Music Research Guide

You can use library electronic resources from any computer on or off campus. See a complete listing of electronic resources by name, provider, or subject. Databases covering music are listed below.


  • African American Music Reference (Alexander Street Press) - essays and images covering blues, jazz, spirituals, civil rights songs, slave songs, minstrelsy, rhythm and blues, gospel, and other forms of black American musical expression
  • American Song (Alexander Street Press) - streaming music collection of American roots music and pre-1960 American popular music
  • Choral Public Domain Library – Find and download free scores, texts, translations, and information about composers. This site specializes in choral music.
  • Classical Music in Video  (Alexander Street Press) - streaming video of musical performances from 1950 to present; Masterclasses and interviews; documentaries profiling classical artists and their work
  • Classical Music Library (Alexander Street Press) – streaming classical music
  • Classical Music Reference Library (Alexander Street Press) - authoritative reference titles covering Western classical music: Baker's Dictionary of Music, Baker's Biographical Dictionary of Musicians, and Baker's Student Encyclopedia of Music
  • Classical Scores Library: Volume I (Alexander Street Press)- classical music scores and manuscripts online
  • Classical Scores Library: Volume II (Alexander Street Press) - classical music scores and manuscripts online
  • Contemporary World Music (Alexander Street Press) - streaming audio collection of contemporary music from countries around the world; also includes traditional music
  • Dance in Video (Alexander Street Press) - video collection covering modern dance; also covers ballet, tap, and jazz; includes coaching sessions
  • Fine Arts and Music Collection (Gale) - search a subset of Gale Academic OneFile journals covering the fine arts such as drama, music, art history and filmmaking.
  • Garland Encyclopedia of World Music Online (Alexander Street Press) - essays, images, and audio covering music research of all the world’s peoples
  • IMSLP / Petrucci Music Library – Free public domain sheet music library
  • IPA Source - International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) transcriptions and literal translations of opera arias and art song texts
  • Jazz Music Library (Alexander Street Press) - streaming audio collection of jazz from 1920 to today
  • Music Online (Alexander Street Press) - Search across all twelve Alexander Street Press collections: African American Music Reference, American Song, Classical Music in Video, Classical Music Library, Classical Music Reference Library, Classical Scores Library, Contemporary World Music, Dance in Video, Garland Encyclopedia of World Music Online, Jazz Music Library, Opera in Video, and Smithsonian Global Sound.
  • Music & Performing Arts (Alexander Street Press) - Search across nine Alexander Street Press collections: American Song, Classical Scores Library, Dance in Video, Opera in Video, Classical Music in Video, Classical Music Library, Contemporary World Music, Jazz Music Library, and Smithsonian Global Sound.
  • Opera in Video (Alexander Street Press) - collection of performances of the most studied operas; also includes interviews
  • Oxford Reference Online: Music – Find facts, definitions, works lists, and more from Oxford reference titles.
    Please log out when you are finished searching. Our subscription allows one user at a time.
  • RILM Abstracts of Music LiteratureTRIAL
    A comprehensive music bibliography featuring citations, abstracts, and indexes to publications on music from all over the world.  
  • RILM Retrospective Abstracts of Music LiteratureTRIAL
    A bibliography featuring publications on music.
  • Smithsonian Global Sound (Alexander Street Press) - streaming audio collection of world music from countries and cultural groups around the world


  • Academic OneFile (Gale) – scholarly database containing journals, podcasts, and transcripts
  • Academic Search Complete (EBSCO) - comprehensive database of scholarly journals
  • Biography in Context (Gale) – biographies, related full–text articles from periodicals, as well as images and links to web sites
  • JSTOR - a collection of core scholarly journals, many going back to the first volume. Emphasis is on back issue coverage and does not include the current 3-5 years, unless Gordon has a current subscription to the journal. JSTOR provides long term preservation for journals.
  • MLA International Bibliography (EBSCO) – bibliography of journal articles, books and dissertations with links to many full text articles. Also covers music journals.
  • Religious and Theological Abstracts – indexes religion and theology, including religious music.

More electronic resources are available through the Boston Public Library. However, you must first take a minute to sign up for a BPL eCard.


  • Gordon's Periodical List is a complete list of all journals available through Jenks Library (full text in databases, online, and print).
    • You can search for a journal title in PeriodicalList.
    • You can also see subjects under the category of music in Periodical List. Click on a subject to view the journals available.
  • Print journals are located in the periodicals area on the 4th floor of Jenks. Please note that journals are arranged alphabetically by title, not by subject area.


  • Search the NOBLE catalog to find materials on topics in music.
  • If you want to browse the shelves, some related call numbers are:
M   Music 
ML    Literature of Music 
MT    Music Instruction & Study



Recommend a Website – Do you know of a good music Web site to add to our list?

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