When the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland Whittaker Library consulted students recently, we heard that students find it most useful to receive targeted information about topics being studied or written about.
... So we’ve been looking at the Music History 3 essay questions to see how our online resources could help you. Just about everything you need is here, available 24:7
- Online databases and music streaming: http://www.rcs.ac.uk/about_us/libraryandit/databases/,
- Electronic journals: http://www.rcs.ac.uk/about_us/libraryandit/e-journals/)
- You can often find a score online. Use your computer’s snipping tool to copy little excerpts for examples. We subscribe to Alexander Street Press Classical Scores Library (accessible online wherever you are), and Library Music Source (accessible on site). You probably already know about IMSLP (the Petrucci library), too.
- If a piece of music has an English title as well as its original title, search both.
- You can look for information in Groves Dictionary – it’s part of Oxford Music Online.
- You can also find useful information on JSTOR. Be clever with your searching – if the essay is asking you to link concepts (eg Liszt and literature), make sure your search terms reflect that.
- If JSTOR hasn’t got what you want, don’t give up. Try RILM (music abstracts). HINT: The advanced search will get better results than the simple one! The SmartText searching option is good for finding adjacent words in a phrase. If you only read material in English, or another language, you can factor that into your search, too.
- There’s nothing wrong with older literature, if it informs the question you are answering. However, do remember that opinions may have changed, if an article is very old indeed!!
- Search keywords in our catalogue. Start with a precise search (eg the composer’s name and perhaps the piece) then broaden it if you don’t get what you need. If you don’t find the right information under a composer’s name, try MUSIC HISTORY - and maybe the century you’re interested in. If you’re off-site, limit your results to e-books to see if there’s anything you can read online.
- You can stream music by Naxos or Alexander Street Press Music Library. Check our e-resources page. http://www.rcs.ac.uk/about_us/libraryandit/databases/
- There are also plenty of electronic journals on the e-journals page. Start by looking for suitable journals under the List of Music Titles. http://www.rcs.ac.uk/about_us/libraryandit/e-journals/