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Music Research Tools

A guide to various tools and resources for studying music


Welcome to the Music Research Tools guide. Here you will learn about the various tools available to you through the library to start research for various projects. Music materials are found in a variety of places through Campbell Library and through the library website:

The Performing Arts Collection can be found on the Second Floor of Campbell Library. Here, you will find all of the scores, CDs, and most of the reference books (encyclopedias, special music dictionaries, catalogs, and introductory research books), and some of the books on music education and performance.

The Fourth Floor of Campbell Library contains the majority of our books on music history, music performance, music education, the music industry, and music therapy. Check with a librarian or a library worker to see where your book might be located.

This guide, the guides linked below, and many of the library databases provide access to lots of materials that you cannot find for free online.

Introduction to Databases

The Library subscribes to a number of databases covering the performing arts.  While every database has its own conventions for searching, there are many common features shared by many of them.  Here are some typical features you may find across different products.

  • Searching is by one or more keywords as you would search in Google or other search engines.
  • You may target your search terms to specific indexes (e.g. author or subject, etc.) often through use of an "Advanced Search" interface.
  • Search results may be limited either before or after the initial search.  Some examples of search limits would be by publication date or by type of publication (e.g. journal article, book, score, etc.)
  • Many databases have additional browse searching.
  • There are often functions to print or email results, create a citation, search for text within an e-book, and create playlists of streaming audio, depending on the nature of the database.

Best Places to Start

Library Search