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Music Periodicals: Getting Started

Guide to searching for articles and reviews on music in newspapers and journals


Newspapers and Journals are valuable resources for finding contemporary information about composers, musicians, musical works, reviews, and musical events. There are a number of databases which index these newspapers, some of which provide full text. A growing number of websites also feature digital reproductions of newspapers.

Where to Start Your Search

You will find a variety of newspaper indexes at the Duke Libraries database link for NEWSPAPERS and Online Newspapers

There are hundreds of databases which index periodicals. The simplest means of finding databases most relevant to your search is to go to the library homepage and click Databases>>Find Databases by Subject.  One option is to go directly to
The Research by Subject link will take you to guides on research in various areas of study.
The Conduct Research page provides a variety of useful quick links to aid in research.

List of Music Periodicals

To find a comprehensive list of music periodicals by country, go to:

Grove Music Online>>Periodicals>>List

Search Tips

In researching newspapers and journals, persistence pays off: You should try a variety of databases, since each indexes different sources, and try a range of search strategies, such as searching for both a composer's full name and just the last name of the composer.

Although databases offer different search options, here are options for qualifying searches that you will find across many of them:

  • Use the Advanced search option
  • Indicate what part of the text you want to search, such as the Abstract or the Title so that your retrievals will be more targeted.
  • Limit by date range
  • Limit by type of materials: article, review, obituary, etc.
  • Limit to full-text only
  • Put your search in quotation marks to search a phrase.
  • Use wildcard or truncation characters, such as wom?n or musicolog*


Subject Guide

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Laura Williams
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Subjects:Humanities, Music