Music & Dance Reference

About the Project

Welcome to this site devoted to Music and Dance Bibliography and Reference. The site consist of five main features:

1. An online bibliography of music and dance bibliographies and reference sources.
2. A wiki devoted to music and dance reference information and resources.
3. A blog devoted to music and dance bibliography and reference.
4. Access to unpublished bibliographies.
5. An experimental Facebook network designed as a forum for interested librarians, scholars, and students.

We welcome your comments and suggestions. We also invited interested music and dance bibliographers, librarians, and researchers to contribute to the development of the site. Feel free to join our blog and Facebook network or email comments directly to the site manager, David Day at

The Online Bibliography

At present the bibliography includes approximately 6,500 bibliographies and reference sources (both print and online), approximately 1,600 of which are annotated with critiques on use, coverage, organization, and pros and cons (click here for guidelines on writing critiques). Many entries also list published reviews for the corresponding sources. The bibliography is growing actively with new sources and critiques added on a regular basis. The coverage of the bibliography was initially based on the music and dance reference collection at Brigham Young University, but many additional citations gathered from WorldCat and earlier bibliographies are entered on a regular basis. We have not copied or borrowed annotations or descriptions from any other sources.

The types of sources found in the bibliography include the following:

Dictionaries and Encyclopedias
Periodical Indexes and Other Specialized Indexes
Bibliographies of Music Research
Repertory Guides and Bibliographies of Music
Composer Thematic Catalogues and Bibliographies
Performer Bibliographies
Catalogues of Music Collections and Exhibits
Select Histories and Guides to Music Librarianship

The content of entries includes basic data from the MARC records (information found in library catalogues). The data from the original MARC records has been modified somewhat to provide uniformity throughout the bibliography. For example, state’s abbreviations, author’s and publisher’s names, and statements of editions have been adapted from the original records for a more uniform presentation.

We are attempting to provide direct links to items in the bibliography that are available online. Our first efforts are focused on JSTOR articles and reviews. Access to JSTOR resources will require authentication through an institutional license. In time we hope to add additional resources including open access materials from the public domain that are available via the Internet.

The database allows users to make comments on specific entries. We encourage user input and evaluation. We especially welcome objective critiques and notes on errors that may be present in the data.

The data of the bibliography is currently made available on the Internet through Brigham Young University’s CONTENTdm server. CONTENTdm has some known limitations that users should be aware of.

1. CONTENTdm functions as ONE database of multiple digital collections. As a result our database will display links to other digital collections at BYU. Most notably in the far upper left corner of the display you will see the following text:

Digital Collections Home : browse : advanced search : preferences : my favorites

To avoid a confusing detour to unrelated collections, please ignore these links.

2. CONTENTdm does not currently support italics. For now, our Turabian citations lack italics. We are told this enhancement is coming.

3. CONTENTdm does not function well with Boolean operators. To search multiple keywords just enter the terms alone without Boolean operators. The default function joins the terms with AND.

The Music Reference Wiki

The Music and Dance Reference Wiki is intended as an online depository of shared resources. Contributions may include the following:

  1. Bibliographies and other reference tools open to comment and revision to all interested scholars and researchers.
  2. Research guides and tools developed to help students conduct effective and efficient research.
  3. Unpublished addenda and appendices excluded from published bibliographies and reference works.
  4. Articles on various aspects of music or dance bibliography and reference.

The Music Reference BLOG

The blog will be used as tool to inform interested colleagues in all aspects of music and dance bibliography and reference. We will post reports of progress on the Bibliography, Wiki, Unpublished Bibliographies, and Facebook Network. Other threads of commentary will related to online resources, new publications, and solutions to reference questions. We hope interested participants will add their comments and ideas often.

Unpublished Bibliographies

This component of the site will be devoted to highlighting unpublished research and works in progress. Initially it will feature outstanding bibliographies produced by students in the graduate research methodologies class at Brigham Young University. It is certainly not meant to be an exclusive club! We welcome submissions from other institutions and independent scholars. Send submissions to David Day at

Facebook Network

The Facebook network/group is somewhat of an experiment. It is intended as an open forum that will enable interested librarian, scholars, and students to stay informed about the activities and projects of their colleagues. Admittedly there is a lot of annoying advertising, but the potential is significant. This type of social networking is common among students and may prove to be a useful tool for engaging a new generation of researchers.