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Music Research

A Handbook

Third Edition

Laurie J. Sampsel

Publication Date - January 2019

ISBN: 9780190644505

336 pages
6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches

In Stock

Retail Price to Students: $84.99

A current, concise, and practical guide to researching and writing about music


Clear, concise, and practical, Music Research: A Handbook, Third Edition, introduces students to the major print and online research tools available today. With a strong focus on the connection between research and writing, this comprehensive guide is ideal for use in both undergraduate and graduate music courses that require students to engage in library research or to write research papers.

New to this Edition

  • Enhanced coverage of the growing world of web-based research, including how to find, evaluate, critique, and cite the quality of materials found on the web
  • Revamped sections on writing research papers give clearer instructions on how to put together a compelling presentation and how to avoid common pitfalls like plagiarism
  • An updated Companion Website at www.oup.com/us/sampsel features updates, related links, and activities for each chapter along with lists of core journals and major professional music associations


  • Provides a concise introduction to researching and writing about music
  • Includes the most up-to-date survey of both print and online materials currently available
  • Models research and writing skills through interactive exercises and assignments

About the Author(s)

Dr. Laurie J. Sampsel is Professor of Musicology at the University of Colorado Boulder, where she teaches courses on music research, American music, and digital humanities.


"I think Laurie Sampsel's Music Research fills a real need and is practically perfect. The book is well-organized and the writing is clear. The contents are appropriate--just the right amount of material and relevant focus. The emphasis on evaluation rather than bibliography is more appropriate for the research tools available to students and researchers today." --Jennifer Thomas, University of Florida

"Music Research is the most current text on the market at this time. Its best features include short but informative chapter introductions written in a clear way; concise advice on research and writing; evaluation checklists in boxes; and style manual information at your fingertips." --Judith Bowman, Duquesne University

"I would absolutely recommend Music Research. The amount of information presented is enough to get students started, but not so much as to overwhelm beginners. It focuses on most of the topics that are important to our students. The inclusion of general introductory sections and explanatory passages is superior to the purely bibliographic listings of other books." --Scott Warfield, University of Central Florida

Table of Contents




    CHAPTER 1 Guides to the Research Process and Research Tools
    Take It Step-By-Step
    Research Ideas
    Some Types of Music Research
    Things to Consider
    Research Process
    Music Research Process
    General Research Process

    Research Tools
    Music Research Tools
    Evaluation Checklist
    Suggested Readings

    CHAPTER 2 Library Catalogs
    Author Searches
    Title Searches
    Author/Title Searches
    Keyword Searches and Subject Heading Searches
    Keyword Searches
    Library of Congress (LC) Subject Headings
    Format Issues
    Keyword Searches and Title Searches

    Limiting Search Results
    Contents of Bibliographic Records
    Examples of Library Catalogs
    Local Libraries
    Library Consortia
    National Libraries
    Bibliographic Utilities

    Finding Library Catalogs
    Information Centers
    Evaluation Checklist
    Suggested Readings

    CHAPTER 3 Music Encyclopedias and Dictionaries
    Comprehensive Music Encyclopedias and Dictionaries
    Music Encyclopedias and Dictionaries by Language
    Music Encyclopedias and Dictionaries for Specific Geographical Places
    Special Music Encyclopedias and Dictionaries
    Biographical Encyclopedias and Dictionaries
    Dictionaries of Musical Terms
    Encyclopedias and Dictionaries of Musical Instruments
    Encyclopedias and Dictionaries of Opera and Musical Theater
    Encyclopedias and
    Dictionaries of Performance Practice
    Encyclopedias and Dictionaries of Jazz, Rock, and Popular Music
    Miscellaneous Music Encyclopedias and Dictionaries
    Evaluation Checklist
    Suggested Readings

    CHAPTER 4 Periodical Indexes and Article Databases
    Major Music Periodical Indexes
    Retrospective Music Periodical Indexes
    Other Music Periodical Indexes
    Ceased Music Periodical Indexes
    Periodical Indexes for Related Disciplines
    American History
    Language and Literature
    Performing Arts
    Science and Medicine
    Social Sciences and Psychology
    Major General Periodical Indexes
    Major Newspaper Indexes
    Finding Online Journals
    Evaluation Checklist
    Suggested Readings

    CHAPTER 5 Indexes to Music Dissertations, Theses, Conference Papers, and Festschriften
    Dissertations and Theses
    Indexes of Dissertations and Theses
    Music-Specific Indexes of Dissertations and Theses
    General Indexes of Dissertations and Theses
    Conference Papers and Congress Reports
    Indexes of Conference Papers and Congress Reports
    Music-Specific Indexes of Conference Papers and Congress Reports
    General Indexes of Conference Papers and Congress Reports

    Indexes of Festschriften
    Music-Specific Indexes of Festschriften
    General Indexes of Essays

    Evaluation Checklist
    Suggested Readings

    CHAPTER 6 Thematic Catalogs
    Bibliographies of Thematic Catalogs
    Single-Composer Thematic Catalogs
    Examples of Single-Composer Thematic Catalogs
    Guides and Locators for Single-Composer Thematic Catalogs
    Thematic Catalogs for Particular Repertories
    Examples of Thematic Catalogs for Particular Repertories
    Collections, Archives, Libraries, and Publishers

    Evaluation Checklist
    Suggested Readings

    CHAPTER 7 Indexes to Music in Complete Works Editions, Musical Monuments, Historical Sets, and Anthologies
    Complete Works Editions
    Examples of Composers' Complete Works Editions
    Musical Monuments and Historical Sets
    Examples of Musical Monuments by Place
    Examples of Historical Sets by Style Period
    Additional Examples of Sets and Series
    Examples of Anthologies
    Indexes of Complete Works Editions, Musical Monuments, Historical Sets, and Anthologies
    Evaluation Checklist
    Suggested Readings

    CHAPTER 8 Music Histories, Source Readings, and Chronologies
    Music Histories
    Multi-Volume Music Histories
    Music History Series (W. W. Norton and Prentice Hall)
    General Music History Texts
    Music Appreciation Texts
    Study Guides and Outlines of Music History
    Important Earlier Music Histories
    Special Topic Histories
    Music Source Readings
    General Music Source Readings
    Special Topic Music Source Readings

    Music Chronologies
    General Music Chronologies
    Special Topic Music Chronologies
    Evaluation Checklists
    Suggested Readings

    CHAPTER 9 Bibliographies of Music and Music Literature
    Bibliographies of Music
    General Music Bibliographies
    Bibliographies for Particular Repertories

    Bibliographies of Music Literature
    General Bibliographies of Music Literature
    Special Topic Bibliographies of Music Literature

    Bibliographies of Both Music and Music Literature
    International Inventory of Musical Sources (RISM)
    Composer Bio-Bibliographies, Guides to Research, and Other Bibliographies
    Examples of Single-Composer Bibliographies
    Evaluation Checklist
    Suggested Readings

    CHAPTER 10 Discographies
    Bibliographies of Discographies
    Comprehensive and Historical Discographies
    Recommended Recordings and Buyer's Guides
    Library and Sound Archive Catalogs
    Local Libraries
    Library Consortia

    National Libraries
    Bibliographic Utilities
    Special Topic Discographies
    Discographies for Instruments and Ensembles
    Opera Discographies
    Jazz Discographies
    Rock Music Discographies
    Folk and World Music Discographies
    Discographies of Women in Music

    Single-Composer Discographies
    Schoenberg, Arnold
    Stravinsky, Igor
    Wagner, Richard
    Performer Discographies
    Recording Label Discographies
    American Music Discographies
    Canadian Music Discographies
    Recording Reviews and Indexes to Reviews
    Evaluation Checklist
    Suggested Readings

    CHAPTER 11 Music Iconographies
    Bibliographies of Iconographies
    General Music Iconographies and Illustrated Histories
    Musical Instrument Iconographies
    General Musical Instrument Iconographies
    Western Musical Instrument Iconographies
    Non-Western Musical Instrument Iconographies
    Multiple-Composer Iconographies
    Single-Composer Iconographies
    Bach, Johann Sebastian
    Beethoven, Ludwig van
    Brahms, Johannes
    Chopin, Frédéric
    Debussy, Claude
    Handel, George Frederic
    Haydn, Franz Joseph
    Liszt, Franz
    Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus
    Palestrina, Giovanni Pierluigi da
    Schoenberg, Arnold
    Schubert, Franz
    Schumann, Robert
    Stravinsky, Igor
    Verdi, Giuseppe
    Wagner, Richard
    Evaluation Checklist
    Suggested Readings

    CHAPTER 12 Digital Media
    Online Books
    Online Scores
    Streaming Audio
    Streaming Video
    Mixed Media Websites
    Staying Current
    Evaluation Checklists
    Suggested Readings


    CHAPTER 13 Writing About Music
    Assignment Types
    Abstracts, annotations, and annotated bibliography
    Lecture recitals
    Concert programs and program notes
    Grant applications
    Music-Specific Writing Books
    Compiling bibliographies
    Concert programs and program notes
    Evaluation Checklists
    Suggested Readings

    CHAPTER 14 Writing
    General Writing Books
    Comprehensive Guides
    Grammar, Punctuation, and Spelling
    Style and Rhetoric
    Writing and Publishing Process
    Evaluation Checklist
    Suggested Readings

    CHAPTER 15 Style Manuals and Citation of Sources
    Citing Sources and Avoiding Plagiarism
    Examples of Plagiarism
    Major Style Manuals
    University of Chicago Press Style (Chicago Style)
    American Psychological Association Style (APA Style)
    Modern Language Association Style (MLA Style)
    Music-Specific Style Manuals
    Reference Management Tools
    Using Sources
    Evaluation Checklist
    Suggested Readings


    A: Library of Congress Classification: Class M Outline

    B: Search Tips
    Boolean Search Terms
    Nesting Search Terms
    Truncation and Wildcards
    Phrase and "String" Searches

    C: Composers Included as Examples in This Text

    D: Chicago Style at Your Fingertips
    Bibliographic Citation Formats
    Footnote/Endnote Citation Formats
    Author-Date System

    E: APA Style at Your Fingertips
    Reference List
    Reference Citations in the Text

    F: MLA Style at Your Fingertips
    List of Works Cited
    Parenthetical Text Citations


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