Major Research Tools

American Music

Database of American roots music, including country, folk, bluegrass, Western, old time, Indigenous, blues, gospel, and shape note singing. Songs are categorized by historical event as well as musicians, genres, etc.

Classical Music Library

Database of classical music plus biographical information on composers.

Contemporary World Music

Audio collection of music from around the world. Includes reggae, worldbeat, Indian classical, flamenco, klezmer, zydeco, gospel, and more.

Garland Encyclopedia of World Music Online


World music reference database featuring over 700 articles plus associated audio examples, illustrations and photographs, song texts, and score examples.

Jazz Music Library

Audio collection covering all types of jazz.


Full-Text, Visual Resource

Searchable collection of the back issues of scholarly journals, books from a variety of academic publishers, and images from art collections. The most recent 3-5 years of most journals are not included in JSTOR. (Alums can access JSTOR archival journals by signing in under "Lafayette College Alumni Access" on JSTOR's institution search page.)

Music & Performing Arts Online

Interface for simultaneously searching five music listening databases: American Music, Classical Music Library, Contemporary World Music, and Jazz Music Library, and Smithsonian Global Sound.

Naxos Music Library

Audio collection covering classical, jazz, and world music, with particular strength in 20th and 21st century composers. Users can create playlists and can download the free NML iPhone app to listen to their playlists remotely.

Oxford Music Online


Authoritative reference works on music, including Grove Music Online.

RILM Abstracts of Music Literature


Coverage: 1967-present

Indexes the scholarly literature of music from Amadeus to Zevon.

Rock's Backpages Library


Rock reviews, articles, and interviews from the 1960s to the present.

Smithsonian Global Sound for Libraries

Music from the Smithsonian Folkways collection and from other music archives around the world. Strong in American folk and other "roots" music. Includes spoken word recordings, such as poets reading their works.

Other Suggested Research Tools

African-American Band Music & Recordings, 1883-1923


A collection of stock arrangements for bands or small orchestras of popular songs written by African Americans. Also includes digitized sets of parts and pre-1923 recordings for selected arrangements, songs, and composers.

Aria Database


Indexes information on arias from over 170 operas, with original texts, translations, and MIDI files.

Classical Music in Movies


Audio collection of classical music in movies, listed by title of movie.

Folk Music Index to Recorded Sources


Index to recorded folk music, searchable by title keyword and performer. Related and alternate titles and melodies are cross-referenced.

Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer Encyclopedia - Archive

Full-Text, Reference

Encyclopedia of GLBTQ art, literature, film, music, and popular culture. The encyclopedia was closed and archived in 2015.

Humanities and Social Sciences Index Retrospective


Coverage: 1907-1984

Index of major journals in the humanities and social sciences.

International Medieval Bibliography


Multidisciplinary bibliography indexing journal articles and "miscellany volumes" (conference proceedings, essay collections or Festschriften) covering medieval studies in disciplines ranging from history to languages to art and music.

International Music Score Library Project


Large repository of free classical music scores. Provided by the Petrucci Music Library.

Internet Broadway Database


Official archival database for Broadway theatre information from the League of American Theatres and Producers. Provides records of productions from the beginnings of New York theatre to present. Includes playwright, opening night cast, theater, performance statistics.

J.S. Bach: Texts of the Complete Vocal Works with English Translation and Commentary


English translations of the vocal works of J.S. Bach with background information on the literary sources and performance history of each work. From The University of Vermont.

Metropolitan Opera - MetOpera Database


Information on all performances of the Metropolitan Opera from it's opening in 1883 to the present.

Music Manuscripts Online


Digitized images and detailed descriptions of music manuscripts from the collection of the Morgan Library and Museum.

Full-Text, Gateway

A history of musical theater.

Mutopia Project


Collection of several hundred classical music scores in various text formats. Browse by composer, instrument, or musical style or search by keyword.


Full-Text, Gateway

Database of information on opera, including synopses, libretti, source texts, performance histories, discographies, and reviews. Provides information on composers, librettists, and opera companies and links to other opera Web sites.

Popular Culture in Britain and America, 1950-1975

Full-Text, Visual Resource

Images, video, and print material covering popular culture and lifestyle and major events of the time period such as the Vietnam War, the Space Race, the Civil Rights and Women's Liberation movements, and more.

Rock Music Timeline


Chronology of rock and roll history from the 1950's through the 1990's.

Show Music on Record


Provides discographic information on commercially-released show music recordings from the late 19th century to the present. From the Library of Congress.

Sibley Music Library Musical Scores


Large and growing collection of digitized music scores from the Eastman School of Music's Sibley Library, the largest academic music library in North America, with an emphasis on scores not widely held or digitized elsewhere.

Yiddish Sheet Music


A collection of public-domain scores from the John Hay Library of Brown University focusing on Yiddish-language music for the stage.  Also includes art songs, folk songs, and sacred music in Yiddish and Hebrew.