Databases for Music

This list covers databases which provide references to publications about music. You can search these databases to find out what has been written on a particular subject. Most of the databases include abstracts or summaries of the publications indexed; some databases include the full text of journal articles. You can use the LinkSource service to link from references in the databases to our e-journals.

Note: For off campus access to most of these databases, you will need to log into Athens.

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. For on and off campus access, log in to Athens first, then go to Oxford music online via the link above; select Oxford Brookes from the list of institutions and you will be transferred to Oxford music online.
  • 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. Available off campus using your Athens login; when you get to Rock's backpages, click on the link to Login via the UK federation WAYF (this link is on the left hand side of the Rock's Backpages home page, towards the bottom of the page).

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 The Library's electronic databases page provides a complete list of all our databases with brief details of subject coverage and access information.