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Irish Music


Research Tools

Library Research Guide


SMI Music Theses Register is a searchable register of Irish theses and dissertations in musicology. Also included are theses published elsewhere that are directly related to music in Ireland.

Discography of American Historical Recordings is a database of master recordings made by American record companies during the 78rpm era. It is part of the American Discography Project (ADP)—an initiative of the University of California, Santa Barbara and the Packard Humanities Institute, and is edited by a team of researchers based at the UCSB Library.

Haywood, Charles. A Bibliography of North American Folklore and Folksong. New York: Greenberg, 1951. (Kenny-Cottle Stacks: Z5984 .U5 H3; Burns Library: Z5984 .U5 H3 REF; Theology & Ministry Library: Z5984 .U5 H3). Aims to be a comprehensive bibliography of the various aspects of American folklore and folksongs, including those of Irish origin.

Miller, Terry E. Folk Music in America: A Reference Guide. New York: Garland, 1986. (O'Neill Library: ML128.F74 M5 1986). Lists reference works, research publications, etc. pertaining to the study of various folk music and folk song traditions.

Porter, James. The Traditional Music of Britain and Ireland. New York: Garland, 1989. (O'Neill Library Reference: ML128 .F74 P67 1989).
A select list of research and collections published over a hundred year period, from the late 19th century, "when the study of traditional music first began to be developed," to 1987. Porter's introductory essay helps define the terms "traditional" and "folk" music, and introduces key collectors and researchers in the field.

Encyclopedias and Dictionaries

Vallely, Fintan, ed. Companion to Irish Traditional Music. (O'Neill Library Reference: ML101 .I73 V35 2011; Burns Library Reference: ML101 .I73 V35 2011 REF). An excellent starting point when researching any topic in Irish traditional music. Subject entries include musicians, singers, instruments, and musical styles. Includes bibliographies and discographies.

White, Harry & Barra Boydell, eds. Encyclopaedia of Music in Ireland. (O'Neill Library: ML101.I73 E53 2013; Burns Library Reference: ML101.I73 E53 2013 REFERENCE). This two-volume set published by University College Dublin Press features original research by circa 240 contributors. The encyclopedia seeks to chart the Irish musical experience while documenting Ireland's musical relations with the world at large.

Dictionary of Irish Biography (BC Community Only). A collaborative project between Cambridge University Press and the Royal Irish Academy this database contains over 9,000 signed biographical articles in fields such as politics, law, religion, literature, journalism, architecture, painting, music, the stage, science, medicine, engineering, entertainment and sport.

Garland Encyclopedia of World Music (BC Community Only). The multi-volume set (O'Neill Library Reference: ML100 .G16 1998) has accompanying compact discs. Each volume covers a large geographic area and is organized into three parts: an overview of the region, issues and processes, and regional case studies. Each chapter has an extensive list of references. Volume 8 covers Europe.

Oxford Music Online (formerly Grove Music) (BC Community Only). Encompasses Oxford Dictionary of Music, Grove Music Online, and Oxford Companion to Music. The Grove portion contains the full text of the New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians (O'Neill Reference ML100 .N48 2001), the New Grove Dictionary of Opera. (O'Neill Reference ML102 .O6 N5) and the New Grove Dictonary of Jazz, 2nd edition. The twenty-nine volume New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians is the most comprehensive music encyclopedia in English. It has articles on composers, performers, theorists, music publishers, instruments, musical terminology, musical forms styles, genres, world music and more. Many articles include bibliographies for further reading.

Wallis, Geoff and Sue Wilson. The Rough Guide to Irish Music. London: Rough Guides, 2001. (Bapst Irish Music Center Reference: ML3654 .W35 2001 REF; O'Neill Library Reference: ML3654 .W35 2001). Written in a light style suitable for browsing, the book is a good resource for learning about some of the better-known musicians and their backgrounds. The bulk of this compact guide is devoted to brief musical biographies of traditional Irish recording artists, with recommendations for listening.