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Queen's University Library

Music: Early Music

Reference Resources

Baker's biographical dictionary of musicians. Enl. ed.
Ref. ML105 .B16 2001 6 vols.

Short biographies of musical personalities past and present.

An early music dictionary : musical terms from British sources: 1500-1740 / Graham Strahle.
Ref. ML108 .S88 1995

Grove Music Online

Web access to The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians. Ref. ML100 .N48 2001 29 vols.

A comprehensive encyclopaedia for the history of all genres of music, including illustrations and bio-bibliographical information.

The Harvard concise dictionary of music and musicians / D.M. Randel, ed.
Ref. ML100 .H36 1999

Contains brief biographical entries and definitions of terms and instruments.

The Harvard dictionary of music / D.M. Randel, ed. 4th ed.
Ref. ML100 .A64 2003

Covers Western classical music tradition. Defines key music terms and concepts in concise entries but contains no biographical information.

Liber usualis
Ref. ML2151 .L4 1956t

Medieval manuscripts for mass and office / Andrew Hughes
Ref. BX1973 .H83 1982

Medieval music : the sixth liberal art / Andrew Hughes
Ref. ML114 .H8 1980

Music reference and research materials : an annotated bibliography / V.H. Duckles, I. Reed. 5th ed.
Ref. ML113 .D83 1997

Musik in Geschichte und Gegenwart
Ref. ML100 .M92 1994-2005)

Comprehensive, illustrated music reference work, written in German. International in scope and coverage, with articles by specialists. Includes extensive bibliographical notes.

New Oxford history of music
ML160 .N44 10 vols.

Presents music history in chronological time periods, as it developed in association with every form of human culture and activity, not as an isolated phenomenon.

The Oxford companion to music / Alison Latham, ed.
Ref. ML100 .O94 2002t

Successor to Percy Scholes' Oxford companion to music and Denis Arnold's The New Oxford companion to music, this single volume companion edition covers wide-ranging topics for a broad spectrum of music readers.

The Oxford history of Western music / Richard Taruskin.
ML160 .T18 2005 ref vols. 1-6

Musicologist Richard Taruskin sets the details of music, the chronological sweep of figures, works, and musical ideas, within the larger context of world affairs and cultural history.

Terminorum musicae index septem linguis redactus / Polyglot dictionary of musical terms (1978)
Ref. ML108 .T4

Translations of music terminology in seven languages: English, French, German, Hungarian, Italian, Spanish, and Russian.

Composer Guides - Selected examples

Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina : a guide to research / Clara Marvin
Ref. ML134 .P2 M37 2002

Related Periodicals and Databases

Early music
ML5 .E18 1973-2003 print in Jordan Library Journals; online 1973-present

Early music America
(full-text online 1998-present through IIMP at Queen's)

Early music history
ML170 .E27t 1981-2002 print in Jordan Library Journals; online (1981-present)

Journal of seventeenth-century music
Free access online

Plainsong & medieval music
ML5 .P5t 2001-2003 print in Jordan Library Journals; online 2000-present

Iter: Gateway to the Middle Ages and Renaissance

Relevant database indexing journals from 1843-present for period covering 400-1700.

RISM (International Inventory of Musical Sources)

Non-profit, multinational database documenting extant musical sources (manuscripts, printed music, writings on music theory,and libretti, mostly before 1800) available in libraries, archives, monasteries and private collections.

Internet Resources

Acadia Early Music Archive

Gordon J. Callon's excellent site includes an early music facsimile archive and graphical chronologies of events by century.

American Musicological Society

Mega-site with web sites of interest to musicologists, including early music.
Edinboro University of Pennsylvania's useful timeline, arranged chronologically by year of composer's birth within a century. Some links to additional composer information.

Digital Image Archive of Medieval Music

University of Oxford and Royal Holloway University of London online resource for the study of fragments and complete manuscripts of European medieval polyphonic music, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Board and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Access to images is free of charge, but requires users to complete a User Access Agreement, for reasons of copyright protection

Doctoral Dissertations in Musicology Online

An international database of bibliographic records for completed dissertations and new dissertation topics in the fields of musicology, music theory, and ethnomusicology, provided in electronic format since 1996 via Indiana University William and Gayle Cook Music Library

Early music - a web directory

Maintained by Zeroland, a New Zealand mega-site for world arts and cultures, with extensive links for early music.

Early Music Composers

Site provided by Dr. Todd M. McComb, director of the Medieval Music & Arts Foundation. Also links to composer pages at other sites.

A Guide to Medieval and Renaissance Instruments

Musica Antiqua's illustrated guide to medieval and renaissance instruments, including pictures, descriptions, and historical information.

Composer sites - Samples

Hildegard of Bingen (1098-1179)

Kristina Lerman's award site featuring The life and works of Hildegard von Bingen (1098-1179).

Machaut on the web

International Machaut Society's links to sites relevant to the teaching, study, and performance of poetic and musical works by Guillaume de Machaut (ca. 1300-1377)


Many more composer homepages can be found at this site formerly provided by Indiana University William and Gayle Cook Music Library, but which is no longer kept up-to-date

National Library sites

Bibliothèque nationale de France

British Library

Library & Archives Canada

Library of Congress

Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin

Vatican Library

Other Library Catalogues

Last Updated: 11 February 2013