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the history of music education site
bibliographies and bibliographic searches

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Electronic Indices
Music Education

(1) The Music Education Resources Base (MERB) is an outstanding electronic index sponsored by the McPherson Library of the University of Victoria. It indexes thirty-one major Canadian and U.S. music education journals. Ten years in preparation, it has 28,000 entries. The MERB query form can be used to find historical articles in music education. Researchers using the site should check what journals are included in the index. Recently the BULLETIN OF RESEARCH IN MUSIC EDUCATION OF THE PENNSYLVANIA MUSIC EDUCATORS ASSOCIATION was added. Researchers will find word searches of titles most helpful.

(2) The Music Education Search System (MESS), sponsored by Ed Asmus at the University of Miami, indexes thirteen U.S. music education journals.

(3) The Canadian Music Periodical Index (CMPI) covers 475 Canadian journals, newsletters, and magazines from the late nineteenth century to the present day. It now has 25,000 entries. It is somewhat broader in its coverage with respect to topics than MERB, covering the entire field of music rather than just music education and including only Canadian work.

(4) The Journal of Research in Music Education is the primary U.S. research journal in music education. There is an article in the history of music teaching and learning usually in each issue. It has an online index through the Music Educators National Conference (U.S.) website. The Music Educators Journal, actually a magazine for music teachers, has had many articles dealing with the history of music education. The MENC provides an Music Educators Journal index back to 1986 only.

(5) Dissertations and theses included in the collection of University Microfilms International (now Bell + Howell Instruction and Learning) are now being offered for the years 1998 and 1999 in digital format. A UMI online index for 2000 and 2001 is now online and includes dissertations in the history of music education. Disserations prior to 2000 are still found by printed indices or in university electronic indices via CD ROM. This online source maintains only the past two years. Researchers should consult their university online catalogues for later volumes. UMI now allow a 25 page dowload of some of these more recent works. See the section in this site on dissertations for more recent additions.

(6) Doctoral Dissertations in Musicology-Online lists many dissertations on music education.  For more than forty years, the American Musicological Society has sponsored the publication of listings of dissertations, finished and in progress, and now the list is online.

DDM-Online presents an index to dissertations-in-progress and a bibliography of completed dissertations reported since mid-1995, arranged under the traditional broad categories. In
addition, DDM-Online includes all the records previously published in the earlier printed editions of Doctoral Dissertations in Musicology, which are still available for sale. The
dissertations themselves are not included in DDM-Online, but many of them may be available for purchase from University Microfilms, Inc.  It may be browsed or searched.

(7) An archive of dissertations online with abstracts is maintained by a UK musicologist. A few of these disserations are related to music education history.

(8) ERIC is the world's largest source of education information. ERIC now is online for journal citations and  documents from 1966 through August 1999. This is an excellent search format but be sure to understand its limitations by reading the reference buttons at the bottom of the initial page. It should be noted that the Journal of Research in Music Education was not indexed for almost a decade, so there is a very large gap.

(9) MuSICA (Music and Science Information Information Computer Archive) has a quantity of historical articles in music education. Many of these articles are abstracted and not available elsewhere.

(10) RISM is an international inventory for music sources (RÉPERTOIRE INTERNATIONAL DES SOURCES MUSICALES. The descriptions of some sources are partially online, much of it never explored for the purposes of the history of music education.


(1)  The H-GIG Site maintained by the University of California at Riverside has an extensive and one of the better lists of electronic indexes for historians. This is an outstanding resource with a searchable database.

(2) The American Historical Association has an excellent electronic search engine for historical dissertations in progress in U.S. universities.

(3) The History Index is maintained by the University of Kansas. It is an excellen resource for historical research. It has links to archives, libraries, museums, networks in history, data bases, virtual libraries, reference works and much more. Its materials are also classified by country, region, eras/epochs, and topic.

American Music History

American Music is a quarterly journal published by the Society for American Music (formerly the Sonneck Society). AMERICAN MUSIC has published articles about the history of music education. American Music has an online index.


(1) George Heller's College Music Society  bibliography on the Contemporary Music Project.

(2) This Australian site has a bibiography of sources for the history of music education in Australia.

Dr. William R. Lee
Department of Music
The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
615 McCallie Ave. Chattanooga, TN 37403-2598
(423) 755-5269
(423 755-4601 (secretary)
(423) 755-46035 (fax)