Skip to Main Content

University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

MUS 528: Research and Bibliography

Thinking Outside of Music

If your topic crosses multiple subject areas or if you just want to get a broader context for your topic beyond the world of music, consider exploring a non-music-specific database. Here are a few suggestions for getting started:

  • Filter the Library's Databases A-Z list by subject to see what databases we have available in other subject areas. Start with the Best Bets section as those databases have been selected by subject specialists as good places to start your research.
  • Go directly to a departmental library's homepage to see what databases and resources they recommend.
  • Reach out to a Subject Specialist by email or set up a consultation.
  • Check out our list of recommended resources below.

What's an Interdisciplinary Topic?

Still not sure when to look beyond your discipline? Here's an example to help you think through when your research might benefit from interdisciplinary resources. Let's say you're interested in protest music. What resources should you consult?

  • American and African American history databases would be helpful places to research the role of music in the Civil Rights Movement.
  • To take a more global perspective, you could consult area studies databases to look into the role of protest songs in the struggle against apartheid.
  • Newspaper databases, particularly those focusing on radical or alternative press, might also come in handy.
  • If you're particularly interested in music as political protest, you might want to look into Political Science resources as well.

Whatever your topic, try casting a wide net and exploring how different academic disciplines might help enrich your research.

Humanities and Social Sciences

If your research interest crosses multiple humanities or social science disciplines like history, women's and gender studies, or education, check out the recommendations below.


If your research interest has to do with acoustics, physics of music, computers in music, or a similar subject, check out Scopus.

Historical Coverage

Sometimes you will need to reference materials older than those contained in the standard music journal databases. Below you'll find a few best bets if you are searching for historical information about composers and their music.