Reference works include encyclopedias, thematic catalogs, indices, and guides to research. Many are printed editions that can be found in the reference section of the Fine & Performing Arts Collection. There are important electronic versions, as well, like Oxford Music Online.
Oxford Music Online is the single most important music dictionary and encyclopedia. It is a comprehensive reference work devoted exclusively to popular music, the Encyclopedia is a biographical encyclopedia of rock, pop, and jazz artists, covering popular music from 1900 to the present. The cornerstone of Oxford Music Online is Grove Music Online, has been completely redesigned with a number of functional enhancements and new content. Users can also choose to view biographies, subject entries, or images when searching or browsing. Advanced search capabilities, including biography and bibliography searching, provide users with tools for content navigation. Product-specific timelines and topical guides provide users with pathways into the content.
A Guide to Research is a book-length bibliography of scholarship on a composer, genre, or special topic.
Thematic Catalogs are complete lists of works by a composer or in a genre. They often include incipits, the opening musical gesture of a piece.