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Music History Tutorials: Article Databases

Research assistance for advanced students in music history courses

Article databases and other important databases for music research

Use these music-specific databases to identify articles pertinent to your research. The list is in order of importance for musicology:

RILM Abstracts of Music Literature an international, abstracted bibliography of scholarly writings on music and related disciplines in music periodicals and other sources such as books of essays, with hundreds of thousands of entries; coverage: 1967-present, with frequent updates; it formerly focused mainly on historical musicology, but it now includes fields such as jazz and music education; links to full text of journals through EBSCOhost.

RIPM Retrospective Index to Music Periodicals 1800-1950. Published under the auspices of the International Musicological Society, International Association of Music Libraries, Archives and Documentation Centres, UNESCO’s International Council for Philosophy and Humanistic Studies; links to full text of journals through EBSCOhost.

Music Index
indexes hundreds of music periodicals from various countries; coverage: 1970-present, with frequent updates; includes diverse fields of music; links to full text of journals through EBSCOhost.

RIPM Jazz Periodicals

Full text of many historically significant American jazz journals and magazines


Full text of journal articles from a large number of disciplines; provides backfiles of articles from years past for many important journals in music. CAUTION: Since its specialty is backfiles, it may not provide current issues, so do not limit yourself to it when searching for articles.

A super online catalog of more than 35 million entries describing items owned by libraries around the world, with information on which libraries own the items; includes entries for musical scores and sound recordings; does not include articles; use this resource to initiate inter-library loan requests for books and scores we do not have.
Please note: This is a FirstSearch database; for anyone familiar with OCLC, this IS the OCLC Online Union Catalog. This is not a full-text database.

ProQuest Dissertations and Theses (electronic version of earlier print resource Dissertation Abstracts) bibliographic citations for doctoral dissertations and master's theses in all fields completed at numerous accredited colleges and universities worldwide, with emphasis on U.S. schools; abstracts included from 1980 forward; now includes full text of over one million dissertations.

Academic Search Complete
Database providing full-text journal coverage for thousands of journals in diverse academic disciplines, including social sciences, humanities, education, computer sciences, engineering, language and linguistics, arts & literature, medical sciences, and ethnic studies; links to full text of journals through EbscoHost.


About our databases

In music and many other fields, research involves reading articles in scholarly journals or other scholarly collections. While you cannot search for articles in library online catalogs, you can use our online catalog to find out whether our library has a certain journal or other source by doing a title search for it.

Finding the best articles for your research is a complicated process in any field of knowledge. For serious music research, there is no easy one-step way to achieve it. PLEASE NOTE: not all music journals are available electronically.

The best way to begin your search for articles is to search in MUSIC-SPECIFIC electronic article databases. They both cite articles and link to full text of many articles. You can access these and other databases by doing a database search from the library home page. If you want the best, most relevant articles, not the ones that are easiest to get, you may have to come to the library to look at print journals or print books of essays.

The databases on our list are not websites that are free for all on the Internet. They are products for which our university buys subscriptions. If you are not using a campus computer, you must go in through our website to get the free access to which all UNT people are entitled. Authorized UNT users are allowed to access all of our subscription databases remotely by providing EUIDs and passwords.

If an article database does not link to full text of an article it cites, then search the source of that article (journal title, title of book of essays, etc.) in our online catalog to see if we have it. The article database does not have any information about our print holdings, so it will just say we do not have the article if they do not have full text. 


Searching for scholarly materials on Google

Google Scholar cites many important scholarly articles and other works, but does not always provide full text.  In such cases, use Google's information to search our subscription databases to see if we have full text.

Google Books provides full text of many public domain books and helpful previews of many others.  In some cases, however, it provides only citations.  If a whole book is not accessible, search the library's online catalog to see if we have the book. 

You can search our online catalog from the library homepage
by clicking the "Books & More" tab beside the search box. When you do, you are searching our online catalog.
You can search the online catalog directly from this URL:

You can access a music-specific search interface from this link:

Additional Links