Use these ONLINE resources to locate authoritative factual information such as biographies, dates, and works listings. This is generally the sort of information you need when starting research projects and for writing program notes.
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. Make sure to also check out some of the TOPICAL entries and other helpful features available like the following (and many more):
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 include books like the following selections (and many more):
AFRICAN AMERICAN MUSIC
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. Includes books like the following selections (and many more):
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.
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. Includes entries on topics like the following (and many more):
Gale Virtual Reference Library * is an excellent resource for a plethora of electronic encyclopedias and dictionaries. Very few offered here are specific to music, but many of them can be helpful. For example, if looking up information on queer musicians, you will find some excellent information in the Encyclopedia of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender History. Another example: Use something like Encyclopedia Judaica to find information on Jewish music. Be a researcher and look everywhere!
(General music encyclopedias focused on my music of a particular country/culture)
POPULAR & JAZZ
MINORITIES IN MUSIC
HISTORICAL PERFORMANCE PRACTICE