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Syracuse University Libraries

Music Research E-mail Challenge

This guide structures and supports the music research skills e-mail challenge

Welcome to Day 4 of the Music Research Challenge

Welcome to Day 4 of the Music Research Challenge!

Scores and recordings are some of the most important primary sources in music research:

  • performance and practice
  • different types scores can provide insight into the performance practice of a given work
  • often provide provenance information that can be useful for program notes

Did you know?
The library has multiple places to help you find scores, both on online and on paper. We'll focus on one, but there are many more to explore!

Let's get started!

1. Go to Classical Scores Library, if you don't have a personal account made, please register - you get some expanded functions!

2. Search for a composer or work you are interested in.

3. Select a work and take a look - these are digitizations of printed music and will include any notes or editorial comments that were included in the original score. 

4. Looking for new music? Try the browse features! Can you find a piece published before 1600? A piece from the 21st century? An urtext? Use the filters on the left side of the results box to narrow down your search.

5. Find and cite function and get help citing the item. Add the item to a playlist. 

Did you know? Classical Scores Library is on the same platform as Alexander Street Music!

6. Look for a music recording or video of a performance of a piece you added to your playlist (if you can't find one of the first sheet music piece you added then go back and add another!) Try to find other types of content that aligns with your search: an interview, book, lyrics, documentaries, links to outside sources, or ephemera and add them to your playlist as well. 

7. For Concert Credit send your playlist to Amanda DuBose

Other Libraries resources for scores and recordings include:

Did you know?
Beyond library resources, there are many places to find scores and recordings, including those that are freely accessible and do not require a subscription to access. Open access may be of particular interest to those of you who leave the university setting at some point, and/or those of you who work with community partners who may not have access to the library's subscription resources. ​Several options are included in the lists below.

  • IMSLP -  Everyone's favorite stop for over 207,000 public domain scores. Had you noticed you can RSS the list of New Scores or New Recordings as they become available?
  • EVE - Electronic and Virtual Editions: This listing is limited to open-access projects from which music may be downloaded and in some cases searched, analyzed, listened to, visualized, and re-edited.
  • SCRC - Special Collections Research Center: Our very own special collections has scores and recordings, some of which are digitized and available on the web! 
  • Music DH Digital Editions: Whether facsimiles of manuscripts, scholarly editions for critical study, or scores intended for use by performers, editions of musical works are familiar print sources. In the DH sphere, digital editions meet one or more of these needs, while making more transparent both the process of composition and the editorial choices that led to a final product. Areas of active research in the field include methods of representing musical notations beyond common practice Western tonal music, ways to make use of MEI-encoded scores for analysis, and opportunities to incorporate community contributions like annotations.
  • MuSo - Music Scholarship Online: In this preliminary stage, MuSO has aggregated 18th-Century content from the Europeana Music Collection with content in the ARC Catalogue. This was used as a test case for describing digital content relating to music. We plan to add to this preliminary collection in the coming months and years.
  • DIAMM - Digital Image Archive of Medieval Music: is a leading resource for the study of medieval manuscripts. We present images and metadata for thousands of manuscripts on this website. We also provide a home for scholarly resources and editions, undertake digital restoration of damaged manuscripts and documents, publish high-quality facsimiles, and offer our expertise as consultants
  • This is the equivalent of a huge public library with access to 20 million books and many recordings. Includes links to other collections.

For more resources check out the Music: Media and Recordings and the Scores and Sheet Music research guides!

Preparing for the next challenge

Excellent work finding all these essential resources! Next, we'll look at Open Access resources and how to find resources for free. See you then!