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University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Indigenous Musics of North America

This guide serves as a starting point for research on Indigenous musics.


This page includes resources for finding articles about indigenous music. We've included some search tips in the box below as well as a list of suggested article databases to guide your search. For more information about searching for and accessing scholarly articles through the Library, check our our guide linked below.

Finding Articles in Databases

Choosing Search Terms

Just like with finding books, it's always a good idea to brainstorm similar words that might also be used to represent your topic before you start searching. Below are some tips for getting started with keywords:

  • American Indian, Amerindian, Native American, First NationsFirst Peoples, or Indigenous
  • Specific tribe/nation (e.g. Cherokee)
  • Combining a tribe/nation with a topic (e.g. Shoshone music)

Once you find a relevant article, always look at the subjects or topics listed in the description to find related materials and help you brainstorm keywords.

Choosing a Database

The best place to find scholarly articles is in one of the library's databases. The University of Illinois subscribes to over a thousand different databases that can help you access the content you need. It can be overwhelming to know how to start searching, so we've pulled out a list of recommendations to get you started.

Databases are listed below and grouped by discipline. If you'd like to search across several databases at once, look for an option to Choose Databases by the search bar. Here you can select additional databases to search at the same time.

Screenshot in Anthropology Plus (an EBSCO database) showing that the Choose Databases button appears to the right of the database name above the search bar

Suggested Databases