Bibliographies of Literature on Music
Literature about music is published in books and in periodicals. Bibliographies and indexes help us find the books and articles on specific musical topics. The resources listed below are some of the most basic resources for finding literature on musical topics. Examine each, and see what each has to offer for the topic for your research.
However, once you've found a promising source, there's no guarantee that the local library will own it. Search the library's catalog first. If the source is not listed, use Interlibrary Loan (ILL) to have it delivered to you. At UVa, ILL service is available to faculty, students and staff from Interlibrary Services.
The following resources are good places to start to locate books and articles within books on any topic:
- The bibliographies attached to encyclopedia and dictionary articles (in MGG, New Grove, etc.). Keep in mind that there are many specialized encyclopedias and dictionaries listed in Duckles/Reed, Marco, and Crabtree and Foster and found in the reference section of the Music Library that may be of help in seeking literature on any particular topic.
- Bibliographies from other books and from articles in journals. Once you find a good discussion of the topic you are investigating, its bibliography and footnotes will often lead you to other good resources.
- Composer research guides/bio-bibliographies. Duckles/Reed Chapter 6. Research guides to the works of many major and some minor composers have been compiled in two series:
- Garland composer resource manuals
- Greenwood Press' Bio-bibliographies in music.
- Both are classified in ML134 (then alphabetical by the composer's last name); some are in the stacks and some in the Reference collection. They contain works lists as well as lists of books and articles about the composer. These tools can be a valuable starting point for research but they are out of date as soon as they are published. To find them in VIRGO, do a Begins with search on the composer's last name or a Subject search on the topic and scroll until you see the subdivision-BIBLIOGRAPHY.
VIRGO (University of Virginia online catalog)
Keep in mind that any library catalogue lists only those books that happen to be in that library's collections, and that VIRGO does not always list the title of each essay in a book of collected essays. Use sources such as Gerboth, Wenk, Diamond or RILM to locate essays and articles in books.
- Doctoral Dissertations in Musicology. Philadelphia: American Musicological Society, International Musicological Society, 1984- (Ref. ML128.M8A4 Suppl.) Duckles/Reed 4.136. Marco #0337.
- Doctoral Dissertations in Musicology-Online is an index to dissertations-in-progress and a bibliography of completed dissertations reported since mid-1995, arranged under the traditional broad categories. In addition, DDM-Online includes all the records previously published in the earlier printed editions of Doctoral Dissertations in Musicology. Duckles/Reed 12.21.
A Festschrift (pl. Festschriften) is a collection of essays written in honor of a scholar on the occasion of a major birthday or retirement. (Fest = festival; schriften = to write)
- Gerboth, Walter. An Index to Musical Festschriften and Similar Publications. New York: W. W. Norton, 1969. (Ref. ML128.M8G4) Duckles/Reed 4.27. Marco #0361.
- Diamond, Harold J. Music Analyses: an annotated guide to the literature. New York: Schirmer, 1991. (Ref. ML128.A7D5 1991) Duckles/Reed 4.133. Lists critical writings on music in English, arranged by composer and work.
- Wenk, Arthur B. Analyses of Nineteenth-and-Twentieth-Century Music, 1940-1985. MLA Index and Bibliography Series, no. 25. Boston: Music Library Association, 1987. (Ref. ML113.W45 1987) Duckles/Reed 4.135. Indexes analyses published in books and periodicals.
Virgo will tell you whether U.Va. has a particular periodical (Search Begins with/Journal title opera news),but does not index the contents of those periodicals to help you find articles. In order to find articles on a particular musical topic, consult the following indexes:
- International Index to Music Periodicals (IIMP). Find articles from over 300 international music periodicals from over 20 countries and view full text of articles from some 80 journals. Also indexes feature music articles, book reviews, and obituaries appearing in the New York Times and the Washington Post. Available only to U.Va. users.
- JStor Arts & Sciences III Collection indexes complete backruns of core journals in music, language and literature, and art and architecture. Available only to U.Va. users.
- RILM Abstracts of Music Literature (RILM) is an international musicological bibliography, listing scholarly works in all areas and formats. Available only to U.Va. users.
- International Index to the Performing Arts indexes over 200 scholarly and popular periodicals covering dance, film, television, theater, opera, stagecraft, broadcast arts, storytelling and more. Full text for citations since 1998. Available only to U.Va. users.
- InfoTrac OneFile indexes articles and reviews in the humanities, social and general sciences, and other fields, including some full text. Music titles with full-text include American Music, Billboard, Black Music Research Journal, Down Beat, Early Music, Music & Letters, 19th Century Music, Notes, and Perspectives in New Music. Available to U.Va. users only.
- The Music Index. Detroit: Information Coordinators, Inc., 1949- . (Ref. ML118.M84). Duckles/Reed 4.89. Marco #0289.Indexes articles in over 500 music journals by author and subject. Book reviews are indexed under the subject heading "Book Reviews". International in coverage. Arranged alphabetically, and issued monthly, with annual cumulations. Current to 12/97. Compare The Music Index on CD-ROM.
- RILM Abstracts of Music Literature. New York: International RILM Center, 1967- . (Ivy Stacks ML118.R2). Duckles/Reed 4.90. Marco #0260. Sponsored jointly by the International Musicological Society, the International Association of Music Libraries, and the American Council of Learned Societies. RILM stands for: Répertoire International de Littérature Musicale (International Repertory of Music Literature). Indexes articles in periodicals and books, dissertations, catalogues, etc. A brief abstract of the content of each item is included. The printed edition arranges citations and abstracts in classifications by subject; citations are located via author, title, and subject indexes. The print edition is issued annually. See also RILM online.
- The Music Index on CD-ROM. Alexandria, VA: Chadwyck-Healy, Harmonie Park Press. (Location: Music Library CD-ROM tower). Duckles/Reed 12.11.Indexes articles in over 500 music journals by author and subject. Book reviews are indexed under the subject heading "Book Reviews". International in coverage. The CD-ROM version is updated only annually and at present includes only the years 1981-1992, so the print version must be consulted for articles published both before and after those years.