Getting Started

Comment Icon0 music-study-guide : a 3 minute introductory video on searching for information in music at Maag Library.

To help define your research topic, it helps to consult some of the standard reference works before searching for books, music materials, and journal articles. A good article in a specialized encyclopedia can give you the necessary background you need to get started and can help suggest keywords or other research avenues. You can look for relevant sources in the reference collection in the Maag Library, as well as the reference section (look under “M”!) located on the Library’s main floor.

Unlike text, a musical work isn’t about something. Usually, musicians are most interested in the work’s format (score, CD), genre (symphony, jazz ballad), and instrumentation (what forces perform the work).

In general if you are searching for music scores and recordings, be as specific as you can. If a title is “distinct” (unique), such as an opera or song title, use that. If the title is a music form or type, such as symphony, concerto, sonata, etc., enter the most specific information you have. If you seek a portion of a larger work, such as a selection from a musical, song cycle, or opera, you will often need to discover the name of that larger work in order to find it.

For books and music materials that we don’t own here at Youngstown State University, or items that are checked out or otherwise unavailable, use OhioLINK. You’ll find books and music materials in libraries across Ohio that you can request and have sent to the Maag Library circulation desk where you can check them out.

For items not available in MaagNET or OhioLINK, you can request items through Interlibrary Loan. This is a particularly valuable resource for finding specific musical works that may be hard to locate, as well as a great way to discover to what musical work a musical excerpt may belong.

Updated 09/23/09 jmk

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