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MUS 781 Introduction to Music Bibliography

The purpose of this guide is to organize the most relevant USD Library resources for participants in MUS 781.

Secondary

Primary vs. Secondary Sources

Research for major projects will incorporate both primary and secondary sources.  The Everyday Writer describes primary sources as “firsthand knowledge” while “[s]econdary sources are descriptions or interpretations of primary sources” (p. 146).

Historical research refers to the collection of data to record and interpret past events. Source materials used by the historical researcher are normally of two kinds, primary and secondary. A primary source is first-hand information, observed directly by the researcher. A secondary source is second-hand information, not original to the researcher. Through the process of external criticism, the researcher learns whether or not the object of scrutiny is authentic. Through the process of internal criticism, the researcher determines if the information contained in the object is credible. An example of historical research is a 1993 study by Gruhn. The purpose of the study was to determine if Lowell Mason's Manual of the Boston Academy of Music for the Instruction in the Elements of Vocal Music on the System of Pestalozzi is truly based on Pestalozzian principles. A detailed comparison of the Manuel, a work by Pfeiffer and Nageli, and a work by Kubler revealed that the Pfeiffer and Nageli work is much closer to the ideas advocated by Pestalozzi than the Kubler work, and that Mason's Manuel is little more than a translation of Kubler.

 

Lunsford, A.A. (2005). The everyday writer (3rd ed.). Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s.

http://lib1.bmcc.cuny.edu/help/sources.html

http://libguides.bgsu.edu/content.php?pid=20573&sid=145214

What is primary research and secondary research in Music?

Research for major projects will incorporate both primary and secondary sources.  The "Everyday Writer" describes primary sources as “firsthand knowledge” while “[s]econdary sources are descriptions or interpretations of primary sources” (p. 146).

Lunsford, A.A. (2005). The everyday writer (3rd ed.). Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s.

PRIMARY

 SECONDARY

Primary sources reveal information about the production and performance of music, aural traditions, histories of musical composition, notation, and technique, information about music theory and about individuals’ and cultures’ technological advancement, economy, education, cognition, and more.

The types of primary resources used in research include:

  • Manuscript music scores
  • Musical instruments
  • Sheet music
  • Composer’s notes, correspondence or autobiographies
  • Musical performances / recordings / films/videos of live performances
  • Historical and contemporary sound recordings on LP and disc  

Music

Secondary sources, on the other hand, offer an analysis or a restatement of primary sources. They often attempt to describe or explain primary sources. Some secondary sources not only analyze primary sources, but use them to argue a contention or to persuade the reader to hold a certain opinion.  

Examples of secondary sources include:

  • dictionaries, 
  • encyclopedias
  • textbooks
  • books and articles that interpret, analyze, or review research works

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