Film Music Research Guide
|Index for this guide:
Encyclopedias and Indexes
Articles and journals
Books, scores, recordings
Film and Video
Borrowing Materials from Other Libraries
RESEARCH IN FILM MUSIC AND FILM SOUND
I. Starting your research
Resources discussed here address motion picture music, silent films, silent film music, and film sound. There are also instructions for locating scores and recordings. Research in film music will require an interdisciplinary approach, potentially involving research in music, film, sound technology, as well as video and audio sources.
II. Dictionaries, Encyclopedias, and Indexes
Grove Music Online and the New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, 2nd ed.
See "Film music" article for background information-silent films, early films, Hollywood, non-US cinema, jazz, electronics, popular and classical music, and techniques-and an extensive bibliography.
Print version in Music Reference MUSIC REF ML 100 .N48 2001
Index to music articles. Available online through the UO Libraries, from articles published 1979-present. Print volumes for 1949-2000 are in MUSIC REF ML118.M84
Index to international articles about music and related fields, from 1967-present. Available online through the UO Libraries. The print version volumes for 1967-1995 are in MUSIC REF ML118.R4.
III. Articles and Journals
Quick Search Subject Categories
Remember, there are very few journals dedicated entirely to film music. Articles may appear in music journals, film journals, and popular culture journals.
- Cinema Journal
- The Cue Sheet
Newsletter or quarterly journal of the Society for the Preservation of Film Music. Not peer reviewed.
Print issues, 1984-2005, MUSIC ML2074 .C83
Selections from back issues, 2003-present, online at http://www.filmmusicsociety.org/news_events/archives/index.html
- Popular Music
- Journal of the Society for American Music
Print issues, MUSIC ML1.J756
- American Music
Print issues, MUSIC ML1.A497
Online, 1983-2006, from JSTOR
- Journal of Film Music
- Music and the Moving Image
IV. Books, Scores, and Recordings
Finding materials searching by Subject
Motion picture music is one of the most common subject headings. Books about motion picture music, soundtrack recordings, scores, vocal/piano scores, bibliographies, dictionaries, and encyclopedias all are included in this subject. Many sources will be in the Music section, but some will be in the section with PN call numbers (map)
See search results for a search of Subject: Motion picture music
To limit your search in the UO Local catalog to books about a subject or to scores or recordings, you can limit your search. Use the menu to choose Music, Printed for scores, Music, Record. for sound recordings, or Books for books.
To find narrower or more specific topics or specific types of resources, you can add other phrases in the subject after Motion picture music. In the following list, each heading can be used after Motion picture music. The links on each heading take you to a sample search. Common call numbers are included where relevant.
--Bibliography Bibliographies, lists of published scores, films, and recordings. MUSIC and MUSIC REF ML128.M7
--Discography Lists of recordings MUSIC REF ML156.4.M6
--History and criticism Books and criticism on the topic. MUSIC ML2075
--Excerpts Used mostly for recordings of soundtracks.
--Excerpts--Vocal scores Sheet music for voice with piano, some with guitar chords, usually in anthologies.
--Excerpts, Arranged Motion picture music arranged for various instruments and ensembles.
Other subjects besides Motion picture music that may be especially useful in finding books are
Animated film music
Jazz in motion pictures
Motion pictures and music
Motion pictures--Sound effects
Silent films--United States (or other countries)
Silent film music
Sound motion pictures
Voice in motion pictures
You can also search for people as authors (authors, directors, or composers) or as subjects
Hitchcock, Alfred, 1899-1980
Prokofiev, Sergey, 1891-1953
Williams, John, 1932-
If you are looking for music for a specific movie, you can search by the movie's title.
If you are looking for information about a particular composer, director, or film, you may also want to try using a specific name in a keyword search in the catalog-sometimes they are mentioned in a note but don't get their own official subject heading.
In addition to looking under the subjects, remember that there is streaming audio available through the UO Libraries! Find a list of databases at Audio Resources Online. Classical Music Library and Database of Recorded American Music include music from movies.
Film and video
VHS and DVD
Search for film title or by director in the UO Local catalog. To find videos only, select "A-V Media" from the material type menu in the advanced search catalog. See the Video Collection page for information on borrowing policies.
16 mm films at UO
UO has a collection of 16 mm film reels. If you want to browse the collection in the catalog, go to the box for Non-LC Call # in the Call number search in the UO Local catalog, enter FILM Ma and you will get a list of titles. For more information on viewing, checkout, or equipment, please contact Media Services.
- Film Music Society
Research, preservation, promotion, announcements
- Society for American Music--Film Music Interest Group
VI. Web Resources
Articles, bibliographies, links
- Filmsound.org Glossary
Multiple glossaries of academic terminology (Walter Murch, Michel Chion, Robert L. Mott, Bordwell and Thompson, more)
- Film Music Magazine
News, articles, product reviews
- Film Music Network
Job listings, news, events
- Film Score Monthy
- Internet Movie Database (IMDb)
Cast and crew credits, including sound designers, composers, and soundtrack information
- Classical Music in Movies: Classical Soundtrack and Classical Background Music
Alphabetical list of movie titles with music used in each. Note: although the list is public, ONLY those materials available through Naxos are included
- Class Act: Those Golden Movie Musicals, by Jim Johnson
Search by composers, films, songs, or actors from the "Golden Age" of Hollywood
- Bibliographies and Research Guides on the Web
- Filmsound.org Bibliography
- Andersen, Leslie N. Selected Bibliography of Film Music Materials for Librarians. http://www.csulb.edu/~landerse/webpages/filmmusicbib.htm
- University of Michigan Library. Guide to Film Music Resources.
VII. Borrowing from other libraries
For information on borrowing materials that the UO Libraries do not own, see step-by-step instructions in What if the book I want isn't here?
Eugene residents can also check materials out from the Eugene Public Library, which lends films on DVD and VHS. A library card is required to borrow materials.