Encyclopedias are good sources for basic facts and information, and an overview of a particular topic.
These specialized encyclopedias provide detailed articles about people, instruments, style periods, etc. Grove Music Online has particularly useful lists of composers' works and bibliographies for further research.
Use the WVU Libraries' catalog, WorldCat, to search for the many specialized music handbooks and encyclopedias.
In the Keyword box enter the encyclopedia or handbook as a keyword, plus one or two keywords for your topic. When the results list opens, check the box beside "Book" under the Format list on the left. Example: