Databases for Music

This list contains details of electronic databases and other resources available to Oxford Brookes staff and students. Databases allow you to search for references for journal articles and other material in your subject area. Some databases provide an indexing service only, some also provide abstracts (summaries) and others are full text. For more information on using these services see Literature searching: using databases. The Library also provides direct access to many full text electronic journals.

When searching databases if you see the LinkSource icon LinkSource icon you can check whether an article you have found is available in an electronic journal and then link to it. See LinkSource for more information.

Note: Databases are usually available on and off-campus. Most will prompt you to log in with your Brookes ID and password. Your PIP page (Personal Information Page) provides details of passwords for resources not covered by this.


Listening services, radio and television

  • Naxos Music Library - a classical music listening service
  • JISC MediaHub - this service includes the Culverhouse Classical Music Collection - over 50 hours of copyright-free classical music, with some associated scores.
  • British Library Sounds - Recordings available for listening and downloading. Classical music includes Bach, Beethoven, Brahms, Chopin, Haydn and Mozart. The world and traditional music section is particularly strong on African and Asian music but also includes English folk music. The spoken word collection includes interviews with musicians; other resources include soundscapes and the history of recorded sound.
  • Box of Broadcasts (BoB) This service gives you access to thousands of recorded radio and TV programmes including, for example, Radio 1 and Radio 3.  It allows you to record programmes which will then be stored on the database. On the database choose Archive to search for programmes. You can also search for playlists and create your own.

Key databases

  • RILM abstracts of music literature : covers the whole range of musical literature, indexing books and other resources as well as journal articles. You can use the LinkSource service to link from references in the databases to our e-journals.
  • JSTOR - this database provides an archive of full-text articles from a wide range of academic journals, including some key music journals. JSTOR does not give access to issues which are less than 3-5 years old but is very useful for older journal articles.
  • Oxford music online : contains the online version of The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, a comprehensive music encyclopedia.
  • Rock's backpages : Rock's backpages is a database of rock music writing and journalism, with material dating from the early 1960s to the present day. It offers full text access to articles, reviews, and interviews. The database also includes Mp3 audio files of interviews.

Other databases

  • Academic search complete - a multi-disciplinary database offering full text access to more than 4,470 scholarly publications including 20 key music journals.
  • Art full text - covers all aspects of contemporary art, including the performing arts, music and film. It includes ejournal articles from 1997 onwards and also provides links to other ejournal articles.
  • Arts and Humanities Citation Index available via Web of science - covers key arts and humanities journals (but does not include abstracts).
  • British Education Index -  provides references to education journal articles.
  • Communications & Mass Media Complete - particularly useful for journal articles on the music industry.
  • Historical abstracts
  • International index of performing arts, or IIPA, contains references to journal articles and full-text articles on the performing arts, including opera, musicals and film.
  • MLA bibliography - a literature database which is useful for cultural history, theatre and film.

There is also a library web page about finding online newspaper articles.


NB From the Library homepage select the Find a database tab for an A-Z list of all our databases with brief details of subject coverage and access information.