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Music Research

Resources and research information for music students and faculty.


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Shelley Rogers
Senior Cataloger & Professor

Ingram Library

University of West Georgia

1601 Maple St.

Carrollton, GA 30118

678-839-6351 (office)


Articles in periodicals (scholarly journals, trade journals, newspapers, and popular magazines) will be part of your research.  Periodicals are published more frequently than books, so they are essential when looking for information on current topics.  Although articles in scholarly journals can be quite lengthy, articles are generally shorter than books, which means articles may cover very focused aspects of a topic.

If you are looking for an article on a topic, use the databases or indexes.

If you are looking for a particular article and you know the name of the periodical in which the article can be found, use the "Journals" tab on the library's homepage.

Any article not available through the services above can be requested via Resource Sharing.

See the Websites tab in this guide for information about open access journals.

Scholarly v. popular resources.  Do you need help understanding the difference between scholarly and popular resources?  The University of Arkansas has a great webpage that explains the differences; click here to view it.  ProQuest puts an icon (a tiny picture) next to the articles; mouse over it to learn if it is from a scholarly journal, a trade journal, or a magazine. 

Peer reviewed or refereed journals.  If you're using an EBSCO database and want to know if an article you find is peer reviewed, click on the title of the journal and look at the last line of information.  It will say "Peer reviewed: Yes" if that journal is peer reviewed.  For articles in JSTOR, click on the "Publication Info" link next to the journal's title.  It may indicate whether that journal is peer reviewed; if not, look for that journal's website on the Internet and try to discover it from there.  Most journals in JSTOR are peer reviewed, but not all.  In many databases, you can limit your search strategy to have the computer look only for peer reviewed articles, if that is the only type you want to retrieve (although JSTOR can not do that).  Alternatively, Ingram Library does subscribe to the database Ulrich's, where you can look up each journal and it will tell you if it is peer reviewed.  (They call it refereed there).  This icon:   on Ulrich's indicates whether the journal is refereed.

Databases and Indexes

For most lower level, non-professional research, a general database such as Academic Search Complete will cover most of what you need, including the basics of a topic and the latest developments.  When doing more scholarly, higher level research, you will want to use our subject specific databases in music.  These are listed below.  Education databases may also be relevant to your research.  A few of them are listed below; see more in the Education section of Databases & GALILEO.

To access databases from off campus, you will need to log on with your UWG username and password.  

Indexes in paper format are shelved on the ground floor (lowest level) of the library in compact shelving.   

Music Databases

Oxford Music Online (which includes Grove Music Online)

Full text coverage of The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians The New Grove Dictionary of Opera, and The New Grove Dictionary of Jazz.  Also accesses The Oxford Dictionary of Music and The Oxford Companion to Music.  The interface was redesigned on December 7, 2017.  The tutorial on this music research guide for Oxford Music Online will be changed soon, but in the meantime, see the tutorials on their platform for help.  Please ignore the sign in box on the left if it says University of West Georgia right above it; you are already authenticated in the system and do not need to log in.

Music Index

A comprehensive subject-author guide to music periodical literature, including all aspects of classical and popular music.  Music Index has been available in print since 1949.  Online coverage spans from 1973 to the present and contains surveyed data from 850 international music periodicals from over 40 countries.  Some backfile data from 1962-1972 is also included.

Education Databases

Education Journals (ProQuest)

          Covers hundreds of journals in the field of education.

ERIC (at EBSCOhost)

The Educational Resources Information Center (ERIC) covers all aspects of education and educational research.

Professional Development Collection (Education)

A specialized collection for professional educators.

Other Online Databases

American Film Institute Catalog

Covers American cinema from 1893 to 1974, with selected major films from 1975 to the present.

Art Full Text

Covers art periodicals.


Contains bibliographic citations that describe items listed on the table of contents pages of journals in humanities and other areas, 1990 to the present.

Biography and Genealogy Master Index

Use this electronic resource to search for information about people, both living and deceased.

Credo Reference

This is a great source for the kind of material found in reference sources, like encyclopedias, dictionaries, biographies, quotations, etc.

Some specific to music are:

The Faber Companion to 20th Century Popular Music

The Harvard Biographical Dictionary of Music

The Harvard Dictionary of Music

Metropolitan Opera Encyclopedia: A Comprehensive Guide to the World of Opera

Opera: The Great Composers and their Masterworks

Eighteenth Century Collections Online (ECCO)

Covers over 136,000 books, pamphlets, essays, broadsides, and more written during the 1700s.

EJS E-Journals

Covers 131 journals and books on music, as well as other topics.

Encyclopaedia Britannica Online

Thousands of articles from the printed set of books, plus thousands not found in the print set.

Films on Demand

View educational videos in the humanities and other subjects.

Humanities International Index

This database provides coverage for over 2100 journals in the humanities from 1925 to the present.

International Bibliography of Theater & Dance with Full Text (IBTD)

Full text articles and books for those studying theater and the performing arts, with coverage from 1936 to the present.


Coverage from 1800s for back issues of selected core journals.


A curated academic search engine that indexes thousands of free ejournals in the arts and humanities.

Oxford African American Studies Center

Covers the African American experience.

Oxford Reference Online

A core collection of about 100 dictionary, language reference, and subject reference works by Oxford University Press.

Periodicals Archive Online (ProQuest)

An archive of hundreds of digitized journals published in the arts, humanities, and social sciences.

Project Muse

Full text access to current content in the humanities and social sciences.

Research Library (ProQuest)

Full text access for thousands of periodicals from 1971 to the present. (The U.S. Government's Official Web Portal)

          Allows searching of over 51 million web pages from federal and state governments.