A cross-searchable popular music platform

Please note that this digital resource is not available to institutions in the USA.

Bloomsbury Popular Music brings together leading global scholarship and interactive tools covering the early 20th century to the present day, to hit the right note for research and learning.

Including the multi-volume Bloomsbury Encyclopedia of Popular Music of the World, and more than 130 volumes of the 33 1/3 book series and new 33 1/3 Global book series. In addition, users can explore a range of scholarly books from Bloomsbury’s Popular Music Studies list.


  • Multiple volumes from the landmark reference work, Bloomsbury Encyclopedia of Popular Music of the World, with new volumes from top international contributors added regularly
  • All 130+ volumes of the widely acclaimed 33 1/3 and 33 1/3 Global book series, providing in-depth analysis of influential albums across diverse musical eras
  • An expanding range of scholarly books comprising edited volumes, biographies, and historical overviews
  • An illustrated Timeline of Popular Music back to 1900, including dates of 33 1/3 series albums, plus a linked overview of contextual events in musical and political history
  • An interactive World Map enables users to navigate to books and articles covering a particular country or region
  • Easy to cite, share, and print content by creating a personal account

Access options

IP Authentication, Referring URL, Single sign-on, Username and Password

To find out more about how the different access options work please see our General Access Information.

Usage statistics

Yes when you log in to your admin account via the Bloomsbury Administration Portal.

Promotional materials and downloads

Printable posters and web banners are a great way to raise awareness of your new subscription and get students interested! Bloomsbury have a selection ready to download here.


What content is available in Bloomsbury Popular Music?

Bloomsbury Popular Music offers cross-searchable access to the full text of the Bloomsbury Encyclopedia of Popular Music of the World (10 volumes available at launch), all 120+ volumes of the 33 1/3 series, and an expanding range of scholarly books (20 available at launch). Read more about Bloomsbury Popular Music.
Is the content included in Bloomsbury Popular Music available online anywhere else?

No, titles available as part of Bloomsbury Popular Music are not available via any other online resources.

Does the resource cover music from all countries?

The resource offers unrivalled coverage of all genres of popular music from almost every country in the world. From volume 3 onwards, the Encyclopedia of Popular Music of the World is organised by geographic region, with detailed articles on countries, regions, cities (covering key artists, locales, venues and institutions), and genres from each continent.

How is ‘popular music’ defined?

As the editors of the Bloomsbury Encyclopedia of Popular Music of the World explain in the Introduction to Volume 1, their primary understanding of ‘popular music’ relates to modern mass cultural forms, but this should not be taken to imply any restrictive definition of ‘popular’ as opposed to ‘folk’ music: ‘while the principal emphasis of the Encyclopedia is on the urban, the commodified and the mass disseminated rather than on the rural, the oral-aural and the restrictedly local, therefore, this emphasis is far from exclusive’.

What time period is covered?

The full history of popular music is covered: the main focus is from the early twentieth century to the present day, but many articles in the Encyclopedia of Popular Music of the World discuss earlier periods as part of the broader historical context.

Will the resource be updated?

Yes, new and revised content will be added to Bloomsbury Popular Music twice a year at no extra charge. Updates will include additional volumes of the Encyclopedia of Popular Music of the World, updated articles, new books in the 33 1/3 series, new scholarly books, and titles in the new Global 33 1/3 series.

Who is the resource for?

Bloomsbury Popular Music is an invaluable resource for students in a wide range of humanities and social science subjects including music, cultural studies, performing arts, media and communication, anthropology and sociology.

Is there a limit on the number of users that can use the site at the same time?

No, access is available on an unlimited simultaneous user basis.

Can Bloomsbury Popular Music be accessed on a mobile device?

Yes, the site is responsive, and fully optimised for displaying on a range of tablet and smartphone interfaces. The site has been tested using recent versions of the iPad, iPhone, and Android smartphones and tablets. No web-enabled devices are specifically excluded, and there is no separate mobile site: the site layout adapts automatically depending on the size of the screen.

What browsers are supported?

Bloomsbury Popular Music has been tested using Internet Explorer (version 10 onwards), Safari (version 6 onwards), and the latest versions of Firefox and Chrome, on PC, Mac and mobile operating systems. We will continue to monitor usage from different browsers and platforms and revise our list of actively supported browsers and devices accordingly.

What search and browse options are available?

There are multiple ways of navigating the content:

  • The main Search box in the header
  • Advanced Search: search by author name, title, subject or publication date
  • Explore Library options: browse lists of artist names, music genres and countries
  • Browse Contents: browse lists of volumes and tables of contents
  • Timeline of Popular Music: accessible from the Browse Contents drop-down or the home page, this feature shows dates of all the albums covered in the 33 1/3 series, plus an overview of contextual events in musical and political history, with links to relevant articles from the Encyclopedia of Popular Music of the World
  • World Map: browse an interactive map of the world to find books and articles covering a particular country or region

Can items be saved for reading later?

Yes! It’s quick and easy for any authenticated user to set up a personal account to save books, chapters or other items to view later, organise saved items into folders, email and export citations, save searches and set up search alerts.
Follow the link in the header to ‘Sign in to your personal account’: you then have the option to sign in using Google Plus, Facebook or Twitter, or to select ‘Sign up now’ and enter a few personal details (name, occupation, country, email address and password) to create a Personal Account.

Please note you can use the same Personal Account details to sign in on multiple Bloomsbury platforms, including Bloomsbury Popular Music, Drama Online, Churchill Archive and other forthcoming resources.

Can full texts be printed and downloaded?

Yes, the site content has no DRM (Digital Rights Management) protection, and so it can be printed or saved to personal computers. All use of the site content is subject to our Terms and Conditions: printing and saving should be for personal use, and standard copyright restrictions apply regarding unauthorised copying and distribution.

How can texts be cited from Bloomsbury Popular Music?

From the book page, or full text view, click on the ‘cite’ icon to view formatted citations in APA, MLA, Chicago and Harvard citation styles. You can also download a file in RIS format for importing into reference manager software. Please note that the original pagination has been preserved from the print editions.