Objective: To support students in the Visual & Performing Arts Department to “explore the rich history of music and its place in societies through time, learn the basics of reading music and composing, or refine their skills as a performer.”

Music LibrariesResearch TipsOnline ResourcesMusic NewsKeep Learning
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  • Complete  recordings of over 800 labels.
  • Classical music.
  • Wide range of standard and specialist repertoire.
  • More than 144,340 CD-length recordings, equivalent to 2,234,500 tracks are available, with an average addition of 1,150 CDs every month.
  • Music notes, cover artwork, tracklist, instrumentation and publisher information.
  • Libretti and synopses of more than 700 operas.
  • More than 40,000 composer and artist biographies.
  • Pronunciation guide for composer and artist names.
  • Glossary, guide to musical terms and work analyses.
  • Graded music-exam playlists (ABRSM, Trinity/Guildhall)

Audio CD’s

Stack of CDs
CDs by Monochrome via Flickr. CC-BY 2.0.



The audio CDs are found on the north wall on the main floor of the library.

The library also has a collection of operas and musicals on DVD.

The Music Library @ Western Washington University

The Music Library contains more than 117,000 items, including books, bound periodicals, musical scores, records, DVD’s and compact discs. Listening stations are located throughout the library. Worth a visit!

Research Tips

While many subjects and genres in art can overlap, categorizing your research into topics can help you find what you want more quickly. The more narrow your topic, the more exact your search results will become. Below are a few examples of music research topics that might give you some ideas in your own search.

  • Techniques and practices of Music:
    • Music analysis, music therapy, music and the brain, music theory
  • Specific subtopics in Music:
    • Composers, singers, instrumental music, choral music
  • Styles and Periods in Music:
    • Bluegrass, country music, folk songs, soul, motion picture music, 20th-century music, classical music


Academic Research Resources

Performing Arts Encyclopedia Explore music, theater, and dance at the Library of Congress. The PAE provides information about the Library’s unsurpassed collections of scores, sheet music, audio recordings, films, photographs, and other materials.

Music & Dance” is a featured topic in FilmsOnDemand.

Musical Instruments Museum Online (MIMO) The world’s largest freely accessible database for information on musical instruments held in public collections. A consortium of several European museums and the European Commission.



Cover Art Archive Explore thousands of album covers over the decades.

Sheet Music

IMSLP/Petrucci Music Library: Free Public Domain Sheet Music Scores, recordings, archives, from ancient music to the present

Sheet Music Collection The Lester S. Levy collection of American sheet music. Johns Hopkins

Concert Videos

Music Vault – Youtube Includes exclusive live performances from legendary artists and other bands. With concert footage from artists like The Who, Bob Dylan, The Grateful Dead, James Brown, and Bruce Springsteen, and popular indie acts like Deer Tick, Dawes, and Local Natives.

Khan Academy: Music



Open Collections

  • Music and the Child: This book explores a holistic, artistic, and integrated approach to understanding the developmental connections between music and children.
  • Open Music Theory is an open-source, interactive, online textbook for college-level music theory courses.
  • Books About Music Before 1800“. A digital music book collection from the Library of Congress that includes digital scans of well over 2000 pre-1801 publications about music.