Music Concert and Recital Printed Program preparation hints: Composers and Titles of Jazz, Popular, Country, Rock, etc.


It is usually easy to find correct titles for various kinds of popular music. You are most likely to be dealing with titles in English. 
The difficulties lie in trying to find dates for the pieces, and birth and death dates for the composers. In some cases, it may even be hard to find out who the composers are. 

If you are dealing with a famous composer or performer, for example, Louis Armstrong, George Gershwin, the Beatles, George Jones, the dates tend to be general knowledge, and you can verify them in sources such as Grove Music Online (part of Oxford Music Online) or the print New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, on the music reference shelves under call number ML100 .N48 2001.

For lesser-known persons or titles, the search can be very difficult. Here are some suggested sources that may be helpful:

Colin Larkin: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music, music reference shelves under call number ML 102..P66 G84 2006

The New Grove Dictionary of Jazz--although it is supposed to be integrated into Grove Music Online, there are several print editions, and not all of the content has made it into the online version, so a search of the print editions may prove fruitful. Music reference shelves under call numbers:
ML 102 .J3 N48 2002, ML 102 .J3 N48 1994, ML 102 .N3 N48 1988

The Library of Congress name authority file, which provides forms of personal names that the Library of Congress has verified as correct. These forms of names are used in library catalogs:

Please note: when you cannot find the information in scholarly, academic sources, you may have to turn to whatever you can get. One example is Wikipedia. Another is an intensive Google search. If you keep searching and searching, you may eventually find a needed clue. 

Newspapers, historical or current, may be helpful. Our library subscribes to the database Access Newspaper Archive. We do not have, but often their content appears in Google search results, and you can see the information for free. 

Journal and magazine articles might also be helpful. You can search them in several of our subscription article databases, especially
Music IndexRILMRIPMRIPM Jazz Periodicalsand Academic Search Complete, which is an inter-disciplinary database that covers journals not indexed in the music-specific databases.
Such articles might carry obituary notices for composers and performers.  

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