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Music Theory & Composition Resources

Online Indexes  |  Encyclopedias & Dictionaries  |  Related Library Resources  |  Selected Internet Resources  |  Internet Indexes to Sources  |  Professional Organizations  |  Composition Competitions  |  Music Journals and Newsletters

Online Indexes to Music Theory & Composition Literature

You need to connect to the Kent State VPN to access the research databases listed on this page. Click this button for instructions. OhioLINK Authentication users can ignore this alert.
JSTOR is an electronic archive of complete journal backruns, current to within 2 to 5 years. The collections include: Arts & Sciences I-VIII, Business Collection I-III, Ecology & Botany, General Science, and Language and Literature. For Kent State University, students and faculty now have access to 381 JSTOR journals representing over 2 million articles.

Music Index Online (1979 - Current)
Index to writings on classical and popular music, including scholarly and journalistic publications and reviews of books, recordings, and performances. Covers publications from 1979 to the present. Updated quarterly. See print edition for coverage of writings from 1949 to present.

RILM Abstracts of Music Literature (1969 - Current)
Includes references (most with abstracts) to scholarly writings, including books, articles, and dissertations from 1969 to the present in English and most European languages. Updated monthly.

Encyclopedias & Dictionaries

You need to connect to the Kent State VPN to access the research databases listed on this page. Click this button for instructions. OhioLINK Authentication users can ignore this alert.
Oxford Music Online
Includes full-text of the the Encyclopedia of Popular Music (4th ed.), Grove Music Online, the Oxford Companion to Music (2002 revision) and the Oxford Dictionary of Music (2nd ed. rev.).

Related Library Resources

You need to connect to the Kent State VPN to access the research databases listed on this page. Click this button for instructions. OhioLINK Authentication users can ignore this alert.
Academic Search Complete
Provides full text for more than 4,000 scholarly publications covering academic areas of study including social sciences, humanities, education, computer sciences, engineering, language and linguistics, arts & literature, medical sciences, and ethnic studies. This database is updated daily.
List of journals included.

Arts and Humanities Citation Index (1980 - Current)
This "Web of Science" database covers the journal literature of the arts and humanities, indexing 1,100 of the world's leading arts and humanities journals, and relevant items from over 6,800 major science and social science journals. Updated weekly.

Classical Music Library
An online streaming music service featuring works from the Medieval era through the present. Recordings can be located by browsing lists or by using either the basic or advanced search engines, and users can create and save playlists of their favorite music. Note: Off-campus access to Classical Music Library requires Internet Explorer.

Dissertation Abstracts (ProQuest Dissertations & Theses) (1861 - Current)
Includes citations for dissertations dating from the first U.S. dissertation issued in 1861. Contains abstracts for dissertations from 1980 to the present and for master's theses from 1988 forward. The work of authors from over 1,000 North American graduate schools and European universities are also included. Titles published since 1997 are available in PDF digital format and have 24 page previews available.

Database of citations for completed dissertations and new dissertation topics in musicology, music theory, ethnomusicology, and related disciplines.

Naxos Music Library
"Naxos Music Library is the most comprehensive collection of classical music available online. It includes the complete Naxos, Marco Polo and Da Capo catalogues of over 560,000 tracks, including Classical music, Historical recordings, Jazz, World, Folk and Chinese music. While listening via Adobe Flash Player, users can read notes on the works being played as well as biographical information on composers or artists in Naxos's extensive database. If Adobe Flash Player 10 is not installed on your computer, please take a moment and install:"--FAQ page

Selected Internet Resources


The Allen Forte Archive (University of North Texas)
Digital documents are available for download there.

Boethius Server (UC Santa Barbara)

Center for the History of Music Theory and Literature - Includes several full-text databases of primary sources in music theory in four languages: Thesaurus Musicarum Latinarum (Latin), saggi musicali italiani (Italian), Traites francais sur la musique (French), and Texts on Music in English from the Medieval and Early Modern Eras (English).

Dolmetsch Music Theory Online - includes music theory & history lessons and recorder lessons; a music dictionary; and some essays on the physics of musical instruments.

E-Music Theory - Music theory tools for teachers and students.

Encyclopedia of Microtonal Music Theory (by Joseph L. Monzo, Tonalsoft)

Google Books - Includes full-text coverage of some primary sources in music theory by authors like Riemann and Tinctoris (partial coverage is available for others, including Zarlino, Schenker and Schoenberg). Click on advanced search, choose "Limited preview and full view", and search by author for best results (subject and full text searching are also available).

Guide to Schenkerian Analysis - the companion web site to SchenkerGUIDE: A Brief Handbook and Website for Schenkerian Analysis, published by Routledge (by Tom Pankhurst)

Music Fundamentals - Fundamentals of pitch and major scales and keys. From TEC Music Theory Resources, other modules, including rhythm, minor scales and keys, intervals, triads, etc. are available also.

Music Theory Resources - Includes basic music theory tutorials and an index of music theory literature.

Ricci Adams' - online lessons in music theory

Rhythm and Meter in Tonal Music : A Bibliography and Glossary of Terms (by Dr. Gary Wittlich and Jay Tomlin, Indiana University Theory Department)

Saggi musicali italiani - A database for texts on music theory and aesthetics (CHMTL, Indiana University)

Schenker Documents Online - the correspondence, diaries, and lesson books of Heinrich Schenker (1868-1935) (University of Cambridge)

Teoria : Music Theory Web - includes tutorials on music theory, exercises to practice and develop ear training and music theory skills, definitions of terms and articles about music and analysis.

Tonal Centre - an interactive site for music composers and theorists which explains and demonstrates some of the key concepts of tonality; including chords, scales, cadences, and modulation.

Tuning & temperament bibliography - this bibliography was created by Manuel Op de Coul, Brian McLaren, Franck Jedrzejewski and Dominique Devie. Originally part of Brian McLaren's article "A Brief History of Microtonality in the Twentieth Century", Xenharmonikon  vol. 17, Frog Peak, 1998.


Composer Specific Sites (KSU Performing Arts Library, Music History Guide)

Meet the Composer

A Practical Guide to Musical Composition (by Alan Belkin, composer)

Internet Indexes to Resources

In Theory Only Analysis Index - Covers music theory writings published in the United States between 1955 and 1970--including books, articles, dissertations, reports, reviews, and other documents. Includes works on a broad range of topics that intersect with theory--musicology, aesthetics, philosophy, acoustics, cognition, and pedagogy, among others. Indexed by author, topic, musical work analyzed, and historical theorists discussed in the writings. Includes fulltext searching capability.

Music Theory Online Dissertation Index - A list of only music theory dissertations (including abstracts and tables of contents) announced in Music Theory Online (MTO), the online journal of the Society for Music Theory. Search the contents of the index at the MTO homepage (scroll down to the Previous Issues box), or see a list of new dissertations.

UT Analysis Index - A web-based index maintained by the University of Tennessee at Knoxville. Searchable by composer or piece name.

Professional Organizations


Center for the History of Music Theory and Literature

College Music Society (CMS)

Gesellschaft fur Musiktheorie (Germany)

Gruppo di Analisi e Teoria Musicale (GATM) (Italy)

International Computer Music Association (ICMA)

Music, Mind, Machine: Computational Modeling of Musical Knowledge and Cognition

Music Publishers Association (includes Copyright Clearing House)

Music Theory Midwest (MTMW)

Repertoire International de la Litterature Musicale (RILM)

Repertoire International des Sources Musicales (RISM)

Societe Belge d'Analyse Musicale

Societe Francaise d'Analyse Musicale (SFAM)

Society for Music Analysis (UK)

Society for Music Perception and Cognition

Society for Music Theory (SMT)

Vereniging voor Muziektheorie (Netherlands/Belgium)


American Composers Forum (ACF)

American Music Center

The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP)

Broadcast Music, Inc.

International Alliance for Women in Music (IAWM)

New York Women Composers (NYWC)

Composition Competitions

The Composer's Site

International Composing Competition

International Wind Ensemble/ Concert Band Composition Contest, Belgium

The Sofia International Composition Competition, Bulgaria

'Tactus - Young Composers' Forum, Belgium

Vanguard Choral Composition Contest, USA

West Cork Chamber Music Festival Composition Competition, Ireland

Music Journals and Newsletters

Current list of Journals Subscriptions at KSU Libraries


InfoRISM (RISM's online newsletter)

MuSICA: The Music and Science Information Computer Archive

Music Theory Online