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Music Research Guide

  • Find Background Info
  • Find Books
  • Find Articles
  • Find Music & Videos
  • Citing Sources

Find Background Info

Background sources, such as specialized encyclopedias and dictionaries, are an essential piece of the research process. They can help you:

  • Gather information about your topic and understand the scope of the research. 
  • Locate reliable sources to clarify keywords. 
  • Pinpoint important authors, texts, ideas, and keywords about the research area. Knowing the primary phrases and concepts will help you a lot as you search library databases and online sources. 

Credo Reference

Credo Reference is a multi-publisher collection of high-quality reference titles covering everything from the arts to astronomy, law to literature, and science to Shakespeare. The collection currently contains over 162 titles taken from 36 different reference publishers, with a plan to add more titles. Available titles also include a range of multimedia options, including thousands of high-quality diagrams, photographs, maps, and audio files. Credo hosts several books on topics in music.  

Search Credo Reference 

Music Books in Credo

The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians 

The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians is an encyclopedic dictionary of music and musicians. It is one of the largest reference works on the history and theory of music. 

The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians 

The New Grove Dictionary of Jazz 

The New Grove Dictionary of Jazz is the largest, most comprehensive reference work on jazz ever published. The second edition is more than twice as large as the 1988 first edition and builds on an explosion in jazz scholarship, and pioneering coverage of jazz musicians in Japan, South Africa, the Caribbean, and elsewhere. 

The New Grove Dictionary of Jazz 

The Garland Encyclopedia of World Music 

The Garland Encyclopedia of World Music is a comprehensive online resource devoted to music research of all the world's peoples. More than 9,000 pages of material and 300 audio recordings, combined with entries by more than 700 expert contributors from all over the world, make this the most complete body of work focused on world music. 

The Garland Encyclopedia of World Music 

The Oxford Dictionary of Music 

The Oxford Dictionary of Music is the most up-to-date and accessible dictionary of musical terms available and is an essential point of reference for music students, teachers, lecturers, professional musicians, and music enthusiasts. 

The Oxford Dictionary of Music

Find Books

Print and E-Books are valuable sources for academic research. They will help you to gain an overview of your topic and often contain in-depth information about the scholarship or history of research on a subject. Some books are written by single authors, while others include essays or chapters by multiple scholars within a discipline. Don’t let the length of books intimidate you because you don’t need to read them from cover to cover. Look at the table of contents and index to find the sections that are relevant to your work.

Find Books Using GriffinSearch

GriffinSearch is a good starting place if you are looking for books, journal articles, films, and other materials available in the library. In addition to searching the Giovale Library catalog for physical materials, GriffinSearch finds e-books and articles from several of our databases. To get started, search by keyword or type in the title of a book here:


WorldCat lets you search for books, articles, videos, and other material that are available in libraries worldwide. If you are doing in-depth research on a topic and are considering requesting resources through Interlibrary Loan, WorldCat can help you discover resources that might not be in the Giovale Library collection.

Search WorldCat

Interlibrary Loan (ILL)

Interlibrary Loan is a service where patrons of one library can borrow books and other materials, and access journal articles that are owned by another library.

Explore Interlibrary Loan Materials

Utah Academic Library Consortium

Giovale Library participates in the Utah Academic Library Consortium (UALC) and Westminster College students have reciprocal circulation privileges at UALC partner libraries. Each UALC library has different circulation policies, but all require a current, valid, legal photo identification and proof of current enrollment at Westminster. Some libraries may also require other verification methods, so it is recommended that you contact the library you are interested in for details.

Explore the Consortium

Popular Titles and Featured Texts 

The Foundations of Music Technology Book Cover

The Foundations of Music Technology

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The Music Lesson Book Cover

The Music Lesson

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The Oxford Companion to Music Book Cover

The Oxford Companion to Music

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Music Research: the Handbook Book Cover

Music Research: A Handbook

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Find Articles

The Giovale Library provides access to a number of subject databases that you can use to find journal articles on topics within a specific discipline or field of study. The databases listed on this page are those that are most useful for finding research published in music. 


GriffinSearch is a good starting place if you are looking for books, journal articles, films, and other material available in the library. In addition to searching the Giovale Library catalog for physical materials, GriffinSearch finds e-books and articles from several of our databases.

Search GriffinSearch


JSTOR is an interdisciplinary archive of full text articles from journals in the arts, humanities, and social sciences.  It includes retrospective coverage of publications which means that a majority of the articles will be 1 to 5 years old. To search for anthropology or archeology articles, after entering your search terms, scroll down to “Journal Filter” and select anthropology or archeology.

Search JSTOR

Fine Arts & Music Collection 

The Fine Arts and Music Collection includes the full text of journal articles on topics relating to theatre, music, visual art, art history, and film. 

Search Fine Arts & Music Collection 

Find Music & Videos

Academic Videos Online (AVON)

AVON provides unlimited access to a comprehensive selection of videos curated for the educational experience. The below link shows music titles available. You can also search AVON for specific titles. 

Search Academic Videos Online for Music  

Find DVDs in the Giovale Library 

The Academic Films Collection is located on the main floor of the Giovale Library. To search the Academic Film Collection, type in the title of a film or keyword in the search box below. 

Search the Academic Film Collection

Naxos Music Library

Naxos Music Library is the most comprehensive collection of classical music available online, offering over 550,000 tracks of Classical music, Jazz, World, Folk and, Chinese music. It includes the complete BIS, Chandos, Hänssler, Hungaroton, Marco Polo, Naxos, Ondine, and selected titles of other leading independent labels, with over 1,000 albums added monthly. 

Search Naxos Music Library 

IMSLP Petrucci Music Library 

The International Music Score Library Project (IMSLP), also known as the Petrucci Music Library after publisher Ottaviano Petrucci, is a subscription-based project for the creation of a virtual library of public-domain music scores. Since its launch on February 16, 2006, the IMSLP uploaded over 495,000 scores and 59,000 recordings for over 152,000 works by over 18,000 composers. 

Search IMSLP Petrucci Music Library 


Musescore is a score writer for Windows, macOS, and Linux, supporting various file formats and input methods. It is a free, open-source software under the GNU General Public License. A freemium mobile score viewer and playback app, and an online score-sharing platform accompanies Musecore. 

Search Musescore 

Citing Sources

Citation Resources

Properly citing your sources shows that you’ve done research to become knowledgeable about your topic and helps you avoid plagiarism. Explore citation resources to learn how to correctly cite sources based on style.

Need help with your research?

Get in touch with:

Spencer DeVilbiss Headshot

Spencer DeVilbiss

Liaison Librarian for Music

(801) 832-2255

Librarians are happy to answer questions via email, phone, or in-person.

Contact Spencer with a question or to schedule a research help appointment.

Faculty: Contact Spencer to suggest edits to this research guide.

Chat with a Librarian

Use the chat box below to ask the library staff a question. If chat is unavailable or we don’t respond quickly, please use the email form on our Get Research Help page and a library staff member will contact you as soon as we are available.