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Music Research - Composition: Home

Gathering information on contemporary composers, compositional styles, and other wirtings.

Before You Start!

If you have had little experience with the library online catalog, please go to the Library Guide:

Music Research Materials - General and read the three "GETTING STARTED BOXES ON THAT PAGE." It won't take long.

Composer Websites


Outside of the prose found in more traditional formats, up-to-date and often good information may be found on composer's official websites. Examples may be found below:


John Adams

Some sites are constructed by publishers, groups otr even devoted individuals:

Subject Headings for Contemporary Music

To find materials, go to the Classic Catalog Search and choose Advanced Keyword Search first.

Then, use the pull down menu on the left (the one that has the word "keyword" in it) and choose: LC Subject Heading

Then you may enter subject headings related to contemporary music and composition

Some valid subject headings  for contemporary music that are important for those people studying composition are:


  • Music -- 20th century

  • Music -- 20th century -- History and criticism

  • Music -- 20th century -- Periodicals

  • Music -- 20th century -- Philosophy and aesthetics

  • Music -- 21st century -- History and criticism

  • Music -- 21st century -- Periodical

  • Aleatory music -- History and criticism

  • Computer music

  • Computer sound processing

  • Electronic music -- History and criticism

  • Minimal music -- History and criticism

  • Twelve-tone system

  • Composition Music -- 8 Related Lc Subject Headings:
    See also the narrower term Instrumentation and orchestration.
    2 -- See also the narrower term Musical accompaniment.
    3 -- See also the narrower term Musicals Writing and publishing.
    4 -- See also the narrower term Popular music Writing and publishing.
    5 -- See also the narrower term Serialism (Music)
    6 -- See also the narrower term Repetition in music.
    7 -- See also the narrower term Silence in music.
    8 -- See also the narrower term Time in music.

Reference Librarian

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Woody Colahan
Subjects: Dance, Music, Theatre


American Music Center

Institute de Recherche et Coordination Acoustiqe/Musique (IRCAM)

International Alliance for Women in Music

Inernational Computer Music Association (including the online journal: Array)

Other Minds