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Music

Music Library Resources at Case

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Reminder: Online Access

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  • The best method is to follow links from the library website.
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Collections/Searching: Basic Reference Sources

The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians is the premiere dictionary and encyclopedia of music in the English language. It is available online as one of a suite of tools entitled Oxford Music Online, and well as in a twenty-nine volume print copy in Kulas. It contains extensive biographical information on composers and performers, as well as topical information on genres or compositional types of music, musical instruments, the musical life of specific cities or countries, and other aspects of music. Classical, world and popular musics are covered.

Always begin research on a new musical topic by reading the relevant articles in Grove. This will give you an overview of the subject, written by various top musicologists, and provide a fine bibliography to continue your search.

There are many additional, more specialized reference tools, which are similar in scope to the New Grove ... and are available as print resources in the Kulas reference collection:

There are many other reference sources which cover specific genres of music (String Quartets), group biography (Women in Music) and individual composers (Johannes Brahms). There exist many reference sources which index existing repertoires (The heritage encyclopedia of band music : composers and their music), index and provide chronologies of specific repertoires (A chronology of American musical theater), index primary source material (Census-catalogue of manuscript sources of polyphonic music, 1400-1550), or list the holdings of libraries with particularly rich collections of primary sources materials (Catalogue of printed music published between 1487 and 1800 now in the British Museum).

The best method for discovering our holdings of these specialized tools is the library's online catalog. While some of these tools are in the reference section of the library, some are circulating items. Others may also be discovered among the OhioLINK collections as circulating items using the OhioLINK online catalog.

Collections/Searching: Book Collections

The print book collections at Kulas mirror the curricula of the music degree programs at Case and the research interests of the music faculty. In broad terms these include: history of music, musicology, historical performance practice, music education, and popular music. The collections of primary source materials should be noted, be they facsimiles of works (Der Generalbass in der Komposition), modern editions of those works (Thorough-bass accompaniment according to Johann David Heinichen), or secondary literature which adds to our understanding of these (18th century continuo playing : a historical guide to the basics).

The music print collections are supplemented by an increasing number of acquisitions of electronic books, including volumes in series such as the Cambridge Musical Handbooks or items made available via OhioLINK (Music learning today : digital pedagogy for creating, performing, and responding to music).

The newest facet of the book collections are materials on popular music and music within popular culture (Mismatched women : the siren's song through the machine). The book collections in popular music, as in all the book collections, are greatly enhanced by the book collections at the OhioLINK level. Particular note should be made of the collections at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Library and Archives, a special library in downtown Cleveland for which Case students have access to its materials onsite.

The best tool for discovering our holdings of books on music is the library's online catalog. OhioLINK collections can be searched in the OhioLINK online catalog.

Collections/Searching: Journal Collections

The journal collections at Kulas encompass journals we continue to collect in print format, both current issues and back runs; and extensive online full text journals for which access is provide by Kelvin Smith Library via our own subscriptions or subscriptions which are part of OhioLINK. The library's online catalog has records for all titles. Records for print titles will include the holdings for our back r and the records for online journals will include links to the online journal where one may view the issues for which we have access.


Kelvin Smith Library also maintains an eJournal portal which allows one to search and find all online journals for which we have access, as well as the specific issues available to us.

Collections/Searching: Score Collections

Musical score collections are available at Kulas, and include study scores, part sets for ensemble playing and reference scores for research. The circulating scores may be borrowed in a manner similar to books and follow the borrowing policies of the Kelvin Smith Library.


The part of the Kulas collections which is most enhanced by the OhioLINK collections is the score collection, and students and faculty are encouraged to take full advantage of the breadth of the OhioLINK score collections. Whether your need is for study scores, solo performances, parts for ensemble performances, or materials for auditions, always check OhioLINK after checking the collections at Kulas.

Collections/Searching: Audio and Video Collections

Kulas has a CD collection of approximately 10,000 CDs and a video collection of approximately 500 DVDs. While the majority of this media is of classical repertoire, it also includes jazz, world music and various popular genres. These materials are available for use within the library and can also be checked out for three days. All of these materials are listed in the library's online catalog and CDs which contain multiple works have add entries for each work so that one can find any individual work. CDs which contain many short works, such as CDs of art song, can also be searched in the catalog by using a word search and placing the title of the song in quotes.

Please note that many CDs and DVDs are listed on OhioLINK, but not all libraries will lend these materials. Non-circulating items are indicated with the status "local use only".

In summer 2019, Kulas CDs were reorganized using the Alpha-Numeric System for Classifying Recordings (ANSCR). CD liner notes can be browsed in the library using this system, which groups items by category of music.


In tandem with the Cleveland Institute of Music, Kelvin Smith Library subscribes to several streaming audio databases. The works in these databases are available to be streamed to your computer and include:

While these databases can be searched individually, all except DRAM can be searched using KSL Discovery (which appears at the top of this page and the KSL homepage).

Collections/Searching: Microfilm Collections

Kulas has an extensive collection of primary source material on microfilm. These include early prints of music (Le ballet de flore ... ) as well as manuscripts of music (Monophonic chansonnier). The majority of these cover the European music from the middle ages to the 18th century. The library has a microfilm reader/scanner and the films are available to be used in the library.

Collections/Searching: Online Newspaper Collections

Historical Newspapers:

Several of our historical newspaper collections may be useful in finding articles related to performances which occurred in New York or Washington D.C. during 19th or 20th century: The historical New York Times and Washington Post. Please note limits available to you (Publication date range, or a Document type of Review or Interview), since newspaper searches often retrieve many results.

Current News:

Current events, including performances, premieres and interviews may be covered in our online current news sources. Using Newsbank, under America's News and then USA, you can search current events across multiple newspapers and regions of the United States.

International coverage can be accessed via Nexis Uni. The text of all articles will be in English. Because Nexis Uni covers so many sources it can be quite challenging to use. A basic procedure to get a reasonably small number of results to browse through:

1. Once you have accessed the database, click the dropdown arrow next to the main search bar. On the 'Content Collection' tab, select 'news'. Enter your search terms in the search bar.

2. Use the 'narrow by' options such as 'timeline' and 'publication type' to limit your results.

Collections/Searching: Online Databases

The primary databases which index the literature of music include RILM and Music Index. These databases index journals which cover music history and biography, music analysis, performance practice, music education and all genres and types of music such as classical, jazz, world music and popular genres.

RILM or Music Index -- Which Should I Use?

  1. RILM has more direct links to full text.
  2. Music Index indexes more popular music sources.
  3. The RILM interface is more powerful, but more complex.
  4. RILM contains abstracts (which are searchable).

Search Strategy: There is a way to search both RILM and Music Index simultaneously. Select the 'choose databases' option when you open either RILM or Music Index from the A-Z database list. Both databases are provided via EBSCO, allowing you to search both at the same time. You can also add other databases from the selections offered.

Highly specialized music databases and music-related articles appear in many other fields, and the A-Z database list can help you in exploring those databases and literatures. Databases which index the literatures of education in general, psychology and neuroscience are essential to the study of music education. The literature of business contains a wealth of information on all aspects of the business of music, such as marketing or copyright.

In addition, some full text databases may be highly relevant to music. Early English Books Online provides access to facsimiles of English materials published in the 16th and 17th centuries and includes collections of songs from the time.

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