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Jazz, Blues, and Popular Music: Popular Music

Searching Popular Music in ZSR Library's Catalog

Encyclopedias

The Encyclopedia of Popular Music (edited by Colin Larkin).

Continuum encyclopedia of popular music of the world.

Virgin encyclopedia of Fifties Music.

Virgin encyclopedia of Sixties Music.

Bibliographies

These can be searched in the Library's catalog or WorldCat using the following subject terms:

  • Popular music -- Bibliography
  • Popular music -- Bio-bibliography

You can also find them shelved under the call number ML128 P63. (Check both the Reference room and the main stacks (shelves)).

Dictionaries

These can be searched in the Library's catalog or WorldCat using the following subject terms:

  • Popular music -- Dictionaries

 

You can also find them shelved under the call number ML102 P66. (Check both the Reference room and the main stacks (shelves)).

Song Indexes

These are designed to help you identify, and locate a copy of, popular songs. You can find these indexes in the Library's catalog or WorldCat using the following subject terms:

  • Popular music -- Indexes.
  • Popular music -- Bibliography.

Examples:

SongCite: an Index to Popular Songs.

The Great Song Thesaurus.

Popular Music: an Annotated Index of American Popular Songs.

Biography

Biographical information can be located in the Library's catalog or WorldCat using a number of subject terms:

  • [Name]
  • [Name] -- Interviews
  • [Name] -- Homes and haunts
  • [Name] -- Pictorial works
  • [Name] -- Protraits
  • Popular music -- Biography
  • Popular music -- [Place] -- Biography
  • Musicians -- Biography
  • Musicians -- [Place] -- Biography
  • Musicians -- [the subdivisions after Name above]

 

You'll find both collective and individual biographies. Examples:

You Must Remember This: Popular Songwriters 1900-1980.

Angels of the Night: Popular Female Singers of our Time.

Breakout: Profiles in African Rhythm.

Books on Popular Music History

These can be located in the Library's catalog using the following subject terms:

  • Popular Music -- History and criticism
  • Popular Music -- [Place] -- History and criticism
  • Popular Music -- Analysis, appreciation

You can also find many of them shelved in the call number range ML3470 - ML3541.

Recordings and Videos

Databases (streaming audio)

The following can be accessed on our "Databases" page:

Music Online: American Music

Database of Recorded American Music (DRAM) (early popular songs)

Music Online: Smithsonian Global Sound (early popular songs)

 

Discographies

Numerous discographies have been published tracing the recorded history of popular music, or popularity rankings. Find them in the Library's catalog or WorldCat using the following subject terms:

  • Popular music -- Discography
  • Popular music -- [Place] -- Discography
  • [Name] -- Discography

You can also find them shelved under the call number ML156.4 P6.

Biographies of popular musicians may also include a discography.

 

Examples of discographies:

New Rolling Stone Album Guide.

Complete Entertainment Discography, from 1897 to 1942.

Billboard's Music & Video Yearbook.

Cash Box Album Charts, 1975-1985.

Popular Music: an Annotated Guide to Recordings.

 

Reviews

See "Discographies" and "Websites."

 

Videos

To find these in the Library's catalog:

  • Enter subject terms for popular music.
  • Use the sidebar to limit the titles you retrieve to "DVD" or "VHS."

 

Journals

Indexes:

RILM Abstracts of Music Literature (available on our "Databases" page) is the major index.

 

Journals:

Unless otherwise indicated, these can be accessed on our "Journals" page:

 Popular Music

Popular Music and Society

Popular Music History

Rolling Stone

Sing Out!

Journal of Country Music

Down Beat: Jazz, Blues & Beyond 

See also blues journals.

Related Areas

The scholarly study of popular music often involves research into the historical, social, economic, and political developments of the time, artistic cross-influences, etc.

Some subject headings that relate to the larger context:

  • Popular music -- Social aspects
  • Popular music -- Political aspects
  • Popular music -- Economic aspects
  • Popular music -- Psychological aspects
  • Popular music -- Religious aspects
  • Popular music -- Influence
  • Popular music and art music
  • Popular music in art
  • Popular music in literature
  • Popular music in motion pictures
  • Popular music -- Drama   [= plays about pop music]
  • Popular music -- Fiction    [= novels about pop music]
  • Drinking in popular music
  • Drugs in popular music
  • Drugs and popular music
  • Homosexuality and popular music
  • Sex and popular music
  • Smoking in popular music
  • Popular music -- African influences
  • African-Americans -- Music
  • United States -- Civilization -- African influences
  • Folk music -- United States
  • Blues (Music)
  • Popular culture

Click here for further resources in related disciplines.

Career Guides

These can be searched in the Library's catalog or WorldCat using the following subject terms:

  • Popular music -- Vocational guidance
  • Popular music -- Writing and publishing

 

Examples:

This Business of Music: the Definitive Guide to the Music Industry.

Real Deal: How to get Signed to a Record Label.

The Craft of Lyric Writing.

In their own Words: Songwriters Talk about the Creative Process.

Subject Guide

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Leslie McCall
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