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Music: Music E-books (March 2020)

This guide provides helpful resources for students enrolled in music courses at LaGrange College.


This guide was created in March 2020 to help students in Dr. Turner’s class find e-books (rather than print) to complete assignments while the college’s courses have moved online.


Please don’t hesitate to e-mail the reference librarian at arobinson@lagrange.edu if you need help finding sources, e.g., on a specific composer, musician, or piece of music.  If we have print sources, I may be able to send a scan of the relevant pages; or I may be able to find an e-book, or article, that will help.


IMPORTANT:  If you access an e-book that gives you a choice between “Read Online” or “Download Book,” please choose “Read Online” (NOT “Download Book,” which will tie up the book on your computer for three weeks and prevent your classmates from viewing it).  So long as you choose “Read Online,” everyone in the class should be able to view the entire book (even simultaneously), and can download sections of it (see the right-hand column for details).

Reference Books

The following reference books, which Dr. Turner recommends, are available electronically.  Click on the titles to access the books.


Volumes 2 and 3 of the Oxford History of Western Music (unfortunately we have volumes 1, 4, 5, and 6 only in print):


Starr, Larry.  American Popular Music:  The Rock Years.  New York:  Oxford University Press, 2006.  (E-book available from both ProQuest and EBSCO)

Sullivan, Steve.  Encyclopedia of Great Popular Song Recordings.  Lanham, MD:  Scarecrow Press, 2013.

Gioia, TedThe History of Jazz.  New York:  Oxford University Press, 2011.  2nd ed.

Harvard Dictionary of Music.  Cambridge, MA:  Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2003.  4th ed. (in CREDO Reference; if the title link doesn’t work, try this)

The New Penguin Dictionary of Music.  London:  Penguin, 2006.  (in CREDO Reference; if the title link doesn’t work, try this)

Music Reference Databases

Some reference databases (online collections of reference books) that may be useful:

  • Oxford Reference Online:  includes full text for:
    •  The Oxford Dictionary of Music (6th ed. 2013)
    • The Oxford Companion to Music (2011)
    • The Oxford Companion to the American Musical (2009)
  • Gale eBooks (formerly called "Gale Virtual Reference Library"): no titles specifically on music, but try it if you’re researching popular music or a woman; it includes the 5-volume Encyclopedia of Popular Culture (2nd ed., 2013) and the 17-volume Women in World History (2002).
  • Dictionary of Literary Biography Complete Online – for composers who also wrote words (such as Richard Wagner, Irving Berlin, Cole Porter,and Woody Guthrie)


More E-books

Other e-books that may be useful:

 Randel, Don Michael.  The Harvard Biographical Dictionary of Music.  Cambridge, MA:  Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1996.  (companion volume to The New Harvard Dictionary of Music; 1013 pages; in CREDO Reference)

Boer, Bertil van.  Historical Dictionary of Music of the Classical Period.  Scarecrow Press, 2012.

Samson, Jim.  The Cambridge History of Nineteenth-Century Music.  Cambridge Univeristy Press, 2001.

The Encyclopedia of Country Music.  Oxford University Press, 2012.

Carlin, Richard.  Country Music:  A Biographical Dictionary.  Routledge, 2002.


We have several e-books on musical theatre, including:

Everett, William A.  The A to Z of the Broadway Musical.  Scarecrow Press, 2009.

Bordman, Gerald Martin.  American Musical Theatre:  A Chronicle.  New York:  Oxford University Press, 2001.  3rd ed.

DeVenney, David P.  The New Broadway Song Companion.  Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press, 2009/

Jasen, David A.  Tin Pan Alley:  An Encyclopedia of the Golden Age of American Song.  New York:  Routledge, 2003.


For more e-books on musical theatre, see our library guide on musical theatre here (especially the “E-books” section).

Searching for sources

You can search for e-books in two ways:

  • Search in the online catalog, then restrict your results to books available as e-books.  (If you use the catalog, you’re not searching full text, so this will work only if your person’s name is in the book title or a chapter title)
  • Searching the full text of our two e-book collections



Online catalog:  Access our catalog, then:

  • Do an “All Fields” search for your person (or “Subject” search if you want entire books about someone)
  • On the next page, under “Format” at the left, select “Electronic Resources” for e-books (“Books” are print books, “Music” is for scores)
  • Click the red “Include” button to retrieve e-books



To search the full text of our ProQuest e-books:

  • Go directly to this page (or, from the library home page, select “Search Databases A-Z, ” then click “E” and select “Ebook Central”)
  • Type your search terms, e.g. the composer’s name.
    • Use quotation marks for a phrase:  “leonard bernstein”
  • Select the e-book you want to view
  • Click “Read Online.”  (Do NOT select “Download book”; see warning in the left-hand column)
  • To find the pages that cover your topic, either view the index (the old-fashioned way) or use the “Search within book” box
  • To download or print an entire chapter, use the “PDF” icon at the top of the page (do NOT use the downward-arrow icon!)
  • To download or print a page, or a range of pages, click the “printer” icon (even if you want to download, not print)
  • If prompted, sign in with your LaGrange College username (your e-mail address minus the @student.lagrange.edu) and password


To search the full text of our EBSCO e-books:

  • Go directly to this page (or, from the library home page, select “Search Databases A-Z”; click “E” and select “eBook Academic Collection (EBSCO)”)
  • Choose the “Advanced search”
  • Use the pull-down menu to select TX to search the full text (or you can try another option)
  • Type your search term; you may want to use quotation marks for phrases (“west side story”)
  • Select the book you want
  • Click “PDF Full Text” to view the entire book
  • You can download a chapter (or the index) or use the “Search within” box

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