips
Use the basic word(s) anywhere or advanced keyword search in the library catalogue. You can search using words for such things as historical periods (e.g., baroque, renaissance, romantic), musical genres (e.g., punk, folk songs, symphonies), musical styles (e.g., galant, bop, minimalist music), instruments, and individual musicians.
|Truncation symbol:||?||e.g. music? will retrieve catalogue records containing the words music, musical, musician, musicological, etc.|
|Phrase searching:||"___"||e.g. "cool jazz" will retrieve catalogue records containing the phrase cool jazz|
|Boolean operators:||(), AND, OR, NOT
|e.g. mozart AND (figaro OR "clemenza di tito") will retrieve catalogue records containing the word mozart AND either figaro OR the phrase clemenza di tito|
Core and additional databases
Much of the literature written about music - books, articles, conference reports, reviews - is indexed in databases. Below are lists of the databases available at McGill for discovering this literature.
Core periodical indexes, bibliographies, full-text articles (electronic databases)
- CMPI: Canadian Music Periodical Index
- IIMP: International Index to Music Periodicals
- Music Index Online
- RILM: Répertoire international de littérature musicale
- AES: Audio Engineering Society
- Fake Book Index
- Index to Printed Music: Collections & Series (IPM)
Based on Hill and Stephens, eds., Collected Editions, Historical Series & Sets & Monuments of Music: A Bibliography
- Music-in-Print Series
- RIPM: Retrospective Index to Music Periodicals (1800-1962)
- RISM series A/II: "Music Manuscripts after 1600"
Full text music journals may also be searched or browsed via
Databases for other disciplines
Music is an interdisciplinary subject touching on such areas as literature, sexuality and gender, mathematics, engineering, and sociology, just to name a few. Databases that index the literature of these related areas can also be helpful in music research. For database recommendations in other areas, please consult the complete list of McGill subject guides.
Streaming audio databases
- Classical Music Library
- DRAM: Database of Recorded American Music
- Naxos Music Library
- Naxos Music Library Jazz
Selected Internet sites
- Online Resources for Music Scholars
Harvard University's thorough Music research portal. Provides a basis for beginning electronic research on topics in music.
- Golden Pages: Musicology Links
Maintained by musicologist J. P. E. Harper-Scott of the Royal Holloway, University of London
- Jazz Research Guide - Rutgers University Libraries
Links for both jazz musicians and scholars.
- WWW Sites of Interest to Musicologists
Maintained by members of the American Musicological Society, this page offers links to sound academic resources on the Internet for music history research.
Print guides to music research
- Music Research: A Handbook.
ML113 S28 2009
- Music Library and Research Skills.
ML3797 G68 2009
Aids for writing your assignment
- The Craft of Research, 2nd ed.
Q180.55 M4 B66 (on reserve)
- Irvine’s Writing about Music, 3rd ed.
ML3797 I79 1999
- Writing about Music: An Introductory Guide, 4th ed.
ML3797 W54 2009
- Writing About Music: A Style Sheet
ML3797 W75 2008
Aids for writing your bibliography
- Chicago Manual of Style Online, 16th ed.
Z253 U69 2010 (print copy; on reserve)
- Chicago-Style Citation Quick Guide
- Marvin Duchow Music Library. Citing Music Resources Using Chicago Style (Bibliography Format).
- Citing Music Sources in Your Essay and Bibliography (Turabian/Chicago style)
from the University of Western Ontario Music Library
- Research and Documentation Online, 5th ed.
- GDRM: Présentation des notes et des bibliographies (Chicago style en français)
by Dr. Marc-André Roberge of Université Laval
Related subject guides
Please refer to some of the Music Library's other music subject guides:
- Performance Study Guides / Guides de recherche musicale
Performers' guides to finding music for, and information about, their instruments.
- Music Theory Subject Guide
- Canadian Music Subject Guide
- Popular Music Research Subject Guide