Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
Music & Performing Arts Library
Major Reference Sources and Histories
Both reference sources (dictionaries, encyclopedias, etc.) and music history texts can be very useful for situating a specific topic within a time period. They can also be great resources for identifying topics that are of interest to you.
Oxford Music Online
Oxford Music Online provides online access to a number of music reference sources, including the New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians. The New Grove Dictionary is a key resource in the study of music and is an excellent place to start your research.
Oxford History of Western Music
Histories are very useful for providing the context of a particular composer, work, or genre of music. They can give you background on the development of a particular type of music or composer in a particular time and/or place. This resource is broken down by time periods, including sections on Music from the Earliest Notations to the Sixteenth Century and Music In The Seventeenth And Eighteenth Centuries.