Course Research Guides
MUSC 247: Folk Music Revival
Winter 2008 - Professor Russell
In this guide:
There are many ways to start a research project, but one of the most efficient is to look up your topic, or topics similar to yours, in specialized reference books. These books usually contain lists of references to important and authoritative works (books, articles, and musical pieces) related to the topic. Here are a few places to start:
- The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians
REF ML100 .N48 2001
This multi-volume encyclopedia is the definitive encyclopedia for musical research. It has signed articles (so you know who wrote the entries and can find out if they've written anything else by searching for books and articles by that person), and it includes entries on musical forms, genres, musicians, etc. The online version is here, though sometimes not as easy to use as the print version.
- The New Grove Dictionary of American Music
REF ML101 .U6 N48 1986
This is a smaller series devoted to American music. It contains information not duplicated in the New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians. Volume four is devoted to North America.
- The Garland Encyclopedia of World Music
REF ML100 .G16 1998
Each volume of this encyclopedia covers roughly a continent; volume three covers the United States and Canada. This work is made up of wonderfully long signed articles, each with a substantial bibliography (and some with a discography). You can use the table of contents at the beginning and the index at the end to find references to your topic.
- The Continuum Encyclopedia of Popular Music of the World
REF ML102 .P66 C66 2003
Volume four of this multi-volume set covers popular music of North America. Again, the entries are signed, and most have a very long bibliography, discography and/or discographical references, and references to any other related information (such as sheet music).
There are quite a few discographies in the library's Reference collection, and they cover different genres and time periods, but if you don't see the one that you need, try looking downstairs in the general collection in the ML156 section. In addition, here are some places to go to find discographies.
You can browse them by doing a Bridge search for ML156, by doing and Advanced Search for your genre and the term as a keyword and "Discography" as a Subject term, or use this Customized Bridge Search Form to search the discographies held by Carleton and St. Olaf. Here are some of the most popular discographies.
- All Music Guide Online
Includes information about albums, artists, cover art, descriptions of the artists or pieces, relational information about the connections between artist and music, as well as editorial content by AMG's staff and freelance writers.
- Often, discographies are included in biographies and in the New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians. To find biographies, search for your artist's name as a Subject (last name first) and "biography" as a Subject in an Advanced Bridge Search.
Remember to try different keywords if the words you are trying don't give you the results you need. For example, not all articles that talk about the music, musicians, or impact of the folk music revival have the words "folk" or "revival" in them. Try broadening your search and finding out how each individual database describes folk music before giving up.
- ProQuest Research Library
Full-text journals across a wide range of subject areas. It's collection of newspaper and magazine articles adds to its emphasis on scholarly works to give a rounded view of your topic. This is one of the best place to go to find popular magazines. After you do a search, you can click the tabs above the result list to see the Scholarly journals, Magazines, Trade publications, or Newspapers separately.
- RILM Abstracts of Music Literature
An international guide to writings about music. Watch the "descriptors" that come up when you do searches in RILM because these are the keys to finding more articles like the one you're looking at. Keyword searches will only get you so far if you don't pay attention to these words because there are no abstracts included for the articles.
- Music Index Online
Book reviews, obituaries, news, and articles about music, musicians, and the music industry from over 775 international classical and popular music periodicals. You will need to use the Journals List and Bridge to see if we have the full text to the articles included in this database. (See this brief guide for help.) NOTE: This database indexes the magazine Sing Out from 1974 to the present.
- Academic Search Premier
Scholarly, multi-disciplinary journals. This is one of the best places to start when looking for scholarly work, especially when your topic incorporates the themes of multiple disciplines (such as music, history, sociology, and the like).
- America: History and Life
This indexes works about the history and culture of the U. S. and Canada. There are quite a few subject terms that include the word "Music" here.
- Sociological Abstracts
International literature in sociology and related disciplines. Since music is highly tied to society, there is quite a bit of information here on societal effects on music and music's part in society.
- Arts and Humanities Citation Index
Not only can you look for citations of books and articles on your topic, but you can also do a "Cited Reference Search" to find out how many people have cited a particular work or author and what the citing sources are, as well as what citations are contained in a particular work.
You can find citations for articles that appeared in folk periodicals from the time (such as Sing Out) in several places in the library. Unfortunately, very few online indexes go back to the 60s, but print indexes are available.
Be aware the we have the actual print version of Sing Out going back to 1972 here in the library (Here is a list of the issues we have, and their location). If you need issues prior to 1972, or if your particular issues is missing from our collection (occasionally over the years individual issues weren't delivered to us), you can request specific articles via Interlibrary Loan. Generally, Interlibrary Loan requests get delivered about a week (and book requests can take even longer). See me if you have problems or questions.
- Music Index (1949 to 2005 - In print in the reference room)
REF ML118 .M84
Indexes for Sing Out from 1959 to the present
Remember that each year a print indexes compiles information about articles written during that calendar year, so you will usually have to look in multiple volumes to find references to articles on your topic.
- MLA International Bibliography
Indexes Sing Out from 1968 to the present
- Music Index Online
Indexes Sing Out from 1974 to the present
- St. Olaf subscribes to the International Index to Music Periodicals.
(You will have to go to St. Olaf to use this resource.)
Includes indexing to Sing Out.
Finding Broadside Magazine
Broadside is indexed in three places:
- Index for Broadside Magazine, nos. 1 through 144
REF ML156.4.F5 B76 1986
Includes music, article, and poetry indexes by author and title. It lists the issue in which each work appears, but no years or page numbers.
- Author Index (PDF)
Not broken down by type of work (article, music, or poetry).
- Title Index (PDF)
Not broken down by type of work (article, music, or poetry).
To obtain copies of the issues themselves, place an interlibrary loan request for a "book" and fill in "Broadside" as the title, put "issue #" and then the issue number into the "year" field, and write a note in the "notes" field indicating that you are requesting photocopies of the entire issue, and that the ISSN number for the periodical is 0740-7955.
Finding other popular magazine sources from the 1950s and 1960s
- Readers' Guide Retrospective
This is one of the few places to find citations to popular magazines from the time period.
Remember to try different keywords if the words you are trying don't give you the results you need. For example, not all books that talk about the music, musicians, or impact of the folk music revival have the words "folk" or "revival" in them. Here are some ways to locate books on your topic:
- By searching Bridge, our online catalog. When you find a book that looks helpful, scroll down the page and look at the "subjects." You can start to collect these standardized subject headings and do searches for other books that are about the same topic. Remember to enter these into a subject search using exactly the same words as you found in your original record. There are many subject headings containing the word "Music" so try an advanced search using whatever keywords or subject terms you've collected, plus "Music" as a subject term and "United States" as a subject term. Some subject terms to try are:
- Folk music
- Folk Music -- United States.
- Folk Music -- History And Criticism.
- Folk music -- United States -- History and criticism
- Folk Music -- [name of state here]
- By finding citations to books in reference works or other books you've looked at or journal articles you've read. Bibliographies are your friends!
- By browsing the shelves next to books that have been helpful. Our call numbers put books near each other if they are about the same thing, so if you find one really good book look at the ones near it.
- Lift Every Voice
Collection of digitized images that document the music and related artifacts of American life. There are also sound clips available.
- Music of Social Change
The "Weblinks" section gathers information about several rich digital collections, and the "essays" section acts very much like a reference work, giving you context and ideas for useful search terms.
- The American Memory Project
Published by the Library of Congress
Click into "Performing Arts, Music" and then either search all the collections or click into specific collections that are relevant to you. There are several folk music collections (the collections are in alphabetical order) as well as a Hispanic music collection and an African-American music collection. You will be able to read accounts and listen to archival recordings.
This Research Guide By:
- Iris Jastram
- Reference & Instruc. Librarian for Languages and Literature
- Gould Library 463