Skip to main content

Popular Music Research Guide: Key Resources

Chart Data

Music Industry Data (formerly ACO: Academic Charts Online)

Sound-recordings chart data from Billboard (USA), the Official Charts Co. (UK) and many other sources, plus tools for graphing and analyzing the data.  

See the site's Product Tour for orientation.  Updated weekly.  Includes sound samples and full-text articles from selected journals.

Key Reference Works

Encyclopedia of Popular Music, 4th ed.  Don Michael Randel, ed. 
Available online through Oxford Music Online.  Search this on its own or with other Oxford titles.
Covers popular music, including world music, from 1900 the present, with articles on artists, genres, trends, record labels, venues, and festivals.

Grove Music Online (Part of Oxford Music Online)
The primary English-language reference source for music. Covers music of all styles, periods, and geographic regions.

Harvard Dictionary of Music, 4th ed.  Don Michael Randel, ed.  Cambridge, MA:  Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2003
An authoritative source for definitions and concise articles on musical topics and terms.  No articles on people.  Online access is through Credo Reference Library.

Also in print:  MUSICMEDIA REF ML100 .H37 2003

Continuum Encyclopedia of Popular Music of the World.  Ed. by John Shepherd et al. New York:  Continuum, 2003– . 7 vols.
Available online via Credo Reference
Use "Find a Book" and limit your results to music books.  Then search them all at once or browse contents of the Continuum encyclopedia. 
Also in print:  MUSICMEDIA REF ML102 .P66 2003

The Faber Companion to 20th-century Popular Music (via Credo Reference).  Phil Hardy and Dave Laing.  1990.
Also in print: 
MUSICMEDIA REF  ML102 .P66 H37 1990

Donald's Encyclopedia of Popular Music. Donald Clarke.
The successor to the printed work The Penguin Encyclopedia of Popular Music, 1989 (MUSICMEDIA ML102 .P66 P5) and 1998.

Biography in Context
A general biographical source offering
combined access to many reference works published by Gale including Contemporary Musicians.  Entries include links to full-text periodical articles.

Lissauer's Encyclopedia of Popular Music in America: 1888 to the Present.  Robert Lissauer.
MUSICMEDIA REF ML128 .P63 L57 1991

The Oxford Companion to Popular Music.  Peter Gammond.  1991.

The Complete Encyclopedia of Popular Music and Jazz, 1900-1950.  Roger D. Kinkle. 1974.

Encyclopedia of Latin American Popular Music.  George Torres, ed.  2013.
MUSICMEDIA REF ML101 .L38 E53 2013

Encyclopedia of Rap and Hip-hop Culture.  Yvonne Bynoe.  2006.
MUSICMEDIA REF ML102 .R26 B96 2006

Rock Music Scholarship:  An Interdisciplinary Bibliography.  Jeffrey N. Gatten.  1995.

Rock Song Index:  The 7500 Most Important Songs of the Rock and Roll Era:  1944-2000.  2005.
MUSICMEDIA REF  ML128 .R6 P65 2005

Tin Pan Alley:  An Encyclopedia of the Golden Age of American Song.  David A. Jasen.  2003.
MUSICMEDIA REF  ML102 .P66 J37 2003.

The Great Song Thesaurus. 2d ed.  Roger Lax and Frederick Smith.  1989.


Peter Shirts's picture
Peter Shirts
Music and Media Library

Library Simplified

Need some basic help finding materials?

Library Simplified can help.  Check it out!

© Emory University Libraries - 540 Asbury Circle, Atlanta, Georgia 30322