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Music: Oxford Music Online

Composers' worklists in Oxford Music Online

Complete listings of composers' works, including some basic information on the primary sources, can be found in Oxford Music Online (available on the Library's homepage, under "Databases").

To look up a composer's worklist in Oxford Music Online:

  • Enter the composer's name in the search box.
  • You may retrieve several entries for the composer. Select the one that says "Biography" and "Source: Grove Music Online." (Grove is the principle English-language encyclopedia of music.)



  • Within the article, you'll see tabs at the top and an outline in the left sidebar. From either, select "Works."


Anatomy of a worklist in Oxford Music Online

For each work, you can expect to see most or all of the following data:

Work number (opus, thematic, etc.)



Date of composition

Date of first performance

Publication date of the first edition

Remarks (revisions, dedicatee, etc.)

Volume in the composer's collected edition(s) in which the work appears



More information about a given work may be found in the main text of the article, and in the bibliography at the end of the article.

Once you've gathered this initial data from Oxford Music Online, you may want to consult the composer's thematic catalog for more detailed information on the work's primary sources.

Medieval sources in Oxford Music Online

Identiying the primary sources of medieval works often requires a different approach, because fewer sources survive from this period. For most works, we no longer have the composer's original manuscript -- so our principle sources are copyists' manuscripts, which were typically gathered into collections for use in the cathedrals or by private patrons.

In Oxford Music Online, you can find descriptions of the best-known of these collections. To see a list of them:

  • Select "Tools and Resources" on the homepage.
  • Select "Topical Guides."
  • In the "Medieval" guide, see "Sources."

You can also look up individual composers' biographical entries, for more information on the sources in which their works appear. You'll see hyperlinks that identify the libraries that own these manuscripts.

Next, you may want to consult RISM Series B for more detailed information on a work's primary sources. See the indexes for titles and composers at the back of each volume.