Skip to Main Content

University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

American Music

A guide to help you begin your research and find books, articles, and special collections materials on American Music topics.


This page explains how to search for books on American music using the library catalog. The box below includes recommended subject headings so that you can do some searching on your own, and the box at the bottom includes selected materials to get you started. 

Recommended Subject Headings

Conducting a keyword search in the Library catalog is always a great place to start. Use the "Material Type" filter on the right of the "Advanced Search" screen to limit your results to "Books."

After finding a relevant book in the catalog, use the topics (listed in the subject field of the record) to find related materials. At this point, if you've identified several promising materials that have the same subjects listed, consider clicking on any of the subject headings to launch a new search for similarly classified items.

You can also try searching by subject heading to start.

Here are some suggested subject headings to help you retrieve the most helpful resources from the catalog:

  • Music--United States (or add a modifier before music, e.g. "Popular Music--United States" or "Rock Music--United States")
  • Music--United States--history and criticism (instead of "history and criticism" you could also try "social aspects" or "criticism and interpretation", depending on your interest)
  • Composers--United States

Selected Books from the Catalog