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

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 Complete (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)
  • ACM Portal and IEEE Digital Library (for computer music, including use of software for teaching and learning music)

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 click on the Books tab, in the search box enter mozart symphony analysis, and click on search. This works for key words like rap history, and experimental music composition. Look at the "Show Results for" column on the left of the screen. To use only ebooks, under "Available at CSUEB," click on Full-text online. To use printed books, cick on Available in the Library.

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

For software manuals, etc. (e.g. for notation software, audio editing software) see the Safari Books Online in the Databases A-Z.

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