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El Paso Community College
Library Research Guides

Music Resources: How Do I Get Started?

Provides guidance on the resources available and how to find information related to Music.

Choose a Topic


  • The first step is to choose a topic.

    • Topic may be assigned to you.

    • You might need to come up with a topic.  If so, do some research on different topics about music.  You can use the Credo Reference Database List of Music Topics for some ideas.

Keyword List

After you find a topic and look for background information, try coming up with a list of keywords you can use to search books, articles, and websites.


Music of Johann Sebastian Bach

Keywords:  Johann Sebastian Bach, German, Composer, Baroque Polyphonic, Counterpoint, Orchestral, Organ, Clavier, Harpsichord, Cello Suites, Violin, Chamber, Brandenburg Concertos, Cantatas, Sonata, Partita, Fugues, Choral Music 

These will be words you can put together to search for your topic.

For example a search could be:  Johann Sebastian Bach and Fugues

If you use words to search and don't get any hits, first check the spelling of the words and then try changing the words you are using.


Background Information

Once you find a topic to research, you will want to look for background information.  Background information provides you with an overview of your topic.  Background information provides you with a basic understanding of your topic prior to looking for articles, books, websites, etc...

A good resource to use for background research is Credo Reference database.  This database provides information on thousands of topics using handbooks, encyclopedias, dictionaries and other resources.

Credo Reference -- [Full text | Credo] 

Credo is an easy-to-use tool for starting research. Gather background information on all types of topics using hundreds of full-text encyclopedias, dictionaries, thesauri, quotations, and subject-specific titles, as well as 500,000+ images and audio files and hundreds of videos.

Sources for your Paper

When you have an assignment always make sure you know what kinds of resources you can use and if there is a limit on how old they can be.

Books, eBooks, Journals, Magazines, Newspapers, Websites

Finding Music Section in the Library

Music Resources can be found in the library in the following sections:

M- Music 

ML-Literature on Music 

MT-Instruction and Study

TK-Includes Audio, Recording, Sound Systems, Engineering

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