The Cornell University Library homepage is a convenient place to find guidance on aspects of the research process.
See the links for Introduction to Research, Research Guides, Citation Management, and more. Also see below for some of these links.
In searching for books and articles on a topic in music, follow the steps outlined in the research guides on the left, using music-specific resources. Start with the database Oxford Music Online, which contains several music reference sources, most notably Grove Music Online, to get an overview of a topic, genre, person, etc. For topics in world music, the database Garland Encyclopedia of World Music Online is also a good place to start. Consult relevant articles and their bibliographies.
Keep in mind, though, that reference sources like this are not continuously updated. Search literature databases like RILM and Music Index Online (separately or simultaneously) for more recent books, book chapters, articles, and dissertations.
Search the Library Catalog (for books) and Articles & Full Text (for articles) to locate specific items cited in bibliographies, and to see what else may be available.
*** If you are looking for a chapter from a book, search the title of the book rather than the title of the chapter. If you are looking for a journal article, search the title of the article, rather than the title of the journal.