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Jazz: Home

Basic Reference Tools, Play Alongs, Journals, and Web Sites


  • Meadows, Eddie S. Jazz scholarship and pedagogy: a research and information guide, 3rd ed. (New York: Routledge, 2006). Music Reference ML128.J3 M34 2005
  • Porter, Ross. The essential jazz recordings: 101 CDs. (Toronto: McClelland & Stewart, 2006). Music Reference ML156.9 P67 2006


Instructional recordings (CDs 3201- )

The Music Library owns a large set of play-along CDs (with booklets/music) on various jazz styles, produced by Jamey Aebersold. All ASU students, faculty and staff may check out the key to the Jazz Improvisation Lab (Broyhill Music Center, Room 452) The CD and music booklet may be checked out to take to the Lab for up to four hours at a time (though the key MUST BE RETURNED each day before the Music Library closes.)

To see what styles are covered, browse through the red books shelved behind the Oversize section.

Jazz: A Film by Ken Burns

Jazz, a film by Ken Burns, is a ten-part documentary that premiered on Public Television in January, 2001.  The material found in the Streaming Video, DVDs, CDs from this documentary is an excellent introduction to the history and world of jazz.

Streaming Video (found in the WNCLN's Library Catalog under Author: Burns, Ken, 1953- 

DVDs in the Music Library

CDs in the Music Library

Finding Recordings and Information about Jazz


  • ML 3509 Jazz in general
  • ML 3518 Big band jazz
  • ML 3521 Blues and Rhythm and Blues
  • Start with the latest online version The New Grove, which includes material found in former printed subject guides such as The New Grove Dictionary of Jazz and of The New Grove Dictionary American Music.  The Music Library has printed editions of the older The New Grove Dictionary of Jazz (Ref. ML 102 .J3 N48 2001) and The New Grove Dictionary of American Music (Ref. ML 101 .U6 N48 1986).
  • BROWSING another excellent approach when you aren't sure what you are looking for. Look on the book shelves for the class numbers:

  • Do a SUBJECT search in WNCLN's Library Catalog ( using term "Jazz" plus term "dictionaries," "discography," or "history and criticism" to find more specific kinds of books on the topic of jazz.
  • Do a SUBJECT search using the phrase "Jazz musicians", or the last name, first name of the musician, to find biographies of jazz performers.
  • Try BROADER or RELATED terms: "Afro-American music," "Blues (Music)" or "Ragtime music."
  • Magazine and journal ARTICLES on jazz topics can be found by using International Index to Music Periodicals and RILM Abstracts of Music Literature
  • Check the second page of this guide (Jazz Connections in the Music Library) for information about specific artists


NOTE: Use WNCLN's Library Catalog to find jazz materials.

For general listening:

  • Do a SUBJECT search using the terms "Jazz" or "Big band music" or "Jazz vocals."
  • Use Related terms: "Blues (Music)" or "Ragtime music."

To find specific performers:

  • Do an AUTHOR search on the performer's last and first name: e.g. "Parker, Charlie"
  • If that retrieves little or nothing, do a WORD search using last name of performer, then LIMIT by location to Appalachian library.
  • Note: Usually only the leader or principal performers are indexed in the catalog. If a musician worked as a sideman, use reference books to find the names of leaders he worked with, or read program notes of recorded anthologies.

To find specific pieces:

  • Do a TITLE search for title or piece.   


    Individuals and groups for which we have no separate recordings may be included in one of the following anthologies:

  • Smithsonian Collection of Classic Jazz, 5 discs (CD-2372)
  • Jazz (Folkways Records) 11 discs (records 5763-5773)
  • Big Band Jazz, 4 discs (CD-2319 - CD-2322)
  • Singers and Soloists of the Swing Bands, 4 discs (CD-696 - CD-699)
  • Consult CD program booklets for detailed information on performers and pieces recorded.

Online Tools for Research



  • Down Beat
  • Modern Drummer


Subject Guide

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Gary Boye
Erneston Music Library

Appalachian State University
Subjects: Music