Library music sources to get your groove on

Are you fascinated by the latest popular songs, or by opera, or perhaps researching the theory of musicology?

Perhaps you’re interested in listening to samples, comparing data, uncovering music history, or finding out who is dominating the pop world?

Our Library music databases cover all genres of performance, recordings, statistical data, as well as theory and more.


If you’re wondering how Lady Gaga rates next to Flume, you might want to check out Music Industry Data. Comparing stats on an American pop diva and an Australian record producer and DJ is a bit random, but let’s run with it. Here’s a graph which can be produced easily and exported to an excel spreadsheet.

Another aspect of Music Industry Data is the case studies. These help researchers structure their information to assist analysis. For instance,  we could look at how a major record label launches a classical artist like Nicola Benedetti. You could look at briefing notes, with data and interpretation illustrating the journey.


Perhaps you’d like to see a list of who the nominees and winners were in the Billboard Music Awards of 2016? All this and more on MID.

Naxo’s Music Library is another database which offers a broad range of coverage including classical, pop, rock, world and more as well as some with selected recordings. For example, it’s easy to bring up a list of over 100 Beethoven tracks, and each is accompanied by detailed notes.

africa gambia
Gambia CC by Melenama/flickr

If you’re interested in world music, and, for instance, the playing technique of the Nkangala mouth bow in Malawi, you might find Alexander St Press Music Online of interest.

The Library also indexes Trove, a database developed by the National Library of Australia, the National Film and Sound Archive and other cultural institutions. Here you will find lots of historical material, including photographs, such as this image of Michael Hutchence at the Countdown awards in 1986.

Image courtesy of the Rennie Ellis archive
Image courtesy of the Rennie Ellis archive

At the moment the Library is also offering a trial on RILM Abstracts of Music Literature with Full Text which can be accessed here. Have a look and give us your feedback, especially if you’d like this resource to be picked up. In addition to scholarly articles and reviews, RILM includes obituaries, editorials, correspondence, advertisements, news items, and more.


As always, your Research Librarian can offer guidance.

Posted by Alana Hadfield

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