Skip to main content

MUSC 171: The Social History of Popular Music

Essential Reference

Reference Tools

American song : the complete musical theatre companion / Ken Bloom
Ref. ML128 .M78 B6 1996-2001 4 v. (2nd ed.)


The international newsweekly of music, video and home entertainment; profiles, commentary, album ratings, feature articles, marketing and reviews. 

The complete encyclopedia of popular music and jazz, 1900-1950 / Roger D. Kinkle
Ref. ML102 .P66 K55 4 v.

Chronological and A-Z biographical listings. 
Volumes 1-7 of print version (9 vols.) below now accessible online: v. 1. Media, industry and society. v. 2. Performance and production. v. 3. Caribbean and Latin America. v. 4. North America. v. 5. Asia and Oceania. v. 6. Africa and the Middle East. v. 7. Europe.
Links to full text articles.
Continuum encyclopedia of popular music of the world. 10 vols.
Ref. ML102 .P66 C66 10 vols.
Volume 9 published under title: Bloomsbury encyclopedia of popular music of the world / ed. by David Horn et al. Contents: v. 1. Media, industry and society. v. 2. Performance and production. v. 3. Caribbean and Latin America. v. 4. North America. v. 5. Asia and Oceania. v. 6. Africa and the Middle East. v. 7. Europe. v. 8. Genres : North America. v. 9. Genres : Caribbean and Latin America. v. 10. Genres: Middle East and North Africa (on order March 2016). 

Encyclopedia of African American music / ed. Emmett G. Price

Ref. ML101 .U6 E53 2011 3 vols.
Showcases all facets of African American music, including folk, religious, concert, and popular styles, and its role in American cultural history.

Encyclopedia of Canadian rock, pop & folk music / Rick Jackson.

Ref. ML102 .P66 J13 1994t

A-Z listing of key groups and solo artists in the history of Canadian music from the 1950s-1990s. Includes photos, short biographies and list of singles and LPs or CDs.
Freely accessible online updates to Encyclopedia of music in Canada, 2nd ed. - Kallman and Potvin, eds. Ref. ML106 .C3 E52 1992t / Encyclopédie de la musique au Canada, 2nd ed. Ref. ML106 .C3 E5214 1993 3 v.
The English and French print versions are now subsumed by The Canadian Encyclopedia and updated online by Historica Canada. These combined sources are still the most authoritative first point of reference for researching the music of Canada.
Search specific topics such as "Neil Young" or the chapter on "Popular music" in general.
Updated web access of Colin Larkin's 10-volume The Encyclopedia of Popular Music, 4th edition, covering popular music of all genres and periods from 1900 to the present day, including jazz, country, folk, rap, reggae, techno, musicals, and world music, available through Oxford Music Online. Library has 3rd ed. of The Encyclopedia of Popular Music. Ref. ML102 .P66 G84 1998 8 vols.
Search specific names or topics.
Web access to The Garland encyclopedia of world music, the first encyclopedia devoted to the music of all the world's peoples, with each volume devoted to a single region. Print edition: Ref. ML100 .G16 1997- 10 vols., accompanied by 9 CDs at Circulation Desk (SRCD97-121 v. 1-9).
Updated web access through Oxford Music Online to The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians. Ref. ML100 .N48 2001 29 vols.
See specific topics or the chapter on "Popular music" in general.  Entries contain bibliographies with Get it @ Queen's links.

A Guide to popular music reference books : an annotated bibliography / Gary Haggerty.
Ref. ML128 .P63 H34 1995

Includes key resources such as bibliographies, discographies, dictionaries and encyclopedias, dictionaries of terms, and indexes to printed and recorded music of the popular music style (including jazz, Tin Pan Alley, musical theatre, rhythm & blues, blues, rock music, country music and gospel music. Folk idioms largely excluded)

Joel Whitburn presents the Billboard albums : includes every album that made the Billboard 200 chart : chart data compiled from Billboard's pop album charts, 1956-2005

ML156.4.P6 W45 2006 ref.

Joel Whitburn's Pop hits, 1940-1954 : compiled from Billboard's pop singles charts 1940-1954.

ML156.4.P6 W495 1994 ref. 

Latin music : musicians, genres and themes / Ilan Stavans, editor.

Ref. ML101.L38 L37 2014 2 vols.
Alphabetical, encyclopedic listing of topics on Latin music and Latino culture, including musical instruments, record cover art, festivals and celebrations, the institution of slavery, feminism, and patriotism. Covers the music, traditions, and history of more than two dozen countries, including Argentina, Brazil, Costa Rica, Cuba, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Panama, Spain, and Venezuela.

The Literature of rock: II (1979-1983) and III (1984-1990) / Hoffmann and Cooper.
Ref. ML128 .R6 H63 1995 2 v.

A pathfinder bringing together, in one bibliography, a diverse array of sources (books, journal articles, etc.) related to rock music. Arranged according to an historical outline of the genre.

Popular music since 1955 : a critical guide to the literature / Paul Taylor.
Ref. ML128 .P63 T39 1985

Covers the business, social and artistic aspects of popular music, forms of popular music, and lives and works of the artists, through the literature between 1955-1984.

Popular music: the key concepts / Roy Shuker. 2nd ed.
Ref. ML102 .P66 S58 2005

A comprehensive A-Z guide to the key terms and concepts current in the broad body of writing within popular music studies. Also available electronically through QCAT.

The Rock song index : essential information on the 7,500 most important songs of rock and roll / Bruce Pollock.
Ref. ML128 .R6 P65 1997

Celebrates the song; arranged alphabetically by artist/performer, also with alphabetical song title index.