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Arkansas State University

Music: Home

This guide is intended to help you find both print and online music resources.

This guide is intended to help you find both print and online music resources. This guide is only a starting point for your research, it is not meant to be a comprehensive list of resources. If you need further assistance, please visit the Service Desk in the library or contact your librarian, April Sheppard, at

         Search for articles, ebooks, journals, books, media and more with OneSearch:
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Scholarly and peer reviewed are your "academic" articles. These are the ones that deal directly with research, history, or theory. Most likely, your professor wants you to use these types of articles. These types of articles are written by scholars, experts in the field often associated with a university or an organization. Peer reviewed articles must also be approved by a group of scholars before being published to ensure that the research presented is factual and relevant. Not everyone can get peer reviewed.

Popular magazine articles are usually ones that you read for entertainment. These are usually the type of publications that you find at the grocery store checkout. Chances are if there's a celebrity on the cover, it's a popular magazine.

For a more in-depth look at the differences, please visit our Scholarly Journals guide.


All books in the library are arranged by subject using the Library of Congress classification system for call numbers and subject headings.The call number for music begins with “M”. The basic breakdown is as follows:

M1 – M5000


Music (General)

     M5 - M1480


     Instrumental Music

     M1495 - M2199


     Vocal Music

ML1 – ML3930


Literature on Music

MT1 – MT960


Musical Instruction and Study

     MT170 - MT810


     Instrumental Techniques

     MT820 - MT915


     Singing and Vocal Technique

The numbers that follow these beginning letters relate to the narrower scope of the item. For example,the call numbers ML159 – ML3785 represents Blues (Music) – History and Criticism. An example of this is: Nobody Knows Where the Blues Come From: Lyrics and History (ML3521 .N63 2006).

Occasionally a totally different call number will appear. This means the item is about more than just music and higher importance was given to the other subject when the call number was assigned. For example, Watteau, Music, and Theater (N6883. W38 A4 2009) is more about art exhibits than music - but that doesn't mean it's not a good book for your topic!


Databases with green All Full Text or partially green Partial Full Text icons offer some level of free, full-text articles. In most cases, you must be affiliated with A-State to view the article or on the A-State campus. Some database offer a "pay-per-view" service where you can buy an article not available for free and have immediate access. If you do not need immediate access to the article, you may also request it through Interlibrary Loan for free. Articles requested through Interlibrary Loan can take 2-5 business days to come in, depending on the lending library. You can also digital scans from our physical collection through Digital Delivery.

To view all our Fine Arts databases, click here.

To view all our databases, click here.

Broader databases that include music:


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Music covers a wide range of topics. If you're having trouble coming up with a topic, here are some keywords you can use that might help you get started:

  • Analysis
  • Blues
  • Breathing
  • Choir
  • Classical
  • Composition
  • Copyright
  • Criticism
  • Folk
  • Instruments
  • Interpretation
  • Jazz
  • Music
  • Musical Style
  • Musicianship
  • Notation
  • Opera
  • Performance
  • Popular
  • Publishing
  • Royalties
  • Sound Recordings
  • Teaching
  • Techniques
  • Theater
  • Theory
  • Tone
  • Voice

If you want to combine keywords, use the connector AND between terms:

Singing AND "breathing technique"

You can learn more about connectors in our Boolean Searching guide.