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Music Research Guide: Analysis of Musical Scores

This research guide features resources and strategies for finding information and conducting research related to Music.


This guide, created for MUSC 203, will show how to find books, articles and media sources supporting the analysis of musical works.

If further help is needed contact:

Rachel Schwedt, Research and Instruction Librarian:

Office number: 434-592-3357


 Search Terms

Specific search terms are assigned to materials in databases and library catalogs. Some databases search the entire body of an article to look for the terms you choose, and some search only the subject terms assigned. Following are some common subject terms you may find useful in your research. Many of these can be used in combination with each other.

Search by time period

Music – History and criticism – 17th century

18th century music – History and criticism

Renaissance music

Romantic period

Search by composer

            Scarlatti, Domenico – Analysis

            Haydn, Joseph, 1732-1809 – Biography

Search by type of music            

            Church music

            Jazz music

Choral music

Search by form of music



General sub headings – use in combination with other terms

            Composition (Musical composition)


            Criticism or critique

            History and criticism

            Type of instrument

Search by country

            Italy – 18th century – Music





If looking for books, remember that there are not always entire books dedicated to a single work. Expand your search by looking for a book about the composer or the type of music or the time period of music you are researching. Then use the table of contents or index to see if your piece is included.

  1. Books in the JFL may be available either in physical or ebook format. If you search from the main library page, click on BOOKS. From there you can check PRINT, E-BOOK, or AUDIOBOOK.
  2. Another way to search is to choose ADVANCED SEARCH. This offers you more ways to define your search by using additional KEYWORDS, setting FIELDS, and DATES.
  3. Make sure that you indicate the format you desire in the CONTENT TYPE box. EX:   Book / eBook
  4. If you desire you can also set DISCIPLINE (ex: Music) or LANGUAGE.  You can add other limits and exclusions.



The Jerry Falwell Library subscribes to a number of databases dedicated to the field of music and other general databases which include music. Some databases provide access to scores that you can print. Some offer recordings of musical performances, and others specialize in professional journals with articles addressing many aspects of music including the analysis of musical works.

The search path to finding journal articles is: - Browse All Databases – Click on arrow next to All Subjects -  Choose Music

Suggested databases to use:

Journal Articles

General databases that include music journals



Project MUSE: Humanities and Social Sciences


Music specific databases

Music Index

Music Periodicals Database

RILM Abstract of Music Literature

Reference materials

Cambridge Core: Cambridge Companions to Music

Music Online: Classical Music Reference Library

Oxford Music Online includes:

Grove Music Online

Oxford Companion to Music

Oxford Dictionary of Music

Videos / Audio

Music Online: Classical Music Library – contains reference information as well as video and audio

            Music Online: Opera in Video

            Naxos Music Library

            Naxos Video Library

Scores (Sheet Music)

Library Music Source

Music Online: Classical Scores Library

Naxos Music Library: Sheet Music

Searching for Scores or Recordings

Print scores and audio CDs are housed in the robotic storage system. Indicate under Content Type the format you are desiring. Request these items the same way you would request a book. Pick up at the Customer Service Desk within approximately ten minutes.