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MUSC 386: Research and Bibliography in Ethnomusicology

Writing Style Guides for Music

Writing Style Guides for Music

Cowdery, James R., ed. How to write about music: the RILM manual of style, 2nd ed. New York: Répertoire International de Littérature Musicale, 2006. Music Ref. ML3797 .H69 2006

Gottlieb, Jane. Music library and research skills. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall, 2009. Music Ref. ML3797 .G68 2009

Holoman, D. Kern. Writing about music: a style sheet, 3rd ed. Oakland, CA: University of California Press, 2014. Music Ref. ML3797 .W75 2014

Sampsell, Laurie J. Music research: a handbook. New York: Oxford University Press, 2009. Music Ref. ML113 .S28 2009

Wingell, Richard J., and Silvia Herzog. Introduction to research in music. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 2001. Music Ref. ML113 .W564 2001t

Wingell, Richard J. Writing about music: an introductory guide, 4th ed. Upper Saddle River, N.J.: Prentice Pearson Hall, 2009. Music Ref. ML3797 .W54 2009

Style Guide

Chicago manual of style is the preferred style of documentation for MUSC386.  Use the online version, or the print version of the 17th ed. in the library. Chicago name-date style examples below:

Chapter in an edited book:

Baily, John. 1994. "The Role of Music in the Creation of an Afghan National Identity." In Ethnicity, Identity and Music: the Musical Construction of Place, edited by Martin Stokes, 45-60. Providence, RI: Berg Publishers.

Journal article:

Sparling, Heather. 2008. "Categorically Speaking: Towards a Theory of (Musical) Genre in Cape Breton Gaelic Culture." Ethnomusicology 52 (3): 401-25.

See others under Citing your sources.

Evaluating Sources

Consider these criteria in evaluating sources:

Level: Do you need an overview of principles, basic terminology, or details? Books and encyclopedias provide an introduction. Articles provide more focused analysis.

Authority: We construct authority as part of our academic culture. For example, peer-review is a mark of work that is acknowledged as authoritative. However, there are other forms of authority such as that of Indigenous elders and knowledge keepers, musicians, artists, and performers. Consider the context of the information to determine whether it can be deemed authoritative.

Context: In what context is the information written: historical, social, political, cultural, musical development, etc. You may be seeking information from multiple contexts.

Perspective: Whose voices are represented? A primary source presents information written by individuals from another time. Is it a secondary source written by a historian interpreting the past? Is it written by a member of the group under examination such as a specific Indigenous nation, types of musicians, or performers from a specific locale. For more: Cooke, N. A. (2017). Posttruth, truthiness, and alternative facts: Information behavior and critical information consumption for a new age. The Library Quarterly, 87(3), 211-221.

Also check: Evaluating Sources Checklist  -- Scholarly and Popular Sources -- Evaluating Web Sources -- Distinguishing Scholarly Journals from Other Periodicals.

Citing Your Sources

Chicago manual of style, 17th ed. is the preferred style of documentation for MUSC386.

Check out these sites for other information on citing sources:

Queen's Library guide: Citing & Citation Management

Queen's Library guide: Citation Managers

Western Libraries, London, ON: Citing MUSIC SOURCES

American Anthropological Association (AAA) style guide is downloadable as a PDF

Writing Centre

Writing Centre

The Queen's Writing Centre provides help with brainstorming ideas, creating outlines, improving grammar and style, and thesis statements.  Students are advised to book an appointment for one-on-one consultations. The Centre is located in the Stauffer Library as part of Queen's Student Academic Success Services (SASS), which also comprises Learning Strategies.

See the SASS links for Academic Skills and Writing Resources, including Writing a Critical Review.

Reflective Writing

Reflection means taking some time to examine your thoughts, beliefs, values, attitudes and assumptions about your understanding of a topic, a situation or problem.  The key questions in reflective thinking are how? and why? rather than just what?  In reflective writing, students are asked to write down their personal thoughts.  

Reflective Writing (University of Leeds)

Reflective Writing (Royal Roads University)