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Sidney Cox Library of Music and Dance

Open until 5pm - Full Hours /

Request an appointment at the Music Library (Fall 2020)

  Request an appointment   We are pleased to welcome researchers back to the Music Library for browsing the stacks, on-site checkouts, and reading room space for use of special collections and other library materials.   Please note that only current Cornell students, faculty, and staff who have been approved to be on campus and are part of the Daily Check process may make appointments to use the library. We regret that we are not able to welcome visitors from outside the Cornell community at this time.   After the Thanksgiving break, library access will be limited to people who have been approved by the Department of Music for building entry.   We offer appointments Monday-Friday from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. and Wednesday evenings 5 p.m. – 8 p.m.   To request an appointment, please contact 24 hours or more in advance.   On-site checkouts are offered for circulating items that are not available digitally through the Hathi Trust Emergency Temporary Access Service (ETAS.) More on ETAS and this limitation.   For current information on Library services, please see the Hybrid Library for a Hybrid Semester webpage.  

Fall 2020 Music Library welcome

Dear Music Library lovers,


Welcome to the Fall 2020 semester!


Library services across the university are constantly evolving, so please check the Cornell University Library COVID-19 updates page periodically for up-to-date information on various on-site and virtual services, including use of physical collections, online access to resources, purchase requests, library instruction, and more.


Whether you are teaching a music course, taking a music course, or generally interested in music research, please see our Music Research Guide for guidance on finding music materials in the library catalog and for access to electronic resources, including streaming audio and video databases, digital score collections, and music literature databases.


As always, let us know if we can answer any questions or be of assistance. Best wishes from the Music Library.

Check our Music Research Guide for remote teaching and learning resources (Spring 2020)

Dear Music Department,   Please see our Music Research Guide (and check it periodically for updates) for access to newly available electronic resources that may be useful in carrying out the remainder of the spring semester. Several publishers are offering free access to their materials through May 31, 2020. These include general interest resources, multidisciplinary databases, and music-specific collections.   As always, let us know if we can answer any questions or be of assistance. Best wishes from the Music Library.

RILM Music Encyclopedias free access during COVID-19 crisis

RILM Music Encyclopedias is available for use through May 31, 2020 due to the COVID-19 crisis.

Description from the publisher:

RILM Music Encyclopedias is a continually expanding curated full-text collection that currently comprises 57 titles published from 1775 to the present. Its content spans various fields and subject areas of historical musicology, ethnomusicology and theory, with focus on topics ranging from popular music, opera, instruments, blues and gospel, to recorded music and women composers.

Access via the Cornell Library catalog

Recent Researches in Music Online (RRIMO) free access during COVID-19 crisis

Recent Researches in Music Online (RRIMO) is available for use through May 31, 2020 due to the COVID-19 crisis.

Description from the publisher:

A-R Editions has published Recent Researches in Music—critical performing editions of music in seven series (Medieval, Renaissance, Baroque, Classical, 19th/20th centuries, American, and Oral Traditions)—since its inception in 1962. The series fall into two basic categories: editions that span the history of Western music, and editions with ties to specific cultural milieus. Most editions in Recent Researches in Music are devoted to works by a single composer or in a single genre.

Access via the Cornell Library catalog


BabelScores free access during COVID-19 crisis

BabelScores (contemporary music scores) is available for use for the time being due to the COVID-19 crisis.


Bloomsbury Popular Music database free access during COVID-19 crisis

Bloomsbury Popular Music is available for use through May 31, 2020 due to the COVID-19 crisis.

Description from the publisher:

Bloomsbury Popular Music offers access to a broad and expanding range of content:

  • Multiple volumes from the landmark reference work, Bloomsbury Encyclopedia of Popular Music of the World, with new volumes from top international contributors added regularly.
  • More than 140 volumes of the widely acclaimed 33 1/3 and 33 1/3 Global book series, providing in-depth analysis of influential albums across diverse musical eras, by artists ranging from Caetano Veloso to Public Enemy
  • An expanding range of scholarly books from Bloomsbury’s popular music studies list, comprising edited volumes, biographies, and historical overviews
  • An illustrated Timeline of Popular Music back to 1900, including dates of 33 1/3 series albums, plus an overview of contextual events in musical and political history, with links to relevant articles
  • An interactive World Map enables users to navigate to books and articles covering a particular country or region that is most relevant to their work
  • Artist pages including curated related content, and biographical information on hundreds of artists and musicians. The artist page biographies are written by André Diehl, and will be added to the complete set of artist pages over the forthcoming content updates.

Access via the Cornell Library catalog


Spanish Ball by Todd McGrain

If you have visited the music library, you have probably seen our large, wooden sculpture near the circulation desk, Spanish Ball.  Here is what the sculptor, Todd McGrain, has to say about its origin and meaning:


The sphere, defined by 15 perfect circumferences, is one of the iconic geometric structures.  I have been compelled to work with beautiful and complex found forms.  Working creatively within a found form is both liberating and confining.  Classical music composers will surely understand this.  Any composer working in a classical form must wrestle to balance tradition and invention.  The modern condition has handed us this responsibility.  We create under a shadow, knowing that in many ways there can be no completely new result.  This challenge was my intended content for Spanish Ball.


To express this creative and engaging burden.  I added a shoulder yoke and cuffs for the neck, wrists and ankles.  There is also a hinge on the double thick steel equator so that the ball can be opened like a clam shell to “put on” the form.  Thus, Spanish Ball is a costume.  Though it was never meant to literally be worn, I did build it to conjure this possibility.  It is both tragic and comic to imagine wearing this contraption.  This is a predicament anyone pursuing creative work will understand.