Music and its Contexts

Course Number: MU100

Subject: Music

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

B) Background

If the topic is unknown to you, get your bearings with a Google or Wikipedia search

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 "Find it in your 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

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"
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.