About MusRef

Welcome to MusRef, a site devoted to music and dance bibliography and reference. The site consists of five main features:

  1. An online bibliography of music and dance bibliographies and reference sources (both print and online).
  2. A blog devoted to music and dance bibliography and reference.
  3. Basic introductions to reference tools intended to help students understand how reference sources can guide them to appropriate research materials.
  4. Links to unpublished bibliographies.
  5. A corresponding Facebook page designed as a forum for interested librarians, scholars, and students.

We welcome your comments and suggestions. We also invited interested music and dance bibliographers, librarians, and researchers to contribute to the development of the site. Unfortunately, our blog cannot accept direct comments. Please email communications to the site manager, David Day at david_day@byu.edu. We invite everyone to “Like” our Facebook page where you can post your suggestions directly.

The Online Bibliography

At present the bibliography includes more than 7,300 bibliographies and reference sources (both print and online), approximately 1,880 of which are annotated with critiques on use, coverage, organization, and pros and cons (click here for guidelines on writing critiques). Many entries also list published reviews for the corresponding sources. The bibliography is growing actively with new sources and critiques added on a regular basis. The coverage of the bibliography was initially based on the music and dance reference collection at Brigham Young University, but many additional citations gathered from WorldCat and earlier bibliographies are entered on a regular basis. We have not copied or borrowed annotations or descriptions from any other sources.

The types of sources found in the bibliography include the following:

  • Directories
  • Dictionaries and Encyclopedias
  • Periodical Indexes and Other Specialized Indexes
  • Bibliographies of Music Research
  • Repertory Guides and Bibliographies of Music
  • Composer Thematic Catalogues and Bibliographies
  • Performer Bibliographies
  • Catalogues of Music Collections and Exhibits
  • Discographies
  • Chronologies
  • Select Histories and Guides to Music Librarianship

The content of entries includes basic data from the MARC records (information found in library catalogues). The data from the original MARC records has been modified somewhat to provide uniformity throughout the bibliography. For example, state’s abbreviations, author’s and publisher’s names, and statements of editions have been adapted from the original records for a more uniform presentation.

We are attempting to provide direct links to items in the bibliography that are available online. At this point in time we have provided links to online scans of print reference books in the public domain. These include books that were scanned as part of the Internet Archive and Google Books. We also provide links to articles and reviews found in JSTOR. Access to JSTOR resources requires authentication through an institutional license.

The data of the bibliography is currently made available on the Internet through Brigham Young University’s CONTENTdm server. CONTENTdm has some known limitations that users should be aware of.

1. CONTENTdm functions as ONE database of multiple digital collections. As a result our database will display links to other digital collections at BYU. Most notably in the far upper left corner of the display you will see the following text:

Digital Collections Home : browse : advanced search : preferences : my favorites

To avoid a confusing detour to unrelated collections, please ignore these links.

2. CONTENTdm does not support italics.

3. CONTENTdm does not function well with Boolean operators. To search multiple keywords just enter the terms alone without Boolean operators. The default function joins the terms with AND.

The Music Reference BLOG

The blog will be used as tool to inform interested colleagues in all aspects of music and dance bibliography and reference. We will post reports of progress on the Bibliography, Unpublished Bibliographies, and Facebook Network. Other threads of commentary will relate to online resources, new publications, and solutions to reference questions.

Unpublished Bibliographies

This component of the site will be devoted to highlighting unpublished research and works in progress. Initially it will feature outstanding bibliographies produced by students in the graduate research methodologies class at Brigham Young University. It is certainly not meant to be an exclusive club! We welcome submissions from other institutions and independent scholars. Send submissions to David Day at david_day@byu.edu.

Facebook Network

Our Facebook network is intended as an open forum that will enable interested librarian, scholars, and students to stay informed about the activities and projects of their colleagues. Admittedly there is a lot of annoying advertising, but the potential is significant. This type of social networking is common among students and may prove to be a useful tool for engaging a new generation of researchers.