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Music at Oxford - a guide to libraries and resources: Dissertations

Subjects: Music

Dissertations on music

Oxford dissertations have traditionally been deposited in hard-copy in the Bodleian and are treated as manuscripts. All doctoral dissertations now have entries on SOLO and many more recent theses are available in full-text through Oxford's research repository ORA. Composition degrees also involve the deposit of portfolio submissions or degree 'exercises', many of which (some dating back to the 18th century) are held in the Weston Library.

For general information on accessing theses and dissertations, click here.

The principal published lists of dissertations on music are:

  • Doctoral Dissertations in Musicology – Online. DDM is a free international database of bibliographic records for completed dissertations and new dissertation topics in the fields of musicology, music theory, and ethnomusicology, as well as in related musical, scientific, and humanistic disciplines. Hosted by the American Musicological Society, the database currently containing over 14,000 records, including the corrected and updated contents of all earlier printed editions of Doctoral Dissertations in Musicology and its supplements contributed from musicological centres throughout the world.
  • ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global (PQDT) is the world's most comprehensive collection of full-text dissertations and theses in all subjects. As the official digital dissertations archive for the Library of Congress and as the database of record for graduate research, PQDTGlobal includes millions of searchable citations to dissertations and theses from 1861 to the present day together with over a million full-text dissertations that are available for download in PDF format. Over 2.1 million titles are available for purchase as printed copies. The database offers full text for most of the dissertations added since 1997 and strong retrospective full-text coverage for older graduate works. It also includes content from PQDT UK & Ireland (aka Index to Theses). 
  • EThOS (Electronic Theses Online Service) is a British Library service covering dissertations from most British universities. Search over 500,000 doctoral theses and register for free to download instantly for your research, or order a scanned copy quickly and easily. Hard-copy theses can sometimes be made available in the Bodleian on Inter-Library Loan.
  • Archive of Dissertation Abstracts in Music provides abstracts both to completed dissertations and to those in progress.

Other sources for European dissertations:

  • DART-Europe E-theses Portal provides access to 1,079,176 open access research theses from 570 Universities in 29 European countries.

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