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Research Guides

HMU430: Topics in Classical Music

This guide supports the research needs of HMU430: Topics in Classical Music

Researching Music from the 18th Century

There are a number of great sources to help you research your essay topic or for exploring 18th-century music in general. Here is short, curated list of some of the resources most directly relevant to your subject area and available online through the University of Toronto Libraries.

Encyclopaedias and other Reference Works

  • Contains articles on almost every aspect of western music history, with extensive entries on composers, genres, places, and subjects. 

Oxford Bibliographies Online

  • This source includes brief entries on various people, places, genres, and other subjects similar to Grove Music, BUT also includes curated and up-to-date bibliographies with annotations to help you choose the most helpful materials for your area of study.
  • Electronic access to this 5-volume set includes a volume on "Music in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries." The author (Richard Taruskin) is provocative and outspoken, challenging traditional interpretations of the music from the 17th and 18th centuries.
  • Doctoral dissertations provide insight into some of the most recent areas of scholarly research and can be a great place to look for more materials on more recent topics or interpretations.

Journal/Database Resources

RILM Abstracts of Music Literature

  • Known as the most comprehensive, music-specific database, RILM Abstracts of Music Literature features a wealth of content from the early 1800s through the present with some content coverage extending back as far as the late 18th century. 


  • JSTOR includes scholarship published in more than 2000 high quality academic journals across the humanities, social sciences, and sciences, as well as monographs and other materials valuable for academic work.

‚ÄčInternational Index to Music Periodicals

  • The IIMP (also known as the Music Periodicals Database) overlaps with RILM, but also includes some unique journal titles in overlapping disciplines. No thorough search for information on your topic is complete without searching this database.‚Äč

Search Tips

SEARCHING HACK:  When looking for journal articles, search for your topic using key words based on your area of focus. Take advantage of the different search boxes in the Advanced Search menus to maximize your results. 


Beethoven Boolean Search Example


How to Cite: The Chicago Manual of Style

The predominant guide for citing your sources in musicology is the Chicago Manual of Style. The 17th edition is available as of Sep. 1, 2017. 

The CMoS can be a challenge to use if you're not familiar with it, so the library created a citation guide with music specific examples throughout. It includes examples of footnotes/endnotes and bibliographic entries, along with links to the CMoS if you'd prefer to read the rules in their entirety. It also includes samples with helpful descriptors identifying the various elements needed for citations, as with the illustrations below:


Example of a footnote:

Example of a footnote

Example of a bibliographic entry: