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Music History and Appreciation

Welcome to the research guide for Music History and Appreciation.  The following databases and websites are available linked from here and from the Electronic Resources section found on the library home page.  Print resources are available in the PHC on-campus collection or by mail to the distance learning members of our community.  You may check the location and availability of an item in the on-campus collection through the online catalog, Voyager, accessed through the library home page.

In choosing resources for your research paper, the professor has suggested the following resource guidelines:

  • Biography: 2 - 4 resources depending on the composer. You may only have 1 - 2 for more obscure composers, such as Orlando di Lasso.
  • Time period for the style: 1 - 2 resources on the general period, such as Romantic music or Classical style
  • Time period for the genre: 1 - 2 resources, such as "Symphony in the 19th century" OR time period for the country, such as Russian music in the 20th century.
  • Instrument or repertoire for the instrument for solo instruments, such as piano or guitar: 1 - 2 resources, such as Cambridge Companion to the Guitar
  • Country of origin: 1 resource that places the composer and work within its cultural context, such as Russian music or English music
  • Genre of the work: 1 - 2 resources, such as opera or symphony
  • Subjects or topics, etc: This is flexible space that allows you to engage themes. If you select Romeo and Juliet, for example, then reference the themes in the original work by Shakespeare.
  • Score of the music, if required: Most scores are available for free at Petrucci Music Library.
  • The specific work: For approximately one-third of the pieces of music that students select, there are books and/or articles written specifically about that work, such as Handel's Messiah, Copland's Appalachian Spring, and Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto No. 2.  For less well-known works, this category will not be possible.
  • Recording: Recordings of most pieces of music are available at Naxos Music Library. 
  • New Grove Encyclopedia of music and musicians, which is available in the PHC reference collection at Ref ML100 .N48, is an excellent scholarly resource for an overview of both composers and their works. It also contains valuable potential resources in their bibliographies.

Professional library assistance is available on campus, by phone at 540-441-8400, or through email at library@phc.edu.

 

Databases

Naxos Music Library is a great place to start to locate a piece of music that you love for that research paper or to just listen while you study.  Naxos offers an extensive online classical music collection over 46,000 CD's with over 653,000 tracks for your listening pleasure.  You will also find audio book transriptions, libretti, and synopses for over 700 operas, as well information on musical terms and analyses of various works. 

ebooks provides access to a variety of full-text print resources with specific resources relevant to composers, music periods, and genres.


JSTOR  is a database of scholarly articles from a broad variety of disciplines.


ProQuest  Periodical database covering a wide range of topics. The "Suggested Topics" box at the top of the results list can help you refine your search terms or look at different aspects of your topic. Check the box in the search or click on the tab in the results to limit your results to Scholarly Journals. 

 
Internet resources 

Petrucci Music Library archives free scores that are held in the public domain (musical compositions created prior to 1923 or 95 years after death of last surviving author). 

Mutopia provides access to thousands of public domain scores from both classical and contemporary composers.

Performing Arts Encyclopedia is a wealth of information on all areas of American music and musicians. This site is maintained by the American Memory Project of the Library of Congress.

Stanford Music Links provides access to vast array of archived sound recordings of primarily 20th century American music.

Note: If your research requires a score and you are unable to locate one either through an internet source or Interlibrary loan, please contact your professor. 


Print resources available in the library

The PHC on campus collection includes quite a few resources that can be accessed through the online catalog, Voyager.  You may choose a key word search, title search, or browse by call number.  If you choose to brows by call number, music resources are located in the M section of the LOC classification system.  Additional items in the collection include:

New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians is a definitive source for comprehensive and detailed descriptions of composers, musicians, musical styles, and periods.  It is available in the PHC collection at Ref ML100 .N48

Harvard Concise Dictionary of Music provides and overview of various musicians, musical styles and periods and is a good place to gather information as you select or narrow your research topic.  Is available in the PHC collection at Ref ML 100 .R28.

 

Research tips

  • Search by subject: Once you have located one item in the catalog, you may click on the subject term within the record to find other items on the same or similar subjects.
  • Once you locate an appropriate resource, potential valuable resources may be listed in the item's bibliography.
  • If you are unable to locate an item in the PHC online or on-campus collection, you may request resources through Interlibrary loan (ILL).  ILL requests may be made directly into the library database WorldCat.  If you have difficulty requesting an ILL in WorldCat, you may use the form on the website or request assistance from any of the library staff.
  • Zotero is a citation management system that will help you collect and organize your resources and then seamlessly create footnotes, endnotes, in-text citations, and bibliographies.  You can download and watch online tutorials, but you may benefit from a librarian’s help in quickly learning how to use Zotero.


Turabian is the approved citation format for this course.  Information on proper Turabian citation is available in the PHC collection and online at OWL (Online Writing Lab).

Created: Thornhill, 2010. Revised: Tanner/Thornhill, 2011, 2012, 2013.