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Music research online: essential tools to explore Western art music: Get an overview in music encyclopedias
Sources to help you construct an outline for research into a historical periods, genres, composers, instruments, and theoretical topics
The first step in exploring a new topic is to get a reliable, scholarly overview.
Music encyclopedias provide scholarly coverage of a wide variety of topics. When reading an entry, note names of composers, important dates and places, and significant musical works. You can use this information to effectively search the library catalog and article databases.
Grove Music Online is always a good place to start your exploration of a new topic. This suite of databases from Oxford University Press includes Grove Music Online, The Oxford Companion to Music, and The Oxford Dictionary of Music.