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Musicology Project

MLA CITATION RESOURCES: (see especially parenthetical citation doc! Sources have to be cited on your slides and in a Works Cited slide)



Encyclopedia Britannica

We have a school subscription. Log in with the same username and password as our databases.

Music in American Life, University of Virginia

This website is the companion to an exhibit about music in U.S. history. Click on the links on the left sidebar. 

Performing Arts Encyclopedia

American Music 1880s - 1950s (UCLA) 

PBS: American Roots Music

Gilder-Lehrman Institute of American History

See links--this site has some great, in-depth info on: 1940s, 1950s rock, 1960s protest music, 1970s, 1980s, 1990s. 

Biography In Context database through Alameda County Library

This is awesome for looking up individual musicians. You need a library card to access this resource. You can get one here.

Summary of Western Classical Music History

This page is by a guy who is currently a music professor at Columbia University, but was written when he was a student there. It has a paragraph about each type of music as well as links to hear a sample.

Black Life in America Database (Alameda Co. Library, needs card)

EBSCO E-Books (Alameda Co. library, needs card)

LGBTQ representation in the music industry (article written by a BA student at Univ. of Pacific)




Medieval and Renaissance Instruments

 Medieval Studies, Georgetown University



 Medieval and Renaissance Instruments

 Music in the Renaissance (Metropolitan Museum of Art)



Music of the Baroque

This performing ensemble out of Chicago has some good pages explaining this type of music. 

Baroque overview: Classic FM

From the United Kingdom's only 100% classical radio station.

What is Baroque Music?

From a Chicago-based Baroque music performing group.

Baroque: Britannica



University of Kansas: Classical period

Columbia University

Important Black Classical Musicians (from Classic FM, the UK's first nationwide radio station)

10 important Black classical musicians (from another classical radio station)

"Asian Composers Reflect" (interesting interviews from NY Times with significant Asian classical composers)

10 Black Female Classical Composers You Need To Know (this site is by a Black music professor in the UK)

Female Classical Composers (Classic FM)

"Best Female Composers of All Time" (BBC Music Magazine)

Female Composers (Colorado Public Radio)

Top 35 Female Classical Composers (Washington Post--this list includes more recent ones)




Beginner's Guide to Romantic Period Music


Jazz and The Blues:

National WWII museum: Jazz in the 1940s 

Ken Burns' Jazz

 Jazz in New Orleans (From the National Park Service )

New Orleans Style Jazz

PBS Roots of Jazz

PBS "The Devil's Music: 1920s Jazz"

The Blues 

Louis Armstrong Bio

Duke Ellington 

R&B: Smithsonian


Harlem Renaissance:

Visual and Musical Arts: Harlem Renaissance, Britannica

Visual and Musical Arts: Harlem Renaissance, History channel

Visual and Musical Arts: Harlem Renaissance, Library of Congress

Visual and Musical Arts: Harlem Renaissance, PBS

Visual and Musical Arts: Timeline of Art Education in 1920s


Contemporary Art Music:

Contemporary/Modern Art Music

From Western Michigan University's music dept. 



ProjectMusicWorks History of Gospel


 African Music:

BBC--Intro to Afropop (good place to start) 


This public radio project that showcases contemporary African music started as a weekly NPR show. You'll find articles, interviews, album reviews, music videos and audio here.

Music history of Sub-Saharan Africa, University of Ghana

Encyclopedia Britannica

Senegalese music


Traditional Chinese Music:

Chinese music overview (Britannica)

Chinese opera (Britannica)

Chinese opera (brief overview by an Asian Studies professor at Hamilton College. See also types of roles in Chinese opera)

Chinese opera (audio clips, Smithsonian)

Chinese Classical Instrumental Music (audio clips, Smithsonian)


Indian Music:

Indian Music Overview (UCLA)

Library of Congress, a video of South Indian Classical Music 

Indian Drums (University of Iowa)

Musical instruments of India (Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York)

Carnatic music (Britannica)



Music of the Philippines:

Overview of music of the Philippines (written by a music professor at the University of the Philippines)

Popular music in the Philippines (from the Philippine Commission on the Arts)

Folk songs of the Philippines (music clips)

Filipino rock (LA Times)

Guide to getting into OPM (Vice News)

Danongan Kalanduyan, traditional kulintang musician (National Endowment for the Arts)

More on kulintang music (Center for World Music)

Filipino music from the 1980s (Library of Congress; audio clips)

Rondalla music (University of the Philippines Alumni and Friends Rondalla Group)




Polynesian Music:

Britannica: Oceanic music

 Musical Culture in French Polynesia

This is from the website of a study abroad program that studies the ocean and oceangoing/island cultures 

Smithsonian, Musics of Hawai'i

Smithsonian--Polynesian music playlist



Music of 1900-1909, Library of Congress

Tons of audio recordings in this one!

 African-American Sheet Music, 1850-1920 (Library of Congress)


1920s (see also "Harlem Renaissance" above):

University of Michigan--music of the 1920s

Music of the Roaring 20s

This interesting project from ESPN explores the history of the time period from the perspective of a pitcher on the Yankees. This is their page about the music of the time; contains a playlist.


1930s (see also "Harlem Renaissance" above):

"Brother Can You Spare A Dime"? 

In this interesting NPR interview, a composer analyzes why the most famous song of the Great Depression was important, musically and historically.

Library of Congress--Songs of the Great Depression and Dust Bowl Migrants

This source includes original audio recordings from the 1930s.

Art and culture in the Great Depression--scroll down to music

Smithsonian Magazine--Playlist of the Great Depression

Using Music to Teach About the Great Depression

This document for teachers from the largest professional association for Social Studies teachers in the U.S. makes a lot of good connections between historical events of the time, and that period's music.



1940s (see also "Jazz and Blues" above):

Library of Congress

National WWII museum: Jazz in the 1940s