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Chapter 01

How to write: some basics for shorter writing tasks

This chapter deals with some basics of writing about music and offers advice about how to deal with several different writing tasks such as term papers, program notes, and writing for the Internet.

To see a sample from this chapter, click here.

Cross references from Music in Words

Just one issue is cross referenced from this chapter - the difficult question of copyright.

Copyright law applies differently to different media (print, recorded music, film, and so on). Furthermore, the regulations sometimes change because of new legislation or agreements between international copyright organisations. This is a complex area, but the US Copyright Office, the Canadian Intellectual Property Office, and the European Copyright Office have constructed clear and helpful sets of guidelines on their websites.

US Copyright Office

Canadian Intellectual Property Office

European Copyright Office

Helpful external Web sites

Oxford English Dictionary (the best dictionary, but password-protected). OED, as it is commonly called, is available in most large libraries. It traces the origins of words and gives examples of the way that words have been used at various points in history.

Britannica Online (Encyclopedia Britannica in its online form—comprehensive and with many links), freely available online.

A free online course on different aspects of the Internet is offered by Log in to Learn. It includes 'Internet basics', 'Using a web browser', and 'All about e-mail'.

Writings about music in daily newspapers and other periodicals are easily accessible through the Internet. For example, 'music review' typed into the search function in the New York Times home page leads to a range of journalistic writing about music. Similar access can be gained in other newspaper and magazine websites.

Chapter bibliography

The Chicago Manual of Style. 15th ed. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2003.

Turabian, Kate L. A Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations: Chicago Style for Students and Researchers. Revised by Wayne C. Booth, Gregory G. Colomb, Joseph M. Williams and the University of Chicago Press Editorial Staff. 7th ed. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2007.

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