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Research Guides@Tufts

MUS 201: Seminar in Music Research

This guide supports MUS 201 seminar an introduction to Musical Research as constituted by the fields of Musicology, Ethnomusicology, and Music Theory, both as a scholarly enterprise and as a profession.

Getting Started

What information do you need to start your research?

  • Are you familiar with your topic or do you need to start from the beginning?
  • Look at encyclopedia entries and research guides for general and comprehensive bibliographies.
  • Are you researching a historical topic that has been studied and covered for a while?
  • Is your research on a new topic, person, or issue that has minimal scholarship?

How will you refine your search for resources?

  • Think about the words you use to describe your topic.
  • Write down key terms, names, places, time periods, etc. to help you search library materials, databases, or online resources.
  • Use the vocabulary and language used by other people who have done research in this area.

Assess & Evaluate

Who is the author?

  • What does the author know about the subject?
  • Where do you find credentials for an author?
  • What biases does the author have?
  • There are different types of authority depending on one's experience, education, or position.

Who is the intended audience of the resource?

  • Consider the tone and style
  • What level of information is provided?
  • What assumptions does the author make about the reader?

Is the text peer-reviewed?

  • Peer-review is when a text is reviewed by one or more experts on a particular topic prior to publication.

What is the scope and coverage of the resource?

When was the item written or published?‚Äč

  • Is it timely or outdated?

Evaluate the sources cited by the author.

  • Do they provide citations?
  • Is there enough evidence to support their argument or claim?