Finding Resources for Concert Reports


Below are some resources from 4 broad categories that may help you in writing your concert report:

Sound Recordings

Notes accompanying sound recordings are often very good sources of information about the recorded music.

If you want to find a recording of the music on your concert program in the Music & Arts Library, check CLIO. Try one of the following search strategies:

  1. Use a CLIO keyword search:
    • Use the Quick Limits menu to select "Music Sound Recordings"
    • Use distinctive keywords, e.g.,
      • beethoven and fidelio
      • haydn and symphon? (the "?" is used for truncation and will in this example retrieve symphony, symphonies, etc.)
      • mozart and 551 (if you use an opus or catalog number, input the number only, not op., etc.)
    • Use the word digital as a keyword to limit results to compact discs, OR,
      Sort by "publisher date descending" to move compact discs to the head of the list (over LPs)
  2. Use a CLIO phrase search (author, title, subject):
    • Use the "Pre-select Limits" or "Post Limit" button to select "Music Sound Recordings" from the Format menu
    • Sort by "publisher date descending" to move compact discs to the head of the list (over LPs)

Ask at the Circulation Desk for recordings and headphones.

If you want to find a streaming online recording of the music on your concert program on LibraryWeb:

  • Click on E-Music under E-Resources (click on More to see the full list), or follow this link
  • Select one of the available sites
  • Search by composer or title according to the instructions on that site

For further help with sound recordings, ask at the Circulation Desk, or contact us by phone at 854-4711, or by email.


If you want to find information about the composer of your music, or information about music in general, try any of the following:

Music Dictionaries & Other Reference Works

Grove family of music dictionaries

  • The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians. New York: Grove, 2001.
    Music Ref. ML100 N48 2001 (Music & Arts Library and Barnard Library).
  • The New Grove Dictionary of Jazz. New York: Grove's Dictionaries, 2002.
    Music Ref. ML102 J3 N48 2002 (Music & Arts Library and Barnard Library).
  • The New Grove Dictionary of American Music. London: Macmillan, 1986.
    Music Ref. ML101 U6 N48 1986 (Music & Arts Library, Butler Reference, and Barnard Library).
  • The New Grove Dictionary of Opera. London: Macmillan, 1992.
    Music Ref. ML102 O6N5 1992 (Music & Arts Library, Butler Reference, and Barnard Library).

Other music reference works

  • Baker's biographical dictionary of musicians. Centennial ed. New York: Schirmer, 2001.
    Music Ref. ML105 B16 2001 (Music & Arts Library, Barnard Library)
    Contains biographies of most known composers.
  • Diamond, Harold. Music analyses: an annotated guide to the literature. New York: Schirmer, 1991.
    Music Ref. ML128 A7 D5 1991
    Indexes books, periodicals, etc. for criticism and analyses of many major musical works.
  • Music index. Detroit: Information Coordinators.
    Music Ref. ML118 M84.
    Indexes the general music periodical literature.

General Program Notes & Genre Guides

Below is a selection of reference titles containing program notes for the standard repertory (click on the call numbers for current availability in CLIO):

  • Biancolli, Louis Leopold, ed. The analytical concert guide. Garden City, N.Y., Doubleday, 1951. MT125 B46
    Covers standard repertory.
  • Braunstein, Joseph. Musica aeterna: program notes. New York: Musica aeterna, 1961-76. MT90 B82
    Program notes written for concerts at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Carnegie Hall.
  • Downes, Edward. The New York Philharmonic Guide to the Symphony. New York: Walker, 1976.  MT125 D68
  • Holoman, D. Kern. Evenings with the orchestra: a Norton companion for concertgoers. New York: Norton, 1992. MT125 H62 1992
    Program notes by a noted musicologist.
  • Hopkins, Antony. The Concertgoer's companion. London: Dent, 1986. Music Ref. MT6 H66
    Biographical, analytical, and general program notes for the standard repertory.
  • Kramer, Jonathan. Listen to the music. New York: Schirmer, 1988. Music Ref. MT125 K72 1988 (also in Milstein)
    Based on program notes written for the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, 1980-89.
  • Porter, Andrew. Music of three seasons, 1977-1980. New York: Knopf, 1981. ML60 P894
  • ______________. Musical events: a chronicle, 1980-1983. New York: Summit, 1987. ML60 P8955 1987
  • ______________. Musical events: a chronicle, 1983-1986. New York: Summit, 1989. ML60 P89552 1989
    Compilation of reviews which originally appeared in The New Yorker magazine.
  • Ridout, Godfrey. A concert goer's companion to music : programme notes of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. Toronto, Canada : G.V. Thompson Music, c1996. Music Ref. MT125 .R53 1996
  • Tovey, Donald. Essays in musical analysis. London: Oxford University Press, 1936-36. New edition. London: OUP, 1991. MT90 T6  and MT90 T6 1981
    Volumes arranged by genre: v. 1-2, Symphonies; v. 3, Concertos, etc.

Music Appreciation Texts

Many of these are classed in MT6 and are good sources for discussion and analysis of many well- and lesser-known concert pieces. A sampling of these include:

  • Bacharach, A.L. The musical companion. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1978. MT6 B12 1978
  • Copland, Aaron. What to listen for in music. New York: Mentor, 1999. MT6 C78 W4 1999
  • Kerman, Joseph. Listen. 4th brief ed. New York: Worth, 1996. MT6 K365 2000g
  • Levy, Kenneth. Music, a listener's introduction. New York: Harper & Row, 1983. ML160 L592 1983 (also in Milstein, Butler Reserves, and Barnard)
  • Machlis, Joseph. The enjoyment of music: an introduction to perceptive listening. 8th ed. New York: Norton, 1999. MT90 M23 1999. Includes Chronological and Standard editions.

Need More Help?

Ask at the Circulation Desk in 701 Dodge, or contact us by phone at 854-4711, or by email.