Research Guide to Music & Music History

| Citing Sources | Reference Books | CONSULS Catalog | Online Databases | Locating Periodicals | Interlibrary Loan | Questions? |

Citing Sources to Avoid Plagiarism

Plagiarism is a form of cheating which may lower the grade you receive on your assignment. You must cite the source of any direct quotation and of any facts or ideas you obtained from another source. For more information about how to avoid plagiarism, please watch this brief video from Bainbridge College in YouTube: Plagiarism: How to Avoid It (

For tips on citation format, please see the MLA Formatting and Style Guide courtesy of the OWL: Purdue Online Writing Lab (

Reference Books for Background Information

Reference books are shelved by Library of Congress call number on the fourth and fifth floors Haas Library. To learn about LC call numbers, please watch the brief video Reading a Call Number in YouTube (courtesy of the Douglas College Library). Reference books may not be checked out, but free scanners are available for student use on the first floor of the Library (please use your flash drive).

General Reference Works

*Oxford Music Online formerly Grove Music OnlineUnder Articles/Databases: A-Z on WCSU Libraries Homepage
*The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians. Second edition. 29 volumes.Ref ML 100.N48 2001
Classical Music Reference Library (Alexander Street Press)Under Articles/Databases: A-Z on WCSU Libraries Homepage
Garland Encyclopedia of World Music OnlineUnder Articles/Databases: A-Z on WCSU Libraries Homepage
The Harvard Biographical Dictionary of MusicRef ML 105.H38 1996
The Harvard Dictionary of Music. 4th edition.Ref ML 100.A64 2003
Music Research: A HandbookRef ML 113.S28 2009
Music Since 1900 (Slonimsky)Ref ML 197.S634 2001
The New Grove Dictionary of American Music. 4 volumes.Ref ML 101.U6.N48 1986
*The Oxford Companion to MusicRef ML 100.S37 2002
*The Oxford Dictionary of Music. Second edition.Ref ML 100.K35 1994
The Oxford History of Western Music (Taruskin). 6 volumes.Ref ML 160.T18 2005

Classical Music

Baker's Biographical Dictionary of Musicians. Centennial edition. 6 volumes.Ref ML 105.B16 2001
Beethoven and His World: A Biographical DictionaryRef ML 410.B4.C62 2001
Brahms and His World: A Biographical DictionaryRef ML 410.B8.C54 2006
The Cambridge Handel EncyclopediaRef ML 410.H13.C23 2009
The Cambridge Mozart EncyclopediaRef ML 410.M9.C257 2006
Chamber Music: A Research and Information Guide. Second edition.Ref ML 128.C4.B37 2002
The Compleat Brahms: A Guide to the Musical Works...Ref ML 410.B8.C64 1999
Contemporary ComposersRef ML 105.C75 1992
Dictionary of American Classical Composers. Second edition.Ref ML 106.U3.B87 2004
From Convent to Concert Hall: A Guide to Women ComposersRef ML 82.F76 2003
Haydn (Oxford Composer Companions)Ref ML 410.H4.H3177 2002
Historical Dictionary of English Music CA. 1400-1958Ref ML 101.E5.M34 2011
Historical Dictionary of Modern and Contemporary Classical MusicRef ML 100.G13 2012
Historical Dictionary of Russian MusicRef ML 101.R8.J34 2012
International Dictionary of Black Composers. 2 volumes.Ref ML 105.I5 1999
International Encyclopedia of Women Composers. 2 volumes.Ref ML 105.C7 1987
International Who's Who of Classical Music (Annual)Ref ML 105.I54
J.S. Bach (Oxford Composer Companions)Ref ML 410.B1.J15 1999
Latin American Classical Composers: A Biographical Dictionary. Second edition.Ref ML 105.F53 2002
The Literature of Chamber Music. 4 volumes.Ref ML 100.C63 1997
Music in the Galant StyleRef ML 240.3.G54 2007
Notable Twentieth-Century Pianists: A Bio-Critical Sourcebook. 2 volumes.Ref ML 397.G45 1995
Orchestral Music: A HandbookRef ML 128.O5.D3 2005
String Quartets: A Research and Information GuideRef ML 128.S68.P37 2005
Women Composers: Music Through the Ages. 7 volumes.Ref M 2.W88 1996

Musical Instruments

The Art of the Piano: Its Performers, Literature, and RecordingsRef ML 105.D8 2004
Encyclopedia of Percussion. Second edition.Ref ML 102.P4.E5 2007
The Flute Book: A Complete Guide for Students and PerformersRef ML 935.T65 1996
Guide to the Tuba Repertoire: The New Tuba Source BookRef ML 128.T8.T8 2006
The Harpsichord and Clavichord: An EncyclopediaRef ML 102.H385.H37 2007
Musical Instruments of the World: An Illustrated EncyclopediaRef ML 102.I5.D5 1976
The New Grove Dictionary of Musical Instruments. 3 volumes.Ref ML 102.I5.N48 1984
The Organ: An EncyclopediaRef ML 102.O7.O74 2005
The Oxford Companion to Musical InstrumentsRef ML 102.I5.B34 1992
Percussionists: A Biographical DictionaryRef ML 399.B38 2000
The Piano: An Encyclopedia. Second edition.Ref ML 102.P5.E53 2003
The Violin: A Research and Information GuideRef ML 128.V4.K38 2006

Opera & Vocal Music

Choral Music: A Research and Information GuideRef ML 128.C48.S53 2002
Choral Repertoire (Schrock)Ref ML 128.C48.S57 2009
The Concise Oxford Dictionary of OperaRef ML 102.O6.R67 1979
Dies Irae: A Guide to Requiem MusicRef ML 3088.C43 2003
Encyclopedia of American OperaRef ML 102.O6.W53 2006
The Grove Book of Opera SingersRef ML 102.O6.G76 2008
The Grove Book of Operas. Second edition.Ref ML 102.O6.N48 2006
Guide to the Aria Repertoire Ref ML 128.O4.C53 2007
The Metropolitan Opera EncyclopediaRef ML 102.O6.M47 1987
*The New Grove Dictionary of Opera. 4 volumes.Ref ML 102.O6.N5 1992
Operas in English. 2 volumes.Ref ML 102.O6.G74 2013
The Schubert Song CompanionRef ML 410.S3.R265 1985
Stories of the Great Operas. Metropolitan Opera.Ref MT 95.M49 1984

Musical Theatre & Dance

American Musical Theatre: A Chronicle. Fourth edition.Ref ML 1711.B67 2010
The American Musical Theatre Song EncyclopediaRef ML 102.M88.H59 1995
American Song: The Complete Musical Theatre Companion. Second edition. 2 volumes.Ref ML 128.M78.B6 1996
American SongwritersRef ML 390.E825 1987
Ballanchine's Complete Stories of the Great BalletsRef MT 95.B3 1977
Broadway Musicals, 1943-2004Ref ML 102.M88.S74 2008
A Chronology of the American Musical Theater. 3 volumes.Ref ML 1711.8.N3.N67 2002
Encyclopedia of the Musical Theatre. 2 volumes.Ref ML 102.M88.G3 1994
Historical Dictionary of the Broadway MusicalRef ML 102.M88.E94 2008
International Encyclopedia of Dance. 6 volumes.Ref GV 1585.I586 2004
Little Musicals for Little Theatres Ref MT 955.F55 2006
The Musical: A Research and Information GuideRef ML 128.M78.E84 2004
Off-Broadway Musicals, 1910-2007Ref ML 1711.8.N3.D54 2010
The Oxford Companion to the American MusicalRef ML 102.M88.H593 2008
The Rodgers and Hammerstein EncyclopediaRef ML 102.M88.H595 2007
Stage It with Music: An Encyclopedic Guide to the American Musical TheatreRef ML 102.M88.H6 1993

Jazz, Folk & Gospel Music

African American Music ReferenceUnder Articles/Databases: A-Z on WCSU Libraries Homepage
American Folk Songs: A Regional Encyclopedia. Second edition.Ref ML 3551.C55 2008
Companion to Irish Traditional Music. Second edition.Ref ML 101.I73.C66 2011
Encyclopedia of American Gospel MusicRef ML 102.G6.E63 2005
Encyclopedia of African-American Music. 3 volumes.Ref ML 101.U6.E53 2011
The Encyclopedia of Folk, Country and Western MusicRef ML 102.F66.S7 1984
The Encyclopedia of Native MusicRef ML 156.4.I5.W75 2005
Encyclopedia of the Blues (Herzhaft)Ref ML 102.B6.H413 1997
Encyclopedia of the Blues (Komara). 2 volumes.Ref ML 102.B6.E53 2006
Folk and Blues: The EncyclopediaRef ML 102.F66.S74 2001
Free Jazz and Free Improvisation: An Encyclopedia. 2 volumes.Ref ML 102.J3.J46 2004
The Later Swing Era, 1942-1955Ref ML 3518.M33 2004
*The New Grove Dictionary of Jazz. Second edition. 3 volumes.Ref ML 102.J3.N48 2002
The Oxford Companion to JazzRef ML 3507.O94 2000
Ragtime: An Encyclopedia...Ref ML 3530.J373 2007
Richard Cook's Jazz EncyclopediaRef ML 102.J3.C66 2005
Satchmo: The Louis Armstrong EncyclopediaRef ML 419.A75.M45 2004
The Virgin Encyclopedia of JazzRef ML 3506.V57 2004

Popular Music & Song

Baker's Biographical Dictionary of Popular Musicians Since 1990. 2 volumes.Ref ML 102.P66.B35 2004
Caribbean Popular MusicRef ML 102.P66.M67 2005
Chronology of American Popular Music, 1900-2000Ref ML 3477.H64 2008
The Concise Garland Encyclopedia of World Music. 2 volumes.Ref ML 100.C69 2008
Country Music: A Biographical DictionaryRef ML 102.C7.C28 2003
The Elvis Encyclopedia(Adam Victor)Ref ML 420.P96.V52 2008
The Encyclopedia of Country MusicRef ML 102.C7.E54 1998
Encyclopedia of Heavy Metal MusicRef ML 102.R6.P54 2009
Encyclopedia of Indie RockRef ML 102.R6.S63 2008
The Encyclopedia of Popular Music. Third edition. 8 volumes.Ref ML 102.P66.G84 1998
Encyclopedia of Recorded Sound. 2 volumes.Ref ML 102.S67.E5 2005
The Greenwood Encyclopedia of Rock History. 6 volumes.Ref ML 3534.G754 2006
Hip Hop CultureRef ML 3531.P75 2006
The Later Swing Era, 1942 to 1955Ref ML 3518.M33 2004
Music in Latin America and the Caribbean: An Encyclopedic HistoryRef ML 199.M858
Popular Musicians. 4 volumes.Ref ML 105.P66 1999
The Rolling Stone Encyclopedia of Rock & Roll. Third edition.Ref ML 102.R6.R64 2001
The Virgin Encyclopedia of Popular MusicRef ML 102.P66.V57 1999

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CONSULS Online Catalog for Books and Media

CONSULS catalog workstations are concentrated on the first floor of the Haas Library, but there are some workstations on each of the other floors. You may logon to CONSULS via the WCSU Libraries Homepage at or directly at For more detailed instructions on searching, please see the yellow CONSULS flyer on the display rack on the first floor.

Please Note: CONSULS ignores upper and lower case, and you may omit punctuation, except the hyphen which must be replaced by a space.


Select Subject at the CONSULS main menu, then type the writer's name last-name-first. Correct spelling is important. To limit results to items owned by WCSU, click Limit/Sort and then select WCSU under "Where Item Is Located."

Example: mozart wolfgang amadeus (press RETURN or ENTER)
Or just: mozart w (press ENTER)

CONSULS will retrieve a list of Library of Congress Subject Headings which begin with the words you typed:

Mozart Wolfgang Amadeus 1756 1791 (main heading is subdivided)
Mozart Wolfgang Amadeus 1756 1791--Chamber music
Mozart Wolfgang Amadeus 1756 1791--Criticism and interpretation
Mozart Wolfgang Amadeus 1756 1791--Discography
Mozart Wolfgang Amadeus 1756 1791--Opera
Mozart Wolfgang Amadeus 1756 1791--Symphonies

PLEASE NOTE: Personal name headings may also be subdivided by the titles of individual works, for example:

Mozart Wolfgang Amadeus 1756 1791--Nozze di Figaro

To find videorecordings or DVDs about the musician, type the person's name last-name-first as SUBJECT. At the resulting headings display, click Limit/Sort and then select either DVD or VIDEO under "Material Type."


Select Author at the CONSULS main menu, then type the writer's name last-name-first. Correct spelling is important.

Example: bernstein leonard (press ENTER)
Or just: bernstein leo (ENTER)

To limit search results to items owned by WCSU, click on Limit/Sort and then select WCSU under "Where Item Is Located." To limit results to music scores, select Printed Music under "Material Type" and to limit results to recorded music (CDs and LPs), select Sound Record under "Material Type."

For classical composers, an Author search will yield a list of standard titles. For example, a search on the name bach carl philipp will retrieve:

Concertos, / Flute, String Orchestra. Selections
Concertos, / Harpsichord, Orchestra, H. 433, D Major
Concertos, / Keyboard Instrument, String Orchestra. Selections

To locate a specific work by a known composer, it is often easier to perform a Keywords search on the name and the opus number.

Example: beethoven and op 135 (press ENTER)

For the works of certain composers, other numbering systems are used instead of opus numbers:

Example: bach and bwv 1047 (BWV stands for Bach Werke Verzeichnis or "Bach Works Catalogue")
Example: mozart and k 626 (K stands for Köchel Verzeichnis or "Ludwig von Köchel Catalogue")
Example: schubert and d 803 (D stands for Deutsch or "Otto Erich Deutsch Catalogue")


Select Title at the CONSULS main menu, then type as much of the title as you remember in correct word order. In CONSULS, you may omit "a," "an," or "the" at the beginning of a title.

Example: The Classical Style: Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven (press ENTER)
Or just: classical style (ENTER)

Musical compositions are often known by more than one title, for example, Beethoven's "Eroica" Symphony. In library catalogs, works with multiple titles are cataloged under a single uniform title, in this case Symphonies. no. 3, op. 55, Eb major under the composer's name (Beethoven, Ludwig van, 1770-1827).


Select Subject at the CONSULS main menu, then type the Library of Congress subject heading that best describes your topic. Correct spelling and word order are important. The complete list of Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH) is published in a set of big red books available in the Reference Area on the first floor.

Example: Gregorian chants--History and criticism (press ENTER)
Or just: gregorian chants (ENTER)

Example: Jazz musicians--Biography (ENTER)
Or just: jazz musicians (ENTER)


Select Keyword(s) at the CONSULS main menu, then type the words which best describe your topic, in any order.

Example: (jazz or blues) and history press ENTER
Narrower: (jazz or blues) and new orleans and histor* press ENTER

Example: trumpet and (concerto* or concerti) press ENTER
Narrower: trumpet and (concerto* or concerti) and haydn press ENTER

Example: bach and (fugue* or counterpoint or contrapuntal) press ENTER
Broader: baroque and (fugue* or counterpoint or contrapuntal) press ENTER

Example: beethoven and (sonata no 8 or pathetique or op 13) press ENTER
Broader: beethoven and piano sonata* press ENTER

Use the * (asterisk) as a truncation symbol to retrieve variant forms of a word root. Use the Boolean OR to expand your search by including synonyms and related terms. When using two different Boolean commands in the same search statement ("and" and "or" in the preceding examples) you must include parentheses to indicate which command is to be performed first.


If the item you need is owned by one of the other CSU Libraries (CCSU, SCSU, or ECSU) but not by WCSU, or if WCSU's copy is checked out, you may order the item via Inter-Campus Loan by clicking on Request at the full record display in CONSULS, then type your University network username and password. Be sure to specify a pickup location (Haas or Young Library). If you need assistance, please contact the Circulation Desk at (203) 837-9100.

There is a limit of ten (10) Inter-Campus Loan requests per person. Videos are available via Inter-Campus Loan. Please allow 4-5 days for delivery to the Haas Circulation Desk. Items borrowed via Inter-Campus Loan may be renewed for an additional borrowing period if no one has placed a HOLD on the item.

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Online Databases for Finding Periodical Articles

Oxford Music Online (formerly Grove Music Online)
Coverage: Complete contents of the print editions of New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians (second edition), New Grove Dictionary of Opera, New Grove Dictionary of Jazz (second edition), Oxford Dictionary of Music, and Oxford Companion to Music.
Location: Under Articles & Databases: A-Z at the WCSU Libraries Homepage.
Scope: Full-text articles on music by period, form, and genre; composers and performers; and musical instruments, with musical examples and extensive bibliographies, browsable and keywords searchable
Classical Music Library (CML)
Coverage: Streaming audiofiles of over 50,000 tracks on over 30 different labels (22 kbps and 64 kbps sound quality). Files are not downloadable.
Location: Under Articles & Databases: A-Z at the WCSU Libraries Homepage.
Scope: Classical music only. Searchable by keywords and browsable by composer, artist, conductor, ensemble, instrument, genre and subgenre, period, and recording date (year).
Classical Scores Library (CSL)
Coverage: Over 15,000 scores from in-copyright and public domain editions. Renaissance to 21st century. Includes full scores, study scores, piano and vocal scores, and piano reductions.
Location: Under Articles & Databases: A-Z at the WCSU Libraries Homepage.
Scope: Classical music only. Searchable by keywords and browsable by composer, genre, instrument, ensemble, time period, and material type.
Naxos Music Library (NML) and Naxos Music Library: Jazz
Coverage: Streaming audiofiles of over 17,000 CDs on the Naxos and other labels. CD quality sound. Files are not downloadable.
Location: Under Articles & Databases: A-Z at the WCSU Libraries Homepage.
Scope: Classical, jazz, world, folk, pop and rock music. Browsable by title and searchable by keywords.
Films on Demand
Coverage: High-quality streaming video and multimedia content for academic, vocational, and life-skills users.
Location: Select Films on Demand under Articles & Databases: A-Z at the WCSU Libraries Homepage.
Scope: Educational videos released by the Film Media Group under the brand names Films for the Humanities and Sciences, Cambridge Educational, Meridian Education, and Shopware.
Coverage: Issue number one to within 3-5 years of present (archival coverage).
Location: Under Articles & Databases: Most Popular on the WCSU Libraries Homepage.
Scope: Full-text of over 500 core scholarly journals in more than 25 disciplines, including music (complete backfiles).
Academic Search Premier from EBSCOhost
Coverage: 1990 - present (earlier for many publications).
Location: Under Articles & Databases: Most Popular at the WCSU Libraries Homepage.
Scope: Indexes approximately 8,000 newspapers, magazines, and scholarly journals in most fields (including music), with 4,000 available in full-text.

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Locating Periodicals in the Haas Library

The Haas Library subscribes to many print magazines and journals in music. Additional music periodicals are available in online full-text in journal databases. To find out if WCSU subscribes to a specific periodical in print or online:

1. Select Journal Title at the CONSULS main menu, then type the name of the periodical (example: musical quarterly) and press RETURN. If a title list appears on the screen, select the desired title, then look inside the box to find WCSU holdings. Be sure to scroll to the bottom of the page to see if WCSU owns backfiles on microfilm or microfiche.

2. To find out if a given periodical is available in full-text in one or more of WCSU's online databases, use the Journal Finder available under Articles & Databases on the WCSU Libraries Homepage (

How to Use Interlibrary Loan

If the CSU Libraries do not own the book or periodical you need, you may request delivery of the item via Interlibrary Loan using the online ILLiad system available at:

There is a limit of 5 Interlibrary Loan requests per person per day. Videos are not available via Interlibrary Loan. Under most circumstances, Interlibrary Loan is a free service, but please allow at least ten working days for delivery. You will be notified as soon as the material arrives. Faster document delivery service is available for a reasonable fee. Please call the Interlibrary Loan Desk at (203) 837-9114 for more information.

Do You Have a Question?

Reference service is available on request at the Circulation Desk on the first floor of the Haas Library, or you may contact Joan Reitz, Instruction Librarian, at 837-8308 or My office is in Room 402 on the fourth floor of the Haas Library (near the glass elevator).

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Please send your comments to Joan Reitz, Haas Instruction Librarian, Western Connecticut State University.
Last updated on August 27, 2015