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Music Library Guide: Databases & Websites

Library guide for Music & Dance students & staff

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This is a list of useful databases for studies in western classical music and musicology. Please also consult the list of selected databases for research in music. For a comprehensive list of databases available to UCT students and staff, please consult A - Z Databases

Classical Music Audio Video Text

Classical Music from Music & Performing Arts (Alexander Street) supports the teaching and research of classical music with coverage of all major genres and time periods from medieval to contemporary, from choral works to symphonies, operas and the avant-garde. It features the following collections:

Encyclopaedia Britannica Academic Edition 

Britannica Academic delivers fast and easy access to high-quality, comprehensive information. The rich combination of the venerable Encyclopædia Britannica plus Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, magazines and periodicals, and many other research tools provides the variety of reliable sources that students need to consult when conducting thorough research—all from one resource. 

Oxford Music Online

Oxford Music Online is the gateway to Grove Music Online, the world’s premier online music encyclopedia. It offers comprehensive coverage of music, musicians, and music-making, charting the diverse history and cultures of music around the globe.


British Library Sounds 

Listen to a selection from the British Library’s extensive collections of unique sound recordings, which come from all over the world and cover the entire range of recorded sound: music, drama and literature, oral history, wildlife and environmental sounds.‚Äč

Musical Instrument Museums Online

Musical Instrument Museum Online is the world's largest freely accessible database for information on musical instruments held in public collections. The database now contains the records of 64070 instruments.

The Metropolitan Opera Archives

The Metropolitan Opera Archives contain a vast collection of documents, photographs, artwork, costumes, and memorabilia reaching back to the company's opening season in 1883.

New York Philharmonic Leon Levy Digital Archives

The New York Philharmonic Leon Levy Digital Archives currently comprises more than four million pages, including printed programs, marked conducting scores, business documents, and photographs. Growing continually, the scope of the online collection is every document in the New York Philharmonic Archives from 1842 through 1970. This includes correspondence, marked scores and parts, contracts, and minutes from meetings of the Board of Directors — as well as all public documents from 1970 through today (e.g., marketing materials, press releases, and annual reports).