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BGSU University Libraries

World Music: Home

This guide provides information on world music and ethnomusicology through geographical studies. There are links to books and periodicals.

Getting Started at the University Libraries

  1. To borrow items from the libraries you need your BGSU photo ID and a current record in the library database. For more detailed information, see Borrowing, Renewing, and Requesting.

  2. Library Login: BGSU Students, Faculty, and Staff need only their BGSU username and password to log in for remote access to the research databases, OhioLINK and local requesting, and My Library Account. The BGSU username and password is the same one used for logging in to MyBGSU, campus email, and BGSU lab and library computers. Look for more information on the relevant log-in screens.

  3. If the University Libraries doesn't have what you need, chances are that OhioLINK does. OhioLINK is the 80+ academic (and some public) libraries that lend their resources to one another through an online requesting system. Look for the "Request this item" button in the OhioLINK catalog. For more detailed information, see OhioLINK requesting.

  4. We're here to assist you! If you need help using the library, can't find what you want, have an assignment and need help getting started, Ask Us for immediate help. Besides drop-in help, the University Libraries offer Individual Research Appointments for undergraduates & graduate students.

Getting Started with Research in World Music

Click on the tabs above for some suggested readings on different topics in world music.

In the BGSU Libraries Catalog, use the following subject searches:

Folk music--[country name]
Folk dance music--[country name]
Cajun music
Indians of North America--music
Reggae music
Gamelan music
Music--[country name]

NOTE: Do not use the subject "world music" unless you really are looking for popular musical works combining traditional rhythms from around the work with elements of jazz and rock. Subject headings are determined by the Library of Congress, and as a subject heading, world music refers to a specific type of music, not necessarily ethnic or non-western musical styles.


Finding Recordings in the BGSU Libraries Catalog

To find recordings of music from specific countries, states, or regions, click on the subject box in the BGSU Libraries Catalog. There are several terms to use depending on your desired results. To find songs or folk songs of a specific country in a specific language, enter songs [language] and country name.


Folk songs--English--United States
Folk songs--Korean

There also may be specific time periods added to entries, such as "20th century," or "To 1800," or other terms, such as "History and Criticism" or "discographies." If you just are looking for sound recordings, you may limit the search by clicking on the "limit this search" button and choosing "sound recording" from the material type list.

If you want to find instrumental or folk music of a particular country, you can do another subject search, typing in music [country name]


Folk music--Ireland
Folk dance music--Brazil

You also may want to do a keyword search using the terms ethnic and music, limiting your search to material type sound recording.

If you want to find music or songs about a specific country or state, again search by subject, typing [country/state name] songs and music.


Ohio--Songs and music
Paris--Songs and music


Finding Video Recordings in the BGSU Libraries Catalog

To find video recordings of music from specific countries, states, or regions, do a subject search in the BGSU Libraries Catalog. Type in music [country] and limit the search to material type audiovisuals.



We have a few video series that may be useful. All are held in the Listening Center.

Get Help!


Music Library

Get help from the Music Library and Sound Recordings Archives.

Jerome Library, 3rd Floor

Visit our website.


This guide was created by Morgan Rich, former Music Library Student and Circulation Supervisor.