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Music (SUBJECT GUIDE): Program Notes

A comprehensive resource guide for music research

Why Program Notes?

Resources that help in the writing of program notes also help focus research that is done about a particular composer and piece of music. This tab provides books and links to sources that will help with this kind of specific research.

Primary Sources

Remember to look for writings by the composer and for newspaper articles that were published around the date of the composition's first performance.

Some databases you might use include:

Online Resources for Writing Program Notes

Google can be useful if you construct your search carefully. Try searching for the composer's name, a word from the title, and "program notes."

You can also read many examples of program notes using Naxos. When you find a CD, look in the left sidebar for a Booklet link with a PDF symbol. These liner notes are usually find on the Naxos label, but some others have it as well.

Opera Resources

General Books from Murphy Library

General Resources

Orchestral Resources

Choral Resources