External Links

If you are interested in learning more about music theory, history, and performance, we recommend starting with these resources. Many of the books listed below are readily available for purchase online and may also be available in your local library.

Companion Website to Theme and Variations

Music Crash Courses

This website covers basic music theory in bite-sized lessons.

Online Music Academies

Khan Academy

Khan Academy offers self-paced learning in many subject areas with videos, exercises, and a "learning dashboard" that tracks your progress, all for free. In music, Khan Academy offers content on music basics, classical masterpieces, and the instruments of the orchestra.

Dave Conservatoire

Dave Conservatoire is "a free online music school, aiming to provide a world-class music education for everyone." Modeled on Khan Academy, Dave Conservatoire has videos, exercises, and progress tracking on music basics, reading music, and ear training. The site also offers ABRSM test preparation for grades 1-3 (ABRSM, the exam board of the Royal Schools of Music, is a UK-based organization that provides music assessment in 93 countries).

General Music Resources

Oxford Music Online: Grove Music Online, The Oxford Dictionary of Music, and The Oxford Companion to Music

Grove is considered the definitive music encyclopedia, and the additional Oxford resources are excellent as well. The website is available by subscription only, but both paper copies and website access are available at many libraries.

Naxos Streaming Music

Naxos is subscription-based service offering high-quality streaming music. Many libraries offer access to Naxos.

Dolmetsch Music Theory and History Online

Naxos Music Genres


The Encyclopedia of Music, by Wendy Thompson and Max Wade-Matthews

An excellent introduction to musical instruments and composer biographies; concise, with lots of pictures

A History of Western Music by J. Peter Burkholder, Donald Jay Grout, and Claude V. Paliscas

One of the standard textbooks used in music history courses for undergraduate music majors

Online Companion to A History of Western Music, 7th Edition

This website is the companion to A History of Western Music listed above. These companion materials are for an older edition, which may be why they are available for free.

Music in the Western World: A History in Documents, selected and annotated by Piero Weiss and Richard Taruskin

Source readings in music history

"Why So Serious?" by Alex Ross

This article from The New Yorker considers the history of the classical concert.

Chronological Summary of Western Music History

Max Hunter Folk Song Collection at Missouri State University

Lyrics, notation, and audio recordings of American folk songs.

Physics of Sound

Physics of Music and Musical Instruments, Tufts University (PDF)

Music Science at the University of New South Wales (Sydney, Australia)

The Physics Classroom: Sound Waves and Music

The Physics Hypertextbook: Music and Noise

Hyperphysics: Sound


Naxos Musical Instruments Overview

Virtual Keyboards

Virtual Guitar

Ear Training

Ear Training Websites

Good Ear

Ricci Adams's MusicTheory.net


Aural Idiom Drill

The Musical Mind

Big Ears

Aural Skills Guide: Dictation, InTactus, Diktus

Ear Training Apps

SolFi Ear Trainer for iOS (iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch)

Guide to Best Ear Training Apps


Majoring in Music

Informational site for high school students considering majoring in music in college and their parents.

StudentScholarshipSearch.com: Music Scholarships by Area of Interest

LegalMatch.com: The Basics of Music Law

Discusses copyrights, publishing, and other legal topics that affect people involved with music.

Website by Sienna M. Wood, Content by Sienna M. Wood and Juliana Madrone
Copyright © Sienna M. Wood and Juliana Madrone, 2011-2015