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* UC Irvine access only

Music: Encyclopedias, etc.

Starting points for research in music

Essential Online Reference Resources

Use these resources to locate authoritative factual information such as biographies, dates, and works listings.

Oxford Music Online * contains several important resources including New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians (the place to go for information when you think you wanted to go to Wikipedia instead) and other specialized encyclopedias. Use this site to find biographies of composers and performers. Also important for the complete works listings of each composer providing essential information for program notes.

  • New Grove also available in print: 1st floor Langson Library - ML100.N48 2001

Garland Encyclopedia of World Music * is the best starting point for finding basic information about music from all over the world. Be aware that if you plan to browse this resource that it is arranged geographically, not alphabetically.

  • Available in print: 1st floor Langson Library - ML100.G16 1998

Oxford Bibliographies Online: Music* provides lengthy annotated bibliographies by experts on each subject. Use one of the bibliographies to quickly locate the essential readings on a given topic.

Oxford Handbooks Online: Music* are excellent starting points for both factual and analytical topics in music. Tends to focus on contemporary topics like technology in music, etc.

Classical Music Reference Library * brings together about 40 different music reference resources. Most notable are Baker's Biographical Dictionary of Musicians (all 6 volumes) and Women Composers (all 8 volumes). Other resources are generally composer specific such as Thomas Grey's Richard Wagner and His World and Glenda Dawn Goss' The Sibelius Companion.

African American Music Reference * contains essays and liner notes related to blues, jazz, spirituals, civil rights songs, slave songs, minstrelsy, rhythm and blues, gospel, and other forms of black American musical expression.



If you're researching off campus then you will need to login to the UCI VPN for authentication through the campus network. There are two different methods of connection:

Software - This authentication process takes a bit more time at the initial setup, but will work better in the long run. Note - some pages may not load properly using IE8.

Web - Use Web VPN to access resources with less initial work. Note - some pages may load more slowly than if using the Software VPN. Also, not all UCI resources (such as Naxos Music Library and Opera in Video) may work with Web VPN.

For additional assistance please contact OIT at (949) 824-2222.