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Jazz: Background Research

A Guide to Important Reference Sources and Online Resources Available at USC Upatate.

New Library System!

On June 1, the Upstate Library introduced a new library system that will change the way you access books and other library materials. When you connect to the library web site, you will find a single search box for books and a selection of databases, meaning you can search for books, articles, and media in one search. You will also be able to choose what you want to search, limit your results to specific materials, and will still be able to access library databases through the Databases and E-Resources page and this library guide. This guide will be updated as soon as possible after the change.

Reference Sources

All call numbers beginning with REF are shelved in the Reference Section of the library.

Electronic resources are accessed by hyperlinks indicated by blue text.

New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, 2nd ed. – REF ML 100 .N48 2001 vols. 1-29.  The first-stop source for a broad range of musical topics, the New Grove is considered the most authoritative music encyclopedia in the English language. Covers all aspects of music including composers and musicians, compositions, music history and criticism, musical instruments, popular and non-Western music. Also available in Oxford Music Online.

Music in American Life - REF ML 101 .U6 M87 2013, vols. 1-4; also available in Gale Virtual Reference Library

Encyclopedia of African-American Music - Available in EBSCO ebooks.

Musical Terms, Symbols and Theory: An Illustrated Dictionary - Available in Credo Reference.

New Penguin Dictionary of Music - Available in Credo Reference.

Oxford Dictionary of Music (formerly Concise Oxford Dictionary of Music)Oxford Reference. Brief definitions of musical terms, topics, composers and musicians.

Harvard Dictionary of Music – REF ML 100 .A64 2003. An authoritative dictionary for musical terminology, including entries on basic terms, styles, genres, historical periods and countries. Covers popular styles and non-Western music as well as Western Classical music. Available online in Credo Reference.

New Grove Dictionary of Jazz, 2nd ed. – REF ML 102 .J3 N48 2002 vols. 1-2.  Authoritative and comprehensive, this is the first-stop encyclopedia for all things jazz. Entries and bibliographies provide “detailed attention to all periods and styles of jazz from many countries.”  Available online in Oxford Music Online.

Oxford Companion to Jazz – REF ML 3507 .O94 2000. Organized as a series of essays, this book covers jazz history, performance issues, and influential musicians. A good introduction to many aspects of the music.

Richard Cook’s Jazz Encyclopedia – REF ML 102 .J3 C66 2005. A reliable one-volume reference for jazz topics and musicians.

Jazz: The Rough Guide – REF ML 102 .J3 C325 2000. Useful guide to jazz musicians and their recordings.



Jazz Discography (CD-ROM) - REF ML 156.4 .J3 L672 2009e. Tom Lord's discography is the most comprehensive. To use the CD-ROM, you will need to check out a laptop at the circulation desk.

Jazz Records, 1897-1942 – REF ML 156.4 .J3 R9 1978. A comprehensive discography of jazz and pre-jazz recordings up to 1942.

Jazz Scholarship and Pedagogy - REF ML 128 ,J3 M34 2006. Comprehensive bibliography of sources on jazz.

John Coltrane Reference - REF ML 156.7 .C58 J64 2008. Extensive chronology and discography of the life and work of Coltrane.

Satchmo. The Louis Armstrong Encyclopedia – ML 419 .A75 M45 2004. An encyclopedic treatment of the life and music of Louis Armstrong. in the circulating collection.