Music in Latin America, the Caribbean, Portugal & Spain

Reference Resources

Reference Resources

Oxford Music Online 

Oxford Music Online (OMO) is the access-point for Oxford music reference subscriptions and products, including Grove Music Online, The Oxford Companion to Music, and The Oxford Dictionary of Music. With OMO patrons can cross-search Grove and Oxford reference content in one location. Articles from specialist dictionaries such as The New Grove Dictionary of Opera and The New Grove Dictionary of Jazz, 2nd ed., are available via OMO.

Garland Encyclopedia of World Music Online

This comprehensive online resource is devoted to music research of all the world's peoples. Each volume contains an overview of a geographic region, a survey of its musical heritage, and a description of specific musical genres, practices, and performances. Articles include detailed photographs that show musicians, musical instruments, and the cultural context of dances, rituals, and ceremonies. Other images include drawings, maps, and musical examples for further study. Contains the full text of the 10 volume print encyclopedia (originally published in 1997).

Music online

The Classical music reference library brings together reference materials, spanning the entire history of Western classical music. Included are the reference titles Baker's dictionary of music, Baker's biographical dictionary of musicians, Baker's student encyclopedia of music and Women composers: music through the ages. Provides coverage of all classical genres, from the Medieval period to the 21st century.

"Bibliography," by John Druesedow. In Latin America and the Caribbean: A Critical Guide to Research Sources [Print]

Volume edited by Paula H. Covington. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992.
Bibliography of major sources on Latin American music.

Cuban Music From A to Z [eBook]

English language edition of Diccionario de la música cubana. Durham : Duke University Press, 2004.
This edition also available in print

Diccionario de hip-hop y rap afrolatinos [Print]

Coordinado por Zona de Obras. Madrid : SGAE, 2002.

Diccionario de la música española e hispanoamericana [Print]

Director y coordinador general, Emilio Casares Rodicio. Madrid: Sociedad General de Autores y Editores, c1999-2002. 10 vols.

Diccionario del rock latino [Print]

Coordinado por Zona de obras. Madrid :SGAE, 2000.

Diccionario del tango [Print]

Coordinado por Zona de Obras. Madrid : Sociedad General de Autores y Editores, 2001

Enciclopédia da música brasileira [Print] 

São Paulo: Art Editora: Publifolha, 2000. 4 Vols.

Encyclopedia of contemporary Latin American and Caribbean cultures [Print]

Edited by Daniel Balderston, Mike Gonzalez and Ana M. López. London ; New York : Routledge, 2000.

Encylopedia of Latin American History and Culture

Second edition (2008) of this authoritative, specialized encyclopedia. Completely searchable full-text reference source.Also available in print.

Encyclopedia of Latin American music in New York [Print]

By Frank M. Figueroa. Petersburg, FL: Pillar Publications, c1994.

Latin American classical composers : a biographical dictionary 

By Miguel Ficher. Lanham, Md: Scarecrow Press, 2002. (2nd Ed.)


Music History and Criticism

Tip: Explore and Identify works on criticism and music history by using these Subjects in CLIO: 

Music > Latin America > History and criticism. 

Music > Spain > History and criticism.

Music > Caribbean Area > History and criticism.

Popular music > Latin America > History and criticism.

Popular music > Brazil > History and criticism.

The Brazilian sound : samba, bossa nova, and the popular music of Brazil

Chris McGowan and Ricardo Pessanha. Philadelphia : Temple University Press, 2009. Rev. Ed.

Ese músico que llevo dentro 

Alejo Carpentier. México, D.F. : Siglo Veintiuno, 1987. 3 volumes.

História da música no Brasil 

Vasco Mariz. Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brasil : Editora Nova Fronteira, c2000.

História da música portuguesa

João de Freitas Branco ; organização, fixação de texto, prefácio e notas de João Maria de Freitas Branco. 4a. ed. Mem Martins : Publicações Êuropa América, 2005.

Historia de la música en España e Hispanoamérica 

Madrid : FCE, c2009-. Music & Arts Library ML315 .H57 2009

Music in Latin America and the Caribbean : an encyclopedic history 

Edited by Malena Kuss. Austin : University of Texas Press, c2004-. 
Notes: Ask at Music circ desk for accompanying CDs.

Music of Latin America and the Caribbean 

Mark Brill. Upper Saddle River, NJ : Prentice Hall/Pearson, c2011. 

Find Books

Library Catalogs


Columbia's catalog.


A catalog of books and other materials in libraries worldwide. Identify and request materials not in CLIO or BorrowDirect.

Borrow Direct 

Borrow books from Borrow Direct member libraries.

Call Number Ranges for Latin American Studies  (PDF)

An exhaustive breakdown of the LC call numbers for Latin American Studies.

Subject Headings

Knowing the right Library of Congress Subject Heading can greatly improve your results. Here are some possible headings to help you improve, expand or narrow or search. To use them, do a "Subject" search in CLIO or WorldCat. To identify others, begin with a keyword search and look at the Subjects listed in the catalog records of your search results.

Find Articles

Article Databases

HAPI (Hispanic American Periodicals Index) 

Covers Central and South America, Mexico, the Caribbean, the US-Mexico border, and Hispanics in the US. Index to citations from over 500 Latin American studies journals with links to full-text articles. Coverage: 1970 to the present.

Handbook of Latin American Studies 

HLAS Online (Coverage: 1936 - present)
HLAS Web (Coverage: 1990 - present)

An annotated, authoritative bibliography on Latin America since 1936, The Handbook of Latin American Studies is edited by the Hispanic Division of the Library of Congress. It covers books and published reports in addition to journal articles. The tables of contents from print volume 50 (1990) to the present may be browsed. 

International Index to Music Periodicals

Contains more than half a million indexed articles, plus detailed abstracts and full text from 1874 to the present, covering the scholarly to the popular.

The Music Index Online

Index to articles about classical, popular, and non-western music in music periodicals.
Also available in print.

RILM Abstracts of Music Literature

Extensive collection of bibliographic records and abstracts focused on music reference and other music related fields. Offers international coverage of books, bibliographies, conference proceedings, catalogs, discographies, dissertations, ethnographic recordings, Festschriften, films, iconographies, and videos. Covers 1967 to present.

Select Journals

Select Music Journals

Search journal titles in CLIO for links to online versions and print holdings.

Revista de música latinoamericana = Latin American Music Review [Online]

Latin Beat Magazine  [Online]

Revista Musical Chilena [Online]

Additional Spanish-language Music Journals and Magazines
Additional Portuguese-language Music Journals and Magazines


Music > Latin America > Periodicals. 
(Replace "Latin America" with specific country of interest to identify additional titles.)

Hispanic Americans > Music > Periodicals.


Streaming Music (Databases)

Contemporary World Music

"Contemporary world music will contain 50,000 tracks that delivers the sounds of all regions from every continent. The database will contain important genres such as reggae, worldbeat, neo-traditional, world fusion, Balkanic jazz, African film, Bollywood, Arab swing and jazz and other genres such as traditional music - Indian classical, fado, flamenco, klezmer, zydeco, gospel, gagaku and more. This database is a complementary database to Smithsonian global sound for libraries - it includes a blend of contemporary and traditional world music recordings from many labels throughout the world"

Smithsonian Global Sound  

Includes published recordings of the Smithsonian Folkways Recording label, along with other detailed information.

Naxos Music Library 

Collection of audio music containing the Naxos, Marco Polo and Da Capo cataloges; includes classical music, historical recordings, jazz, world and folk music, along with textual notes on the works being played and biographical information on composers or artists.

Classical Music Library 

The Classical music library includes around 15,000 recordings, along with program notes, composer biographies, and images cross-referenced to the recordings. Includes Latin American composers and performers.

Web Portals

Web Portals

LANIC: Music 

Organized directory of web resources on music in Latin America

Latin American Music Center (Indiana University School of Music) 
Zona Latina: Latin American Music 

Major portal to media in Latin America, links to radio stations and websites about music.

Brazilian Music

Check out the dedicated research guide to Brazilian Music:

Brazilian Music (Columbia University Research Guide)

Archival Collections

Archival Collections
Columbia University Libraries Music Library Zarzuela Collection

The Zarzuela Collection, consisting of almost five hundred different zarzuelas (libretti, scores, and separate instrumental parts) was given in 1986 to Columbia University by the Hispanic Institute, founded in 1916 as the Instituto de las Espanas en los Estados Unidos. The Collection represents the largest known collection of zarzuela in the United States.