The term "criticism," in a research context, means analytical or evaluative writing on a topic. Recent scholarly criticism on specific composers or works, or on topics relating to music history, help you interpret the source material you've retrieved in your historical research.
Entries in encyclopedias like Oxford Music Online (available on our "Databases" page) typically have bibliographies at the end. These provide a good starting point for identifying recent scholarly literature.
There are also specialized encyclopedias that are devoted to the music of specific countries, genres, or instruments. Search them in the Library's catalog using subject headings like these:
These specialized encyclopedias can also be browsed on the shelves under the call number ML102. Check both the Reference room and the main stacks (shelves).
There are separately published bibliographies on composers, instruments, and other musical topics. Search them in the Library's catalog using subject headings like these:
You can also browse bibliographies in certain sections of the stacks (shelves):
Check both the Reference room and the main stacks.
For further literature on a specific composer or work, search the Library's catalog or WorldCat using subject headings like the ones below:
For composers and their works
Bach, Johann Sebastian, 1685-1750 -- Criticism and interpretation.
Bach, Johann Sebastian, 1685-1750. Fugues.
Bach, Johann Sebastian, 1685-1750. Keyboard music.
Bach, Johann Sebastian, 1685-1750. Wohltemperierte Klavier.
For forms, genres, instruments
Indexes in books
Don't forget that scholarly books have bibliographies and indexes. You can use these to identify more resources, and to quickly locate discussion of a specific composer or work within a book.
These can be searched in the following databases (available on our "Databases" page):
If a database doesn't have the full text of an article, try these strategies:
There are other journals that are not indexed in the online databases, but which the Library owns in print. Search these in the Library's catalog using subject headings like these:
These provide in-depth, book-length treatment of very specific topics. As a result, you can often find additional information and bibliographical references that do not appear in other sources.
Identifying and accessing dissertations
Doctoral Dissertations in Musicology Online provides citations to music-related dissertations from all over the world. It also refers you to sites where you can purchase a copy of a dissertation.
ProQuest Dissertations and Theses (available on our "Databases" page) provides citations and abstracts of doctoral dissertations and selected master's theses from North America and Europe, on all subjects, including music. You can purchase a copy of a dissertation or thesis using the "Order a Copy" link.
These provide good-quality information, and links to other scholarly sites. Look to see if a website is hosted by:
As with everything on the Web, not all links you encounter will lead you to reliable sources. Evaluate any site you view for its scholarly/professional credentials.
A particular hazard with music is fans' sites: their authors may be enthusiasts who have pronounced biases, or amateur "buffs" who have accumulated a lot of knowledge about a topic, but not all of it may be accurate or thoroughly researched.
These collect links to multiple sites. Some scholarly metasites: