Note: If you are accessing the online resources from off-campus, you will be asked to authenticate yourself using your PSU ID.

Research guides contain information about recommended sources, such as databases, reference sources, journals and websites.

Try exploring the Music Research Guide.

Search for books in the Penn State Libraries using The CAT. You can also check Course Reserves in The CAT.

If you are looking for information about the culture of a particular country, try searching for books in the “Customs and Cultures” series using the search strategy below:

Many of these books are in the York campus library.

Use databases to search for articles from journals, magazines, and newspapers.

Academic Search Complete

Gale Virtual Reference Library
Contains subject encyclopedias, such as Contemporary Musicians, which provides biographical information on important figures in the musical arena, covering artists working in all genres of modern music, including rock, jazz, pop, rap, rhythm and blues, folk, New Age, country, gospel, and reggae.

Grove Music Online (Oxford Music Online)
An online encyclopedia that covers all aspects of the history of music, with articles about styles and genres, as well as countries. Includes the Encyclopedia of Popular Music which covers popular music of all genres and periods from 1900 to the present day, including world music.

International Index to Music Periodicals Full Text
An outstanding resource for music periodicals available on the web. It enables you to find articles on a comprehensive variety of subjects about music from a wide range of scholarship.

Music Index Online
You can find articles from magazines and journals in this database, but you may have to click the Get it! link to access the full text.

Naxos Music Library
Offers streaming access to thousands of CDs, which can be searched by genre (world).

ProQuest (Multiple Databases)

Sage Journals Online
Provides access to the Music Educators Journal (MEJ)

Smithsonian Global Sound
Another source of streamed music audio. You can browse by genre, place, or cultural group or do an Advanced Search and choose a cultural group (African, Chinese, Indian, Japanese). There are several Playlists that may be helpful: Discover Indonesia, Music of Indonesia, and Sakura: A Musical Celebration of the Cherry Blossoms.

Worldwide Political Science Abstracts
This database contains some full text and will link you to additional full-text resources from other databases owned by the Libraries.


CIA World Factbook
Provides up-to-date information about the countries of the world

Garland Encyclopedia of World Music Online
“The first comprehensive online resource devoted to music research of all the world’s peoples.”

International Society of Music Education


  1. Baker’s Biographical Dictionary of Music and Musicians, 8th ed.
    Call number:  ML105.B16 1992
    This resource is located in the Penn State York library in the Reference section.
  2. Grove’s Dictionary of Music and Musicians
    The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians (2001) is included in the Grove Music Online (Oxford Music) database.
  3. The Harvard Concise Dictionary of Music in on reserve in the library.
  4. The Harvard Dictionary of Music & Musicians
  5. The International Cyclopedia of Music and Musicians, 9th ed.
    Call number:  ML100.T47 1964
    This resource is located in the Penn State York library in the Reference section.
  6. The Garland Encyclopedia of World Music Online