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Music: Books, eBooks, & Dissertations

Starting points for research in music

Find Books

If you are searching for a particular book or want to discover a book on a certain topic, you should use a catalog to locate a book.

The new UC Library Search online catalog not only searches the physical and electronic holdings of UCI Libraries, but also all of the libraries across the University of California system. If you sign into your library account using your UCINet ID and password, you'll be able to request physical materials and scans of articles and book chapters from other UC libraries directly from the catalog.

If you want to browse the music collections to discover something new then head up to the 3rd floor of Langson Library. Call numbers for music materials begin with the letter M.

M - Music. Most of the sheet music is here.

ML - Books about music. Generally music history and analysis.

MT - Music Instruction. A mix of books and sheet music. Music education, some music theory, etude books, and orchestral excerpts.

Find Dissertations and Theses

Locate dissertations and theses using the following tools:

Dissertations and Theses * is a multidisciplinary database that allows you to find doctoral dissertations and masters theses. In addition to the actual subject content, I find these documents particularly valuable for their bibliographies.

Doctoral Dissertations in Musicology is a service provided by the American Musicological Society (AMS). This database currently contains records for over 14,000 dissertations only related to music. This can also be used to locate dissertations currently in progress.

NDLTD is a free search engine to locate electronic theses and dissertations from all over the world. Many are freely available online.

Interlibrary Loan

When you're in UC Library Search, you can request items that we don't locally own or that are currently checked out using the Interlibrary Loan (ILL) process. You will need to login to your library account (this uses your UCINet ID and password) to initiate this request. Full information is available here:


UCI Libraries offers many different ebook collections. Some of these collections provide books on many different subjects and others only focus on a few different subjects. Following is a select list of ebook collections that are most relevant to Music:

Cambridge Companions to Music * provide clear and accessible information on composers, instruments, and musical topics with the performer and student in mind.

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.

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

Oxford History of Western Music * is a comprehensive 6 volume survey of western music by the prominent musicologist Richard Taruskin

JSTOR Music eBooks * has many books published by major university presses related to music. UCI has access to many of the books published from 2017-present.

ACLS Humanities E-Books provides approximately 4000 ebooks from dozens of different scholarly publishers that have all been recommended by scholars in 10 different learned societies as making significant contributions to their fields.

HathiTrust is an ongoing project between many different large academic libraries to provide digital access to their public domain works. The UCI community is able to access over 5,000 books specifically about music and over 4,000 pieces of sheet music. Make sure to login!!

The eBooks research guide has a large list of more popular ebook resources.