The Research Process
In the age of Google, researching seems easy, but academic research looks far beyond Google. It looks to subscription resources that are provided by the library. It looks to a combination of physical and online resources. There are many types of sources that will help you with your research. The infographic below describes the research process, including the types of sources you may wish to consult and where to find them.
Grove Music Online
A great starting to place to find biographical information on composers, as well as a complete listing of their works. The Grove also contains articles about other musical personalities, historical time periods, instruments, genres, and so much more. TIP: Check out each article's bibliography for additional resources to consult.
Cambridge Histories Online
Cambridge Histories Online offers brief overviews of time periods. Of particular interest to this course is the Cambridge History of Eighteenth Century Music, and the Cambridge History of Nineteenth Century Music.
The Oxford History of Western Music
Taruskin offers a detailed narrative of the lives and works of composers, as well as a critical analysis of the development of musical styles over the centuries. This is a great place to get an understanding of what was happening in music during what we now call the Enlightenment period.
Europe, 1450 to 1789: Encyclopedia of the Early Modern World
This encyclopedia covers the period's most significant personalities and meaningful developments in the arts, religion, politics, exploration, and warfare. A great source for contextual background information to help situate your research.
ML134 = Composers' Research Guides and Thematic Catalogues
Call Number: REF ML134 .B25 P69 2002
Research guides and thematic catalogues are frequently found in the Reference section. They are organized alphabetically by composer's surname. Many guides offer biographical information, but their main purpose is to list sources and literature essential for research on the composer. Musical incipits (notated excerpts from the composer's works) are frequently included. One example, C.P.E. Bach: A Guide to Research is pictured here.
Tips and Tricks
You've found some good background info. So now what?
Look at the bibliographies of the articles you have found. These are going to be some of the best sources on your topic. Try looking for these sources. Tip: Look for books and known journal articles in the Catalogue.
If you don't find what you're looking for, ask a full-time Music Library staff member for help.