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Library Resources for Music Students at BC: Reference Books

Learn how to do research on music topics at the BC Library.

What's a Reference Book?

The books on this page are reference books. A reference book is a book that is used primarily to supply background information on a particular topic. They are often produced by experts in a particular field and are not intended to be read from cover-to-cover: instead, you can find an entry in the reference book that mentions your topic and just read that entry. Most reference books will have an index in the back of the book that will allow you find out on which page your topic would be.

Examples of reference books include dictionaries, encyclopedias, almanacs, and handbooks.

You cannot check out reference books from the library, but you can look at them for as long as you are in the library, and you may take photo-copies of reference books. 

Music Reference at BC

Find any of these reference books in the Reference Collection of the BC Library. These will be on the green-labeled shelves in the back of the library. This is by no means an exhaustive list of all of the music encyclopedias we have--as you browse the collection, you will find many, many more reference books about music!