MUS 1013: Rock I - The Historical Origins and Development of Rock Music to 1970

Starting your search for sources, part 1: Creating a list of search terms/keywords

Once you identify an artist or style to research for this class's project, the next thing you’ll need to get started is a few keywords to help you search for background information on your topic(s) to help you find relevant sources. Try to describe the topic you'd like to explore in 1-2 sentences - what keywords come to mind? 

Aim for making a list of about 6-8 keywords associated with your topic. These can include key artists, genres, names of songs or albums, or any other words that you think of. These keywords will give you something to start searching for in the resources we discussed in class. 

And don’t be afraid to revise your list of keywords as you go along! The more you learn about your topic, the more refined your keywords will become – which will help you to find additional useful sources as you continue to search.

Tutorial: Creating an effective search strategy

Creating an effective search strategy tutorial video. 3 minutes 24 seconds.
After completing this tutorial, you will be able to:
  • Use meaningful keywords to find the best sources
  • Apply search strategies like AND and OR to connect keywords

Starting your search for sources, part 2: Where should you start looking?

The Libraries catalog and databases are the best place to get started to find books, scholarly journal articles, scores, recordings with metadata (like who's performing and when the performance took place) and liner notes you can trust, and more! These materials are all free to you as a University of Minnesota student and by using them, you'll find more relevant and trustworthy content than you'd find by using Google.

The tabs on this guide provide information on searching for different types of sources, and the resources below will help you to get started.

If you have questions or need help, email Jessica, the University of Minnesota's Music Librarian, at!

Tutorial: What is a library database and why should I use one?

What is a library database and why should I use one tutorial video. 3 minutes.
After completing this tutorial, you will be able to:
  • Identify what a library database is
  • Recognize the two main types of library databases
  • Know why you should use them
  • Understand why searching a library database is different than searching the general internet

Tutorial: Database search tips

Database search tips tutorial. Self-paced.

Improve your searches! This guide will help you:

  • Apply search modifiers AND, OR, and NOT to your database searches
  • Recognize phrase searching and other advanced search techniques
Last Updated: Feb 8, 2024 4:16 PM