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Music Research - General: Home

This guide includes basic materials used in music research that are in print as well as database (including audio) format

Welcome - Getting Started . . . it's not so onerous a task!

Good Day!

Conducting research in music is like conducting research in most subject areas. It's not that difficult; quite often it can be fun - actually. Depending on your subject, of course, it's usually best to start with the general sources and then graduate, if you will, to the specific materials as you discover them after getting a better idea of where to look.

Believe it or not, the best place to start is not always the library catalog for music materials. Once again, it depends on the nature of your search. Although the box to your right contains a link to our library catalog, as well as Prospector and Worldcat, if you cannot find your specific item in the library catalog, you may want to back up and ask yourself a few questions about your query (that's "library-speak" for question):

See the boxes to your right to continue. . .

Library Catalogs

Below are the links to our library (Anderson Acaddemic Commons - AAC) catalog Classic Catalog Search, Prospector (a regional catalog, if you do not find what you're looking for in the AAC Classic Catalog, and Worldcat (for materials not available in our library or Prospector).

If you really do not know where to start to find what you want, read the box to the left on this page first.

Getting Started, cont. from the box at left

Am I trying to define a musical term?  (Ex. What's an acciaccatura? What's the "Bologna School"? - nothing to do with food, no) You may want to look at music dictionaries and encyclopedias.

Am I looking for an introductory article about a musical subject or a person to get some background, along with a bibliography for further research? Once again, you may want to look at music dictionaries and encyclopedias. The bibliographies at the end of the articles will point you to books, other articles in journals, dissertations, conferences, etc. about the subject. It saves you time and certainly beats wandering aimlessly alone and clueless in the music library stacks.

If I have the background information, do I want to read articles in journals about my subject? You may want to consult databases of periodical literature specific to music (and a few that are more generally oriented).

Cont. in box to your right. . . . 

Reference Librarian

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Woody Colahan
Subjects: Dance, Music, Theatre

Getting started, cont. from boxes at the left

Do I want to listen to various types of musical literature? You may want to use our music on-line listening databases or use a specific CD in the music library (for the latter, you will need to use the library catalog - Peak).

Do I want to find a musical score? Video? You will want to use the library catalog (PEAK) to locate it in the music library.

Ask these sorts of questions to yourself first, then refer to the tabs on this library guide to help you answer your question or work on your research problem or project. It will save you time - really, it will.