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Music Research: Music Reference Books

Guide to finding books, scholarly articles, and other materials for research in music.

Who needs reference books any more? Everything's online - right? Wrong!

Some things are still most easily found in reference books. Books - whether paper or electronic - provide basic information such as

§  definitions of words or musical concepts

§  biographical information on musicians

§  information about particular compositions

§  information about instruments

§  histories of musical styles and movements

§  bibliographies and discographies

§  lists of musical works


There are hundreds of reference books in the ML section of the Library's collection and among the e-books provided. They include dictionaries, encyclopedias, handbooks, biographical works, bibliographies, discographies, and historical works. This is list is only a sample to show you the types of reference books available.

Books on Music

This is a small representative sample of books on music. In the library catalog, enter a search for a specific topic to find more focused results. If you need an encyclopedia, add "encyclopedia" to your search term. For example: opera encyclopedia

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