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MU 182B Emotion and Meaning in Music: Getting Started, Popular Music

Way Cool! Live Music Archive

 Internet Archive's Live Music library. is a community committed to providing the highest quality live concerts in a lossless, downloadable format. The Internet Archive has teamed up with to preserve and archive as many live concerts as possible for current and future generations to enjoy.


Looking for a popular artist?

If you want to find performances or works by an artist, perform an AUTHOR search in the Tiger catalog.  This will bring up our holdings of anything she has created (scores, recordings, writings, etc).

If you want to find out about a popular musician, perform a SUBJECT search. Everyone is a SUBJECT!

  You can limit your search in the following ways when searching BOOKS & MEDIA::

  • Select MUSIC LIBRARY from the left hand box (under HOLDING LIBRARIES)-you'll bring up everything located in the Music Library-mainly scores and audio/video recordings.
  • Select various formats (CD, DVD) to limit your results.

Many contemporary performers have websites with sound files and biographical information.


  • You'll find books about music in Tutt Library.
  • You'll find music works (scores, media) in the Music Library.

Browsing Shelves-Ah, Serendipity!

BROWSE THE SHELVES!--You'll find sources you weren't expecting!

Libraries shelve like topics together; browsing will help you find something surprisingly useful that you may not have noticed in the Tiger catalog. Try the following call number ranges in both libraries (althought Tutt is your best bet):

  • ML102 .P Popular music Bio-bibliographies
  • ML3508-9 Popular music.
  • ML420 Biographies of popular musicians are located here, A-Z, by last if you're looking for Elvis Presley, check in ML420 under the Ps.

Libraries also shelve similar types of musical works together.  Search for these in the Music Library.

  • We have a limited collection of popular music  scores. It's difficult to find these by browsing.  Ask a librarian for help.
  • Popular music Audio/Video recordings are generally shelved by last name of the performer. Ask a staff member for permission to browse this collection.

I can't find it in the Catalog!

You can use Prospector to widen your search, including items that aren't owned by CC libraries or are checked out.

  • Access to materials (scores, books, CDs, DVDs, etc.) throughout Colorado and Wyoming
  • Materials arrive in 3-5 business days

To further extend your search, use WorldCat.  This is often the best way to find obscure items. Items typically arrive within 2 weeks.  Materials you find inside Colorado are better ordered through Prospector.

Best Bets

Best Bets for your assignments:

  • Encyclopedia of Popular Music. Part of the Oxford Music Online suite.
  • RILM- covers all types of publications on music, in all media: books, journals, online resources, research-based sound recordings and films, dissertations, and more (see a complete list of document types). Publications represented in RILM originate from 151 countries, from Albania to Zimbabwe.  
  •  Music Index-comprehensive coverage of the music field and every aspect of the classical and popular worlds of music. Excellent organization of topics due to great subject indexing!
  • Groves Music Online. Part of the Oxford Music Online suite, this is the most important English-language resource for music. Use this resource to locate background information on musical instruments, peoples, and regions or nations.  Includes articles on jazz. Contains excellent bibliographies, illustrations,links to related articles within Groves, and links to other Internet resources. Includes some articles from the upcoming second edition of the Groves Encyclopedia of Musical Instruments..
  • Music Online-Music Online is the broadest and most comprehensive online music resource that cross-searches all of your library's Alexander Street Press music databases. You can search these databases simultaneously, using this product:  American Song, Classical Music Library, Contemporary World Music, Garland Encyclopedia of World Music Online, Jazz Music Library, Smithsonian Global Sound for Libaries. 
  • Academic Search Complete-Coverage: 1865 - current. Large database with extensive full text access to journals, in addition to abstracts and indexing. Subject coverage is general and broad.
  • JSTOR-is a scholarly journal archives with many music titles.  Although many journals in JSTOR are archives only, JSTOR is now starting to host current content (the most recent issues).  It's best not to limit your search to music journals; you'll find articles about music in journals principally devoted to other disciplines.
  • Reader's Guide Retrospective-Coverage: 1890 - 1982. The premier index to popular periodicals. No full text links, but Tutt owns a large percentage of the magazines/journals indexed by this resource. Continued by Readers Guide Abstracts.
  • Alternative Press Index-Coverage: 1969 - current. Alternative Press Index is a classic bibliographic database of articles from hundreds of international alternative, radical, and left periodicals. API is now part of EBSCOHOST in two databases: Alternative Press Archives, 1969-1990; and Alternative Press Index, 1991-current. The link above will search both simultaneously; API is cross-searchable with other EBSCOHOST databases.
  • Black Thought and Culture: African Americans from Colonial Times to the Present Coverage: 1700 - 2006. Black Thought and Culture contains 1,200+ sources covering the non-fiction published works of leading African Americans. Includes non-fiction works, interviews, journal articles, speeches, essays, pamphlets, letters and other fugitive material. Also includes the Black Panther newspaper from 1967-1980. Allows for advanced browsing and searching.
  • Project Muse Scholarly Journals Online Coverage: varies. Project Muse Standard Collection of core scholarly titles from John Hopkins University. Offers current and back issues.
  • ProQuest Historical Newspapers  Coverage: 1800's - Provides complete, full-image access to historical articles from the Atlanta Constitution, Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times from 1881 and the New York Times from 1851. For current online articles use Lexis-Nexis Academic Universe.

These 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



Searching the Catalog


SUBJECT HEADINGS are a great way to widen your search, leading you to information about a musical-not just a score or recording of a musical.

The best way to find suitable headings is to look in a record you pull up during a search.

 Here's a good way to mine SUBJECT HEADINGS:

  • Start with a KEYWORD search.
    • NOTE:  you may also search by TITLE or AUTHOR for more specificity.
  • When you find something useful in your results list, open that record and.scroll down and take a look at the SUBJECT HEADINGS on those that interest you, to extend your search. (will broaden or narrow your search)

               Compare these searches:

                   Pop* music*  Over 5,000 results.

An asterisk is a truncation device that allows you to search for all letters coming after the root word you're using: music* searches musicals, musics, musician, etc.

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

Music Library Services


Music Circulation Desk, X6560

Music Research, x6126

More help in Tutt Library:

Circulation Desk, x6184

Research Desk, x6662

Interlibrary Loan, x6664

Writing Center, x6742

Find your Librarian