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How to find articles: Home


While some journal articles are accessible through the McGill WorldCat catalogue, many more can be found by searching within separate databases.

How to find articles

Music literature databases

Music Periodicals Database | RILM Abstracts of Music Literature | Music Index Online (access via BAnQ; requires free subscription to remote services) | Canadian Music Periodical Index | JSTOR: Advanced Search

No single database indexes every article in a discipline; therefore, search in several. Other relevant music databases are listed on the Music Library Music literature databases page.

Databases in other disciplines
Music articles also appear in publications in related disciplines (for example, education, psychology, literature). Explore other databases through the McGill Library's Subject guides.

Print Indexes
Online databases do have limitations. Often older literature is only indexed in print indexes. For example, much music literature written between 1949 and the late 1960s is only searchable in the Music Index print volumes, which are shelved near the entrance to the Library, next to New Acquisitions.

Online article databases are searchable by general keyword as well as several other methods. Ask a member of the Music Library staff for search advice. In most databases a complete article record will provide a citation as well as a brief description (a.k.a. abstract) of the article's main argument.

To find an article's full text from a database
1. Full text is often linked directly from an article record in a database. Click on the "Find Full Text" button to determine whether McGill Library provides online access to the article.
2. If no "Find Full Text" button is present in a database or if the full text is not available online, record the complete citation information and search the journal title in the Library catalogue. Select the journal title if it appears, then click on "Holdings" to make sure McGill owns the volume and issue in which the article appears.

Print Journals in the Music Library

Print music journals are located on the 5th floor of the Music Library, arranged in call number order. Current issues of many titles are displayed in alphabetical order by title at the end of the journal section.

To find an article's full text for which you already have a citation (from a bibliography, for example, or from a professor)
1. Simply follow step 2 above: search the journal title in the Library catalogue. If the journal is available online, a separate record will appear. Holdings information for e-journals appears after clicking the "Find Full Text" button.
2. Google Scholar can help locate an online copy if available.

A complete article citation includes:

1. author's name
2. article title
3. journal title
4. volume and/or issue number
5. date
6. page numbers


For example:

Caplin, William E. "The Classical Cadence: Conceptions and Misconceptions." Journal of the American Musicological Society 57, no. 1 (2004): 51-117.

1. Caplin, William E.
2. "The Classical Cadence: Conceptions and Misconceptions."
3. Journal of the American Musicological Society
4. 57, no. 1
5. (2004)
6. 51-117

Always record an article's full citation. Even if the citation is not needed to access the article's full text online, the citation must appear in a term paper bibliography if used.

Incomplete article citation information can be verified by entering the known information in an appropriate article database for music (for example, Music Periodicals Database and RILM) or other disciplines. Ask a member of the Music Library staff for further assistance.

If it's not at McGill...

Always doublecheck with a full-time member of the Library staff before deciding that McGill does not own a particular item.

Check other Library catalogues in Montreal or beyond.

Borrowing from other libraries

If an item is not in the McGill Library collection, it may be available for consultation or loan at another Quebec library. Holders of McGill photo ID cards may obtain a BCI borrowing card, which grants its holder limited borrowing privileges at participating institutions.

All Montreal residents may obtain borrowing privileges at the Bibliothèque nationale du Québec and other local public libraries.

Interlibrary Loan

Print music resources (scores, books, and articles) may be requested from more distant libraries by completing an Interlibrary Loan (ILL) form. For more information, visit the McGill Library's borrowing items from other libraries page. Due to their fragility, music recordings are rarely available via ILL.

Suggest a purchase

The Marvin Duchow Music Library aims to provide collections that support and strengthen music performance, teaching, learning, and research at McGill University and beyond. Please direct any suggestions for expanding the collection to Cynthia Leive .

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Music Library Staff
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3rd floor - 527 Sherbrooke Street West
Montreal, Quebec H3A 1E3

Resource key

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  • Open access resource
  • Free resource
  • In-library use
  • Catalogue record

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