Loeb Music Library

Frequently Consulted Resources

These are some of the Music Library’s most frequently consulted resources. For a more complete listing, please visit Online Resources for Music Scholars.

Questions and comments, including requests for new materials and reference inquiries, may be directed to Kerry Masteller.

Encyclopedias and Dictionaries

  • The Garland Encyclopedia of World Music Online
    An encyclopedia devoted to music of the world’s peoples, with comprehensive articles, thorough bibliographies, and discographies. Each volume contains an overview of a geographic region, a survey of its musical heritage, and a description of specific musical genres, practices, and performances.
  • Grove Music Online
    An encyclopedia with articles on music history, theory, people, places, and genres, with composer works lists and bibliographies. Part of Oxford Music Online; other reference sources in this database are The New Grove Dictionary of Jazz, The Encyclopedia of Popular Music, The Oxford Dictionary of Music, and The Oxford Companion to Music.
  • RILM Music Encyclopedias
    A full-text, international, multi-lingual collection of current and historical music encyclopedias published from 1775 to the present.

Journals and Articles

  • International Index to Music Periodicals (IIMP)
    An index of articles and reviews from over 400 scholarly and popular music periodicals (1874-present), covering topics including historical musicology, ethnomusicology, music theory and composition, musical theatre and popular music, and music education, plus full text for around 140 journals.
  • International Index to the Performing Arts (IIPA): Full Text
    An index of articles and reviews from over 300 performing arts periodicals (1864-present), covering dance, film, theatre, opera, and stagecraft, plus full text from over 100 journals.
    Full text back issues of academic journals, including music and performing arts titles, published from the 1840s to the 2010s. Note: JSTOR does not include journal issues from the last 3-5 years.
  • Music Index
    An index of over 800 music periodicals; strengths are popular music, ethnomusicology, and reviews. The online version of the Music Index covers articles published from 1970-present; earlier volumes are available in print.
  • RILM Abstracts of Music Literature
    An international bibliography, with abstracts in English, of music articles, collections, and books covering publications from the 1800s to the present. Especially good for finding book chapters and conference proceedings.
  • RIPM: Retrospective Index to Music Periodicals
    Full text music periodicals from the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Especially useful for research in musical thought and culture.

Online Recordings and Video

  • Music Online
    A family of online collections: over 670,000 recordings/videos and 80,000 books and scores (as of June 2016). Subsets of the collection are: Classical Music Library, Smithsonian Global Sound, American Song and African American Music, Contemporary World Music, Opera in Video, Dance in Video, the Garland Encyclopedia of World Music, African American Music Reference, and Classical Scores Library.
  • Naxos Music Library
    Classical, world, jazz, and folk recordings, with biographical information, opera synopses and libretti, glossaries and pronunciation guides.
  • Naxos Music Library: Jazz
    Jazz, blues, R&B, rock, and spoken word from Blue Note, Fantasy, Warner, Naxos Jazz, and other labels.
  • Naxos Music Library: World
    World music from the catalogues of Smithsonian Folkways, ARC Music, Nonesuch, and other labels.

Online Scores

  • Music Online: Classical Scores Library
    Full, study, piano, and vocal scores of music from the Middle Ages to the 21st century, available for use online or printed/saved to PDF. Also accessible through Music Online.
  • Sheet Music Consortium: Sheet Music on the Web
    Hundreds of thousands of pieces of sheet music from major collections in libraries and archives. Useful for finding music for the popular market; their illustrated covers and title pages also make sheet music collections rich sources of visual evidence. Many of the pieces in this database are available online.


  • The Music-in-print series
    A database of publication information for scores currently in print.
    Open access catalog of over 1,000,000 musical sources from libraries and archives around the world. Contains RISM series A/I (Music prints before 1800), A/II (Music manuscripts after 1600), and part of B/I (Printed anthologies issued 1500-1550). Some catalog entries include links to digitized sources.