Finding Information on Popular Music
at the WCC Library

Sources of information about American Popular Music and Musicians may be found in:
  • Reference books, like encyclopedias and dictionaries
  • Books on individual musicians/groups
  • Books on a particular music genre, or other topics
  • Magazine and journal articles
  • Internet Web sites

Reference Books at the WCC Library

Check the books with call numbers beginning with the letters ML in the Reference Section.


To find books, videos, and sound recordings, etc., at any of the UH libraries, you can use the Voyager Online Catalog. You can find materials in the Hawaii State Public Library System by using the HSPSL Catalog.

The Windward CC Library has many reference books you might find helpful. This is a list of a few sample reference books:

The Garland Encyclopedia of World Music, Vol. 3, The United States and Canada. REF ML 100 .G16 1998 v.3

Long articles on cultural and social aspects of music in North America, as well as on music by indigenous Americans, regional styles, and immigrant musics. Be sure to check the index for your names or subjects.

The Guinness Encyclopedia of Popular Music. REF ML102 .P66G84 1995

Short articles on musicians, bands, genres, etc., mostly from American and British popular culture.

The New Grove Dictionary of American Music. REF ML101 U6 N48 1986

Signed articles. Some of the articles on musicians include a list of works and a bibliography.

Dictionary of American Pop/Rock. REF ML102 P66S5 1982

Covers the jargon of popular music, including terminology, styles, instruments, etc. Some listings of award winners, as well. This book, however, is too old for techno.

Journal and Magazine Articles

Use the SUBJECT search in Expanded Academic Index ( to locate magazine and journal articles about the musician, musical genre, or other topic. See the handout on Finding Articles Using Expanded Academic Index for detailed instructions.

Web Sites on the Internet

You may find information about your topic on the Internet, but be sure to closely evaluate any information you find to ensure its quality.

Also, be sure to cite all your sources, including your Internet sources, in your paper. For guidelines on citing, see the Citing Sources Page ( on the WCC Library website.

To locate information on your topic on the Internet, begin with some of the websites listed below, or try using the Search Engine Page ( located on the WCC Library website.

General Popular Music Websites

International Association for the Study of Popular Music
More Links to Popular Music Studies and beyond

Review of Popular Music Online
Special: Beatles-Studies

Experience Music Project
An online popular music museum.

All Music Guide
Articles - arranged by genre, then by decade

The Center for Popular Music
Helpful Links

Genre Specific Popular Music Websites

Information on artist by genre and sub-genre, including biographical information, music reviews, current news, audio files, and links to artist's websites.

About Ska/Reggae
Links to sites covering this genre.

Country Music Search Engine - Music -

Techno & rave culture

The Blue Highway
Provides profiles of 20 of the greatest blues artists, with biographies, audio files, and links to other websites.

Blue Flame Cafe
Virtual biographical encyclopedia of 100 blues artists.

Red Hot Jazz Archive
Information on early jazz (1895-1929).

House of the Rising Punk
Links and reviews.

'Search & Destroy' - The Punk Rock & Roll Search Engine

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Updated By Tara Severns