Skip to main content

Summary of Musicological Online Data Bases

There are many musicological online-databases. Some of them are free, while others are only accessible by the use of an adequate license. At the musicological section of the DBIS (Databases Information System), a cooperative service for the use of scholar databases offered by the University Library of Regensburg, you can find a summary of these approx. 140 musicological databases:

>> Link to the musicological online-databases at the DBIS  

Musicological Online-Databases with National-licensed Access

For some online-databases there were acquired national licenses. Through these licenses registered users in Germany get a free access to the databases. A registration-process in two stages, made by the respectively concerned library, can organize the access to a database. At first, the access will be temporary conceded to you by the use of a self-assigned password. Then you get per mail a new password that can be activated after about five days. Following you can research indefinitely at all databases, which are attended by the responsible library. >> database


Musicological Online-Databases with National-licensed Access

Following databases with (partially) musicological contents have a national-licensed access:

Cambridge Journals Digital Archive

The Cambridge Journals Digital Archive presents the "digitised archive", which consists of the volumes of the journals from the areas Humanities and Social Sciences with a total of 113 titles. The emphasis thereby is among other things on the subjects history, political science and international relations, regional studies, antiquity sciences as well as linguistics and study of literature.

Editoria Italiana Online

Editoria Italiana Online contains numerous articles and congress reports edited by acquainted Italian scholar publishing houses. These e-books discuss important aspects for the humanities and cultural studies in a comparative perspective. Publications about music are also included. A full-text search of all e-books is possible.

Eighteenth Century Collections Online (ECCO)

Eighteenth Century Collections Online (ECCO) gives access to more than 150,000 printed works with almost 33 Millions of full-text researchable pages. The texts were published between 1701 and 1800 in the United Kingdom. More than 2,000 works are completely or partially dedicated to music themes.

Music Online Reference

The Database"Music Online" from Alexander Street Press contains four parts:

  • Classical Scores Library.
  • Collection of music prints, musical manuscripts and previously unreleased material from 15th until 20th century.

  • Classical Music Reference Library.
  • Combination of relevant reference works of about 55,000 pages history of western classical music from mediaeval until 21th century.

  • African American Reference Library.
  • Comprehensive book of reference and collection of rare or previously unreleased materials of afro-american music history from the beginning until the 1970ths with a comprehensive coverage of more than 45,000 pages.

  • The Garland Encyclopedia of World Music Online.
  • Comprehensive reference book of about 1,200 extensive factual and personal articles and about 9,200 pages of traditional ethno music worldwide, published from James Porter and Timothy Rice.

Oxford Journals / Digital Archive

Oxford Journals is a part of the Oxford University Press, the biggest university publishing of the world. The archive contains approx. 120 journals of the years between 1849 and 1995 about medicine, law, humanities, social and natural sciences. The music journals Early Music, Journal of the Royal Musical Association, Music and Letters and The Musical Quarterly are also integrated on the collection.

Periodicals Archive Online

Periodicals Archive Online comprises about 350 of a total of more than 4,600 periodicals in full-text from the years 1802 until 1995, contained at the Periodicals Index Online. The database contains the music journals Current Musicology, Journal of the American Musicological Society and Music Journal.

Periodicals Index Online

The historical Periodicals Index enables the research of many thousands of periodicals about humanities and social sciences. The more than 15 Millions of articles were written between 1665 and 1995. Periodicals Index Online contains also summaries of more than 120 musicological publications.

World Biographical Information System (WBIS)

The World Biographical Information System comprehends many millions of brief biographies from reference books of the 16th until 20th centuries. These biographies come from different cultural contexts and language areas. The system contains more than 160.000 biographies about composers, singers, soloists and orchestral musicians.




Musicological Online-Databases with Pay-per-Use-Access


Many musicological online-databases can be visited through the pay-per-use service of the Bavarian State Library (Bayerische Staatsbibliothek). In order to access to the pay-per-use platform, you need to register yourself on a user administration. Then you will get an email containing information about the next procedures. After completed the registration process, the access to the platform will be free for you. The research is usually available only for a determined time, while a fixed charge for the right of access must be paid.
The database visits of each month are evaluated at the beginning of the next month, and you get a bill for the payment of the corresponding charges. More information about this service can be founded at  >> database


Musicological Online-Databases with Pay-per-Use-Access

The database visits of each month are evaluated at the beginning of the next month, and you get a bill for the payment of the corresponding charges. More information about this service can be founded at .

Following databases with (partially) musicological contents are accessible by the pay-per-use-service:

Oxford Music Online

Online-edition of The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians (2nd Edition), The New Grove Dictionary of Opera and The New Grove Dictionary of Jazz (2nd Edition). The articles of these encyclopaedias are available in full-text. They also present links to audio files, illustrations and related web pages of other providers.
5 Euro for 24 hours.

Lexikon des Mittelalters & International Medieval Bibliography

Online-version of the encyclopaedia of the same name. The work regards all spheres of the Middle Ages' research and contains more than 250 articles specifically about music. It futhermore includes a bibliography with information of more than 300,000 essays about European Middle Ages.
5 Euro for 12 hour.

Répertoire international des sources musicales / A / 2

RISM is an international non-profit joint venture that aims to document comprehensively all the extant musical sources around the world. The Série A/2 contains musical manuscripts from the period after 1600 and includes about 526,000 supporting documents for more than 23,000 composers in the CD-ROM version (release of 2008).
5 Euro for 12 hours.
The CD-ROM version offers a more detailed incipit search compared with the free online version, but it does not include any new data records that have been catalogued after 2008.