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Bowdoin College Library

Music: Online Sound and Video Recordings

A guide of recommended resources for research in music

Online Sound Databases

African American Song
Incorporated into American Song, this database includes 35,000 tracks.  To search only the African American Song database, in the search box  click on "African American Music" under Genre, then enter search in "Search text within results" 

American Song 
Songs by and about American Indians, miners, immigrants, slaves, children, pioneers, and cowboys; songs of Civil Rights, political campaigns, Prohibition, the Revolutionary War, the Civil War, anti-war protests, and more.

Classical Music Library 
Classical music in wide variety of genres from major and independent labels.
"Free Download of the Week"

Contemporary World Music 
"Important genres such as reggae, worldbeat, neo-traditional, world fusion, Balkanic jazz, African film, Bollywood, Arab swing and jazz, and other genres such as traditional music - Indian classical, fado, flamenco, klezmer, zydeco, gospel, gagaku, and more." Searchable by genre, people, or place.

Database of Recorded American Music (DRAM)
Sound, liner notes and essays from New World, Composers Recordings (formerly Composers Recordings) and other labels; primarily music by 20th and 21st century composers.   

Jazz Music Library
From Alexander Street Press.

Naxos Music Library
Recordings from the Naxos catalog and other major and independent labels; mostly classical music, jazz, but also includes world, folk, and Chinese music.
   iPhone/iPad App

Naxos Music Library Jazz
Recordings from the Naxos Jazz and other major labels; includes contemporary and historic jazz performers.
   iPhone/iPad App

Smithsonian Global Sound
Recordings from the Smithsonian Folkways Recordings label and other archival audio collections of the legendary Folkways Records, Cook, Dyer-Bennet, Fast Folk, Monitor, Paredon, other labels, and important research collections.


Online Video Recordings

Classical Music in Video
Performances, masterclasses, and interviews

Naxos Video Library
Includes "Jazz" and "Musical Journeys" videos of countries and cities around the world.

Dance in Video, v. 1

Opera in Video

Filmakers Library Online
Award-winning documentaries with relevance across the curriculum. To find films on music click on "Disciplines," then choose "Music & Performing Arts."

Films on Demand
A multi-disciplinary video streaming database from Films for the Humanities and Social Sciences.

How to Find Recordings

The online sound recording databases only permit audio streaming.  Due to copyright restrictions most recordings are not downloadable.  However, many of recordings found in the databases can be checked out from the Beckwith Music Library or borrowed from our partner libraries, Bates and Colby. 

Search for recordings at Bowdoin:

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