Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

International Music

Resources for research and listening for folk and popular music from around the world.

Selected Books

Subject Terms and Shelf Numbers

Ball State Libraries books have standardized subjects in OneSearch, and standardized shelf numbers from the Library of Congress.

Library of Congress Subjects may be simple or may be subdivided by location, subject, or period.  The examples below should give you some idea of subject keywords to use when searching for this topic.  Note:  in Advanced Search you can specify format (book, compact disc, audio, or score, musical) and you can combine search words on several lines.

Use these search terms in OneSearch:

  • Music -- [Country Name] -- History and Criticism
  • Music -- Social Aspects -- [Country Name]
  • Popular Music -- [Country Name]-- History and Criticism
  • Popular Music -- Middle East
  • Popular music -- Social aspects -- Middle East
  • Belly dance music
  • Islamic Music
  • Islamic Music - History and Criticism
  • Jews -- Music
  • Jews -- Music -- History and Criticism
  • Synagogue Music -- History and Criticism

Call Numbers consist of letters for a major division (M for scores, ML for Music Literature, or MT for Music Theory and Teaching), followed by numbers for subdivision.  Additional subdivision uses additional lines on the label, for example

  • ML 348:     Music of Arabic-Speaking Countries
  • ML 410:     Biographies of Composers
  • ML 3475 - ML 3505  Popular Music of Specific Countries

Specific Musical Styles

Belly Dance is a genre of dance that has become popular outside of the Middle East, as exercise as well as entertainment.  Like almost every form of dance, specific musical forms and styles accompany it.  Check out these CDs from the Music Collection counter:

Popular Music of Arabic-speaking countries encompasses a variety of styles, often influenced by American music without losing a Middle Eastern sensibility.  Check out these compilations to sample some of the flavors of modern Arabic popular music:

Popular music of Israel has a long history, incorporating the many musical styles of neighbors both to Israel and of the Jewish Diaspora.  Jewish musicians have sung in Hebrew, Yiddish, and many European languages.