Music is often defined as an art of sound or tones that express ideas and emotions in significant forms through the elements of rhythm, melody, harmony, and color. As a field of study, music includes composition, performance, history of musical styles and forms, theory, and philosophy of music. This resource guide will help you to have a fundamental understanding and appreciation of the history of music and how it found its place in every known culture throughout the course of human history.
Western and World Music
To help you begin your research on this topic, here are some recommended works on western music that are available at the National Library Board libraries. For contact details and locations of the libraries, please visit http://www.nlb.gov.sg.
Call Number: RART 780.9 BUR
Description: This book gives a thorough introduction to the history of music in the Western tradition. It describes Western music in chronological order, from ancient Greek and Roman to American 20th century music.
Call Number: RART 780 KAM
Description: This book includes some of the greatest music ever created. Roger Kamien’s excellence as an interpreter of music has made his program number one in the market and this book has been used by over half a million students since its conception.
Call Number: RART 781.64078 PER
Description: From the Beatles and Bob Dylan to Michael Jackson and Madonna, from Woodstock and Monterey to Altamont and Live Aid, this book provides an indispensable assessment of the importance of live performance in the practice of popular music, and is an essential guide to some of the key moments in western music history.
Call Number: 780.9 ROU -[ART]
Description: This is a handbook, spanning a thousand years of music from Gregorian chants to Bach and Beethoven, to contemporaries such as Thomas Ades and Kaija Saariaho. Both a CD buyer’s guide and a Who’s Who, the guide includes concise biographical profiles of more than 200 composers and informative summaries of the major compositions in all genres, from chamber works to operatic epics.
Call Number: RART 781.25 KOS
Description: A practical guide to music theory, designed as first-year music theory curriculum for music students.
In addition to books, there are encyclopedias and dictionaries that cover a wide range of western and world music as well.
Call Number: RART 780.922 BAK
Description : This six-volume work includes entries for musicians from all over the world, from classical to 20th century jazz and popular musicians.
Call Number: 780.3 KEN -[ART]
Description: This book covers musical instruments and their history and covers living composers and performers.
Call Number: RART 781.6403 ENC
Description: This is an essential reference book for anyone who has a query about any aspect of 20th century popular music, including rock, dance, rap and R&B, as well as blues, soul, country and folk.
Call Number: RART 780.9 GAR
Description: This 10-volume set covers musical traditions of all regions of the world. It also includes a volume on world music perspectives and reference tools.
Call Number: RART 780.3 NEW
Description: This 29-volume work provides an extensive and authoritative coverage of most types of music, from classical to popular and jazz.
Journal articles provide more up-to-date information than books in most cases. A new idea or terminology in any discipline can sometimes be found in journal articles first instead of books. Appended below are periodicals related to music.
Call Number: RART 780.5 MT
Description: The world’s oldest, continuous quartely-published classical music magazine, founded in 1844.
Call Number: 780.5 BBCMM
Description: The world’s best selling classical music magazine.
- Psychology of music. (1973-). Manchester, England: Society for Research in Psychology of Music and Music Education
Call Number: RART 781.1105 PM
Description: Psychology of Music publishes peer reviewed papers directed at increasing the scientific understanding of any psychological aspect of music.
Call Number: 781.68 CM
Description: The UK’s only insightful and entertaining current affairs magazine for the classical music industry.
Call Number: 780.5 LMJ
Description: LMJ is devoted to aesthetic and technical issues in contemporary music and the sonic arts.
Call Number: 782.3232 DUF -[ART]
Description: Recorded Aug. 31-Sept. 2, 2000, St. Andrew’s Church, West Wratting. Sung in Latin.
- Pater Hubert Dopf S.J.(Director). (1984). Gregorian chant [sound recording] Holland : Philips
Call Number: 783.5 GRE
Description: Slow, measured and hypnotic, Gregorian Chant has enhanced the solemnity of liturgical worship for more than 1400 years, when services featured recitations from the scriptures, psalms sung by priests and responses from the assembled congregation. Its popularity has soared over the last 20 years as the atmosphere of calm stillness it evokes has proved to be the perfect antidote for many to the relentless stress and pressures of modern life.
Should you prefer to read materials online, we also have several resources from the web. Please refer to the list of databases below pulled from our subscribed e-databases. They are all available at the National Library, Singapore. Just bring your laptop and get on our wireless network “NLBPublic”. You need a digital library account in order to use our e-resources. Registration is free. Access our digital databases here: http://eresources.nlb.gov.sg/
This invaluable digital library for global popular music brings together leading scholarship and interactive tools to hit the right note for research and learning. It is an ideal resource for students, academics and the general public across disciplines including music, ethnomusicology, the performing arts, media and communication, cultural studies, anthropology and sociology.
Available at all libraries and from home.
- EBSCOHost research databases
EBSCOhost is the gateway to a number of different EBSCO databases covering various topics. It offers customizable basic and advanced searching supported by Boolean logic, natural language, enhanced subject indexing and journal searching. With links from the full record display to related articles by subject, magazine issue or author, users can further explore their topic.
Available at all libraries and from home.
- JSTOR: the scholary journal archive
JSTOR provides online access to archived contents of important scholarly journals, mainly in the humanities and social sciences. Researchers are able to retrieve high-resolution, scanned images of back issues of journals and pages as they were originally printed. Existing titles are updated and new titles are added on an ongoing basis.
Limited to 15 concurrent access from home. Available at all libraries and from home.
Naxos Music Library is an online streaming music database offering music from over 770 labels, including well-known names like Decca, Deutsche Grammophon, Sony Classical, Warner Classics – Parlophone (former EMI Classics) and many more.
Available at all libraries and from home.
Naxos Music Library Jazz is an online streaming jazz music database offering music from over 250 labels, including well-known names such as Blue Note Records, Warner Jazz, EMI, Fantasy and others.
Available at all libraries and from home.
- Proquest arts & humanities database
This interdisciplinary database provides full-text articles from scholarly peer-reviewed journals and selected trade and consumer publications in arts, humanities, cultural studies, philosophy, modern languages and literatures, religion, history, geography, music, theatre, film and more.
Available at all libraries and from home.
The Multimedia Journal of New Music is an online archive for the print version of Alternate Music Press.
ECHO: : a Music-Centered Journal is an online journal created and edited by graduate students in the Department of Musicology at the University of California, Los Angeles.
Gramophone Online is part of the print journal Gramophone magazine. Contents include daily international classical news and services, features on musicians, etc.
A guide to Western composers and their music, from the Middle Ages to the present.
This is a society to promote music theory as both a scholarly and a pedagogical discipline.
This is an international organization established to promote inquiry, scholarship and analysis in the area of popular music.
Video and sound recordings
Call Number: RSING 780.92 ALE
Description: Video recording of an interview with Alexander S Abisheganaden, 1988 Cultural Medallion Recipient for Music. A veteran performer of both the guitar and double bass, Alexander Abisheganaden talks about his early beginnings into music, graduating from the Royal College of Music to setting up the Singapore Classical Guitar Society in 1967. A teacher and a musician, Alex arranged and wrote many pieces for the guitar, promoting music through the guitar and influencing generations of musicians, included are brief performances of Flamenco Rhapsody and “Huan Yin-Vanakam”.
Call Number: RSING 338.477 ART
Description: Arts Incorporated reveals the secret behind a happy and successful marriage between art and commerce. In this episode we get a glimpse of how acute business acumen is a basic ingredient in the business of music and how the music business is run.
Call Number: RSING 780.92 DAV
Description: Video recording of an interview with David Lim Kim San. In the video, Lim discusses his early childhood and Peranakan heritage; teaching career; leadership of the Singapore Youth Choir and hopes for its future; the SSO connection and how to cultivate an audience; as well as the future of music in Singapore. The video also includes an interview with Jennifer Tham, SYC’s conductor, on his contribution to music education.
Call Number: RSING 780.92 LEO
Description: Video recording of an interview with Leong Yoon Pin (1982 cultural medallion recipient for music). Leong talks about the time he took up the study of music at the Teacher’s College and when he started working life as a primary school teacher thereafter. He shares on how he got interested in music and composing, his works, e.g. Dayong Sampan, as well as on wide-ranging topics such as conducting, and his involvement with the Singapore Symphony Orchestra.
- Leong M. W. (2005). NUS music in the park : 21 August 2005 [videorecording]. Singapore: Produced by Centre for Instructional Technology in collaboration with Development Office, National University of Singapore
Call Number: AV 784.2 NUS
Description: Concert staged at the Shaw Foundation Symphony Stage of the Botanic Gardens to celebrate the centenary of the National University of Singapore. The highlight of the concert was the first public performance of extracts from the ‘Centennial Symphony’, which was composed by Dr. Robert Casteels, Associate-in-Residence from the NUS Centre for the Arts.
Call Number: RSING 782.42164 ON
Description: Tells the story of Singapore’s English popular music scene through interviews with prominent local bands and musicians. Discover how Singapore’s English popular music scene has evolved from the 1960s to today and how Singaporean musicians such as Rita Chao and My Precious, have won fans here and abroad.
Call Number: RSING 780.43 SSO
Description: Organised by the Ministry of Community Development in conjunction with the Singapore Festival of Arts 1986, this is a recording of a performance by Singapore Symphony Orchestra and conducted by Choo Hoey. It was recorded at Victoria Concert Hall and originally broadcast on 11 August 1986.
NLB Online Archives
We also have several resources from the web. Please refer to the list of databases below pulled from our subscribed e-databases. They are all available at the National Library, Singapore. Just bring your laptop and get on our wireless network “NLBPublic”. You need a digital library account in order to use our e-resources. Registration is free. Access our digital databases here: http://eresources.nlb.gov.sg/
MusicSG is a non-profit digital archive set up to digitise, archive and provide access to all forms of published Singapore musical works. It assembles a collection of music composed or published by Singaporeans, music produced or published in Singapore, and music related to Singapore. It is available from home as well as the libraries.
- National Online Repository of Arts (NORA)
NORA is a database showcasing over 6,000 digitised works in the literary, performing and visual arts by prominent Singapore artists. As a source of reference for those interested in Singapore arts, NORA aims to digitally preserve Singapore’s arts heritage and create awareness about Singapore’s arts and culture. It is available from home as well as the libraries.
The Composers and Authors Society of Singapore (COMPASS) deals specifically with music copyright and the usage of musical works. This website provides information on how to seek protection and promote the copyright interests of composers, authors and publishers of musical works and their related lyrics.
- Home. (2010). Retrieved October 28, 2016 from the Music Publishers (Singapore) website: http://www.mps.org.sg/
Music Publishers (Singapore) Ltd (MPS) acts as a representative of 12 music publishing companies in Singapore. Information on copyrights and the music publishing companies can be found on this website.
- About RIAS. (.n.d.) Retrieved October 28, 2016 from the Recording Industry Association (Singapore) website: http://www.rias.org.sg/
Provides information on copyright and piracy in order to support the recording industry in Singapore.
- Home. (2009). Retrieved October 28, 2016 from the Recording Industry Performance Singapore website: http://www.rips.com.sg/
Provides information on how to apply for reproduction rights for sound recordings, and apply for MP3/MP4 licenses and licenses for the public performance of karaoke and/or music videos.
This website of the National University of Singapore’s Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music provides information about the local arts community, with special reference to musical groups and activities.
About MRSS: The people and the organisation. (2018) Retrieved October 17, 2019 from the Music Rights (Singapore) Public Limited website: https://www.mrss.com.sg/
As a Collective Management Organisation (CMO), MRSS represents the majority of music producers in Singapore and collects music and music video copyrights on their behalf.
Accessing National Library Board Singapore Resources
Accessing the Print Materials
You can search the library catalogue (for physical materials) in the library and from home (http://catalogue.nlb.gov.sg). The easy search function allows you to search/browse by author, title, keyword, subject and ISBN/ISSN whereas the advanced search allows you to narrow your searches to specific media types or language holdings. In both instances, you will also be able to limit your search to specific libraries by clicking on the “limit by branch” option.
To search Lee Kong Chian Reference Library’s Holdings
If you wish to search for only materials available in the Lee Kong Chian Reference Library, please always click on the “Limit by Branch” button at the bottom of the page, after you have keyed in your search term. This brings you to a new page whereby you will be able to select the library of your choice. Choose “Lee Kong Chian Reference Library” and select “yes” under the “Display only items available in the selected branch below” and then click on search.
Things to note:
Once you have identified the title that you need, please double-check the following information and write down the necessary info:
i. The “Status” of the item: the item is not available in the library, if the status displayed is “in transit”, “in process” or “not ready for loan”.
ii. Double-check that the item is in Lee Kong Chian Reference Library under “Branch”.
iii. Write down the Location Code and the Call Number of the item. This helps you to locate the item within Lee Kong Chian Reference Library. Please refer to the table below for more information (Note: Please feel free to approach the counter staff for help in locating the books.)
All featured books and periodicals are located at the Lee Kong Chian Reference Library.
Accessing the Databases
The National Library Board (NLB)’s eResources are free for all NLB members. Click here to find out how to register as a member.
If you’re having problems registering or logging in, please contact us. If you wish to find information in the databases but am not sure where to begin, or need recommendations on which databases to use, please use the “Ask A Librarian” function or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org for help. The librarian will get back to you within three working days.
The information in this resource guide is valid as at March 2017 and correct as far as we are able to ascertain from our sources. It is not intended to be an exhaustive or complete history on the subject. Please contact the Library for further reading materials on the topic.
All Rights Reserved. National Library Board 2017.