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MU295 Music and Art for Musicians: Composer / Artist Paper

Helpful Resources For This Paper

Find Books on Artists & Composers

Artist and Composer Paper
Suggested Research Strategies

The easiest method for finding general information on a composer or an artist is to use subject specific encyclopedias and dictionaries.  These provide sufficient detailed content to fulfill the requirements for the Artist and Composer Paper.  Follow the instructions below and you'll have your paper done in a very short time.  If you desire further assistance, please stop by the Reference Desk and see Miss T. or email her at

For books on Art and Artists browse the shelves at 703.

For books on Music and Musicians browse the shelves at 780.3.

You can also find what is available in print (hardcopy) with the Discovery catalog by searching the Dewey Decimal number like this: 

> nu:703
> nu:780.3

Note to Online / Distance students:

  • U.S. residents:  If the hardcopy of a resource you desire is not available in your local library, it can be obtained through that library's InterLibrary Loan service.*  Most reference books will not be loaned.  However, it is possible to request the needed article/chapter with the Powell Library's Book Scanning Service or the Controlled Digital Lending Service. Only hardcopy (print) books held by The Robert L. Powell Library can be scanned.
  • Non U.S. residents: If you are unable to obtain needed book(s) and the book(s) are physically available in The Robert L. Powell Library, you may use the library's Book Scanning Service or the Controlled Digital Lending Service.

* Interlibrary Loan (ILL) is a voluntary system of sharing materials between libraries. ILL provides access to items not currently available in the library's collection or not available in full-text through its online databases. Please note: some libraries charge a fee for using their ILL services.

To find hardcopy (print) and softcopy (eBook) encyclopedias and dictionaries for a composer or an artist, copy and paste the following search queries in the library Discovery catalog search box.  See image below:

su:encyclopedias OR dictionaries AND music*
su:encyclopedias OR dictionaries AND art*

When you get your results list, select "Resource Format" on the left, then under "Book" select "Print Book", when the page refreshes, select "eBook". This will eliminate book reviews on the encyclopedias and dictionaries. See image below:

In addition, search for biographies of a particular composer or artist like this:


NOTE: "su:" is the command code to search only the subject field in the Discovery catalog.

Here are some important hardcopy sources for information on artists:

  1. The Dictionary of Art (703 D561g, 1996)
  2. Encyclopedia of World Art (703 En19)
  3. Encyclopaedia of the Arts (703 En19r)

Here are some important hardcopy sources for information on composers:

  1. The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians (780.3 N42s, 2001).
  2. The Norton/Grove Concise Encyclopedia of Music  (780.3 N829s)
  3. Harvard Dictionary of Music (780.3 Ap22h)
  4. The New Oxford Companion to Music (780.3 N42)

Last updated November 2023.

eBooks & Online Reference Databases

Last updated November 2023.

Find Articles on Artists & Composers

To find articles on an artist or musician go to the library Web site <>.

Search using the name of the artist or musician in the Subject field.  Like this:

> su:bach johann
> su:josquin des prez
> su:rembrandt
> su:bosch

When you get your results list, use the "Content Type" from the filtering options to the left and select "Peer Reviewed".  This will retrieve only scholarly articles. See example below:

To access the online articles, use your TMU credentials; the same id/password used to access Self-Service and Canvas.

Alternatively, search the following article databases by selecting "Find Databases" on the library web site.  Each of these databases has an option to limit the results to "Peer Reviewed" articles, which includes academic scholarly as well as actual peer reviewed articles.

  1. Academic Search Ultimate
  2. ProQuest Research Library

Last updated May 2022.

Reference Librarian

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Janet "Miss T." Tillman
Robert L. Powell Library
The Master's University
21726 Placerita Canyon. Rd.
Santa Clarita, CA 91321