Music Library - Reference Resources

General Encyclopedias & Dictionaries

  • Harvard Dictionary of Music, 4th ed. Edited by Don Randel. Cambridge, MA: Belknap, 2003.

    Music Ref. ML100 .A64 2003

    Standard dictionary providing basic definitions for musical terms. Includes some bibliographic references.
  • Die Musik in Geschichte und Gegenwart: allgemeine Enzyklopaedie der Musik Edited by Friedrich Blume. Kassel: Barenreiter, 1994-2008.

    Music Ref. ML100 .M92 1994

    German-language encyclopedia offering detailed biographies and information on musical topics.
  • The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, 2nd ed. 29 vols. Stanley Sadie, ed. London: Macmillan, 2001.

    Music Ref. ML100 N44 2001 ; also available online through Oxford Music Online

    Defines major terms and provides detailed biographical information about musicians as well as works, discographies, and bibliographic references.

Musical Terminology Dictionaries

  • Dolmetsch Online Music Dictionary, maintained by Dolmetsch Musical Instruments, is an online source definitions of musical terms and foreign terms commonly found in scores and text written about music.
  • Musical Terminology: A Practical Compendium in Four Languages, compiled by David L. Boccagna. Stuyvesant, NY: Pendragon Press, 1999.

    Music Ref. ML108 .B55 1999
  • The Oxford Dictionary of Musical Terms, Edited by Alison Latham. Oxford,: Oxford University Press, 2004.

    Music Ref. ML108 .D576 2004
  • Musical Terms, Symbols, and Theory: An Illustrated Dictionary, compiled by Michael C. Thomsett. Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland, 1989.

    Music Ref. ML108 .T46 1989
  • The A to Z of Foreign Musical Terms, from Adagio to Zierlich: A Dictionary for Performers and Students, edited by Christine Ammer. Boston: E.C. Schirmer, 1989.

    Music Ref. ML108 .A52 1989