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Music: Jazz

Selected resources for students of music

Jazz Studies

This page contains selected resources relevant for the study of jazz. In addition to the general introductions on this page, search for Matthew Butterfield's article "Jazz" in Oxford Bibliographies. The article gives a good overview of reference works, books, discographies and journals.
Key databases for journal articles are as follows:
RIPM jazz periodicals (see more below)
 collection of over 100 full-text digitized ceased jazz journals, that explore the genre’s roots in blues, ragtime, and Dixieland, continuing on through the swing and big band era of the 1930s and 40s, to the birth and development of bebop, West Coast jazz, cool jazz, and free jazz.

Music periodicals database (ProQuest)
Provides indexing and abstracts for many jazz journals plus full text for key journals since 2000.

RILM abstracts of music literature (EBSCO)
RILM is a comprehensive database covering journal articles and chapters form books. It includes music-related articles published in conference proceedings, articles in Festschriften celebrating music scholars, and articles in anniversary volumes published in honour of musicians and composers.

Call numbers for Jazz

Call numbers for jazz history to assist browsing

Books (level 4)
780.92                                  Biographies include Jazz musicians
781.65                                  General Jazz histories
781.6509                              Jazz history and criticism
781.65094                            Jazz by country
781.650973 - 781.6509794     Jazz in USA
781.650994 -                         Australian Jazz
781.65117                            Multiple Jazz topics
785.42                                 Jazz groups/ensembles (another sequence of books from general history to particular topics)
Scores (Level 1)

S781.371655     Arranging jazz
S781.65             Fake books
S781.65136      Jazz instruction and study
S786.2165193  Piano jazz methods (Oscar Peterson, Steve Sedergreen, Fats Waller etc.)

Jazz history books

Dictionaries and Encyclopedias are useful for checking terms and definitions for Jazz styles. The Oxford Music Bibliographies feature peer reviewed sources and the annotated bibliography for Jazz provides many academic and scholarly sources. 

Key Jazz Textbooks

Streamed Sound

The following databases offer streamed recorded sound which you can search using keywords such as the name of the artist or the style of jazz
Naxos Library Jazz is keywords to find musical instruments, geographic areas, cultural groups and genres..

Jazz Music Library has a large comprehensive collection of streaming jazz available online with thousands of jazz artists, ensembles, albums, and genres. Many albums contain liner notes which offer different perspectives on your topics. You can search by Place or Genre and browse by performer or ensemble.
Jazz Music Library


Streamed Video
The following databases offer streamed video:
ArtFilms Digital

Here are some selections:

Alison Wedding Concert

Bill Evans Trio (1962)

Dave Brubeck Quartet

Mike Nock

Paquito D'Rivera Ensemble

Peer Reviewed Journals

Down Beat is described as a magazine for jazz musicians, written by jazz musicians and the best jazz journalists in the world. the early issues offer articles on "Ellington, Armstrong, Miles, Bird, Dizzy, Coltrane, Brubeck, Eldridge, Lester Young, Ella and Lady Day "all the greats–to hear them talk about their lives and their careers". 
Online from 2008
Online 1934-1963 via RIPM Jazz Journals
Print issues1963-2020

Online Encyclopedias

Dictionaries and Encyclopedias are good resources for checking terms and definitions of styles of Jazz. The Oxford Music Bibliographies feature peer reviewed sources and the annotated bibliography for Jazz, is a useful reference resource.