Select a primary source created between 1450 and 1800 from
UR’s Special Collections and Rare Books.
(Use the guide and list on BB if it helps.)
Prepare to present your source to the class in
not more than ten minutes.
It is up to you whether to write out your presentation or speak more freely
from an outline.
I recommend the latter, but in either case you cannot exceed ten minutes.
Your presentation should include a printed handout
of not more than the
front and back of one sheet of paper (print ten copies).
The handout should include:
the full citation for your source
any information you have found out from the library or other sources about
the background of your source and its provenance (where the library got it)
one key excerpt, illustration, or example that you discuss with the class
Consider questions such as these:
What format is the book? (folio, quarto, octavo—look up these terms)
What condition is the book in? (e.g., folded pages, fingerprints, handwriting, binding)
How do you think the book was used and by what sort of people?
What can the book tell us about (1) sound and/or music,
and (2) intercultural encounter?
Your handout should also include a bibliography of at least two sources
that could help someone who wanted to learn more about this book, such as a
modern edition or scholarly study of the source, or a more general scholarly
study that would aid in understanding the subject matter or type of source.
Write a single-paragraph abstract for the paper you intend to write.
The abstract should clearly and succinctly descripe your topic
(general area of research), your research question (what do you want to learn and
and propose a possible central argument (what do you think you might have to say?
might your research provide to your question?).
You should discuss the kinds of primary and secondary sources you intend to use, though
you do not
need to list an actual bibliography at this stage.
Find at least five high-quality research sources.
If you find more, select the five most recent, relevant, and interesting
sources to write about.
Your sources must include:
One tertiary source (encyclopedia/dictionary article)
Two journal articles in scholarly journals published
after 1970 (the more recent, the better), e.g.,
Journal of the American Musicological Society,
Colonial Latin American Review,
One scholarly book published after 1970
One musical source (recording and/or score) relevant to your topic:
search the UR catalog and online for names of composers and genres mentioned in
For each source, write one paragraph giving an abstract of the source (central argument,
kinds of sources and how used), and discussing how the source may be relevant to your
Tips for Finding Sources
Search for general information in encyclopedias/dictionaries like
Grove Music Online (search Oxford Music Online),
the Garland Encyclopedia of World Music,
The Cambridge History of Seventeenth-Century Music and
other volumes for other centuries and topics, e.g., The Cambridge
History of American Music
references in other languages like the Diccionario de la música
española e hispanoamericana, Die Musik in Geschichte und
Use their bibliographies and those of the assigned texts for class to find
more focused scholarly sources; also search
RILM database (via UR library) for all publications and dissertations on music
The Music Index database, the IIMP (International Index of Music Periodicals), for
journal articles about music
JSTOR for articles on a wide range of subjects, other databases like ATLA for religion
UR library catalog, and ask for help from a research librarian
WorldCat to find books not in our catalog and use Interlibrary Loan to get them
Develop an original research project in which you attempt to answer your own
research question related to the role of music in global intercultural
encounters, roughly in the period 1450–1800.
Draw on primary sources, especially those available to you in UR’s Rare Books
and Special Collections; and engage with recent secondary scholarship in
musicology and relevant fields.
Write a paper that contributes to a conversation among scholars and students
by offering a new insight, perspective, or theory.
Present a clear and persuasive central argument and supports
this argument based on evidence from musical sources, documentary sources, and
Every paragraph should begin with a topic sentence that clearly connects the ideas
and evidence presented in that paragraph to your central argument.
Provide a full and responsible citation for every source that you use in any consistent
style (Chicago notes-and-bibliography style recommended,
see Chicago Manual of Style online).
Submit the document on paper, 12-point font, 1-inch margins. With this format the
should be between seven and nine pages in length (2,500–3,000 words).
Present the gist of your research paper in class in an oral presentation
no longer than fifteen minutes in length including musical examples.
The presentation should be in the style of an academic conference paper,
which means that you read from a complete prepared text. This allows you
to time the presentation reliably.
You should estimate about 2.5 minutes of time per double-spaced, 12-point page:
thus your text should be 5–6 pages long.
The simplest method is probably to read the introduction and conclusions of your
research paper verbatim, and give just an overview of the internal sections,
and focus on one or two key examples.
Every presentation should include an example of sounding music. If no recording is
available but there is notation, the professor and class members can sing or play
Your presentation should be accompanied by a visual display of some kind, preferably
a set of slides (e.g., PowerPoint, LaTeX Beamer).
The slides should clarify the structure of your paper; provide helpful visual
examples like architecture, art, images of primary archival sources; and display
any complex or foreign terms or longer quotations.
With visual presentations, less is more.