Tips to Get Started
Some tips before you get started!
- Musicians and bands with common or one word names like Beck, Prince, or The Smiths will be hard to find unless you add more specific information like a song or album title.
- Songs can be hard to find if they have titles like I love you, Go Away, or Summertime. When you search, add the name of the performer or song writer and put the title in quotes, for example: "I Love You" Anita O'Day
- Some musicians and bands may be too recent, too indie, or too local for there to be easily available or trustworthy information about them. Be prepared to dig.
Help with Your Research
You can email the author of this guide for help with your research topic or in using the UCLA Libraries. You can also come to the Music Library and ask for help at the desk. At the top of this guide you can also click on Questions to use general email, chat, and phone reference.
Where to look First
Essential places to start.
Get some general information first; take advantage of the work someone else has already done before you.
- Contemporary Musicians. Provides brief biographical information, album and song lists, and bibliographies (often a photo!) for thousands of popular musicians and bands, some you will not find any where else. Also in the Music Library reading room under ML385 .C668. The last volume indexes the whole big set.
- Oxford Music Online: Encyclopedia of Popular Music. Linked from the Music Library home page as Oxford Music Online. Provides short articles with a bibliography written by a scholar of popular music.
- Wikipedia. You can't beat it for completeness and currency, although you'll want to verify any questionable information. Also ask your teacher if she will accept it as a resource--some don't.
- UCLA Library Catalog, the library's "search engine". For people use a Subject List (start of) and enter the person's name, last name first (if they have only one name, enter that). For bands, just enter the name. If you find the name of the person or band in the catalog, you'll have no trouble researching them. You are lucky. There are already some books about them.
Why not Google Scholar?
Google Scholar covers the whole world of knowledge and not just music. The advantage of the specific music resources above is that they are just for music. Less to sort through.