Basic Music Reference is a quick-start guide designed to introduce library employees to the basic tools and techniques involved in answering questions related to music.  As in every specialist subject area, music has its own terminology, but unlike most, it also has a multitude of formats—on paper and other materials—as well as special notation and frequent use of foreign languages in titles and texts.  These features make it particularly difficult for library employees to answer users’ questions and thus a guide such as this one is essential.
Not all libraries with a music collection can afford to hire a music reference librarian.  Even libraries with such a specialist rely on support staff and student employees to answer questions when the music librarian is not available.  Whatever the scenario, this volume will serve as a helpful training tool for library employees to learn about the basic music reference tools, and to develop the techniques of greatest use when answering the most common types of music-related questions.