Tutorial: Oxford Music Online
Oxford Music Online contains the Encyclopedia of Popular Music, The Oxford Companion to Music, Oxford Dictionary of Music, The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, The New Grove Dictionary of Opera, and The New Grove Dictionary of Jazz. Use the search box in the upper right hand corner to search all of these databases at the same time.
Grove Music Online contains The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, The New Grove Dictionary of Opera, and The New Grove Dictionary of Jazz. Articles in Grove Music Online are written and edited by music scholars from around the world. Scroll down to the bottom of the page to search only Grove Music Online.
Begin by typing the last name of your composer in the search box and clicking the search button. Select your particular composer from the results list. The beginning of the article will include a brief synopsis of the composer's life and works followed by a detailed biography on the composer. Note the birth and death dates of the composer. Grove Music Online is the authoritative source music scholars use for composer birth and death dates.
Each article also contains a "Works Lists" that lists every work the composer composed. The works list begins with citations for editions of the composer's complete works. These editions were created from the composer's manuscripts and are considered authoritative scores. Below the editions you will find a section for Thematic Catalogs if relevant. The thematic catalogs are an important source for locating the where the manuscript of a particular work is housed. The works list is generally arranged by thematic catalog number and list everything from the key of a work, date of composition, premiere date and location to the instrumentation of the work and poet of a song. The list is particularly valuable if you are looking for a score to a song. The works list serves as an index to the composer's complete works and will direct you to the proper volume and page number of your song within the composer's complete works set.
Finally, the bibliography of the composer's article provides an excellent starting point for your research. Bibliographies are often broken down into sections. For example, if you were interested in Mozart's operas you could find an entire subsection within the Mozart bibliography for "Opera". Journal titles are abbreviated and listed in italics on the bibliography list. To find the full journal title simply hover your mouse over the abbreviation and the full title will appear. You may also click on the abbreviation to view the entire list of journal abbreviations in Grove. Once you have your journal title you may use the Music ejournals list to locate the full text of your article. Books may be searched in the library catalog.
Oxford Music Online is a great source to use for a quick and concise abbreviation of a term. The Oxford Companion to Music and Oxford Dictionary of Music provide these definitions.
Use the Encyclopedia of Popular Music for a concise description of a popular musician, musical group, or genre. Musician and musical group articles will also contain a discography and bibliography.