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MUS 265: History of Western Music I: Recent Research Report

This guide will assist students enrolled in Dr. Balensuela's Mus 265: History of Western Music I class.

Recent Research Report (Spring 2023)

Recent Research Report: (25%) Each student will research a topic in music history up to c. 1800 (excluding Beethoven). The graded portions of the research project will consist of:

  • Assigned worksheets from the Music Librarian (homework) (5%)
  • At regular intervals through the semester (6) students will present the proper bibliographic citation for specific items and a written prose description of the item including a footnote. (3% each = 15%)
  • A final Bibliography: A FINAL version of the bibliography as described on the guidelines (5%)

Student research projects will an investigation of scholarly resources on a topic in music history before 1800 (excluding Beethoven). It is safest to consider a study of a composer and work (and its genre if there is not enough research), although specific topics (castrati, for example) can often work. We will follow the DePauw School of Music LibGuides to citations ( with is based on the Chicago/Turabian model. So if you are familiar with other citation guides (such as MLA) you will want to adjust to the Chicago/Turabian formats.

Some works will have substantial research, so a project on Mozart’s Don Giovanni will have many articles and books on it. But some famous works like Vivaldi’s Four Seasons do not have a lot of research, so a topic of Vivaldi and the Baroque Concerto in general with a special emphasis on the Four Seasons works better.

If the study of a composer and work does not appeal to you, a student may write a one-page proposal for a study of a topic, concept, music theorist or other issue (along with a four sources bibliography to show there is research on this topic). The proposal must explain how the topic fits into your overall academic work in music. You will need to find a composer and work within one week if the proposal is rejected. Projects on specific instruments usually do not work for this project.

Annotations: For each item you cite, you will first give its proper bibliography format. You will then write an annotation of the item (what it is, how is it useful to your study) which is usually about half or a full page (double spaced). In the annotation you will use ONE footnote of the item (including a quotation from the source).

Week 2 Grove Music Online and other encyclopedias (2 citations: Biography and topical)
Week 4 A scholarly article (journals)
Week 6 A published book (monograph)
Week 8 A PhD dissertation
Week 10 Scores, Recordings, Videos (including liner notes)
Week 12 Another scholarly article and discussion of unique citation problems such as chapter in a book, translations
Week 14

Complete bibliography (A-Z) with one-two page prose introduction of the topic with references to sources (no need for footnotes, just cite author and/or titles in prose)

***5 extra credit points (up to 20) for each additional correct citations of scholarly books and articles cited usefully in the introduction.


Music, Media, and Creative Arts Librarian

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Sylvia Yang
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