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Music: How to find Books and Articles about music

Looking for sheet music to perform? Recordings to listen to? Books and articles about music or a related topic? This libguide will help!

Search the Catalog!

Use the search box below to search the Library Catalog for books, eBooks, videos, etc.

Connect From Off-Campus

You can access databases from off-campus by entering your netID and password after clicking on the database links.

If you have any issues with logging in, please call the Reference Desk at 510-885-3765 or send an email to libhelp@csueastbay.edu.

Troubleshooting Tips:

  • Try a different browser (Chrome to Firefox, IE to Chrome, etc.)
  • Clear cache and history
  • Close Browser
  • Restart your computer
  • Reset your netID password (if you can log in to Blackbaord, MyCSUEB, etc, but not the databases)

ILLiad

Can't find the article you want in our databases? Put in a request through ILLiad - InterLibrary Loan.

Your article will be delivered to you within 3-5 days, as a PDF so you can read it on your computer.

Should I look for a book or an article about music?

Unless your teacher requires that you use  books and not articles, or articles and not books, I strongly recommend that you look for the information you need on your topic in BOTH books and articles. Generally, for music topics, a book will have information that's taken longer to develop and write about, whereas an article (whether it's scholarly or for a general reader) will present research that was fairly new at the time the article was published. 

My advice is to search separately for articles and books, because you can usually get good results using search tools (e.g. the Library Catalog for books and the Databases A-Z for articles) that focus on either books or articles. You are always welcome to consult with us about how to search and evaluate both your search strategy and results. My contact information is in the box at the right of this page.

Looking for articles about music topics

Use KEY WORDS when you search. If your question is, "How is music used in in Japanese Shinto religious rituals?" use the key words from that question:

music Shinto ritual if you want more results, use just music Shinto. We don't need to specify "Japanese" because Shinto is a Japanese religion. 

Look for articles on music and related topics in the Database A-Z. The databases I find most helpful are:

  • Oxford Music Online (aka The New Grove Dictionary of Music) [THE English language encyclopedia of music.]
  • Academic Search Premier (It's wise to limit your search to "scholarly (peer-reviewed) journals" by checking the box for those. 
  • RILM (a database that focusses on music topics)
  • JSTOR (for many academic music journals)
  • IPA Source (for texts, pronunciation guides, and translations of lyrics for art songs)
  • Google Scholar (go through our Databases A-Z for best result in getting to the full text.)
  • Anthropology Plus (very good for topics in ethnomusicology and music in various cultures in the world.)
  • Historical Abstracts (for music in the context of world and American history, e.g., election campaign songs)
  • CINAHL (for music therapy and music in the health professions)
  • Ethnic Newswatch (for music in the context of particular ethnic groups, e.g., Gospel music in African American churches)

Looking for books about music topics

Use key words such as the name of a musician or a style of music, a genre or style of music, and a place or period of time. For example, to find a book to help me with a project on the analysis of a symphony by Mozart, I can go to the main CSUEB Library website, and in the Find Books tab, click on Search by key word, enter mozart symphony analysis in the search box, and click on search. This works for key words like rap history  experimental music composition. You will notice that your search results sometimes include films and videos and recordings. Use that Modify Search button to limit the Material Type to BOOKS and EBOOKS.

Remember to use Link+ to request books that are checked out or that we don't own. Ask at the Reference Desk for guidance.

For electronic books on music topics, you can search not only in our Library Catalog but also in 

Ebooks on Ebrary

Ebooks on EBSCO

Ebooks on MyiLibrary

There are some excellent sources about music topics also in the Gale Virtual Reference Library.

Software manuals for audio recording/editing/production apps such as ProTools and notation software such as Sibelius are available in Safari Books Online.

Please contact me if you want to consult about books (or anything else you need) on music and related topics. Look at the box on the right to send me email, etc. Thanks! -Tom

Library Liaison

Tom Bickley's picture
Tom Bickley
Contact:
Office: LI2141, University Library
CSU East Bay
25800 Carlos Bee Bl
Hayward, CA 94542
510 885 7554 (I MUCH prefer email)
Website / Blog PageSkype Contact

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