A guide to finding information
The purpose of this guide is to introduce you to selected basic sources of information relevant
to music. There is a separate guide about music scores and recordings.
For more specific help, please consult the Subject Librarian for Music, Katie Hambrook.
The Library Catalogue
The key to finding what the Library holds is the Library Catalogue. It includes details of the
holdings of each of the libraries that make up Oxford Brookes University Library, and
tells you which library holds the material you want, and where it is within that library. The
Catalogue includes details of DVDs, CDs and journals (see below) as well as
books. The Catalogue is available on terminals in each library and on the Internet at
If you are looking for a particular item and already know the author’s name or the title, you
can search by these on the Catalogue to find the item you want.
If you are looking for books on a particular composer or group of performers, use the keyword
search and type in the name of the composer or group.
If you want to know where to find information on a particular topic, you can do a
keyword search which will list all the records containing that word.
Where to find music books
Most music books are shelved in the East Library on the Second Floor.
The Short Loan collection, located in the South Library on the First Floor, contains books in very
Some useful shelfmarks for music books:
780 Music: general music history
780.92 Composers (alphabetically by name)
781 Music theory and musical forms
781.542 Film music
781.6 Popular music
782 Vocal music
784 Orchestral music
785 Small ensembles and chamber music
786 Keyboard music, percussion
786.7 Electronic music
Directorate of Learning Resources
Finding journals and journal articles
For information about how to find music journal articles, see the library guide Finding music journals
and journal articles available from the library web pages at
http://www.brookes.ac.uk/library/music.html. This includes advice on using electronic databases to
find out what journal articles have been published on a specific subject and how to access online
The music electronic databases include:
RILM abstracts of music literature
Available via the library Music web pages at http://www.brookes.ac.uk/library/music/musdb.html.
This covers the whole range of musical literature, including books and other resources as well as
indexing specific journal articles.
A database of rock music writing and journalism, with material dating from the early 1960s to the
present day. It offers full text access to articles, reviews, and interviews. The database also includes
Mp3 audio files of interviews. Available via the library Music web pages.
Music journals and magazines
The print versions of the music journals and magazines are housed in the South Gallery on the
Second Floor and are arranged by subject shelfmark (J780-J789). All are for reference use in the
Online resources and electronic journals
The Library subscribes to a wide range of online resources: electronic journals, bibliographic
databases, online encyclopedias, collections of early books and an online music listening service.
These are available via the Library Catalogue or the music library web pages at
Most electronic resources do not require passwords for use on campus. For off campus use, most
electronic resources (electronic journals, Grove Music, most databases) use the Athens security
system. There is a library web page which gives full instructions on how to access resources through
The library music internet web pages (at http://www.brookes.ac.uk/library/music/musicnet.html) give
access to a range of recommended internet sites, online encyclopedias, and online music listening
Selected reference works:
These will be found in the Subject Floor Quick Reference Collection (on the Second Floor, in the
East Library). All are for use in the Library only.
The major general encyclopaedic reference work for music is:
New Grove dictionary of music and musicians, 2nd ed., 29 vols (2001) SQR 780.3 NEW
This is also available online via the library Music web pages as part of Oxford Music Online:
Other useful titles include:
Encyclopedia of popular music, 3rd ed., 8 vols. (1998) SQR 781.6403 ENC
World music: the Rough Guide, 2 vols. (1999) SQR 780.9 WOR
Published guides to music information sources and discographies
Duckles, V.H. and Keller, M.A. Music reference and research materials, 5th ed. (1997)
SQR 780.16 DUC
Information sources in music, (2003) SQR 780.16 INF
Directories and Yearbooks
British and International Music Yearbook. Annual. SQR 780.941 BRI
If you need any more information or help, please contact your Subject Librarian, Katie Hambrook, by
email, telephone or at her office in the Audio Visual Unit on the ground floor of the Headington Library.
Subject Librarian for Music
Oxford Brookes University
Oxford OX3 0BP
Tel: 01865 483146
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Sept 2010