Music in New Worlds: Global Encounters in the Age of Discoveries, 1492–1800

Assignment Requirements

Table of Contents

Primary Source Presentation

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:

Consider questions such as these:

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.

Paper Proposal

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 why?), and propose a possible central argument (what do you think you might have to say? what answers 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.

Annotated Bibliography

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:

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 research question.

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 Gegenwart
  • 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

Research Paper

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 secondary scholarship. 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 paper should be between seven and nine pages in length (2,500–3,000 words).

Research Presentation

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 it.

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.