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Music History Tutorials: Introduction

Research assistance for advanced students in music history courses

Music Research Essentials

Although the medium by which music research is done has largely changed from print to digital, the essential principles of music research are much the same as they were before the computer revolution. Comprehending these essential principles and translating them into action in a music library which is now a rich repository of both digital and traditional resources constitutes the music research we have the opportunity to do here. 

As the internet proliferates, there is a growing perception that "everything is online," and many researchers, both novice and advanced, assume that they can find whatever resources they need merely by doing a Google search. Yes, they can find resources, but are they the best or most relevant resources? Real music research is neither that simple nor that easy. 


This guide is intended to help you identify and use Music Library resources such as subscription databases, electronic journals, print and electronic books and scores, and special collections to study various periods of music history.


Reference Librarian


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Donna Arnold
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Searching for scholarly materials on Google

Google Scholar cites many important scholarly articles and other works, but does not always provide full text.  In such cases, use Google's information to search our subscription databases to see if we have full text.

Google Books provides full text of many public domain books and helpful previews of many others.  In some cases, however, it provides only citations.  If a whole book is not accessible, search the library's online catalog to see if we have the book. 

You can search our online catalog from the library homepage

by clicking the "Books & More" tab beside the search box. 
Here is the direct URL for the online catalog:

You can access a music-specific search interface from this link:    


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