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New Books

See the list of new books ordered for the program.

Where the Music Things Are

Nearly all of  our books on music are at the J.N. Desmarais Library. All of our music scores are kept at the Music Resource Centre (MRC), School of Education, where the Department of Music is located. Compact discs, audio cassettes and videos are also kept at the MRC. The exception is the vinyl recordings, which are on the 3rd floor of the Desmarais Library.


In the library: The Library User Assistance Desk to your immediate left as you enter the library is a good place to start.

By email: Contact the librarian responsible for your subject area. 

By telephone: 705-675-4800

The Essentials


Harvard Dictionary of Music. 2003. Print. Excellent resource for definitions of musical terms.

Oxford Music Online. Choose Oxford Dictionary of Music or Oxford Companion to Music for capsule definitions of terms, genres and composer biographies.


Encyclopedia of Music in Canada. 2nd ed. 1992. Print and online. Indispensable resource for Canadian music.

Encyclopedia of Popular Music. 1998. Print. Useful for its performer biographies and recordings.

Garland Encyclopedia of World Music. Print. Excellent coverage of musical traditions worldwide, with an accompanying set of CDs.

Oxford Music Online. Grove Music Online is the most important resource for music.

New Grove Dictionary of Music. 2001. Print.

Oxford Companion to Music. Brief descriptions of terms, genres, and composer biographies.


Oxford History of Western Music. 2005. Print. Outstanding survey authored by historian Richard Taruskin.

New Oxford History of Music. 1955-90. Print. Authoritative survey.

Music Librarian

DMaley's picture
Name: Desmond Maley
Position Title: Associate Librarian
Email Address:
Extension: 3323
Office Location: 30-246, J.-N. Desmarais Library

My music background

I have been the music librarian at Laurentian University since 1985. I am a member of the Canadian Association of Music Libraries, Archives, and Documentation Centres (CAML). Until this past year, I was the books/recordings review editor of CAML Review and formerly was the general editor. I have an Associate Diploma in Piano Performance from the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto as well as an arts degree in history and a master's in library science.  I serve on the board of the 5-Penny New Music Concerts. From 1996 to 2014, I was the program notes writer for the Sudbury Symphony Orchestra.

Get books

Music call numbers

All music scores and books are classified as M, ML or MT.

Music scores are classified as M and arranged by genre such as symphonies, concertos, and vocal and instrumental music

Books about music are classified as ML and MT. ML includes music histories, psychology, therapy, and performer and composer biographies. ML 410 is especially important, since nearly all of the composer biographies are shelved in this area. ML 410 is always followed by the intial of the composer's surname. MT contains many of the books on music theory, study, instruction, and analysis.

Musicians' necrology

Musicians' necrology. Birth-death dates of contemporary musicians. Database at the Music Library, Washington University of St. Louis.

Ebook collections

The library has e-book collections that include books about music. These books are listed in the catalogue, but this is another way of searching for them.

Dissertations and Theses

  • ProQuest Dissertations and Theses ?

    Description: This database includes 2.7 million searchable citations to doctoral dissertation and Master's theses from around the world from 1861 to the present day together with 1.2 million full text dissertations that are available for download in PDF format. Full text has been added since 1997 and strong retrospective full text coverage for older graduate works. Those not available full-text may be ordered privately; they are not normally available through interlibrary loan.

  • Theses Canada ?

    Description: "Canadian universities participate in the program voluntarily by submitting approved theses and dissertation to Theses Canada." Published by Library and Archives Canada.

  • Dissertations & Theses @ Laurentian University ?

    Description: This database gives access to the dissertations and theses produced by students at Laurentian University

  • DART-Europe E-Theses Portal ?

    Description: "DART-Europe is a partnership of research libraries and library consortia who are working together to improve global access to European research theses" - publisher's info.

The Library Catalogue

The catalogue is your primary tool for finding books in the J.N. Desmarais Library. You can also use the catalogue to find other materials, including government publications and journals (the journals themselves--not individual articles).

You can search the catalogue by:

  • Keyword
  • Title
  • Author
  • Subject
  • Journal Title
  • Series

When you know the book you are searching for, pick Title or Author; when you are searching for a topic, start with Keyword unless you know the Subject heading describing your topic.

Worldcat allows you to search for books worldwide. If we don't have it, you could request it through interlibrary loan.

Get articles

Music - Related Resources

  • Academic OneFile ?

    Description: More than 14,000 titles, including more than 9,000 peer-reviewed journals and more than 6,000 in full text. Extensive coverage of the physical sciences, technology, medicine, social sciences, the arts, theology, literature and other subjects since 1980.

  • LexisNexis Academic ?

    Description: Lexis-Nexis Academic is a rich source of news, business and legal information.

  • Globe & Mail (Historical) ?

    Description: Canada's national newspaper. Articles and full page reproductions of the complete newspaper from 1844 to 2012.

  • Sudbury Star Online Archives ?

    Description: The Sudbury Star Archive is an online database accessible over the Internet that provides subject access to full text articles from the Sudbury Star from 1999 to the present.

Key Indexes for Music

RILM Abstracts of Music Literature. 1967- Online.

JSTOR. Online. Full-text repository of journals, including music.

The Music Index. 1949-78. Print.

Canadian Music Periodical Index.  To 2012. Online

Get recordings & scores

Online Listening Resources

  • Classical Music Library ?

    Description: "Comprehensive streaming audio collection of classical music.It currently provides streaming access to more than 140,000 tracks, including almost 50,000 recordings from EMI, and is growing monthly as new recordings are added." - publisher's description.

  • Jazz Music Library ?

    Description: "The largest and most comprehensive streaming audio collection of jazz music, featuring thousands of jazz performers from legendary record labels. It currently provides streaming access to more than 130,000 tracks, with new recordings added monthly" - publisher's description.

  • Naxos Music Library ?

    Description: "Complete catalogues or selected recordings of over 400 independent labels such as ARC, Berlin Classics, BIS, Capriccio, Chandos, CPO, EMI Classics, Erato, Haenssler Classic, Hungaroton, Marco Polo, Naïve, Naxos, Nimbus, Ondine, Teldec, Vanguard Classics, Virgin Classics and Warner Classics. ...More than 78,760 CD-length recordings equivalent to 1,132,100 tracks uploaded, with addition of over 1,000 CD-length recordings every month." -- publisher's description.

Canadian Classical Music

Visit Centrestreams at the Canadian Musical Centre, which has a listening library of over 8,000 broadcast and concert recordings. Create your own free account and, from the CMC home page, click on Find Music to search for composers or pieces. The blue speakers indicate if it is available at Centrestreams.

Finding Music Pieces and Songs

Our recordings are listed in the library catalogue. Often the piece is contained in larger collections of similar works. For instance, if you are looking for Beethoven's Third Symphony, enter in the search box: Beethoven symphonies. That way you would retrieve all recordings and scores of Beethoven's symphonies. Beethoven's Third is also known as the Eroica, so you will retrieve some scores and recordings by using the keyword, Eroica.

You can also refine your search to look only for scores, recordings and videos. Click on the advanced search and then click on item types to choose such media as Notated music (scores), Musical sound recordings, and Projected medium (video).

Another way is to search according to location. The CDs at the Music Resource Centre (MRC) while the J.N. Desmarais Library (JND) has vinyl LPs. If you want to find only the LP, choose "J.N. Desmarais Library" instead of "Laurentian University" from the Basic Menu.

The catalogue has often lists individual pieces on a recording This means that by searching under keyword, you will find that work.

Online score collections

The Classical Scores Library contains many of the most important classical music scores, manuscripts, and previously unpublished material, allowing for the study and analysis of more than 25,000 musical scores.

The Petrucci Music Library,  published by the International Music Score Library Project (IMSLP), is an immense repository of scores in the public domain (i.e., 50 years and older).

The Sibley Music Library (Eastman School of Music) has online scores and books, some of which are unique to the collection.

Get style manuals

Style Manuals

Chicago/Turabian is the recommended style manual for music.

How to Write About Music: The RILM Manual of Style. 2nd ed. 2005.

Writing About Music. 4th ed. 2009.

Chicago Manual of Style. 16th ed. 2010.

A Manual for Writers of Term Papers, Theses, and Dissertations. Turabian. 8th ed. 2013.

The Purdue Online Writing Lab. Online.

Track your research

Zotero, a free, browser-based citation manager, is the standard tool at Laurentian. It can: 

  • Directly import references from article databases, the library catalogue, e-book collections, etc.
  • Manage and organize your references.
  • Create a bibliography.
  • Share your references with others
  • Add in-text citations and a bibliography directly into your assignment. 

Citing sources

Properly citing your sources is an extremely valuable and necessary skill when completing your research. See Laurentian's Citation Style Guides for quick reference guides on commonly used citation styles.