The Harvard dictionary of music. Don Michael Randel, ed. Cambridge, Mass.: Belknap Press, 2003. MUSIC REF ML100 .A64 2003
The standard English language, non-biographical music dictionary. Provides accurate, pertinent information on all music topics. Includes selective bibliographies.
The new Grove dictionary of music and musicians. Stanley Sadie, ed. London: Macmillan, 2001. 29 vols.
MUSIC REF ML100 .N48 2001
The standard English language comprehensive music encyclopedia. Entries on music history, composers, theory and practice, musical instruments, and terms. Online version is updated continuously.
The new Grove dictionary of American music. Stanley Sadie and H. Wiley Hitchcock, eds. London: Macmillan, 1986. 4 vols. MUSIC REF ML101 .U6 N48 1986
The new Grove dictionary of musical instruments. Stanley Sadie, ed. London: Macmillan, 1984. 3 vols. MUSIC REF ML102 .I5 N48 1984
The new Grove dictionary of opera. Stanley Sadie, ed. London: Macmillan, 1992. 4 vols. MUSIC REF ML102 .O6 N5 1992
The online version is updated continuously. The search function searches the main New Grove Dictionary at the same time.
The encyclopedia of popular music. Colin Larkin, ed. 4th ed. New York: Muze UK; Oxford University Press, 2006. 10 vols.
MUSIC REF ML102 .P66 G84 1998
The Garland encyclopedia of world music. Bruno Nettl and Ruth M. Stone, eds. New York: Garland. 10vols. MUSIC REF ML102 .P66 G84
Baker's biographical dictionary of musicians. 9th ed. New York: Schirmer Books, 2001. 6 vols. MUSIC REF ML105 .B16 2001.
The new Grove dictionary of women composers. Julie Anne Sadie and Rhian Samuel, eds. London: Macmillian, 1994. ML105 .N48 1994
Contemporary composers. Chicago: St. James, 1992. brian Morton and Pamela Collins, eds. MUSIC REF ML390 .C66 1992
Thematic catalogs enumerate and describe known works of composers and usually include information on manuscript locations, first publication, and first performance. Thematic catalogs can be found under the call number ML134, sub-arranged alphabetically by composer. Also in the ML134’s are bibliographies (guides to other writings) about the composers and their music.
Use thematic catalogs to verify the existence of a musical work, its title, opus number, instrumentation, etc. Thematic catalogs generally give information on the location of surviving manuscripts, sketches, or early printed editions. They also cite secondary literature regarding the work, many times this is literature that pre-dates the coverage of the standard music literature indexes.