This research guide will help you get started finding sources about music theory for non-Western music and music theory by people of color. The best place to get started is by looking for general information about the theorist, genre of music, or music of the culture that you are interested in. Use these four resources to find basic information and bibliographies of resources relevant to your topic.
The Garland Encyclopedia of World Music is the standard starting point for research on non-Western music. This 10-volume encyclopedia is available online and is divided into volumes on the major geographic areas of the world:
Volume 1: Africa
Volume 2: South America, Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean
Volume 3: The United States and Canada
Volume 4: Southeast Asia
Volume 5: South Asia: The Indian Subcontinent
Volume 6: The Middle East
Volume 7: East Asia: China, Japan, and Korea
Volume 8: Europe
Volume 9: Australia and the Pacific Islands
Volume 10: The World's Music: General Perspectives and Reference Tools
Each volume has a "Guide to Publications" at the end with extensive sources organized by region and topic. Some volumes also have sections that are specifically about music theory for different kinds of music. Use the table of contents on the right side of the screen to navigate this encyclopedia. Here is an example of several sections that might be useful in Volume One
Note that this encyclopedia was published in the late 1990s, so the bibliography only extends so far. However, there is nothing that rivals the Garland encyclopedia when starting to research non-Western music.
Grove Music Online, includes the full texts of The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, 2nd edition (2001), The New Grove Dictionary of Opera (1992), and The New Grove Dictionary of Jazz, 2nd edition (2002), The Grove Dictionary of American Music (2013), as well as the Oxford Dictionary of Music , and the Oxford Companion of Music.
These encyclopedias are particularly helpful for learning more about individual composers, genres, and periods of the Western tradition and Jazz. At the end of each entry is an extensive bibliography, which may include writings by the composer, where they may discuss their theories. You can then search for these titles in Library Search or request them through Interlibrary Loan.
For example, here is the section of the entry for Duke Ellington, listing his own writings about music:
You can also search and browse articles by location under the tabs "Region" and "Place Type." Every country should have an entry with a history of music in that country, and a bibliography.
This database has reference entries and books about a variety of genres of music by African Americans and biographical information about hundreds of artists.
This database contains recordings of music from all over the world. Particularly useful for your assignment may be the liner notes that come with each recording. You can find them on the right-hand side of the screen under "Related Documents."