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UMW Libraries
Simpson | Stafford | Special Collections

Music: Obtaining Background Material

A research guide to finding books, articles, and other resources in Music

Using Reference Books

Use Reference books to:

♦  Obtain background material to help familiarize yourself with your topic

♦  Locate definitions of terms and concepts

♦  Find bibliographies suggesting additional resources on your topic

Location:

Reference books are on the first floor of Simpson Library

Don't forget!  If you need assistance, stop at the Information Desk (located to the right as you enter Simpson Library's front door).

Citing Your Sources

While writing research papers, you may need to:

  List your sources in bibliographies or works cited, and

♦  Provide either footnotes or endnotes.

Here is a link to the UMW Libraries' Guide to Citing Resources.

Navigation Menu

When looking for background information related to any of the following topics, either click on these links or scroll down for reference books found on the first floor of Simpson Library:

General Reference Books

Biographical Reference Books

General Reference Books

American Musical Traditions
REFB ML 3551 .A52 2002
 
Continuum Encyclopedia of Popular Music of the World
REFB ML 102 .P66 C66 2003
 
The Encyclopedia of the Musical Theatre
REFB ML 102 .M88 G3
 
The Greenwood Encyclopedia of Rock History
REFB ML 3534 .G754 2006
 
Music in the 20th Century
REFB ML 105 .M88 1999
 
Music Research: A Handbook
REFB ML 113 .S28 2009
 
Music since 1900
REFB ML 197 .S634 2001
 
The New Grove Dictionary of American Music
REFB ML 101 .U6 N48 1986
 
The New Grove Dictionary of Jazz (see also Oxford Music Online)
REFB ML 102 .J3 N48 2001
 
The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians (see also Oxford Music Online)
REFB ML 100 .N48 2001
 
The New Grove Dictionary of Musical Instruments
REFB ML 102 .I5 N48 1985
 
The New Grove Dictionary of Opera (see also Oxford Music Online)
REFB ML 102 .O6 N5 1992
 
Orchestral Music: A Handbook
REFB ML 128 .O5 D3 2005
 
The Oxford Companion to Music (see also Oxford Music Online)
REFB ML 100 .O94 2002
 
Provides access to The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians (2001), The Oxford Companion to Music (2011), The Oxford Dictionary of Music (2006), and The Encyclopedia of Popular Music (2006).
 
The Rock Song Index: The 7500 Most Important Songs of the Rock & Roll Era, 1944-2000
REFB ML 128 .R6 P65 2005
 
Sourcebook for Research in Music
REFB ML 113 .C68 2005

Biographical Reference Books

Baker's Biographical Dictionary of Musicians
REFB ML 105 .B16
 
Baker's Biographical Dictionary of Popular Musicians Since 1990
REFB ML 102 .P66 B35 2004
 
Baker's Biographical Dictionary of 20th Century Classical Musicians
REFB ML 105 .S612 1997
 
An online index to millions of biographical sketches in hundreds of reference books and other sources. To use the index, 1) Look up your name. 2) Note the various titles that contain information on the person. 3) Use the Libraries' online catalog to locate the reference works. An excellent place to begin biographical research on living and deceased persons from around the world.
 
Dictionary of American Classical Composers
REFB ML 106 .U3 B87 2005
 
The Harvard Biographical Dictionary of Music
REFB ML 105 .H38
 
International Dictionary of Black Composers
REFB ML 105 .I5
 
Latin American Classical Composers
REFB ML 105 .F53
 
The Unofficial Encyclopedia of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame
REFB ML 105 .T3 1998
 
Women and Music in America Since 1900
REFB ML 82 .W625
 
Women Composers: Music Through the Ages
REFB M2 .W88 1996
 
World Musicians
REFB ML 385 .W67 1999