Reference sources are a good place to go to start your research, help you refine your topic, and to get an overview of a subject or a person. Many encyclopedias also include bibliographies at the ends of the articles - this is a quick way to start getting more detailed information on your subject!
Grove Music Online, part of Oxford Music Online, is an excellent starting point for research into major themes of all types of music, extensive articles on countries, composers, and musicians. Make sure to look at the bibliography at the end of the article. Also available in print at Music Ref ML100.N48 2001.
The Encyclopedia of Popular Music contains numerous essays on musicians, writers, and record labels from all over the world of popular music. Also available in print at Music Ref ML102.P66G84 2006.
Here are a couple more relevant music encyclopedias you'll find in the Music Library. We have many more than the ones listed here. Try searching the catalog for your subject AND encyclopedias to find more. For example, if you were looking for encyclopedias about the blues, you'd search for "blues and encyclopedias" (without the quotation marks) in the catalog.