Music and its Contexts

Course #: MU100

A) Finding a focus

Important tips for finding resources:

  • identify more items than you need (some may be hard to find or off topic)
  • keep track of where you look and the keywords you use
  • start early: library staff can deliver items from other libraries
  • you may need to find separate resources for your composer and your theory
  • know how to combine keywords

B) Background

1) Search for your composer in Oxford Music Online

  • Includes Grove's and The Encyclopedia of Popular Music
  • Read the main article, then choose "Bibliography" under "Article contents" to find references (books and articles)
    • in Grove's, references are listed chronologically, oldest to newest
    • look for references in English
    • Use the "get it @ Laurier" links to track down references

2) Search for your theory (eg. race, gender, ethnicity) in Sage Knowledge or Gale Virtual Reference Library

  • Note: these collections each contain a wide variety of sources; some will be more appropriate to your topic than others

C) Books

  • Use the Primo Catalogue to identify books at Laurier, the Universities of Waterloo and Guelph, and the Annex (storage)
    • Check the facets at the left to focus your search
    • Click on "Locations & Requests" for availability
  • Floor plans locate your books by the call number
  • Requesting books from other libraries
    • request from UW or UG using Primo; request from other libraries using RACER

D) Scholarly Articles

1) Learn about Peer-Reviewed (scholarly) Journals

2) Identify scholarly articles using a database:

RILM abstracts of Music Literature
Covers articles, books, and more. Limit by language and source type.
Music Periodicals Database
Articles for popular and classical music. Note: find more results by changing the search field from "Anywhere except full text" to "Anywhere"
JSTOR
Need more results? Try this database: full text, scholarly journals in wide range of disciplines. Narrow search using musical terms.

3) Track down articles from lists of references:

4) Be on the lookout for these major journals. Consider searching some individually. *Full text of these journals is not included in Music Periodicals Database or JSTOR.

E) Tracking down references

F) Other resources

Having problems? Don't hesitate to contact me: call, email, drop in, or make an appointment. My office is one floor up from the main floor of the Library on the Waterloo campus. Come up the stairs, then walk straight ahead.