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Music Research: Article Databases

resources for research in music: musicology, jazz, music education, and more

For virtually all fields of study, academic research involves reading articles in scholarly journals and other scholarly publications such as books of essays and conference reports. For music, the best way to find such articles is by searching the music-specific article databases to which we subscribe. You can access each of them by name by doing a database search on the library homepage and also from the entries below. 


RILM Abstracts of Music Literature
RILM (Répertoire International de Littérature Musicale) is a vast international bibliography of scholarly writings on music and related disciplines. It covers music journals and other scholarly sources such as Festschriften and conference reports. It began as a print publication in 1967, providing citations and abstracts of articles. The electronic product now has full text of over 300,000 articles. Although its former focus was historical musicology, it now includes fields such as jazz and music education.

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, and UNESCO’s International Council for Philosophy and Humanistic Studies. This full-text database is similar in purpose to RILM, but covers a different time period.

​RIPM Jazz Periodicals

Full text of many historically significant American jazz journals and magazines​, for example, early decades of Down Beat

Music Index
Indexes hundreds of music journals and magazines from many different countries, and provides full text of many articles. It originated as a print publication in 1949; the database covers the years from 1970 to the present. Unlike RILM, it has always included all kinds of music, so it is a good resource for research in fields such as jazz, popular music, world music, and music education. 

PLEASE NOTE: On the library home page, there is a tab by the search box that reads Online Articles. When you use it, you are searching Summon, a subscription product that searches for articles in all fields in every article database we have. It is fine to use it, but advanced researchers need to go beyond by knowing which music-specific databases we have and learning to use them directly. Summon may not always provide the best results, especially for very difficult research. 



A full-text database of journal articles from a large number of disciplines; provides backfiles of whole runs of many important journals in numerous fields, including music. 
Caution: JStor is very popular. However, since its specialty is backfiles, this means that it may not provide current issues of the journals you need. Thus, do NOT limit yourself solely to it when searching for articles.

Academic Search Complete
A 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. Helpful for interdisciplinary research.

VERY IMPORTANT to know about as you use article databases:

A gigantic online catalog of more than 450 million bibliographic records 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 but does list the journal holdings of participating libraries; 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.

Since the databases on this list are not freely available on the internet, but rather are products for which our university buys subscriptions, 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 electronic article database says we do not have a certain article, it is only reporting on our electronic holdings. Please search our online catalog to see if we have a print copy of the journal or other publication that contains the article.  

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