About the Music Department

3rd Floor, McKim Building, Central Library
Contact via 617-536-5400

Resources of the Music Department

Among the Department's 150,000 volumes may be found materials concerning every facet of musical study, including biography, history and criticism, ethnomusicology, theory and composition, and music education; the collected editions of all the major composers (and many less well-known composers), many musical first editions and other rare items; and the important music indexes, encyclopedias and bibliographies.

Besides reference works, scores and librettos, there are over 400 current periodicals, such as Stereo Review, Musical Quarterly, Music Educators Journal, Downbeat, Vibe, Rappages, Rock and Rap Confidential, Melody Maker, Rolling Stone, Ethnomusicology, Opera News, Opera, BBC Music, Dirty Linen, Cash Box, Pollstar, Billboard, and many other American and foreign music journals, including a number devoted to musical instruments, many of the standard recording review journals and popular music magazines.

Major reference works are on open shelves in the Department. The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians and all of its offshoots, New Harvard Dictionary of Music, New Oxford Companion to Music, Musik in Geschichte und Geganwart, plus other music encyclopedias in Italian, German, French and Spanish are available for public use along with indexes to music periodicals such as as Music Index, RILM, and RIPM.

CD-ROM's in the Music Department

Electronic databases available include Music Index, International Index to Music Periodicals (IIMP), Musi-Key, the British Library Catalogue of Printed Music to 1990, RILM, Music-Search, German Music Archive, RISM A, Phonolog, and New York Public Library Dance on Disc.