Question of the week: How do I locate an analysis?

Student: I need to find an analysis of Bernstein’s Jeremiah Symphony for a paper I’m writing for a class?

Analyses of music may be found in a variety of sources including journal articles, books, dissertations and on the Internet. Here are some tips for the search:

  • Does the library have a bio-bibliography of the composer? These bibliographies will lead you to sources that discuss your composition. Check the library’s reference collection at ML 134. These books usually have “bio-bibliography” or “guide to research” as a sub-title.
  • Books? To find books, look up the composer as a subject heading in the library catalog. Look through the list for the genre or the name of the piece as a sub-heading. Also check out the books listed under “Composer name – criticism and interpretation.” See the U-T Analysis Index. This will list books that discuss the composition.
  • The best way to access the literature in journals and magazines is by searching RILM Abstracts of Music and Music Index. You can even include the word “analysis” in your search. Who knows, there may be a dissertation devoted to your piece.
  • Musical Analyses: an annotated guide to the literature by Henry Diamond (Collier Macmillan Canada, c1991) is another favorite resource. Although dated, it lists analyses of music in the canon of Western art music. This book is located in our reference collection at ML128.A7 D541 1991.

For some compositions, the analytical literature is pretty sparse. Bonnie Houser, reference librarian, would be happy to assist you. Don’t hesitate to drop her an email or stop by her desk for advice.


Leave a comment

Filed under ?oftheWeek

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s