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Musical Instrument Research   Tags: music, musical instruments  

Assignment for Music Appreciation
Last Updated: Jun 22, 2015 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

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Image ID: BAL1055 Copyright holder: Bridgeman Art Library / Ham House, Surrey, UK

Located through an image search of the online CredoReference Books database.

See our Academic Electronic Databases page for your access to this and other database resources.


Check the COS Catalog for books

Subject Headings to check for: In addition to the individual instruments which may have a book written specifically for it, such as the Oboe, Saxophone, Trumpet, Violin, Clarinet or Piano, don't forget that the Cello is really listed as Violoncello and the Drum may also be found under Percussion instruments.   You may have to look a little farther for information on the more uncommon instruments so broaden your search by trying the listings for Musical instruments in general or Brass or Woodwind Instruments accordingly.


Brass instruments.

Musical instruments.

Percussion instruments

Woodwind instruments


Reference Books Are a Good Place to Start

Reference books cannot be checked out and therefore should be available for use at all times the library is open.


R 780.3 N532   The new Grove dictionary of music and musicians  - includes thousands of articles covering over 5,000 years of music history, insturments, composers, institutions, performers, genres, and more. This edition covers more non-Western music from Latin American, Asian, sub-Saharan African and Pacific Islander.

R 784.19 C189   Musical Instruments : History, Technology, And Performance Of Instruments Of Western Music  - explains how Western musical instruments work, how they developed historically, how they are manufactured, and how they are used to make music.

R 784.1903 B162  The Oxford companion to musical instruments. Each entry in this lavishly illustrated book offers a concise description of the instrument, as well as a wealth of information on such subjects as playing techniques, harmonics and circular breathing, the sound of an instrument, acoustics, pitch, an instrument's use within the orchestral repertoire or, for ethnomusicological instruments, within ritual, and significant developments in its history.  Baines covers a vast array of instruments, from the common cowbell, to the Red-hot fountain pen (a novelty instrument of the 1930s), to the Celtic harp.

R 784.1903 G883 The Grove dictionary of musical instrumentsThe largest, most comprehensive reference publication on musical instruments of the world. At five volumes, the 2nd edition provides greatly expanded coverage of instruments from around the world and their builders, with special attention to electronic and experimental instruments; the human body as instrument; the history and techniques of instrument design and manufacture; performance practice; and scholars whose work has shaped our understanding of musical insturments.- description from

R 784.1909 M758    Origins and development of musical instruments - describes the creation, use, and development of musical instruments from the Old Stone Age to the present day. Musical instruments, from the simplest whistles to the most complex organs, conch trumpets to sousaphones, archers' and musical bows to violins and pianos, the most basic straw reeds to the modern MIDI systems, and pairs of stones struck together to synthesizers.

R 784.192 P138  The musical instrument desk reference - a guide to how band and orchestral instruments work. Descriptions and illustrations of everything from the physics of sound to detailed discussions of each orchestra and band instrument. Through its Quick Start and In Depth features, readers can quickly decide how deeply they want to delve into the instrument at hand.


R 786.203 R581  Piano : An Encyclopedia .  Everything from the acoustics and construction of the piano to the history of the companies that have built them.

R 787.87 C733  The Complete Encyclopedia Of The Guitar : the definitive guide to the world's most popular instrument.

R 786.81903 E56 Encyclopedia Of Percussion. The only comprehensive encyclopedia covering all of the major percussion instruments, the volume is divided into 4 major sections: an alphabetical dictionary of percussion instruments and terms; illustrations of key percussion instruments; longer, individual articles on key members of the percussion family, from Bass Drum to Xylophone, written by leading percussionists and scholars; and finally, several appendices of terms and symbols and a comprehensive bibliography.


    Linda Yamakawa
    Contact Info
    Office: Lodgepole Rm. 206
    Phone: (559) 737-6173
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    Other Sources for Biographies of Individual Musical Artists

    Access to databases may require authorized COS login.

    R 781.64092 B168 Baker's biographical dictionary of popular musicians since 1990 or the online text

     Baker's biographical dictionary of popular musicians since 1990


    • Gale biography in context
      Biography in Context delivers outstanding research support with nearly a million biographical entries spanning history and geography

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