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Articles are great for research because they generally cover a very narrow topic in great detail. In addition, scholarly journal articles generally include a bibliography where you can find more resources on the same topic.
Journal Article Databases
Library databases provide citations for articles, book chapters, and more. Most articles/chapters focus on a narrow and specific topic, so they are great for deeper research. To get started:
- Choose a database.
- Search for keywords such as genres, topics, names of people, etc.
- Limit your results by date, language, and more with the the left-hand menu on the results page.
Need more help?
See our Article help page for step-by-step instructions and videos to help you search databases and find full-text articles. And you can always ask a librarian for individual help.
Music Article Databases
Music Index Online This link opens in a new window
Article citations from over 700 music journals.
Music Periodicals Database (was International Index to Music Periodicals; IIMP) This link opens in a new window
Article citations from over 400 music journals.
RILM This link opens in a new window
Citations for scholarly music and dance books, articles, dissertations, and more.
JSTOR This link opens in a new window
Full-text articles from almost 100 scholarly music, dance, and theatre journals, plus other subjects. Excludes recent years.
History Books in the Allen Library (selections)
The Cambridge Companion to the Harpsichord by
Call Number: ML651 C353 2019 [Allen shelves]
Publication Date: 2019
Harpsichord history, tuning systems, its role in ensemble, its use in the 20th and 21st centuries, leading Baroque composers, and national styles around the world.
The Clavichord by
Call Number: ML651 B73 C53 [Allen shelves]
Publication Date: 1998
Traces the clavichord from the earliest-known references to the mid-19th century. Covers performance technique, instrument design, and literary documentation, plus its social and musical significance.
Early Keyboard Instruments by
Call Number: ML549 R72 E27 [Allen shelves]
Publication Date: 2001
Discusses issues involved in performing keyboard music from the 17th to the 19th centuries, whether playing on period instruments or on the modern piano.
Find more history books
Browse by subject in the catalog, for example:
Harpsichord > History
Harpsichord music > History and criticism
Organ > History
Organ music > History and criticism
Browse the shelves by call number:
|ML550 – ML597
||Organ history and construction
|ML600 – ML649
||Organ music and playing
|ML650 – ML697
||Piano and pre-piano history and construction
|ML700 – ML747
||Piano and pre-piano music and playing
Performer Biographies in the Allen Library (selections)
French Masters of the Organ by
Call Number: ML396 M87 F74 [Allen shelves]
Publication Date: 1998
Discusses the lives, styles, and techniques of eight great French romantic organist-composers.
J. S. Bach As Organist by
Call Number: ML410 B11 S7 [Allen shelves]
Publication Date: 1985
Explores Bach's relationship to his favorite instrument during all periods of his career.
Yella Pessl, First Lady of the Harpsichord by
Call Number: ML419 P487 D68 1986 [Allen shelves]
Publication Date: 1986
Explores the life and career of Yella Pessl, a Bach specialist, virtuoso harpsicordist and pianist, and authority on 17th- and 18th-century Baroque keyboard music.
Find more biographies
Search subjects or performer names in the catalog, for example:
Organists > Biography
Pianists > Biography (Includes performers of pre-piano instruments)
Bach, Johann Sebastian
||Collected organist biographies
||Collected pianist/keyboardist biographies
Reference resources include dictionaries, encyclopedias, and more.
They often provide a short overview of a topic, then point to more resources you can use for further research.
Music Reference Databases
Books in the Allen Library (selections)
Makers of the Harpsichord and Clavichord, 1440-1840 by
Call Number: ML652 B73 M3 [Allen reference]
Publication Date: 1995
Biographical details of makers with a geographical and chronological conspectus, descriptions of over 2,000 surviving instruments, and a terminology index in seven languages.
The Organ: An Encyclopedia by
Call Number: ML102 O68 B87 [Allen reference]
Publication Date: 2006
Includes articles on famous players, composers, and instrument builders; the construction of organ family instruments; and related terminology.
Find more reference books
See all piano reference books in the catalog:
Browse the Reference shelves by call number:
||Organ dictionaries & encyclopedias
||Piano construction and makers
Suggest a Resource
Know of a resource you think should be added to this guide? Let us know!
Want to suggest we purchase something new? Contact Tracey Rudnick (firstname.lastname@example.org).
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