If you are interested in learning more about music theory, history, and performance, we recommend starting with these resources. Many of the books listed below are readily available for purchase online and may also be available in your local library.
Companion Website to Music Crash Courses
Theme and Variations: New Perspectives in Music History
This website features essays organized around topics such as music and words, writing about music, and dance music. It considers both historical and present-day music.
Online Music Academies
Khan Academy offers self-paced learning in many subject areas with videos, exercises, and a "learning dashboard" that tracks your progress, all for free. In music, Khan Academy offers content on music basics, classical masterpieces, and the instruments of the orchestra.
Dave Conservatoire is "a free online music school, aiming to provide a world-class music education for everyone." Modeled on Khan Academy, Dave Conservatoire has videos, exercises, and progress tracking on music basics, reading music, and ear training. The site also offers ABRSM test preparation for grades 1-3 (ABRSM, the exam board of the Royal Schools of Music, is a UK-based organization that provides music assessment in 93 countries).
General Music Resources
Oxford Music Online
Grove is considered the definitive music encyclopedia, and the additional Oxford resources are excellent as well. The website is available by subscription only, but both paper copies and website access are available at many libraries.
Naxos Streaming Music
Naxos is subscription-based service offering high-quality streaming music. Many libraries offer access to Naxos.
Dolmetsch Music Theory and History Online
Naxos Music Genres
The Encyclopedia of Music, by Wendy Thompson and Max Wade-Matthews
An excellent introduction to musical instruments and composer biographies; concise, with lots of pictures.
A History of Western Music by J. Peter Burkholder, Donald Jay Grout, and Claude V. Paliscas
One of the standard textbooks used in music history courses for undergraduate music majors.
Online Companion to A History of Western Music, 7th Edition
This website is the companion to A History of Western Music listed above. These companion materials are for an older edition, which may be why they are available for free.
Music in the Western World: A History in Documents, selected and annotated by Piero Weiss and Richard Taruskin
Source readings in music history.
"Why So Serious?" by Alex Ross
This article from The New Yorker considers the history of the classical concert.
Chronological Summary of Western Music History
Max Hunter Folk Song Collection at Missouri State University
Lyrics, notation, and audio recordings of American folk songs.
Physics of Sound
Physics of Music and Musical Instruments, Tufts University (PDF)
Music Science at the University of New South Wales (Sydney, Australia)
The Physics Classroom: Sound Waves and Music
The Physics Hypertextbook: Music and Noise
Naxos Musical Instruments Overview
Ricci Adams's MusicTheory.net
Aural Idiom Drill
The Musical Mind
Aural Skills Guide: Dictation, InTactus, Diktus
Majoring in Music
Informational site for high school students considering majoring in music in college and their parents.
StudentScholarshipSearch.com: Music Scholarships by Area of Interest
Singing and Voice
LegalMatch.com: The Basics of Music Law
Discusses copyrights, publishing, and other legal topics that affect people involved with music.
Hofstra University School of Law: Music Law Resource Guide
Discussion and links to resources concerning music copyrights and publishing.