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Online databases and research tools for music

Many of the electronic resources listed on these pages are freely available on the web. Those that are listed as subscription-only may be accessed in the British Library Reading Rooms at St Pancras.

General music research resources
Resources for finding books, dissertations and articles on music
Resources for music manuscripts and archives
Resources for finding printed music
Some online sheet music sites
Resources for recorded music
Resources for music theory
Some links sites for music

General music research resources

Oxford Music Online (Subscription site; access available at the British Library)

Home of Grove Music Online (The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians), together with the New Grove Dictionary of Opera and New Grove Dictionary of Jazz, Oxford Dictionary of Music and Oxford Companion to Music.

The Golden Pages: Conferences in Musicology

Up-to-date listing of forthcoming and past conferences on music.

Resources for finding books, dissertations and articles on music 

RILM Abstracts of Music Literature (Subscription site; access available at the British Library)

Searchable index of books, dissertations and journal articles on music published worldwide, covering the period from 1967 to the present, with brief summaries of content of most of the books and articles indexed. Does not index articles in newspapers or the popular press.

Music Index (Subscription site; access available at the British Library)

Searchable index of articles in music periodicals, covering the period 1978 to the present, and encompassing journals on classical and popular music, jazz and world music. As with RILM, it does not cover newspaper articles.

RIPM: Retrospective Index to Music Periodicals (Subscription site; access available at the British Library)

International index to the contents of music periodicals published between 1800 and 1950.

DDM Online

Index to doctoral dissertations in musicology. Includes details both of completed dissertations and new dissertation topics.

Project Muse (Subscription site; access available at the British Library)

The full text of a range of journals, including a few music periodicals.

JSTOR (Subscription site; access available at the British Library)

Full-text access to a large number of music journals.

Periodicals Index Online (Subscription site; access available at the British Library)

An index to the contents of thousands of scholarly journals published from the latter part of the eighteenth century onwards. More than 130 music journals indexed.

Periodicals Archive Online (Subscription site; access available at the British Library)

An archive of hundreds of digitised journals, including 13 music journals. Coverage to 1995 in most cases.

BHInet (Subscription site; access available at the British Library)

The British Humanities Index, which indexes and provides abstracts from over 400 daily newspapers, weekly magazines and academic journals on the arts, literature, cinema, economics, history, current affairs, popular science, religion, music, and architecture.

COPAC

The merged online catalogues of 24 major university research libraries in the UK and Ireland, plus the British Library, the National Library of Scotland, and the National Library of Wales/Llyfrgell Genedlaethol Cymru. Includes book and journal titles, but not titles of individual articles within journals.

The European Library

Provides access to 11 million items from 43 European national libraries.

Resources for music manuscripts and archives

RISM: International Inventory of Musical Sources 

International finding tool for music manuscripts dating from 1600 to 1800. Does not yet include many records for British and Irish libraries, for which see RISM UK and Ireland database below.

RISM UK and Ireland Music Manuscripts Database

Finding tool for music manuscripts (1600 to 1800) held in British and Irish libraries. Includes facility for searching by melodic theme as well as composer/title.

DIAMM: Digital Image Archive of Medieval Music

A resource for the study of fragments and complete manuscripts of European medieval polyphonic music. Includes high-quality images of manuscripts.

National Italian Catalogue of Music Manuscripts

Digitised card index of pre-1900 music manuscripts in Italian libraries.

Manuscripts of the Abbey Library of St. Gall, Switzerland

High-resolution digital images of over 57,000 pages, including music manuscripts.

Cecilia

An online guide to music collections in archives, libraries and museums in the UK and Ireland. Contains descriptions of both printed and manuscript music collections.

The National Register of Archives

Searchable finding aid for tracing the papers of individuals and organisations. Includes numerous musicians and composers.

Access to Archives

Descriptions of archives in 390 record offices and other repositories in England.

SCAN: The Scottish Archive Network

Descriptions of archives in Scotland.

Archives Network Wales

Descriptions of archives in Record Offices and other repositories in Wales.

Archives Hub

Descriptions of the archives of UK universities and colleges.

Resources for finding printed music 

COPAC

The merged online catalogues of 24 major university research libraries in the UK and Ireland, plus the British Library, the National Library of Scotland, and the National Library of Wales/Llyfrgell Genedlaethol Cymru. Includes printed music from the earliest days of music printing to the present.

Cecilia

An online guide to music collections in archives, libraries and museums in the UK and Ireland. Contains descriptions of both printed and manuscript music collections.

WorldCat (Subscription site; access available at the British Library)

International database containing catalogue records for items held in major research, academic, national and specialist libraries world-wide. Includes printed music.

ESTC (The English short title catalogue)

International bibliography of letterpress books, pamphlets and serials issued from 1473 to 1800 in the British Isles, North America and in English dependencies worldwide, with current library locations of surviving copies. Some music is included.

The British Book Trade Index

Index of the names and brief biographical details of people who worked in the book trade in England and Wales and who were trading by 1851. Includes useful information on music publishers, engravers and booksellers.

Index to composer names in RISM B/I (pdf file)

RISM Series A/I and B, the main resources for finding printed music published before 1800, are not yet available online, but exist in book form only. Please see the RISM website for bibliographic details. The above index of names is intended to be used in conjunction with RISM Series B/I.

IPM - Index to Printed Music: Collections & Series (Subscription site; access available at the British Library)

A database for finding individual pieces of music published in standard scholarly editions, such as 'Collected works'. The music included is published in sets and series and organized according to various criteria, e.g. by composer, by geographical area, or by time or style period.

The Barbican Music Library Song Index

An index to songs in printed anthologies. Covers pop, rock, folk, jazz and musicals, plus a smaller number of classical songs and opera arias.

The Hymn Tune Index

An index to hymn tunes printed before 1820, with a tune-search facility

Bicinium

A resource for two-part didactic compositions of the Renaissance and Baroque.

The Music Publishers Association

The MPA offers a premium-rate phone line to help anyone who is searching for sheet music. It also publishes on CD-ROM a catalogue of the sheet music currently in print in the UK (CD-ROM available at the British Library).

Some online sheet music sites 

Victorian popular music

Victorian songs and piano pieces from the British Library's collections.

Bodleian Library Broadside Ballads

Thousands of ballad texts, a few with music.

The Dancing Master, 1651-1728: An illustrated compendium

The music and notated dance steps from the various editions of Playford's The English Dancing Master.

Hymn Resources on the Internet

Links to sites containing full text transcriptions of hymns, and some facsimiles.

American Memory Project

19th- and 20th-century American sheet music, plus archives of Leonard Bernstein, Aaron Copland and others.

The Juilliard Manuscript Collection

Digital images of the 138 autograph music manuscripts, sketches, engravers' proofs and first editions in the Juilliard Manuscript Collection.

New York Public Library Digital Gallery

American popular song sheet covers, 1890-1900, and the Joseph Muller Collection of musicians' portraits.

19th-century California sheet music

Library of about 2000 items of sheet music published in California, 1852-1900.

The Lester S. Levy Sheet Music Collection

American popular music held by the Johns Hopkins University.

Sheet music consortium

Collaborative venture by UC Los Angeles, Indiana University, Johns Hopkins University, and Duke University to put digitised sheet music on the web.

MusicAustralia

Printed music published in Australia or by Australian composers.

The Hoagy Carmichael Collection

Music from the collections held by Indiana University.

Chopin Early Editions

Digitized images of the scores in the University of Chicago Library's Chopin collection.

The Jean-Baptiste Lully Collection

Downloadable images of the early printed editions held at the University of North Texas.

Mutopia Project

600+ pieces of downloadable classical music in PDF, PS and GNU LilyPond formats, taken from out-of-copyright editions.

Choral Public Domain Library

7500+ pieces of downloadable choral music.

Resources for recorded music

Sounds (Information about the recordings available to all; access to the recordings available to licensed UK higher and further education institutions and in the British Library reading rooms.)

12,000 selected recordings of music, spoken word, and human and natural environments

SearchMuze (Subscription site; access available at the British Library)

Online guide to UK distributed music and video releases..

Cylinder Preservation and Digitization Project

Free digital access to 6000 cylinder recordings at the University of California, Santa Barbara

Research resources for music theory

Thesaurus Musicarum Latinarum

An evolving database of the entire corpus of Latin music theory written during the Middle Ages and the Renaissance.

Lexicon musicum Latinum mediiaevi

A dictionary of medieval Latin musical terminology to the end of the 15th century

saggi musicali italiani

A full-text database of the major music treatises written in Italian.

Traités français sur la musique

A full-text database of the major music treatises written in French.

Texts on Music in English

A full-text database of the major music treatises written in English.

Some links sites for music

Online resources for music scholars

Links to archival collections, online scores and sound recordings; article indexes, discographies and bibliographies; scholarly societies; musical reference works; and a miscellany of useful websites, compiled by Harvard College Library.

Classical Net

Links to more than 4000 other classical music sites, together with general information about music.

The Golden Pages

Links on music, provided by Royal Holloway, University of London.

Contact

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