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MU221 Demystifying Afro-Brazilian Musics & Cultures: Get Started

Finding Topic Overviews

Encyclopedias and other reference books provide excellent historical overviews that will help you put topics -- and the historians writing about them -- into context. The resources are a great way to

  • Brainstorm ideas
  • Narrow an existing topic
  • Glean keywords for catalog and database searches
  • Leverage bibliographies for the next stage of your research

Grove Music Online is a great place to start. Found in the Oxford Music Online suite, it includes articles on jazz, opera, musical instruments, world music and American music. Check out the article on Brazil.

The Garland Encyclopedia of World Music (online version here) takes a cultural approach to its focus on the music of all the world's peoples. Each volume is arranged topically, regionally, or by ethnic group, and is complemented by an extensive index.  See volume 2 for information on Brazilian music.


Take a few minutes to browse the music reference books (both libraries have similar sources), searching from call numbers ML100 to ML199. You have several books on reserve in the Music Library. 


Browsing Tips-M is for Music!

We use the Library of Congress Classification System to gather like items together.  You can browse the shelves to discover music works that you never knew existed. If you're looking for information on Cuban dance, popular, or vocal music, a quick search through the blued MLs may hold some surprises....ah, serendipity!

Music searchers are lucky, because “M” is for music!

Music scores are located under M
Books about music are located under ML
Music teaching materials (both scores and books) are located under MT

Here is a selective overview of the call numbers for music:

M Music

  • M2 Collections of musical scores
  • M3 Collected works of individual composers
  • M5-1490 Instrumental music
    • M180-298 Duets
    • M300-386 Trios
    • M400-486 Quartets
    • M500-586 Quintets
    • M600-686 Sextets
    • M700-786 Septets
    • M800-886 Octets
    • M900-986 Nonets, large combinations of chamber music
  • M 1000-1160 Orchestra
  • M1495-5000 Vocal Music
  • M1497-1998 Secular Vocal Music
  • M1999-2199 Sacred Vocal Music

ML Literature on Music

  • ML62-90 Musician’s writings
  • ML100-109 Dictionaries, Encyclopedias
  • ML112.8-158.8 Bibliography
  • ML159-3775 History and criticism
  • ML410 Biography
  • ML430-455 Composition
  • ML459-1380 Instruments and instrumental music
  • ML1400-3275 Vocal music
  • ML3400-3465 Dance music
  • ML3469-3541 Popular music
  • ML3544-3775 National music
  • ML3800-3923 Philosophy and physics of music

MT Musical Instruction and Study

  • MT1-5 History and criticism
  • MT5.5-7 Music theory
  • MT40-67 Composition
  • MT68 Improvisation, Accompaniment, Transposition
  • MT70-74 Instrumentation and orchestration
  • MT90-146 Analysis and appreciation
  • MT170-810 Instrumental techniques
  • MT820-915 Singing and vocal technique
  • MT918-948 School music
  • MT955-956 Musical theater

Note:  Music library sound and video recordings use a separate classification system.

If you’re looking for music for particular performance forces, use our Music Instrumentation Search

Generally, books about music are located in Tutt Libary. Seay Library houses scores and sound/video recordings. Both libraries provide music reference collections.

Music Librarian

Daryll Stevens's picture
Daryll Stevens
The fastest way to reach me is via the "Email Me" link above. You may also reach me at 389-6126, or 389-6560