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Music Research Tools: Music Index

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Music Index is a database with index and some linked full-text for a wide range of music magazines, journals, and other periodicals. It's a great place to search for articles in trade journals, like The Strad or Piano Magazine. It's not as scholarly as RILM, so it's a good idea to search BOTH databases to find both long-form journal articles and shorter magazines pieces.

Music Index Profile

What will I find in The Music Index?

Trade Publications

Music Index features content from scholarly journals, but it also indexes articles from a wide range of magazines, newspapers, and trade journals (e.g., Choral Journal or School Band & Orchestra).

This makes Music Index a nice counterbalance to resources like RILM and JSTOR, which prioritize scholarly journals


Some Music Index records contain abstracts of around 200 words that provides you with a summary of an item's content.

Abstracts are an excellent tool for quick evaluation of an item's relevancy to your research need. Instead of having to skim an entire article or several pages to determine relevance to your topic, you can just read a short paragraph.


Music Index covers a nice set of publications about popular music, like Billboard, Rolling Stone, and Variety.

Music Index also contains titles for specific popular genres, like Reggae Report or Bluegrass Music News.


Music Index has been around since 1949, making it the first source to index music scholarship and publications.

That being said, if you're research topic is contemporary to the years 1949-1969, be prepared to work with print Music Index volumes.

Index entries for the years 1970 - present are available online.

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Katie Buehner
Contact: Website
Subjects: Dance, Music, Theatre Arts