Databases for Music

  • Additional Library resources available during the COVID-19 pandemic

    In addition to the e-content provided through the Library web site, many academic publishers are making additional e-resources available. Check this list  Library resources during COVID-19 pandemic for details. The list is being updated as more resources become available, so do check back regularly.

  • 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. The Library also provides direct access to many full text electronic journals.

    Note: Databases are usually available on and off-campus. Most will prompt you to log in with your Brookes ID and password. The Library Electronic Resources pages provide details of passwords for resources not covered by this.


    • Oxford Music Online - contains the online version of the New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, a comprehensive music encyclopedia.
    • Oxford Dictionary of National Biography - an illustrated collection of articles providing the life stories of over 50,000 people who have shaped the history of the British Isles and beyond, from the earliest times to those who died in recent years. Includes composers, musicians, singers and conductors.

    Listening services, radio and television

    • Naxos Music Library - a classical music listening service
    • 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. 
    • 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.
    • Performing Arts Periodicals Database - a very significant database for the performing arts, containing over a third of a million references to journal articles and reviews on dance, film, musical theatre, opera, performance art, television and theatre. Full text articles are available for about 160 journal titles 
    • 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.

    Primary sources

    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.
    • Factiva - international newspaper database.
    • Historical Abstracts
    • LexisLibrary UK - select the News tab to search UK newspapers.