Skip to main content

MUSIC RESEARCH GUIDE: Global Music Research

Resources for music research and for finding materials in Parsons Music Library

Quick Tips

To get an overview of a global music topic, try the Garland Encyclopedia of World Music Online.  It gives background information, bibliographies, and audio samples.

Ethnomusicology: A Research and Information Guide is an annotated bibliography of books, recordings, videos, and websites in the field of ethnomusicology.

Books in the Global Music Series from Oxford University Press introduce the music of particular countries or regions.  Each comes with a CD of music examples.

Note: The term "world music" is often (but not always) reserved for pop music that combines musical traditions from around the world with elements of jazz and rock

NPR: World Music News

Loading ...

World Music Central

Loading ...

Quick Call Number Guide for Global Music Books

ML 350 Africa
  330-345 Asia
  348 Arab countires
  360 Australia and Oceania
  240-325 Europe
  330 Central America
  200-215 North America
  199, 230-239 South America

When searching the library catalog, try the following strategies, where applicable:

  • Enter foreign-language versions of your search terms.  Use a reference book like the Garland Encyclopedia of World Music Online to find possible variant spellings.
  • Enter the name of a cultural group, followed by "music" (ex: Ewe music).  For Native American groups, include the word "Indians" (ex: Navajo Indians music)
  • Select "subject heading browse" from the "within" box and enter the word music, followed by a country or region (ex: music Cuba).  Look for terms like "history and criticism" or "bibliography"
  • Don't overlook CDs as potential resources.  Many contain liner notes with essays by important scholars.  But be wary if the author's name is not given.

Journal Articles on Global Music Topics

Articles about the music of a particular culture can often be found in indexes that are not narrowly focused on music.  Here are some music indexes, and also some non-musical ones.

My Profile

Linda Fairtile's picture
Linda Fairtile
Parsons Music Library
Modlin Center for the Arts
University of Richmond, VA 23173
804 287-6849