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The "Encyclopedia Britannica" of music. This is the starting point for almost any music research topic. It is NOT journal articles, but a multi-volume database of topics about music like an encyclopedia. Use the bibliographies at the end of the articles to further your research!
RILM was a print index of journal article citations. It is now an online database index of citations and abstracts. This database doesn't always have full-text, but it does have many citations of print resources not covered in other databases like conference proceedings, festschriften, reviews, liner notes and other off the beaten path formats.
Make sure you click on "full text" if that is all you're interested in.
Primary source articles (reviews, interviews, features) and audio interviews from music and mainstream press (Rolling Stone, NME, etc.) representing all genres of music. Coverage dates: 1950 to present
Video (newer) and audio (older) of full-length Metropolitan Opera performances including HD theater transmissions, classic telecasts and early radio broadcasts. Includes English synopsis and subtitles. Coverage dates: 1936 - present
Audio tracks covering Classical, jazz, film soundtrack, holiday and world music genres from all time periods. Supplemented by biographical information and links to reference resources (i.e. Grove Music Online). Users must complete a short registry to build playlists and embed external links. Coverage dates: Current
Online version of the Naxos sound recording catalog and other labels covering Medieval to Contemporary music. Notes and biographical information. Playlists may be created. Player does not work on Safari. Coverage dates: Current
Audio music from America's past including Native Americans, immigrants, slaves, pioneers, civil rights, politics, Prohibition, Revolutionary and Civil Wars, anti-war protests and more. Coverage dates: Current
A neat feature of this database is that you can search by historical event. If you need a song from a particular time period or event like the Civil War, the Revolution, the Industrial Age, the Gold Rush, etc. it's easy to find!