LIBR 600 “Bibliography of Music 

Syllabus of Record



Instructor:  Dr. Carl Rahkonen,  Cogswell Hall 101C   8:00 am – 4:00 pm M-F ; Call or e-mail for an appointment

(724) 357-5644;

Course Web-site:

Purpose: To develop skills for graduate-level music research: knowing the organization of music materials within a library, how to use standard reference and research tools, and how to find and appraise research sources.

Course requirements:  weekly assignments, midterm and final exams, and a final project.

Grades: weekly assignments 30%; midterm exam 20%; final exam 20%; final project 20%; classroom participation 10%.

Suggested text:  Laurie J. Sampsel Music Research: A Handbook.   A good style manual, such as the Turabian 7th ed. (5th or 6th ed. also accepted), MLA 6th ed. or the Chicago Manual of Style.  Also helpful:  James R. Cowdery, ed.  How to Write About Music: The RILM Manual of Style 2nd ed.



Week 1            Introduction to the Course / The Research Process / Materials within a Music Library /

                                    Music Library History / Classifying and cataloging / Scholarly writing

Week 2            Citing materials in proper bibliographic form / Final Project topics

Week 3            Internet Literacy (The World Wide Web as a Framework)

Week 4            Library catalogs

Week 5            Uniform titles / Music Subject Headings

Week 6            Indexes of Music Literature / Bibliographies of Music Literature

Week 7            Bibliographies of Music / RISM / Discographies

                        Review for Midterm Exam


Week 8            MIDTERM EXAM


Week 9            Encyclopedias / Dictionaries of Music Terminology /

                                    Dictionaries and Indexes of Music Biography

Week 10          Thematic Catalogs / Monuments / Collected Editions 

Week 11          Chronologies, Histories, Musical notation / Guides / Handbooks, Directories,

                        Festschriften / Opera, Musical Theatre, Vocal Companions / Song Translations

                        / Specialized Indexes

Week 12          Ethnomusicology / Popular Music, Jazz, Blues / Musical instruments

Week 13          Thanksgiving Break – work on your Final Projects

Week 14          Copyright and intellectual property in music

Week 15          Final Exam Review and wrap up / FINAL PROJECTS DUE


FINAL EXAM  (At the Scheduled Time During Finals Week)




LIBR600                                             A GUIDE TO THE COURSE WORK





There will be thirteen assignments for the course; each will be worth 13 points and will be due at the next class meeting.  (NOTE: if you get a perfect score on each assignment, you will 6 extra credit points).


            1. All assignments must be typewritten, or letter quality printed. 

            2. Please include the question with each answer.

            3. In addition to giving the answer, be sure to tell where you found it! 

            4. When asked to make a citation, make sure they conform to standard bibliographic forms given in the Turabian, MLA or the Chicago Manual of Style. 



II. ORAL REPORTS (class participation)


In addition to the formal assignments, you will be asked to give occasional oral reports in class on some of reference works we are studying.  These reports will be worth a total of 50 points during the semester.  The following questions should be kept in mind when preparing the oral reports.


            1. Purpose:  Why was this work created?  What or whose need(s) does it serve?

            2. Subject:  What type of material does this work relate to?

            3. Language:  What language, or languages, is this work written in?

            4. Arrangement:  How is the information contained in this work organized?

            5. Index:  Is there a separate part of this work which provides access to its information?  If so, how is it organized?

            6. Special Features: What extra or unusual properties does this work possess that can help you to remember it?

            7. Evaluation:  How well do you think the work lives up to its purpose?  How up‑to‑date is it?  How easy is it to use?  What improvements would you suggest, if any?



LIBR600                                             THE FINAL PROJECT



Each student will be also required to complete a Final Project of publishable quality on a music subject of your choice.  This project can be in the form of a “State of Research and Publication” paper that could constitute a section of a thesis or research proposal.  Or it could be a Web-site, with appropriate citations, annotations and links to resources.  There is no required length, but most subjects should be able to generate at least thirty citations, which in typewritten form would be approximately three pages.


The Final Project will be worth 100 points.  You must first give a title to the project, which defines the topic it covers.  You will be graded on the thoroughness in covering your topic in all formats (books, parts of books, periodical articles, sound recordings, video and other media, and the World Wide Web) and in how well you write your appraisals of these sources.  You must write your own appraisals, and not use writing from other sources.  You are to use standard bibliographical forms for your citations.  You should write in standard English, with complete sentences.  Start on this project immediately, since some of your materials may have to be ordered through interlibrary loan.  I will have individual interviews with each of you to examine your index cards (or computer files), discuss search strategies and writing styles, and see how you are progressing.  I will be happy to read and correct letter quality preliminary drafts.


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