Students in the music appreciation course write a research paper on a composer of their choosing. There is no better way to approach a writing assignment than to do some background reading on your topic. And there is no better way to do some background reading on a topic than to use the library.
The library has an extensive collection of resources - articles, audio, books, catalogs, databases, etc. - which are perfect for this assignment. What follows is a brief, selective showcase of some of the types of sources that are available for research in the area of music appreciation, using Ludwig van Beethoven as an example.
Many classical and contemporary composers, musicians, and artists are known well enough that information about them is amply represented across media.
For background information, one should consult these sources:
- Baker's Biographical Dictionary of Musicians: this reference book includes a 5 page sketch of Beethoven's life and work, with 5 additional pages of musical works and sources for additional information listed
- Biography in Context: this biographical database has a good overview of Beethoven's life and accomplishments, with hundreds of other contents, including popular and scholarly articles on Beethoven from books and periodicals, and links to recent news and radio broadcasts on him
- Encyclopedia Britannica: this core reference book has an excellent 6 page overview of the life and work of Beethoven, with 2 additional pages listing key sources for further reading
- Gale Virtual Reference Library: this reference database provides access to Beethoven entries in a number of different encyclopedias
- Credo Reference: this discovery service provides access to many different encyclopedia entries on Beethoven, as well as articles, books, and images from elsewhere in the Delgado collections
- The Oxford History of Western Music: this reference book includes a 40 page entry on Beethoven's life and work, with many dozens of additional pages focusing exclusively on his individual compositions, including a 15 page overview of the Fifth Symphony
- Oxford Music Online: with content from Grove Music, The Oxford Dictionary of Music, and The Oxford Companion to Music, this databse contains extensive information on the life and work of Beethoven
- Naxos Music Library: offers a brief overview of Beethoven's musical output, and provides access to hundreds of streaming audio files of his works
- EBSCO Discovery Service: this expansive discovery database searches across library collections, providing access to hundreds of thousands of documents, including print books on Beethoven, ebooks on Beethoven, articles on him, and more
The Delgado Library has an outstanding collection of books in print that should not be overlooked. There are more than 100 books in the library catalog on Beethoven, which include outstanding information on his life, his letters, his art, and his music. Please search in the catalog for books, and please check them out.
If you need assistance with anything mentioned or alluded to on this page, please come to the library. We are ready to help!