Music Resources for Remote Access, Teaching, and Entertainment

While we know that no online product could replace NEC’s physical collection, online resources are available that complement our library’s materials. They can be found on our A-Z Guide to Library Databases & Reference Sources.

In addition to these online music resources paid for by NEC, there are a number of vendors and publishers that are making their content available for free during this time.

Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency’s COVID-19 Response Command Center Daily Reports: The Massachusetts Department of Public Health is working closely with the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to provide updated information about the Coronavirus.

Scholarly sources that are in the public domain or open access.  Some sites are available only temporarily, and they are identified.

BabelScores: Contemporary music scores, in copyright, free until further notice.  Read only access.

Digital Commonwealth: Access to photographs, manuscripts, books, audio recordings, and other materials of historical interest that have been digitized and made available by members of Digital Commonwealth, a statewide consortium of libraries, museums, archives, and historical societies across Massachusetts.

Digital Public Library of America: Content from libraries in the United States.  Exhibitions include documents, photos, diagrams, drawings, graphics, etc.

Directory of Open Access Books: A directory open access academic, peer reviewed books

Directory of Open Access Journals: A directory of open access, peer-reviewed journals.

EBSCO eBooks Academic Collection: Almost 200,000 titles, included in and accessible from our Discovery catalog.

HathiTrust: Public domain books, scores, journal articles, etc.  Materials are available in their entirety as read access only.  Only portions, or singular pages, are available to download.

Internet Archive: Contains print, audio, video, and visual materials.

Johns Hopkins University Press [Project Muse]: About 1400 books and 100 journals, free for the remainder of the semester.  Materials are available to download as PDFs.

JSTOR Public Health Journals Archive: Topics include Epidemiology, Health Policy and Administration, Occupational and Environmental Health, Health Equity, and the Culture of Health, Aging, Bioethics, and Health Promotion.  Accessible through June 30, 2020.

Library of Congress Digital Collections: All material available as read access only, some materials available to download as PDFs.

Lives of Literature: Published by JSTOR.  This collection gathers academic journals devoted to the study of writers and texts associated with literary movements. Available through June 30.

Die Musik in Geschichte und Gegenwart (MGG online): Comprehensive German music encyclopedia. Includes articles about all aspects of music as well as literature, philosophy, and the visual arts. Translate articles using Google Translate. Available through May 31.

National Emergency Library: A subdivision of the Internet Archive, a collection of books that supports remote teaching, research activities, independent scholarship, and intellectual motivation while schools and libraries are closed.

New York Public Library Digital Collections: Collections contain documents, photographs, prints, etc.  Read access only.

Performing Arts Encyclopedia: Explore multiple disciplines of the performing arts through manuscripts, videos, images, photographs, and more, as curated by the Library of Congress.  All sources read online only.  Please note: several historical items from the early 20th century reflect cultural insensitivities prevalent at the time that can be considered offensive and derogatory.  The Library of Congress and Blumenthal Family Library do not endorse the views expressed in these collections.

Project Gutenberg: A library of over 60,000 free ebooks.  Books are available to read in various formats online, and available to download as PDFs.

Project MUSE: Scholarly content, online books, and journals from various publishers, most free through June.

Public Domain Song Anthology: 348 popular songs with lead sheets, modern and traditional harmonization.  Scores are available to download as PDFs, Sibelius files, and XML.

RedShelf: Academic ebooks, many of which are quality music titles.  Up to 7 free ebooks provided.  Available through end of May.

RILM Music Encyclopedias: Full-text collection that comprises 57 titles published from 1775 to the present. Content spans the fields of musicology, ethnomusicology, and theory, with topics such as popular and classical music, instruments, and women composers. Available through May 31.

Sheet Music Consortium: Public domain scores (published before 1924) may be downloaded.  All other content is available as read access only.

Sustainability: Published by JSTOR.  A wide range of journals, ebooks, and research reports in the field of sustainability, covering research on environmental stresses and their impact on society. Available through June 30.

UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage: Research cultural heritage practices and expressions through web-semantics and graphic visualization.

University of Michigan Press: Scholarly texts, free until further notice. Content available as read access only.


Music Teaching Resources

Artusi: Music theory, free until the end of June.  Users must sign up for a free account.

College Music Society: Teaching Music in the Age of COVID-19, a forum for sharing and accessing resources.

G Major Music Theory: Sheet music and music theory resources for beginning to intermediate students.

Good-Ear: Contains links to Jazz-centered ear training, theory, and instrument instruction.

MacGamut Software: Provides unlimited mastery-based drill and practice in ear training and keyboard training for novices and advanced students.  Now a part of  Emphasis of the product is on younger students.

MERLOT Collection: Search for “music” or other keywords.  Materials available for use have a “go to material” link embedded in Material Detail web page.

Music Collaboration and COVID-19 Quarantine: A blog post by an MIT musician and software engineer with practical and technical information about virtual music making.

Music Theory Examples by Women: Music theory concepts are referenced in works by women composers, primarily as citations.  Performances of various pieces are available as embedded YouTube videos.

Music Theory Pedagogy Online: Contains journal articles, assignments, and quizzes downloadable as PDFs and zip files, and links to other related websites.  Online courses are available as videos and video playlists through YouTube.

A Musical Playground for Kids: Music Theory Lessons: Fundamentals of music for beginners published by AAA State of Play.

Musicards: Beginning and intermediate music students can use online flash cards to test their knowledge of note names, key signatures, triads, and more.

Musicology Now: Suggestions and Resources for Teaching Music History and Music Theory. Contains short tutorials on various fundamentals of music theory such as intervals, key signatures, common chord progressions, Roman numeral analysis, and more.

Teoría: Review musical forms, harmonic functions, and ear training through tutorials, exercises, and selected articles.  Also includes Jazz ear training and theory.  Website available in English and Spanish.



Hoopla Streaming Media: Movies, TV shows, music, eBooks, and comics for online streaming or download to mobile devices, with no waiting lists.  Log in using your Boston Public Library ecard.  Don’t have a BPL card?  Register here, using your Massachusetts address.

Kanopy: Includes acclaimed movies and documentaries on-demand from award-winning filmmakers. Log in using your Boston Public Library ecard.  Don’t have a BPL card?  Register here, using your Massachusetts address.

Ubu: An extensive and collaborative Google Doc that lists film and digital archives provided by public libraries and film boards across the globe.  Content includes commercials, documentaries, newsreels, photographs, sound files, film shorts, and more.


Virtual museum tours and other cultural sites

6 Italian Museums to Visit Virtually: Provides links to six Italian museums whose collections are available through view online only digital archives and 360º virtual tours.

Boston Lyrica Opera’s streaming of Bellini’s Norma: Presented by WCRB, Classical Radio Boston, a service of WGBH Boston. Available through April 29.

Boston Symphony Orchestra at Home: Concert performances, Symphony Hall tours, and BSO musicians sharing their offstage lives while staying at home.

Boston’s Children's Museum: Virtual tour.

Boston’s Museum of African American History: Online exhibits and video presentations.

Boston's Museum of Fine Arts: Videos, online exhibitions, and tour collections

Boston’s Museum of Science at home: A collection of STEM resources to bring the Museum home to you.

Folk Song Society of Greater Boston: Live-streamed concerts and events.

Google Arts & Culture: Explore museum exhibitions, natural history, regional cooking, history, magic, science, and more through videos and virtual tours curated by Google.

Harvard Art Museums: An impressive collection of prints, paintings, photographs of pottery and sculptures that are viewable online and available to download.

Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum: Virtual tour.

John F. Kennedy Presidential Library: Interactive online exhibits.

Leventhal Map Center: Vast collection of digitized maps housed at the Boston Public Library.

Metropolitan Opera's free student stream: A weekly offering of one opera specially selected for young audience members around the globe, with opportunities to learn more about the production and hear from some of the artists involved.

Metropolitan Opera’s nightly opera streams: Each day, a different encore presentation from the company’s Live in HD series is available: each performance is presented for a period of 23 hours.

New England Aquarium: Live presentations.

Playbill’s 15 Broadway plays and musicals you can watch from home: Provides links to fifteen well-known Broadway plays and musicals, and the platforms on which to watch them (Amazon Prime, Google Play, YouTube, Hoopla, etc.)

Smithsonian Open Access: Download and share millions of the Smithsonian’s images.

Smithsonian’s ten museums you can visit virtually: Provides links to ten museums around the globe whose exhibitions are available as guided video tours and self-directed 360º tours.

USS Constitution Museum: Explore the history and collections of “Old Ironsides”.

Virtual Field Trips (Zoos and National Parks): Videos, live cams, and 360º virtual tours provided by zoos and national parks from across the US.  Also includes virtual tours of the Boston Children’s Museum, the Louvre, and Mars.

Zoo New England: Zoo to You brings the Franklin Park and Stoneham Zoos to you every day at 1:30 p.m.  Meet animals, chat with staff, and enjoy crafts and activities at home.


Entertainment at home

Ancestry K12: Includes lesson plans and research guides for a range of topics including the Revolutionary and Civil Wars, haunted houses, the suffrage movement, and African American congressmen.

Coolmath: Lessons in pre-algebra through pre-calculus are presented as engaging puzzles and games.  Also included are classic games such as chess, snake, and 2048.

Global Plants: Published by JSTOR. The world’s largest database of digitized plant specimens for scientific research and collaboration. Available through June 30.

GoNoodle: A free app with dance routines for children (or adults!) to share.  Included is the possibility to send dance links to friends and then swap videos of each other in the dance, or just dance together during a video call.

National Archives access through Nearly 500 million documents, stories, and photos available after registering for a free account.

National Geographic’s Citizen Science Projects: Where volunteers and scientists work together to answer real-world questions and gather data. 

Storyline Online: Enjoy a wealth of various children’s books narrated by actors, comedians, kids, and former politicians.


eBook and audiobooks, with access available until August 31, 2020.  Log into all collections with:

Username: matumbles

Password: trial

TumbleBook Library – K-6 children’s eBook database

TumbleMath – K-6 math eBook database

Teen Book Cloud – Grades 7-12 eBook database

Audio Book Cloud – Fiction audiobooks for all ages

Romance Book Cloud – Collection of Romance novels for adult readers