This is a guide to reference material on music theory and analysis in the Music Library of the University of the Arts. If you have questions about this guide or about library materials on music theory and analysis contact Mark Germer, UArts Music Librarian.



The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians. 2nd ed. Edited by Stanley Sadie and John Tyrrell. London: Macmillan, 2001. 29 vols.
Easily the most thorough resource for music study in English. Articles on theoretical concepts--such as mode, rhythm, serialism, counterpoint--and on important theorists--such as Rameau, Fux, Riemann, Schenker--stand as models of balance, insightfulness, and clarity. Required reading for every musician.
REF ML100 .N48 2001

The New Harvard Dictionary of Music. Edited by Don Michael Randel. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1986.
Concise and clear, the best first stop for Western music terminology. Does not wholly supersede the previous Harvard, ed. by Willi Apel, which may also be consulted on REF.
REF ML100 .R3N4 1986


Bent, Ian. Analysis. New York: Norton, 1987.
An historical survey. Distinguishes between comparative, reductive, feature-measurement, syntax-formula, and set-theory approaches to the analysis of musical works. Unique.
REF MT6 .B36A5 1987


Damschroder, David and David Williams. Music Theory from Zarlino to Schenker: A Bibliography and Guide. Stuyvesant, N.Y.: Pendragon, 1990.
An ambitious undertaking, with a dictionary of theorists at its core. Entries primarily devoted to bibliographies of primary sources, then secondary references. A more general bibliography follows. Generously indexed.
REF ML128 .T5D2 1990

Diamond, Harold. Music Analyses: An Annotated Guide to the Literature. New York: Schirmer, 1991.
Partially annotated locator of over 4,500 analytical discussions in periodicals, monographs, and theses. Valuable for its inclusion of simple, descriptive synopses as well as technically rigorous commentaries.
REF ML128 .A7D5 1991

Perone, James. Orchestration Theory: A Bibliogrphy. Westport: Greenwood, 1996.
Works on scoring, instrumentation, and arranging--broader than its misleading title. Strong on wind band and jazz ensemble resources. Includes unpublished theses. Some entries annotated.
REF ML128 .I66P4 1996

Vander Weg, John. Serial Music and Serialism: A Research and Information Guide. New York: Routledge, 2001.
Highly selective annotated bibliography of roughly 500 analyses. Reasonable coverage of set theory. Unfortunately does not supersede Basart (see ML128 .T9B27 1963)--a missed opportunity.
REF ML128 .T9V36 2001

Wenk, Arthur. Analyses of Nineteenth- and Twentieth-Century Music: 1940-1985. Boston: Music Library Association, 1987.
More than 5,600 entries, covering works by nearly 800 composers, drawn form the first post-War generations of academic music theorists. Organized by composition. Detailed and accurate, but not annotated.
REF ML113 .W45 1987

Williams, David [] A Bibliography of the History of Music Theory. 2nd ed. Fairport, N.Y.: Rochester Music, 1971.
Still useful for its introductory nature, basic lists of primary sources, and secondary literature before 1970. Consult in conjunction with Strunk (below).
REF ML128 .T396W4

Winick, Steven. Rhythm: An Annotated Bibliography. Metuchen: Scarecrow, 1974.
Organized according to technical, psychological, and pedagogical subject areas. Nearly 500 annotated entries.
REF ML128 R479W4


Source Readings in Music History. Revised ed. Edited by Oliver Strunk and Leo Treitler. New York: Norton, 1998.
One of the essential tools of modern music study. Selections originating in various contexts from antiquity to the present, including many excerpts from theoretical treatises and prefaces to monumental publications. The standard anthology known to all serious musicians.
REF ML160 .S927S6 1998

Boethius. Fundamentals of Music. [ca. 510 CE] Translated by Calvin Bower. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1989.
The wide-ranging De institutione musica of the Roman Boethius, setting out the relationships between music, mathematics, and mythology. A work referred to time and again by theorists for the next millennium.
REF MT5.5 .B63 1989

[Anon.] Musica enchiriadis and Scolica enchiriadis. [ca. 850 CE] Translated by Raymond Erickson. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1995.
The surviving music theory handbooks that preserve for us much about medieval modal and organum theory, and its indebtedness to ancient models.
REF MT5.5 .M87 1995

Zarlino, Gioseffo. The Art of Counterpoint [and] On the Modes. [Parts 3 & 4 of Le Istitutioni harmoniche, 1558]. Translated by Guy Marco and Claude Palisca, and by Vered Cohen, respectively. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1968 and 1983.
The two great practical guides in the training of late Renaissance composers--among the most famous music theory treatises of all time. Foundation texts for all students of Western music's evolution.
REF MT5.5 .Z38I5 1968 and .Z38I6 1983

Vicentino, Nicola. Ancient Music Adapted to Modern Practice. [1555] Translated by Maria Rika Maniates. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1996.
A witness and combatant in the battle to free music theoretical thinking from adherence to the ecclesiastical modes, Vicentino helped clear the path to the chromaticism of the seconda prattica of the 17th century.
REF MT5.5 .V53 1996

Rameau, Jean-Philippe. Treatise on Harmony. [1722] Translated by Philp Gossett. New York: Dover, 1971.
The work that records the profound moment in the history of compositional theory when the primacy of a tonic among scale degrees and its hierarchic relation to secondary levels reachable by modulation became the pedagogical paradigm of harmonic understanding. For those who wish to grasp the origins of modern systematic tonal theory, this is where to begin.
REF MT50 R171T7 1971

Cherubini, Luigi. A Treatise on Counterpoint and Fugue. [1935] Uncredited translation. New York: Kalmus, n.d.
Modeled on J.J. Fux's species exercises, this pedagogical text became the standard means of understanding counterpoint in the 19th century. Written by the man Beethoven repeatedly called the greatest living composer.
REF MT55 .C523 1950x

Berlioz, Hector. Treatise on Instrumentation. [2nd ed. ca. 1855] Revised and enlarged by Richard Strauss. [1905] Translated by Theodore Front. New York: Kalmus, 1948.
The standard work on orchestration, by the composer who transformed the concept from a secondary procedure into an intrinsic aspect of original composition. Strauss accounted for myriad (often radical) advances in musical instrument manufacture. Probably the most widely influential resource of its kind.
REF MT70 .B47 1948

Schoenberg, Arnold. Theory of Harmony. [1911] Translated by Roy Carter. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1978.
Written at the opposite end of the tradition from Rameau, the Harmonielehre has been called the only seminal work of music theory that can also be read as literature. Probably never intended as merely an instructional text, Schoenberg's summation always give space to aesthetic considerations, creative intuition, and reverence for history and one's forebears. The issues addressed here remain central today.
REF MT50 .S365H2 1978

Cowell, Henry. New Musical Resources. [1930] With notes by David Nicholls. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996.
Influential on the American experimentalists of Cowell's own generation--Ruggles, Cage, Crawford Seeger--as well as on the generation of Nancarrow, Carter, and Rzewski, this relatively modest "investigation" also attracted such European modernists as Xenakis and Kagel. Prescient in its early conceptualizations of dissonant counterpoint, metric modulation, and tone clustering.
REF MT6 .C874N4 1996


Risatti, Howard. New Music Vocabulary: A Guide to Notational Signs for Contemporary Music. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1975.
Organized according to sound-production and musical parameters. Index calibrated to a list of scores, itself a sort of snapshot of post-War practice.
REF MT35 .R5 1975

Read, Gardner. Pictographic Score Notation: A Compendium. Westport: Greenwood, 1998.
Reproduces individual symbols as well as stage diagrams for contemporary works ca. 1950-1990.
REF MT35 .R42P5 1998

Del Mar, Norman. Anatomy of the Orchestra. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1983.
Nomenclature, score layout, stage platform planning, sectional components, and notational performance issues. Practical, economical, clear.
REF MT70 .D45 1983

Read, Gardner. Compendium of Modern Instrumental Techniques. Westport: Greenwood, 1993.
Places the expansion of technical devices in context through both pictorial illustration and description. Perhaps just as significant, documents the revolution in performance standards for contemporary music in recent decades.
REF MT170 .R42C6 1993


Jeppesen, Knud. Counterpoint: The Polyphonic Vocal Style of the Sixteenth Century. New York: Dover, 1992.
The classic codification, first published in English in 1939. Valuable for its discursus on theory and the modes, this work also takes readers one step at a time through species counterpoint in 2 to 7 parts.
REF MT55 .J54 1992

Levarie, Siegmund and Ernst Levy. Musical Morphology: A Discourse and a Dictionary. Kent, Oh.: Kent State University Press, 1983.
Highly original consideration, in large part arranged in dictionary entries, of musical concepts as they bear on matters of form and structure.
REF ML108 .L48 1983

Persichetti, Vincent. Twentieth-Century Harmony: Creative Aspects and Practice. New York: Norton, 1961.
Not an original enterprise on the order of Schoenberg, but rather a practical compendium documenting harmonic practice ca. 1900-1950.
REF MT50 .P466T8 1961

Slonimsky, Nicolas. Thesaurus of Scales and Melodic Patterns. New York: Macmillan, 1986.
First published in 1947, its popularity surprised its author. For those "in search of new [tonal] materials" (p. I.). Organized according to principal interval size. Includes also examples of harmonizations.
REF MT45 .S634T3 1986

Gornston, David. Weird Etudes. New York: The Author, 1936.
A little-known precursor to Slonimsky, designed to acquaint instrumentalists with "the Atonal and Futuristic systems" of the American experimentalists.
REF MT46 .G67 1936


Of a large array of relevant adjudicated periodicals in many languages, several in English are of primary interest:

Early Music. Quarterly. London: Oxford University Press, 1973-
ML1 .E17

Journal of Music Theory. Semiannual. New Haven: Yale School of Music, 1957-
MT6 .J68

Music Theory Spectrum. Semiannual. Bloomington: Indiana University School of Music, 1979-
MT6 .M872

Tempo. Quarterly. London: Boosey & Hawkes, 1939-
ML5 .T35

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