Go to the CCSF library's main pageFind Books using the library's CatalogFind Articles in periodical & reference databasesSearch the webLibrary information, frequently asked questionsGo to main CCSF web page

Finding Books

Reserve Books

Subject Headings

Reference Sources

Finding Articles

Web Resources

Evaluating Sources

Citing Sources

Additional Help

Music Subject Guide

Subject guides are designed to help students begin the research process, find reputable sources, and save time.

Searching the Library Catalog for Books & Other Materials

To locate books and other materials in CCSF Libraries, select the Library Catalog from the Library's Homepage. You will notice many ways to search, such as Title, Author, Subject, Subject Keyword, etc.

Examples of Subject searches include: music dict* (* is a truncation symbol used to search the root of a word); rhythm and blues; vocal scores
Examples of Keyword Anywhere searches are: mozart k 550; bach and goldberg variations; beethoven string quartets.

Examples of Title Keyword searches would be: jupiter symphony, parkening guitar; world music.
A Keywords in Contents and Notes search will lead you to an individual song on a cassette or CD; try: puff dragon

Note: After submitting a search, look at the symbol on the right side of the title summary screen. That symbol indicates the format of the item such as musical score, book, video or music CD.
Also Note: Librarians have created several Reading Lists, or bibliographies, for Music Department courses. On the City Cat Search page, look at the bottom of the screen and click on Reading Lists.

Reserve Materials

Reserve Materials include books, sample tests, class notes, and other items that instructors put at the library for class use. The check out time is shorter than regular circulating books.

To search for a book on reserve in the Library Catalog, select either Reserves by Course or Reserves by Instructor.

When you have located the materials, write down the Call Number and Title and present this to a staff person at the Circulation Desk.


Browsing the Library Collection

Materials in the Library are shelved by call number according to the Library of Congress classification system. Books are arranged on the shelves by subject. Relevant areas in the collection to find materials on Music include:

General music dictionaries and encyclopedias ML100-108
Biographies of musicians ML385-429


Using Key Reference Sources

Reference books provide background information and overviews on a given topic. Some relevant reference books in Music include:

Garland Encyclopedia of World Music.
editors James Porter and Timothy Rice. New York : Garland Publishing, 1998- . 10 Vol.
ML 100 G16 1998 Vol. 1, 3-10 Rosenberg Reference
ML 100 G16 1998 Vol. 1, 3-9 CD, Rosenberg Reference

New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians.
Sir George Grove. London : Macmillan Pub. ; Washington, D.C. : Groves Dictionaries of Music, 1980.
ML 100 G8863 Vol. 1-10. Rosenberg Reference

Latest edition available online at SFPL (GroveMusic.com): see note below on SFPL Electronic Resources to learn how to access it.

New Grove Dictionary of Jazz.
editor Barry Kernfeld. London : Macmillan Press ; New York : Grove Dictionaries of Music, 1988.
ML 102.J3 N48 1988 Vol. 1 Rosenberg Reference, John Adams Reference
ML 102.J3 N48 1988 Vol. 2 Rosenberg Reference, John Adams Reference

Benet’s Reader’s Encyclopedia
editor Bruce Murphy. New York : Harper Collins Publishers, c1996, 4th ed.
PN 41 B4 1996 Rosenberg Reference, Downtown Reference

Oxford Dictionary of Music
Michael Kennedy ; associate editor Joyce Bourne. Oxford ; New York : Oxford Univ. Press, 1994 (1997[printing]), rev. ed.
ML 100 K35 1997 Rosenberg Reference

New Harvard Dictionary of Music
editor Don Michael Randel. Cambridge, Mass. : Belknap Press of Harvard Univ. Press, 1986.
ML 100 N485 1986 Rosenberg Reference
ML 100 N485 1986 Rosenberg Circulating 5th Floor


Searching for Articles in Periodical Databases

Periodical databases group together journal, magazine, and newspaper articles by subject. They also usually provide abstracts (brief summaries) and the full text of the articles. Do you need help identifying the differences between scholarly journal v. popular magazine articles?

Note: Most periodical databases are part of the private, passworded Web, so you will need to have a current CCSF ID card with a barcode to access those that CCSF subscribes to. You get the free barcode from the Library either in person or online.

Infotrac (Gale)
InfoTrac is a system providing access to many databases with coverage from 1980 to the present. Most useful for music topics are Expanded Academic ASAP and InfoTrac OneFile.

Proquest Newspapers
Provides full text indexing of the Christian Science Monitor, Los Angeles Times, New York Times, Wall Street journal, and Washington Post -- Time periods vary.

Ethnic Newswatch
Comprised of full-text articles in journals, magazines, newspapers, and reference/reports published by the ethnic and minority press. Search for the subject of music and limit by ethnicity (e.g., Asian/Pacific Islander; Hispanic; or African American/Caribbean/African).

Note: The Rosenberg Library subscribes to the magazine Ethnomusicology; current issues and the previous four years may be found in Periodicals.

San Francisco Public Library (SFPL) – Electronic Resources, Magazines, and Newspapers (http://sfpl.org/)

The SFPL subscribes to many periodical and reference databases. From their home page, click on Articles and Databases. Then click on a selected database, after which you must enter your SFPL barcode number (found on your SFPL library card).

The following are especially handy music-related resources you will find:


This site provides the most updated, full-text versions of New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, New Grove Dictionary of Opera, and New Grove Dictionary of Jazz. Scroll to Encyclopedias and Dictionaries, and click on GroveMusic.com.

Dorothy Starr Sheet Music Collection

This database contains over 300,000 pieces of music for choir and ensemble; opera scores; children’s music; popular, folk and art songs. Scroll to SFPL Created Databases, and click on Dorothy Starr Sheet Music Collection.


Finding Web Resources

Below are some examples of academic/scholarly web sites for Music. If you use a search engine, such as Google,remember to evaluate the quality of the results.

Below are some examples of scholarly web sites for music. If you use a search engine, such as Google (http://www.google.com/), remember to evaluate (http://www.ccsf.edu/Library/evalweb.html) the quality of the results.

Worldwide Internet Music Resources
This very comprehensive site is offered as a service of the William and Gayle Cook Music Library, Indiana University.

Classical Net
The Classical Net web site offers a broad collection of information and news on classical music subjects including articles, CD reviews, and over 3,800 links to other classical music web sites.


Need More Assistance?

For additional help you may contact the Reference Desk by phone at (415) 452-5543 or stop by the East and West reference desks at the Rosenberg Library.
Electronic Reference Service to CCSF students, faculty, staff and registered community users. Use this service when you are NOT in a CCSF library.

Library and Web Research Workshops
FIfty minute workshops are given throughout the semester on effective methods in searching for books, articles and information on the Internet.

Evaluating and Citing Information Sources
Several useful sources for evaluating the quality of web pages, how to prepare citations for a "Bibliography" or "Works Cited" list, and how to avoid plagiarism.

Purdue's Online Writing Lab
One of the most thorough and easy to navigate writing labs avaialble!

A+ Research and Writing
Hosted by the Internet Public Library.

Writing Process @ CSU
Colorado State University developed these guides which "focus on a range of composing processes as well as issues related to the situations in which writers find themselves."

Send comments or suggestions to:

Julia Bergman
Subject Selector
(415) 452-5494

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Copyright Library & Learning Resource Center, City College of San Francisco
Last updated December 5, 2006