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Intro to the Art of Music - MUS 100 - Mok

Source: Harmonia Celeste, by Andrea Peuernage, Milano, 1589 - Anthology of madrigals

Getting Started

Telling the Stories of Music

A good place to start is Oxford Music Online or Encyclopedia Britannica. These provide broad information and background on your topic. Be on the lookout for concepts or information that you can explore in more detail as you research.

Examples include:

  • Composer 
  • Musical Period
  • Instrumentation
  • Musical works
  • Genre
  • Title
  • Numbers associated with the work

2. Using keywords or concepts, search for books and journal articles on your topic

3. Refine and repeat your searches with additional keywords or concepts as you find them.

Not finding what you need? You can always ask your friendly librarians for help! Click the "Ask a Librarian" tab on the right side of any library webpage and we'll chat with you! You can also email me anytime. We really do want to help you!

Happy researching,


Here are a few tools you'll need to make searching effective and efficient - watch this 3-minute video before digging in to your research!

Video by Sarah Clark and licensed under a CC BY license.

  • Use more specific terms: "Baroque violin" instead of violin
  • Use phrase searching with quotation marks: "double bass" instead of double bass
  • Use field searching: try searching in the title field or the keyword field

  • Use the Boolean "AND": acoustics AND cello
  • Use the Boolean "NOT": Salieri NOT Mozart for articles about Antonin Salieri that do not mention Mozart
  • Limit by date: More recent works are more likely to be relevant and accurate
  • Limit to full-text, in our collection
  • Use broader terms: piano may return more results than pianoforte does.
  • Use more accurate terms: violin instead of fiddle
  • Truncate terms using the asterisk (*) music* will return results that include music, musician, musicians, musical, musicals, musicality...
  • Try another database
  • Use the Boolean "OR": cello OR strings OR violoncello
  • Use subject headings of one good source to link to others
  • Follow-up on citations from one good source: that's one reason why scholars list their sources!