- McGill users only
- Open access resource
- Free resource
- In-library-use only
- Catalogue record
Encyclopedias can provide an introduction to a popular music theme or subject. Besides listing biographical information, statistics, recordings, and definitions, encyclopedia articles may also recommend further reading.
- The Guinness Encyclopedia of Popular Music
ML102 P66 G84 1995
- Continuum Encyclopedia of Popular Music of the World
ML102 P66 C66 2003
- Garland Dictionary of World Music
ML100 G16 1997
- The Rolling Stone Encyclopedia of Rock & Roll
ML102 R6 R64 2001
- Encyclopedia of Canadian Rock Pop & Folk music
ML102 P66 J33 1994
- Popular Music Studies: A Select International Bibliography
ML128 P63 P67 1997
- Rock Music Scholarship
ML128 R6 G37 1995
- A Guide to Popular Music Reference Books: An Annotated Bibliography ML128 P63 H34 1995
- Rock Stars/Pop Stars: A Comprehensive Bibliography, 1955-1994
ML128 R6 L49 1994
- The Literature of Rock, I, II, and III (1954-1990)
ML128 R6 H63
- The Great Rock Discography, 7th ed.
ML156.4 R6 S8 2004
- Moanin’ Low: A Discography of Female Popular Vocal Recordings, 1920-1933
ML156.4 W6 L35 1996 (4th floor)
- The Canadian Singles Chart Book: 1975-1996
ML156.4 P6 L85 1996 (4th floor)
- The Billboard Book of Number One Hits
ML156.4 P6 B76 1988 (4th floor)
- Billboard Top 1000 Singles, 1955-1986: The 1000 Biggest Hits of the Rock Era
ML156.4 P6 W454 1986 (4th floor)
Searching the Library catalogue
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. pop? will retrieve catalogue records containing the words pop, popular, popularist, etc.|
|Phrase searching:||"___"||e.g. "rock music" will retrieve catalogue records containing the phrase rock music|
|Boolean operators:||(), AND, OR, NOT
|e.g. "popular music" AND (quebec OR canada) will retrieve catalogue records containing the phrase popular music AND either of the words quebec OR canada|
Browse by call number
From the Basic Search screen of the Classic library catalogue, select Call number begins with... and enter one of the call numbers below, or simply browse the Music Library shelves at:
|ML3469 – 3541||Popular music – general|
Search by subject heading
From the Basic Search screen of the Classic library catalogue, select Subject heading begins with... and enter one of the phrases below.
Punk rock music
Music and globalization
Women rock musicians
Women in music
Gender identity in music
Feminism and music
Music and race
Music and technology
Try adding these phrases to the headings above:
history and criticism
criticism and interpretation
For example: Punk rock music - history and criticism
Core and additional databases
The most efficient way of finding periodical literature is to search in literature databases, since individual articles are not indexed in the Library catalogue. Try the following databases:
Core music databases
- Rock's Backpages
Provides a selection of full-text articles from some of the major magazines in pop music history as well as a collection of archival audio interviews.
- RILM: Répertoire international de la littérature musicale
Indexes the music scholarship of over 100 countries: journals, books, conference proceedings, and dissertations
- Music Index Online
Indexes over 700 international music periodicals, both popular and scholarly
- IIMP: International Index to Music Periodicals
A database that indexes both scholarly and popular music periodicals, including over 80 with selective full-text
- RPM Weekly Charts
(Canada, 1964-2000) Over 10,000 charts from the groundbreaking Canadian music periodical, RPM Weekly
Music—and popular music in particular—is a multidisciplinary area of study. You will find much relevant literature in other literature databases related to women studies, alternative presses, history, political science, communication/mass media studies. Access these from the McGill Library Article Indexes and Databases.
- Entertainment Industry Magazine Archive
Offers full-text access to major music periodicals such as New Music Express as well as trade publications from other sectors of the entertainment industry
- Reader’s Guide (Canada and US)
a database that indexes the most popular general-interest periodicals of Canada and the United States
- CPI.Q:Canadian Periodical Index (Canada)
Provides citations and full-text to Canadian general-interest periodicals
- Alternative Press Index
Indexes international alternative, radical, and left periodicals, newspapers, and magazines
- Expanded Academic
Provides citations and often full-text and graphics to literature from across all academic disciplines. Includes scholarly publications, magazines, and newspapers
- Academic Search Complete
Indexes over 8000 scholarly journals from nearly all academic disciplines; over 4500 journals are available in full text
- ProQuest Research Library
Indexes citations and provides full-text access to journals, magazines, and newspapers on a broad range of general reference subjects
- America: History and Life
Indexes scholarly history literature covering the United States and Canada from prehistory to the present
- Historical Abstracts
Indexes over 1,500 journals dedicated to the history of the world (excluding the United States and Canada) from 1450 to the present
- Communication & Mass Media Complete
- Communication Abstracts
- Gender Studies
- Contemporary Women’s Issues
- Humanities Full Text
- Sociological Abstracts
Newspapers are often useful sources of profiles of popular musicians and performance reviews; or broader discussions of popular culture. Consult McGill Library's Newspapers page to gain online access to recent Canadian and international newspapers.
The full text of free Quebec weeklies, such as The Mirror and Voir, that cover many alternative groups and performances are indexed in Newscan.com.
Online historical newspapers include the complete run of The Globe and Mail, the Toronto Star, the New York Times, and The Times (London).
- The Globe and Mail: Canada’s Heritage from 1844
Most recent 5 years unavailable
Offers pdf of original pages from The Globe and Mail, allowing full text search in advertisements as well as articles and reviews
- Toronto Star: Pages of the Past
Most recent 4 years unavailable
Offers pdf images of original pages from the Toronto Star (1892-), allowing full text search in advertisements as well as articles and reviews
- New York Times (1851-2001)
- The Times (London) (1785-1985)
In general, however, pre-1990 newspapers are searchable only through print indexes and full-text is found on microfiche only.
All print indexes to newspapers and general-interest periodicals are available at the Humanities and Social Sciences Library in the Reference Section. Ask a reference librarian for assistance in selecting the proper index for the newspaper and year of interest. Please note: performance reviews may not be found in every index or may be grouped under a specific heading such as “Concerts, review…” or “Performance” or “Reviews.”
Dissertations are book-length papers written by graduate students in partial fulfillment of a Ph.D. or other doctoral degree requirements. Because they represent new areas of research and undergo a rigorous academic evaluation process, dissertations can be excellent resources for finding information on popular music topics. Be sure to check their bibliographies for further reading.
- Proquest Dissertations and Theses Full Text
Full-text available for most dissertations (from all disciplines) published after 1996. Citations and often summaries are available for most earlier dissertations
For more online dissertation resources, consult the theses page.
The Music Library audio / video collection includes many popular music recordings. For further information on locating these recordings consult the How to find recordings page.
The Music Library subscribes to several recordings databases. For a complete list, consult the Music Library's Audio page. One option is DRAM, which focuses on avant-garde music released on smaller labels such as New World, Albany, and XI Records.
Selected Internet sites
Accessible to anyone with an Internet connection.
- Palmarès reconstitués de la chanson au Québec
Listings of hit songs and albums in Quebec from 1949; Prepared by Michel Gignac
- RoJaRo (Rock Jazz Roots etc.)
An online site dedicated to the literature published in alternative music magazines and fanzines. Includes a list of magazines and record labels as well as a searchable database of articles, discographies, and reviews found in small music magazines since 1992.
- Rap and Hip Hop Resources
A thorough subject guide developed by the Center of Black Music Research, Chicago
- Hip-Hop Directory