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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.


There are many music dictionaries and encyclopedias that are relevant for American music research. Depending on the topic you are researching, you may need to consult a specialized one or a more general one. We've highlighted several recommended reference sources for American music topics below to get you started.

If you need any help navigating these sources, don't hesitate to ask a librarian!

Selected Encyclopedias & Dictionaries

Browse the list of selected core dictionaries and encyclopedias below to get started! Remember that you can also search the library catalog for your topic and "dictionary" or "encyclopedia"  (e.g., Gospel music encyclopedia) to see if we have one that is more specific and relevant to your research.