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Rock and Popular Music

Resources for research in rock and popular music.


Many helpful resources for this paper may be found via UT Libraries. Authoritative resources such as dictionaries, encyclopedias, books, and journals appropriate for this paper are now available online from UT Libraries. Other resources such as discographies, biographies of musicians, and books on popular music are frequently only available in print, but may be viewed or checked out at UT Libraries.

For a printable version of this History of Rock Class Resources guide, click on:

1. Online Encyclopedias and Dictionaries

Look up the performer, group, or topic in The Encyclopedia of Popular Music (this portal allows you to also search Grove Music Online, The Oxford Dictionary of Music, and The Oxford Companion to Music).  Oxford Reference and Garland World Music may also provide pertinent material.

2. Online Music Databases

While many databases could be useful, these four provide a good starting point for your research. These databases index articles originally published in academic journals and other print resources and frequently provide access to the full text of articles.

Academic Search Premier – This multidisciplinary database provides access to the full text of articles from many scholarly publications.

RILM Abstracts – This music database does not offer the full text of articles, but the abstracts should allow you to determine whether the article will be useful. Once you have identified articles, search for the journal title in the online catalog.

JSTOR - Another database that provides access to the full text of many scholarly journals in the humanities and social sciences.

3. Print Reference Materials

Search the UT Libraries online catalog for books on your subject.

Consult popular music encyclopedias, discographies, and histories in the Music Library Reference Room or in 135 Hodges Library. Print music reference materials include:

Popular Music Encyclopedias – ML102.P…
Rock Music Encyclopedias – ML102.R…
Popular Music Discographies – ML156.4.P6…
Rock Music Discographies – ML156.4.R6…

4. Browsing Other Print Materials

Go into the Music Library stacks and browse the areas listed below for books that might contain references to your subject. Look up assigned performer(s) or subjects in the indexes of the books.

Women in Music - ML82
Blues Music - ML3521
Rock Music - ML3534
African-American music - ML3556
Music Industry(Labels, etc…) - ML3790 – ML3792

5. Still no success?

Ask a Librarian!