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Music Education Research Guide

Open Access Music Resources

Artstor on JSTOR - Open & Free Content

Artstor features millions of high-quality images and media from some of the world’s top photo archives, museums, libraries, scholars, and artists, including rare materials not available anywhere else. All content in Artstor is rights-cleared for education and research — you are free to use it in classroom instruction and handouts, presentations, student assignments, and other noncommercial educational and scholarly activities. 

Billboard Magazine 1936 to 2019

Billboard Magazine is an American music magazine, first published in November 1894, that is one of the oldest trade magazines in the world. 

ClassicalNet: The Internet's Premier Classical Music Source 

"ClassicalNet" is a website devoted to Western classical music. It offers extensive reviews and several short articles on highly-varied topics. One of its highlights is a frequently updated list of obscure pieces by both well and lesser-known composers. 


ChoralWiki is home to the Choral Public Domain Library

Digital Public Library of America (DPLA)

DPLA makes millions of materials from libraries, archives, museums, and other cultural institutions across the country available to all in a one-stop discovery experience.

Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ)

DOAJ is a unique and extensive index of diverse open access journals from around the world.

Eastman School of Music, Sibley Music Library

With holdings of nearly three-quarters of a million items, the Sibley Music Library is recognized as one of the world’s preeminent research libraries devoted to all aspects of the study of music. Sibley's musical scores are in the public domain.

Free Music Archive

Free Music Archive (FMA) offers free access to open licensed, original music by independent artists around the world. 

Huntington College Houghton Memorial Library Music Theory Open Access Journals 

Houghton Memorial Library put together a list of open access music theory resources.

IMSLP Petrucci Music Library

IMSLP, also known as the International Music Score Library Project or Petrucci Music Library, was started in 2006 to share the world's public domain music. 

Internet Archive

The Internet Archive offers over 20,000,000 freely downloadable books and texts. There is also a collection of 2.3 million modern eBooks that may be borrowed by anyone with a free account.

KQED Learning Media For Educators

The Arts collection through KQED and PBS Learning Media offers free educational resources for PreK–12 educators and students, which span eight subjects areas and align with state and national standards.  

Library of Congress - Primary Sources

A unique collection of primary sources from the Library of Congress.

Library of Congress Music for the Nation: American Sheet Music

This collection consists of over 47,000 pieces of sheet music registered for copyright during the years 1870 to 1885. Included are popular songs, piano music, sacred and secular choral music, solo instrumental music, method books and instructional materials, and music for band and orchestra.

Musical America Worldwide 

Musical America includes original copies of music and arts related articles in newspapers, magazines, and directories from 1905 on, and thousands of photographs.


Musopen is a 501(c)(3) non-profit focused on improving access and exposure to music by creating free resources and educational materials. They provide recordings, sheet music, and textbooks to the public for free, without copyright restrictions. Put simply, our mission is to set music free.


A site and blog devoted to music and dance bibliography and reference, ranging from discographies and catalogs of composer works to reference information about music exhibits and/or collections. 

Mutopia Project

2124 pieces of music – free to download, modify, print, copy, distribute, perform, and record – all in the Public Domain or under Creative Commons licenses, in PDF, MIDI, and editable LilyPond file formats.

OAPEN eBooks - General Titles

Cushing Library is participating in an open access eBook pilot program to increase our open access eBook holdings with SCELC (Statewide California Electronic Library Consortium) and OAPEN (Open Access Publishing in European Networks). Browse the list by clicking the link above. 

Open Access Musicology (OAM)

OAM publishes peer-reviewed, scholarly essays primarily intended to serve students and teachers of music history, ethno/musicology, and music studies.

Online Resources for Music Scholars 

ORMS provides resources on a wide variety of topics in music, including historical musicology, ethnomusicology, music theory, composition, and performance practice. 

Performing Arts Encylopedia (PAE) 

The Performing Arts Encyclopedia (PAE) is a guide to performing arts resources at the Library of Congress. The PAE provides information about the Library's unsurpassed collections of scores, sheet music, audio recordings, films, photographs, and other materials. 

Performance Practice Review

Performance Practice Review (PPR) is a blind, peer-reviewed journal devoted to the study of Western musical performance practices.

Reveal Digital on JSTOR

Reveal Digital curates content sourced from a wide array of libraries, museums, historical societies, and individual collectors.

RISM: International Inventory of Music Scores

RISM's database offers the most comprehensive documentation available for music manuscripts and printed music for the time between 1600 and 1800.

Songbook Foundation Archives

The Great American Songbook Archives and Library exists to preserve the physical artifacts of the Songbook so that current and future generations can experience them. The archives and library houses hundreds of books, thousands of sound recordings, and tens of thousands of arrangements and pieces of sheet music.

WGBH Open Vault

WGBH Open Vault provides online access to unique and historically important content produced by the public television and radio station WGBH