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MUS 325: History of Western Music

Resources and methods to assist you in researching a paper on a subject in music scholarship

Music Databases

Online resources for music research at OSU Libraries include both online reference sources and several databases that index scholarly music literature. Links to full-text are included for many of the articles found here. Below are listed some of the most useful resources for music.

Music Articles in Journals

If you are looking for articles on a topic and do not know which journals they may be contained in, please use a periodical database to search for them. 

If you already know the title of the journal you want, or want to browse what journals are available, they are cataloged in the OSU Libraries Catalog.  They can be searched by the name of the periodical or found by searching using a broad subject search, such as Music - Periodicals.

There are a variety of electronic journals about music available by library subscription or full-text within various databases. They can be found in two ways: through their OSU Libraries Catalog records, or from the complete E-Journals list  linked on the Libraries' home page.

Smart searching

When searching in catalogs and databases:

  • Be creative in the words you use; if one doesn't work, try something else. Think of words with related meaning, such as natural resource management or restoration or conservation
  • Begin with keywords, and use the subjects found in the articles that come up to find more information
  • Use quotation marks around phrases, so they won't be searched as individual words.
  • Use advanced search features in catalogs and databases to limit by date, language, type of article, etc

For more in-depth information about developing advanced search strategies, check out a tutorial from Purdue University at http://gemini.lib.purdue.edu/core/files/strategies0.html

Finding Books and Scores

Find Books in 1Search by author, title, subject or keyword. The Library of Congress Subject Headings books (located at the Reference Desk) can aid you in choosing useful subject terms.

Scores are also searchable in 1Search. Try using the composer as author. Scores are also listed under their form, such as Harpsichord music or Symphonies - Scores. For works of music issued in parts of collections, see books listed in the Music Research Guide under the heading Indexes to Music.

Music books and scores are located on the 5th floor.

Choosing the OSU Libraries + Summit scope option in 1Search will also find books and scores at our partner Summit libraries, and you can put in a request for these to be sent to you here at OSU.

Recordings

Most CDs, DVDs and VHS tapes circulate. They are shelved in the Media browsing area on the 5th floor (see the map). Find your selection using the call number of the item you want.

Finding recordings in the library1Search allows you to refine your search by format. From your initial search results page, click on the Refine Search button, then choose Material type from the list. For example, pick SOUND RECORD for CDs, or VIDEOS/FILMS for DVDs and VHS tapes.

Other resources for recordings:

Corvallis-Benton County Public Library   Anyone who lives, works, or goes to school in the Corvallis-Benton County Library District may get a free library card. They have CD recordings (choose Music from the menu on the webpage to search) as well as several music streaming databases from the Alexander Street Press (choose E-Resources then look down the list for Music) that you can access online with your public library card number.

There are several legal music resources online--some free, some for a small subscription. You may wish to check out sites such as Spotify, Pandora, Last.fm, or Jamendo

YouTube is also a useful free resource.

Citing Your Sources

You must properly cite your sources so that your readers will be able to locate the material you refer to in your writing. For this class you are asked to use the Chicago Manual of Style. There is a quickguide available online: Chicago-Style Citation Quick Guide

For the articles you find, most databases today have citation help built in (like Academic Search Premier), or list at the end of the article how to cite it (Oxford Music Online). Look at the resource you're using to see if such shortcuts are available to you.