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Diversity in Music


Black music encompasses an incredibly rich universe of sound in genres ranging from folk to Western classical to jazz, rock, and hip-hop. This page provides some resources and approaches to exploring that universe. These are just starting places for you to begin to access the wealth of media and writings about Black music.

Approaches to Searching

To locate books about a specific person or topic, use the Subject Search in the OPAL Library Catalog. Each book has been tagged with specific subject headings that describe its content.

Subject headings for groups of people not associated with a nationality are relatively new, and practices are still being worked out. Some headings that have been applied to Black music, though, include:

  • African American musicians
  • African Americans -- Music -- History and criticism
  • Africans -- Music -- History and criticism.
  • Blacks -- Music -- History and criticism
  • Music -- Africa -- History and criticism
  • Music and race -- United States – History


Call Numbers

Books and printed music are arranged according to the Library of Congress' Classification System. The library has circulating and non-circulating (reference) collections. Each collection is divided in to three sections.

  • M = Printed music/scores (organized by instrument/genre)
  • ML = Books about music and musicians
  • MT = Books on music theory, pedagogy, and technique

The Jones Music Library has distinct collections for music education and music therapy resources.  A complete description of the library's collections may be found here.

Essential Resources

There are many online resources devoted to diversity in music. Here are just a few essential ones.

Electronic media