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University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Electronic and Digital Music Guide

This guide includes search tips and recommended print, online, and archival resources for researching electronic and digital music.


Welcome to the Music & Performing Arts Library (MPAL) guide to electronic and digital music research resources! 

Use the tabs to the left to navigate this guide, and don't hesitate to reach out to a librarian if you need extra help.

Depending on your research topic, you may also want to check out some of our other library guides. We are linking a few below that might be particularly helpful.

Tips for Exploring the Collection

Browsing the shelves for materials related to your topic can be a great way to identify items that may be useful to you! If you find one or two items that seem promising, look on the shelves at the items surrounding them.

If you want to read more about call numbers and how to decipher them, check our guide to Classification Systems. If you're not sure where to go in the Library to browse one of these call number ranges, please ask us at the service desk and we'll be happy to point you in the right direction or walk you to the shelves! 

For search suggestions to browse the catalog, check out the next tab of this box!

Suggested Call Numbers

Check out the call number ranges below for an idea of where to start looking for books and scores related to electronic and digital music. 


  • Electronic Music, Computer Music: ML1380 and 789.9
  • Film Music, Video Game Music: ML3540.7
  • Composition of Electronic Music: MT40
  • Sound Effects and Film Music: PN2071
  • Philosophy, Science, and Psychology of Music: ML3800 - ML3922
  • New Music: ML197
  • Dance Music: ML3400 - ML3465
  • Sound Effects and Theatre: PN2091


  • Orchestral Electronic Music: M1045
  • Percussion with Electronic Tape: M175
  • Electronic Music: M1473
  • Film Music: M1527
  • Instruments with Electronic Tape: M298
  • Chance Compositions: M1470
  • Music for Tape: M285.E
  • Dance Music: M1450

Search by Subject

Each item in the library catalog is assigned one or more subject headings to tell you what it is about. You can search by subject heading using the catalog's Advanced Search feature. 

To search by subject in the catalog:

  • Open the library catalog and click on "Advanced Search" to the right of the search bar
  • Underneath "Search filters", you'll see that the default is set to "Any Field"
  • Click on the arrow next to "Any Field" and select "Subject" from the drop-down menu
  • Try a search with one of the subject headings recommended below
  • Once you've found a relevant book in the catalog, you can also use the subjects listed in the record to find additional related materials

Recommended Subject Headings

  • Electronic Music, Electronic Music--History and Criticism
  • Computer Music, Video Game Music
  • Movie Music, Film Music
  • Avant-Garde Music
  • Aleatoric Music
  • Musique Concrète
  • Soundscapes
  • Sound Effects