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Music Research: Online Encyclopedias

an overview of the WVU Libraries resources tailored to music research and study.

WVU Libraries Subscription Databases

Encyclopedias are good sources for basic facts and information, and an overview of a particular topic. 

Encyclopedia Britannica is a general encyclopedia.

These specialized encyclopedias provide detailed articles about people, instruments, style periods, etc.  Grove (Oxford Music) Online has particularly useful lists of composers' works and bibliographies for further research.

Specialized Encyclopedias in Print

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:  

Music Encyclopedia Catalog Search


Subject Guide

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Beth Royall
Evansdale Library 109
Subjects: Art, Music, Theater