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Music Theory

A guide for undergraduate and graduate researchers of music theory

Book searching

The best place to start your search for books is through InfoKat, WorldCat, or FirstSearch.  Below you will find a small selection of items that exist in the Fine Arts Library in our general collection and reference section, as well as links to other open access collections.

General Books

Reference Books

Beyond Groves and Taruskin

Baker's Biographical Dictionary of Musicians  REF ML105.B16 2001

Dictionnaire de la musique  REF ML100 .D65

Enciclopedia della musica  REF ML100 .E45

Encyclopédie de la musique et dictionnaire du Conservatoire   REF ML100 .E5

Diccionario de la música española e hispanoamericana   REF ML101.S7 D53 1999

The Harvard Dictionary of Music  REF ML100.A64 2003

Die Musik in Geschichte und Gegenwart   REF ML100 .M92 1994

Open-Access Books

Open-access = FREE to download and or read online.


Library of Congress

LC's digitized collection Books about Music before 1800 offers access to nearly tw0-thousand books about music printed before 1800. Early highlights include Johannes Tinctoris's Terminorum musicae diffinitorium (c1474), Franchinus Gaffurius's Theoricum opus musiche discipline (1480), and Henricus Glareanus's Dodekachordon (1547).

has hundreds of freely accessible academic books, mainly in the areas of humanities and social sciences. Click here to search music titles.


The Directory of Open Access Books' primary aim is to increase discoverability of Open Access books. Academic publishers are invited to provide metadata of their Open Access books to DOAB.


JSTOR's open-access titles include just over 40 books in music. Using the search box will list open-access journal articles and book chapters. If you want a list of book titles only, click on the "Download the title list" button and sort by discipline (music).


The Digital Public Library of America
's Open Bookshelf contains almost 3,000 open-access titles.  
Music titles in the DPLA Open Bookshelf.