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Music History Resources

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Nathan Farley
Berntsen 112


This guide is your starting point for researching topics in music history. Use the left side navigation to find articles, ebooks, scores and recordings. You can also find tips on how to effectively search for specific compositions and create citations.

If you need immediate research assistance, please use the 24/7 chat feature on our homepage. If you would like one on one research help, you can set up an appointment with me or any available UNW librarian here.

Tips for Music Research

Searching for music scores and recordings can be tricky. Here are a few techniques that may help you when searching in Library Search, a specific library database, or even Google.

  • Brainstorm keywords and phrases that relate to your topic.

Example: Middle Ages and Medieval period are two phrases that refer to the same time period.

  • Use AND to search for multiple terms.

Examples: Hildegard von Bingen AND music or Hildegard von Bingen AND medieval

  • Use catalog or opus number in quotes rather than name of a piece.

Example: Mozart AND "K. 467"

  • Search for a specific title by using quotation marks. Also, search the piece's title in both English and its original language.

Examples: "The four seasons" or "Le quattro stagioni"

"Well-Tempered Clavier" or "Wohltemperierte Klavier"

  • Shorten words with an * that may have multiple endings.

Examples: Rachmanino* will find both spellings: Rachmaninov and Rachmaninoff 

Bach AND cantat* will find cantata, cantate, cantatas, cantaten