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Music Theory

A guide for undergraduate and graduate researchers of music theory

Getting Started

"Let's start at the very beginning..." - Julie Andrews in "The Sound of Music"

The hardest place to be in your research is at the very start.  What is my topic?  Is my idea too broad?  Is it too narrow?  Has anyone written about this?  Has anyone already written about this?  Where can I find quality sources?  What if I can't find anything?  I have no idea where to start!!

For some, research is where you excel and you are ready to dive into your next research project.  For others, this may be your first research project or you have not felt confident in your research skills.  Much of this guide is to help anyone who is doing research in music theory, from undergraduate to graduate research.  

If you aren't sure where to start, start on this page!  There are 4 different tip videos to help you start the searching process and an info graphic on how Boolean operators, which can focus your search and generate better results.  

If you are ready to search, find your tab and start searching!

If at any point in your research you feel stuck or need help finding a source, please ask for help!  Our music librarian, Paula Hickner, would love to help you find exactly what you need.  Contact her via email to set up an appointment.

To get started searching in InfoKat, WorldCat, or OCLC FirstSearch, go to the drop down menu under 'Starting Your Search' at the top of this page.

Research Tips for New Students

4 Research Tips is a great introduction to college-level library research, geared toward new students.

4 Research Tips for New Students

Selecting Search Terms

Selecting Search Terms is a quick video that can help you understand which terms will best help you find resources related to your chosen topic.

Boolean Operators

Boolean Operators are a great way for you to broaden, narrow, and refine your search results. This Boolean Operators animation illustrates what each operator does.

Developing a Research Topic

Developing a Research Topic will give you insight into the process of what makes a good research topic and how it often evolves over the course of a project.

Background Research

Conducting Background Research is an important part of the overall research process. This quick video will give you tips on how to go about this part of the process.