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PAL Research Guide

Reference Resources

The Performing Arts Library has a range of resources available. One of those are what we call Reference works. Reference works are dictionaries, encyclopedias, and other books that have information that serves as a good place to start your research. You will often find brief summaries about a range of composers, playwrights, performers, or artistic styles and trends. These titles can also include general histories about music or theatre. PAL highly encourages you to use Reference works during all stages of the research and writing process. Below, you can find a list of some of these works. For more of them, please browse PAL's Reference section.

You will know something is a Reference work if its call number begins with "REF."

Reference Scores

PAL has a number of reference scores with call numbers M2 and M3. These scores include collections of musical scores by either time period, region, or composer.

M2: Collections of scores by time period or region

M3: Collections of works by a single composer

Often times these scores are reproductions of the original manuscript. If you are looking for a "clean" score (one without editorial markings), these are a great place to look.

Reference Books

In the center of PAL's collection you'll find our Reference Books that begin with the call number "REF.". Here, you'll find our dictionaries, encyclopedias, general histories, and other reference titles for music and theatre. As always, if you need help finding a reference book on a particular topic, please come ask a librarian for help.

Online Reference Tools

PAL also provides access to a number of electronic reference resources, many of which can be accessed through the PAL webpage, but can also be accessed by clicking below. You will also find links to tutorials that can help you use these resources.