Detail of St. Cecilia, Ghent Altarpiece


Research Guide

Welcome! This page highlights key resources for conducting effective research in music.

If you need assistance identifying additional resources, search terms or strategies, please schedule a research consultation.


Personal Librarian:
Charlotte Price
108 LeFrak Center, Barnard Hall

Reference Sources

Grove Music Online includes the full text with ongoing updates of The new Grove dictionary of music and musicians, 2nd ed., The new Grove dictionary of opera, and The new Grove dictionary of jazz, 2nd ed.

Recommended Databases for Journal Articles

Humanities Full Text brings full text (starting 1995) plus abstracts and bibliographic indexes (starting 1984) of noted scholarly sources in the humanities, as well as lesser known specialized magazines.

International Index to Music Periodicals (IIMP) Full Text contains more than half a million indexed articles, plus detailed abstracts and full text from 1874 to the present, covering the scholarly to the popular.

JSTOR includes full-text articles from more than 1200 scholarly journals.

RILM: Abstracts of Music Literature is an extensive collection of bibliographic records and abstracts focused on music reference and other music related fields. Covers 1967 to the present.

Finding Books, Scores, and Sound Recordings

Browse the stacks at Barnard and Columbia Libraries using the music call number ranges:

  • M      Music
  • ML    Literature on Music
  • MT    Instruction and Study

CLIO - Online catalog of the Columbia University Libraries, including Barnard Library, but excluding Teachers College and the Law Library. Search the Catalog to locate on campus books and sound recordings.

The NYPL Catalog searches the circulating and non-circulating research collections at the New York Public Library, including those at the the Music Division and the Rodgers and Hammerstein Archives of Recorded Sound.

Printed scores are available at the Gabe M. Wiener Music & Arts Library. However, there are many electronic resources for scores as well. These include the Classical Scores Library, a collection of digitized scores of important classical music, manuscripts, and unpublished material, and the International Music Score Library Project, which makes thousands of public domain scores freely available.

CLIO Search Tip: Conduct an advanced search and limit the Format to Music - Recording

Sound Recordings
Media materials are available from the Media Collection on the 1st floor of Wollman Library and the Gabe M. Wiener Music & Arts Library.
CLIO Search Tip: Conduct an advanced search and limit the format to Music - Recording.

The Columbia University Library System subscribes to a number of databases with streaming audio. This includes Music Online, a cross-searchable database of audio, video, scores, and full-text reference materials American Song, Classical Music Library, Classical Scores Library, Contemporary World Music, Jazz Music Library, and Opera in VideoNaxos Music Library contains classical music, historical recordings, jazz, world and folk music, along with textual notes on the works being played and biographical information on composers or artists.

Additional Resources

Located in the Gabe M. Wiener Music & Arts Library, the The Digital Music Lab offers Mac workstations for creating and editing digital audio and music notation, digital pianos, and expert assistance from library staff. 


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