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University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

IS 451: Bibliography of Africa - Music

This guide outlines key resources and search techniques for finding African music resources.

Search Tips and Subject Headings

Searching the catalog by subject is a great way to get a sense of what material is available on the topic you're researching. To search by subject in the library catalog:

  • Click on "Advanced Search" to the right of the search bar
  • Underneath "Search filters", you'll see that the default is set to "Any Field"
  • Click on the arrow next to "Any Field" and select "Subject" from the drop-down menu
  • Try a search with one of the subject headings recommended below
  • Once you've found a relevant book in the catalog, you can also use the subjects listed in the record to find additional related materials

When conducting a subject search, always start with what you know! Try searching for a style, country, region, or ethnic group and the term music. Then, evaluate your results to see how they are described. Check to see which Subjects are used to describe the topic -- you can then click on these to find related materials or use them to develop new search terms. 

Examples of Subjects include:

Recommended Resources

In addition to specific journals listed below, also check out the Current Bibliographies (retired) from the Society for Ethnomusicology for specific articles and our guide dedicated to finding articles:


Databases that focus on music sources:

Databases that focus on performing arts sources:

General databases with good music/interdisciplinary coverage: