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Vocal Music (Solo): Research

On this page you'll find resources for researching vocal music, its history, performers, and more.

Jump to: Articles | History | Opera | Reference | Singers



Tips for Finding Articles in Databases

thinkerThe library databases below provide citations for articles, book chapters, and more. Most focus on a specific topic, so they are great for deeper research.

  1. Choose a database.
  2. Search for keywords such as genres, topics, names of people, etc.
  3. Limit your results by date, language, and more with the the left-hand menu on the results page.

Finding Full Text

Some databases include full text articles along with the citations, but if you find a citation without full text:

  1. Search the journal title in our eJournal Locator.
  2. Click one of the resulting database titles with access.
  3. Find the correct year, volume, and issue number.
  4. Find the correct article and open the full text.

If full text is not available through the UHart Libraries, we can often get an electronic copy through Interlibrary Loan.
To make a request:

  1. In the database citation, look for the link to ILL this with ILLiad @ H.
  2. Log in to ILLiad.
    • If this is your first time, click Create an Account and fill in your information.
  3. The request form will auto-fill with information from the database citation.
  4. At the bottom, click Submit Request.

Usually a PDF copy will be sent via email within a few days, though some requests may take longer.

Learn more about Interlibrary Loan or ask a librarian for help.

Music Article Databases


Books in the Allen Library (selections)

Find more books on the history of vocal music

Search subjects in the catalog:

Opera > History and criticism
Singing > History and criticism 
Vocal music > History and criticism

Browse the shelves:
Call number Subject
ML 1460 History of vocal technique
ML1600 – 2881 History of secular vocal music
(opera, musicals, songs, etc.)
ML 2900 – 3275 History of sacred vocal music
(Masses, oratorios, etc.)


Online Resources

Books in the Allen Library and online (selections)

Find more books on opera

Search a title or composer in the catalog, for example:

Margaret Garner by Richard Danielpour
Puccini, Giacomo

Search subjects in the catalog:

Opera > Dramaturgy
Opera > History and criticism

Browse the shelves:
Call number Subject
ML 410 Composer biographies
ML 1699 – 2110 History of dramatic secular vocal music
(including opera)


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)


Books in the Allen Library (selections)

Find more books about singers

Search a particular singer, for example:

Anderson, Marian
Hayes, Roland

Search subjects:

African American singers
Male singers
Singers > Biography
Women singers

Browse the shelves:
Call Number Subject
ML 400 Biographies of multiple singers
ML 420 Individual singer biographies
ML421 Performing groups

Suggest a Resource

Know of a resource you think should be added to this guide? Let us know!

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