- McGill users only
- Open access resource
- Free resource
- In-library-use only
- Catalogue record
Get an overview
- The Guinness Encyclopedia of Popular Music
REF ML102 P66 G84 1995
- Continuum Encyclopedia of Popular Music of the World
Vols. 1 & 2 are topic-based, Vols. 3-7 are arranged geographically
REF ML102 P66 C66 2003
(Vols. 1 & 2 are also available online)
- Grove Music Online
The most important English-language encyclopedia of Western music traditions, it includes substantial popular music articles drawn from 2 component parts, the Grove Dictionary of American Music and the Grove Dictionary of Jazz.
Wikipedia has the advantage of being up to the minute and, thanks to the popularity of "popular" music, providing ample information about personalities and bands. Entries can contain errors and lack cohesiveness and intellectual depth. Verify any information found here with 1 or 2 other reliable resources.
Consult the Music Library's "How to find recordings" guide for complete information.
- McGill WorldCat catalogue / Classic Catalogue
Bring the CD/DVD number to the Music Library’s 4th-floor service desk
- Naxos Music Online
Limited selection of popular music
Download 5 free tracks per week from Sony!
Literature search I: catalogue
Placing music in a cultural context
Finding cultural context
Books from the Twentieth-Century American Culture series can provide a general introduction to cultural life in the United States decade by decade.
Titles with the following relevant subject headings will have broader geographical coverage:
- Nineteen forties
- Nineteen fifties
- Nineteen sixties
- Nineteen seventies
- Nineteen eighties
- Nineteen nineties
Bringing music and cultural context together
|Search the catalogue by...||
|Artist or band name||
Punk rock music
|Political or historical event or ethnic community AND music||Vietnam war AND music
Civil rights AND music
African Americans AND music
|Tag on a relevant subject subheading||
"History and criticism"
Literature search II: databases
- Rock's Backpages
Provides a selection of full-text interviews and articles from some of the major magazines in pop music history as well as a collection of archival audio interviews.
- Entertainment Industry Magazine Archive
Offers full-text access to major music periodicals such as Billboard and New Music Express as well as trade publications from other sectors of the entertainment industry
- Popular Culture in Britain and America, 1950-1975: Rock and Roll, Counterculture, Peace and Protest
A large collection of British and American archival materials that shed light on the major events of the mid-20th century and their interplay with popular culture.
- IIMP: International Index to Music Periodicals
A database that indexes both scholarly and popular music periodicals. An excellent resource for performance and recording reviews.
- Music Index Online (access via BAnQ; requires free subscription to remote services)
Indexes over 700 international music periodicals, both popular and scholarly
- RILM Abstracts of Music Literature
Indexes the music scholarship of over 100 countries: journals, books, conference proceedings, and dissertations
- McGill WorldCat catalogue searches a few general databases. Limit to articles (preferably peer-reviewed)
- Expanded Academic
- Academic Search Complete
Consult McGill Library's Newspaper Guide to access more specific newspaper databases.
Citing your sources:
Other relevant subject guides