Located in the Music Library Reference Section, in MALIC, Jardine Hall room 313

The Guinness Encyclopedia of Popular Music
  REF ML102.P66 G84 1995
In 6 volumes, this work is an extensive compilation of biographical articles on groups and artists in popular music (including country).  The 6th volume contains a bibliography by artist and an index for locating individuals within groups.  The 3rd edition is located in the music library, while the 1st and 2nd editions are available to check out from Ablah Library, 2nd floor.

The Complete Encyclopedia of Popular Music and Jazz 1900-1950 (Kinkle)  REF ML102.P66 K55
In 4 volumes, this work provides biographical information and some other useful reference tools, covering the first half of the twentieth century.  Volume 1 presents a listing of musicals, songs, and representative recordings, year-by-year.  Volumes 2 and 3 provide brief biographical entries with song credits where applicable and discographies.  The 4th  volume presents awards information, numerical lists of records labels and an index.

Songwriters: A Biographical Dictionary with Discographies  REF ML102.P66 H471998
This title holds biographical information for composers and lyricists of popular song in through the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

Biographical Dictionary of Afro-American and African Musicians (Southern)  REF ML105.S67 1982
Look here for biographical information on Afro-American and African musicians in a wide variety of music occupations throughout history.  Contains brief but useful bibliographies.

ASCAP Biographical Dictionary  REF ML106.U3 A5
Though dated, the 4th edition provides brief biographical information for composers and lyricists who are not often listed elsewhere (especially noted for its coverage of lesser-known lyricists).  Previous editions are located in Ablah library, 2nd floor circulating collection.

Baker’s Biographical Dictionary of Popular Musicians Since 1990  
 (available online through the WSU Online Catalog)
This is an online reference book providing biographical information on artists and groups from 1990-2003.  Browse by table of contents or index.  Content is also available by a search engine on the page. Access this title through the WSU online catalog. 

American Women Songwriters (Grattan)  REF ML106.U3 G73 1993
This provides biographical information on women songwriters in various genres.

Sweet and Lowdown (Craig)  REF ML106.U3 C75
This title provides brief biographical information on American songwriters and listings of their songs. 

The Encyclopedia of Pop, Rock and Soul (Stambler)  REF ML102.P66 S8 1989
A bit dated, but this is a good alternate source for biographical information on popular music personalities.

The Blue Book of Tin Pan Alley  REF ML390.B963
In 2 volumes this work covers songwriting from 1798 through the 1960s.  Arranged chronologically with lengthy essays and works lists of composers, use the indexes in each volume for best access.

Lissauer’s Encyclopedia of Popular Music in America: 1888 to the Present  REF ML128.P63 L57 1996
In 3 volumes, this set provides concise background information by song title.  This also holds a chronological listing of songs and a list of songwriters. 

The Great Song Thesaurus
(Lax and Smith)  REF ML128.S3 L4 1989  and
Another listing of song titles, this provides information on the date of composition, composer/lyricist credits and concise notes on the songs’ history when applicable.  Wonderfully useful cross references refer to alternative titles.  Also has a notable index to songs by subject, keyword and category.  A first edition may be found on the second floor of Ablah Library.

Directory of Tunes and Musical Themes (Parsons)  REF NK128.I65 P33
Also known as the “up-down book,” this volume attempts to answer the question: “What is the name of that tune” by reducing the opening melody to a directional pattern of notes.  In 3 sections covering classical tunes, popular tunes and national anthems.  If you can hum it and its listed here, you can find it.

Popular Song Index (Havlice)  REF ML128.S3 H4
A main volume and 3 separate supplemental volumes, this is an index to popular songs by title, first line of song and first line of chorus.  As the supplements index different collections, one may need to check through each supplement.  Each volume also contains an index by composer and lyricist.  This only covers song collections published between 1940 and 1987. 

Song Finder  (Ferguson)  REF ML128.S3 F47 1995
This indexes song collections published from 1854 to 1992.  Look up the song title and locate the anthologies in which it is contained.

The Rock Song Index  (Pollock)  REF ML128.R6 P65 1997
Arranged by artist, then by date this provides the applicable producer, album, label, songwriters and sometimes a concise note of the songs’ import.  This also contains a bibliography and song title index. 

Find That Tune REF ML128.R6 F56 1984
A 2 volume index to pop, rock and folk songs in collections, listings include songwriter credits and dates. This also provides indexes to first line, composer and performer.

Index to Song Books (Leigh)  REF ML128.S3 L45
This indexes over 100 songbooks published between 1933 and 1962, specifically intending to cover collections most commonly held by libraries.  This is one of several places to search for printed popular music.

Wedding Music
  REF ML128.W4 G6 1992  (available online through the WSU Library Catalog)
This index to 191 vocal and instrumental collections was compiled specifically to access music suitable for weddings.  Find titles or first lines, works by composer or works by instrument.  An electronic copy is also available through the WSU online catalog (search by title).

Popular Song Index (Wolff)  REF ML128.S3 W64 1993  
This is an index to 18 song anthologies in the Music Library collection.  Use this to find the printed music for anthologies not having their detailed table of contents listed in the WSU online catalog.  Also find here an index by name. A second copy is also available on the 2nd floor of Ablah Library.

Song Index and Supplement  (Sears)  REF ML128.S3 S31 1966
Though this is primarily an index of art songs, this also covers anthologies of folk songs, sea chanteys, Christmas carols, sacred songs and school/college songs.  Be sure to check both the main section as well as the supplement section, though both are bound together.  An additional copy is found in Ablah Library, 2nd floor.

The Song Index of the Enoch Pratt Free Library  REF ML128.S3 L665 1998
This 2 volume work indexes songs in over 2000 collections, of all genres.  The 2nd volume provides an index by composer and a listing of operas, musicals, movies and etc., along with their associated song titles.  It is often handy for its coverage of more recently published collections. 

School Songs of America’s Colleges and Universities  REF ML128.S75 O2 1991
Arranged by state and then by institution, find here alma mater and fight songs, along with composer/lyricist credits, and with an index by song title. 

Billboard International Buyers Guide  REF ML18.B5
This holds international company contact information for record labels, publishers, services, equipment and organizations.  The latest issue is found in reference, with previous issues located in Ablah Library, 2nd floor.

I’ve Heard Those Songs Before, Volume II  REF ML128.V7 B781
This lists the weekly top ten lists from the 1930s through the 1980s, with a song index.  Volume I, covering a smaller expanse of time, is located in Ablah Library, 2nd floor.

Variety Music Cavalcade (Mattfeld)  REF ML128.V7 M4 1971
Covering 1620-1969, this is a chronology of popular songs, year by year, along with other notable events in history.  Previous editions are located in Ablah Library, 2nd floor.

One Hit Wonders  REF ML394.J36 1990
Find here entries for those artists or groups having only one top 40 hit recording.  This covers only the 1950s through the 1980s, with entries providing song title, date, ranking of the hit, label number, brief biographical information and updates to 1990.

The Lyric Book   REF ML54.6.L95 2001
This title provides the complete lyrics for over 1000 popular songs from musicals, film and television.  Lyrics may also be found by artist and songwriter indices.


Updated: June 06, 2012
Rachel Crane, Music/Fine Arts Librarian