Getting started

Welcome to a guide to research customized for MUS 1801W: Music, Society, and Cultures! This guide includes suggestions of strategies and resources to help you get started with research, and it's broken up by the types of research tasks that you might be interested in (e.g., finding streaming recordings, locating print books and scores in the Libraries catalog, accessing digital journal articles, etc.). Use the tabs - located on the left side of the screen in a desktop browser, or at the very top or bottom of the page on a mobile device-  to explore these different research tasks.

 

New for Fall 2020: For general information about University Libraries services and resources like hours, information on returning books and scores, and more, please visit our Using the Libraries during COVID-19 page.
 

Questions? Need help? 

This guide is made up of lists of suggestions and general resources. Need help finding something more specific? Contact Music Librarian Jessica Abbazio (jabbazio@umn.edu) or the Music Library staff (musiclib@umn.edu).

Why are library research skills important?

Because finding relevant and trustworthy sources will help you to understand your topic – and it will make it easier to talk/write about it.
 

Finding relevant and trustworthy sources on whatever you're researching – as opposed to Wikipedia or the first few results for a Google search – will make it easier to get started with exploring and writing about your topic. Wikipedia is an easy place to start, but it may not give you all the information you need. Diving into scholarly and peer-reviewed sources like the ones you’ll find through the Libraries is a great way to locate detailed information you can trust.

Gathering sources that are on-target for your topic will help you gain a thorough understanding of what you’d like to write about. This will make it easier to get started!

What's in the Music Library?

We focus on Western classical music and world music, and we have thousands of items you can use for music-related research:

  • Books: We have books that you can borrow in print or view online, reference materials that normally stay in the library for everyone to use, and some non-circulating books that are rare and/or fragile.
     
  • Journals: The Music Library offers print and digital access to many different music-specific journals. Visit our Current Periodicals and Bound Periodicals sections to browse in person, or use the University Libraries catalog to search our digital subscriptions.
     
  • Scores: We offer access to thousands of scores for every kind of ensemble - full orchestras to solo performers. We also lend parts for chamber music (groups up to about 10-12 members), but unfortunately don't offer parts for larger ensembles.
     
  • Recordings: Borrow from our collections of over 30,000 recordings - CDs, DVDs, LPs, and more. Most of our audio and video recordings circulate for a period of seven days, but not all materials can leave the library. Check with our staff about what you can check out and take home!
     
  • Special collections and other materials: The Music Library offers some materials on microfilm, as well as other materials that require special handling. You're welcome to use any of these resources, and our Music Library staff will be happy to help you get started.
     

The Music Library also has some materials on popular music, including scholarly books on popular artists. If you are interested in beginner's guides to learning an instrument, we suggest checking your local public library or searching through interlibrary loan. Please don't hesitate to contact the Music Library staff at musiclib@umn.edu with any questions about our holdings and how to access these materials.

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Last Updated: Dec 1, 2020 9:41 AM