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Research Guides@Tufts

Music: Music Databases

This is a general music research guide that highlights electronic music resources available at Tufts University, as well as a number of open-access online resources. You can search the library catalog to find additional materials and databases.

Finding Information (Reference databases & encyclopedias)

For databases with audio and video content, see the Streaming Databases tab.

Ethnomusicology: Global Field Recordings (part of Adam Matthews Explorer) is a diverse and comprehensive collection produced in collaboration with the UCLA Ethnomusicology Archive. The material in this collection includes thousands of audio field recordings and interviews, educational recordings, film footage, field notebooks, slides, correspondence and ephemera from over 60 fields of study.

Music Online: African American Music Reference  (part of Music Online --  see Streaming Databases tab)
African American Music Reference, one of a constellation of audio/video/textual resources under Alexander Street's Performing Arts Discipline, it brings together reference texts, biographies, chronologies, sheet music, images, lyrics, liner notes, and discographies which chronicle the diverse history and culture of the African American experience through music. Coverage includes blues, jazz, spirituals, civil rights songs, slave songs, minstrelsy, rhythm and blues, gospel, and other forms of black American musical expression.

Oxford Music Online (Grove)  (About)
Widely used throughout the academic and professional community as the first resource to turn to for any research in music. Having started with the full text of the 29-volume New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians (2nd ed., 2001), it now includes content from the associated Grove publications in American Music, Jazz, Musical Instruments, Opera, and Women Composers. Grove Music Online is expanded and updated regularly, so the online content may differ from print versions.

MGG Online 
Die Musik in Geschichte und Gegenwart [MGG] is a general encyclopedia of music in German: offering in-depth articles on every aspect of music as well as many related areas such as literature, philosophy, and visual arts. MGG Online contains the second print edition (published from 1994 to 2008), with current, continuous updates and additions. An embedded widget by Google Translate is available to convert German to your preferred language.

Music Online: Garland Encyclopedia of World Music  (part of Music Online --  see Streaming Databases tab)
Another Alexander Street Performing Arts Discipline resource, the Garland Encyclopedia of World Music Online is the first comprehensive online resource devoted to music research of all the world's peoples and includes the complete contents of the entire original set of 10 print volumes (1998-2002), which has been the preeminent reference work for research in ethnomusicology since its first publication in 1997. Each volume contains an overview of the region, a survey of its musical heritage, traditions and themes; and a description of specific musical genres, practices, and performances. Articles include detailed photographs that show musicians, musical instrument, and the cultural context of dances, rituals, and ceremonies. Other images include drawings, maps, and musical examples for further study.

RILM Music Encyclopedias
A full-text compilation of 54 seminal titles published from 1775 to the present and comprising nearly 80,000 pages, the majority of which are not available anywhere else online. This is an extensive global resource designed to meet the teaching, learning, and research needs of the international music community. It provides comprehensive encyclopedic coverage of the most important disciplines, fields, and subject areas, among them popular music, opera, instruments, blues, gospel, recorded sound, and women composers. Its content spans multiple countries and languages—English, German, French, Italian, Dutch, and Greek.

Finding Music (Scores and Recordings)

BabelScores is an online library of music scores and recordings specializing in contemporary music (1953 to present) from composers across the globe. The collection includes pieces in the following categories: instrumental music, music and scene, vocal music, electronic device, instruments and electronics, arrangements, composite work, and improvised. Each composer is represented with a short biography, list of works available on this platform, and a link to their audio recordings and a website (when available).

Jazz Discography Online (TJD Online)
General discography of all categories of recorded jazz, from 1896 to today. Covers all categories of jazz and other creative improvised music, including Traditional, Swing, Bop, Modern, Avant-Garde, Fusion, Third Stream, etc.

Music Online: Classical Scores Library  (part of Music Online --  see Streaming Databases tab)
Currently a work in progress (new scores are added every month) that will eventually contain over 50,000 Classical scores and manuscripts for study and analysis, representing 4,600 composers.

RISM International Inventory of Musical Sources
An international, non-profit joint venture which aims to comprehensively document the world's musical sources of manuscripts, early printed music, works on music theory, and libretti stored in libraries, archives, monasteries, schools and private collections. RISM documents what exists and where it is stored. RISM Series A concerns the work of individual composers, RISM Series B concerns a variety of collective works, including works on music theory as well as printed and manuscript music collections.

RISM contains over 1.1 million records for musical sources: the bulk of the manuscripts dates from between the years 1600 and 1850. The focus of printed music is imprints up to 1800 by a single composer and printed collections published between 1500 and 1550. However, you will find both older and newer sources in the catalog.

The online catalog contains all of series A/I, A/II, and years 1500-1550 of B/I. RISM's book publications in series B not found online document groups of sources by topic and can be found in the Music Reference section, call number ML113.I6B###...

RILM Index to Printed Music: Collections & Series
The Index to Printed Music is a digital finding aid for individual pieces of music published in the complete works of composers, in anthologies, and in other scholarly editions. Over 540,000 entries provide a granular level of detail about each piece, including performing forces, language, music incipits, multiple clefs, and figured bass.

Articles, Music Periodicals and Theses Indexes, and More

Doctoral Dissertations in Musicology-Online. American Musicological Society.
[PRINT. Music Reference ML128 .M8 A4]

An international bibliographic database for completed dissertations and new dissertation topics in the fields of music, music theory, and ethnomusicology. The online successor to: Doctoral Dissertations in Musicology, now no longer being maintained although you can search the legacy database. Cecil Adkins and Alis Dickinson, editors. 7th North American (2nd International) ed. Jointly published by AMS and IMS in 1984; 1984-1995 update published in 1996.

For current dissertation and theses listings, see ProQuest Dissertations and Theses Global.

Music Index Online
[PRINT. Music References Indexes ML118 .M84 (annual bound cumulations)]
The online version of the venerable index to English-language and international periodical articles begun in 1949. Coverage since ca.1970 has been converted to the online database. The Music Index contains cover-to-cover indexing and abstracts of articles about music, musicians and the music industry. In addition to journal articles, it provides citations for book reviews, obituaries and news articles. 

Music Magazine Archive
Music Magazine Archive is a series of digital collections focused on 20th and 21st century genres such as Rock, Folk, and Hip-Hop & Rap. These publications uniquely capture the social and historical context of each genre, and together support scholarly research areas such as race, class, gender, American studies, youth culture, and more across some of the most progressive decades of the 20th and 21st centuries. Researchers will find all material represented in the original publications, preserved in its original context, fully searchable and in high-resolution full color. This collection contains 1,461 issues comprising 100,696 pages and 91,441 articles.

Music Periodicals Database (formerly IIMP Full Text: International Index to Music Periodicals, Full Text Edition)  
Music Periodicals Database is a music journal resource providing indexing and abstracts for more than 600 international music periodicals, plus full text for 220 journals. The database currently includes over 600,000 article records, the majority of which index the most recent eight years of publication. Approximately one third of these records index journals from their backfile (i.e., prior to 1996) and although much of this coverage commences at the first issue of the journal run, some starting as early as 1874, the indexing is primarily limited to author/title.

RILM Abstracts of Music Literature (1967-)
The world's largest, continuously updated bibliography of music literature providing broad international coverage including citations in over 143 languages from 178 countries drawn from an unusually wide range of scholarly sources, including articles, books, conference proceedings, bibliographies, catalogs, dissertations, festchriften, iconographies, critical commentaries to complete works, ethnographic recordings and videos, reviews and more. Includes full text for more than 200 periodicals from 50 countries in 40 languages over 1 million pages of content!

RIPM Retrospective Index to Music Periodicals (1760-1966)
[PRINT. Music Reference  ML5.R275 (various volumes)]

An ongoing, international cooperative project to index historical journal literature focusing primarily on nineteenth-century music and musical life. Annotated records as well as some full text provide unique access to historical periodicals of international significance from primarily European and North American countries. Index subsets by publication title were produced in print until 2016 and can be found in the reference section of the Lilly Library.

Rock's Backpages
An online database of primary source information from the 1960s to the present day covering all aspects of popular music.  Includes over 20,000 articles from the music and mainstream press, reviews (albums and concerts), feature essays and audio interviews.