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Music Appreciation: Exploring Music Genres

Finding Library Resources

Useful terminology for searching in the library catalog or research databases:

Genre terminology like rock music, jazz, blues, hip-hop, country music, etc. + any of the following:
History and criticism or history & criticism
Genres & styles
Social aspects
Criticism and interpretation

Searching for Books

(Choose the books & more tab on the library home page, then click on the SVCC Library Catalog link.)

 In general, books about specific music genres can be found with the call numbers listed below:

Music Reference: ML 100-109
Musical Theatre & Opera: ML 1700-1727
Popular Music: ML 3470-3479
Jazz: ML 3500-3509
Blues: ML 3521
Country Music: ML 3524, ML 3561
Hip Hop & Rap: ML 3531
Reggae: ML 3532
Rock Music: ML 3534, ML 3918
Folk Music: ML 3550-3559
Cajun/Zydeco: ML 3560

Music Reference Books for Use in the Library

Baker's biographical dictionary of musicians / REF ML105.B16 2000
Baker's biographical dictionary of twentieth-century classical musicians / REF ML105 .S612 1997
Encyclopedia of contemporary Christian music: pop, rock, and worship / REF ML105 .E52 2010
The encyclopedia of the musical theatre / REF ML102.M88 G3 1994
The new Grove dictionary of music and musicians / REF ML100 .N48 2000
The new Oxford companion to music / REF ML100 .N42

Music Reference eBooks

(These are general reference eBooks. A catalog search about your genre may reveal more eBook titles.)

Music in American life: an encyclopedia of the songs, styles, stars, and stories that shaped our culture
The new Penguin dictionary of music

I-Share Catalog

SVCC belongs to a consortium of more than 80 academic and research libraries in Illinois – CARLI. If you can’t find what you need in our library, expand your search to the I-Share catalog. To borrow from CARLI libraries, first you need to activate your library account at SVCC and then create an I-Share account. This takes very little time, and any library staff member will be happy to help you.

Searching for Articles


CREDO Reference

Click on the Advanced Search link. Type your one-word search terms in the With all of the words search box, but use the With the exact phrase search box for terms like Country music. Also, expand the Select Subjects or Titles menu, then expand Arts & Leisure as well, to limit to Music topics.

Academic Search Complete

Click on the Advanced Search link. Search for your music genre as Subject Terms and another keyword in All Text. Limit your results to Full Text articles in Scholarly Journals. Expand the Subject limiter menu and click on Show More. Limit to another subject such as history & criticism.


Click the Advanced Search link under the basic search box. Try searching for your genre in Item Title and another keyword in Full-Text. Choose Article for your Item Type. Filter by Discipline > Music.

Online Music Clips

Library of Congress Sound Recordings

Use your genre as search terminology. Some links lead to resources housed at the Library of Congress, but others are playable. These recordings can’t be downloaded and must be streamed from the website.

Library of Congress American Jukebox

Search for Blues, Musical Theater, Jazz, Country & more. As above, music is streamed.

CC Mixter

Subject to Creative Commons license, most only requires acknowledgment of creator for noncommercial use. Search for you genre and choose from a list of matching results.

Using Resources

Copyright Guidelines for Music

 Up to 10% of a copyrighted musical composition (maximum of 30 seconds) can be included in a multimedia presentation by a student or teacher for educational purposes.

 Linking to online streaming music is not prohibited by copyright law.

Citation Guidelines

The bibliographic format for this assignment was developed by Kate L. Turabian and published by the University of Chicago. The style is referred to variously as Turabian or Chicago Style.

Style manuals held on reserve at the library circulation desk:

The Chicago Manual of Style, 16th ed. 
A Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations: Chicago Style for Students and Researchers, 8th ed.

Online resources for Chicago Style include the following:

The Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL) – Chicago Manual of Style 16th Edition