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Basic Music Research Guide

How to conduct research on music.

How Do I Do This?

Check that your sources are valid the easy way by answering these questions:

  • WHO: Who wrote/created this source?
  • WHAT: What are the author's motivations in creating this source? Are they academic or opinionated?
  • WHERE: Where are the cited sources in the bibliography from? Do they appear reliable?
  • WHEN: When did they create this source? Have there been advances since then?
  • WHY: Why is the author qualified discuss this subject?
  • HOW: How did you find this source? Did you use a database?

Peer-reviewed sources are also generally reliable, but you should always make your own intelligent evaluation of a source before you take it as fact!

Why is This Important?

Maybe your source was written by a scholar, maybe your source was written for a 5th grade music project. Which one of these is likely to be more accurate and more trusted by your professor? That's why you need evaluation.