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Oxford Music Online
Start here for background information on musical styles, time periods, composers, and more. Contains The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, The New Grove Dictionary of Opera, The New Grove Dictionary of Jazz, and other music encyclopedias.
RILM Abstracts of Music Literature
Best for scholarly journals and articles, book chapters, dissertations, and foreign-language materials; best coverage for musicology, ethnomusicology, and music theory.
Best for articles on popular music, music education, jazz, and performance; also includes some foreign-language material.
Music Periodicals Database (ProQuest)
Best for articles on popular music and performance.