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Music and Ethnography: Books and scores

The study of music in the context of customs and culture.

Finding Books

Scout simultaneously searches the library catalog, databases of scholarly work (i.e. JSTOR and RILM), electronic collections (i.e. HathiTrust), streaming media (i.e. Naxos and Alexander Street Press), and much more. Because Scout casts a wide net, many students like to use it as a starting point for their research. While Scout may be useful as you begin gathering resources, please note that you will probably need to search the appropriate subject databases to adequately covered your topic.

The Libraries' Catalog is a "traditional" library catalog of local holdings. The catalog may be used to find print books, sound recording, films, and scores, as well as some e-books and streaming media assets. When using the catalog, we recommend starting your search from the "Advanced Search" tab. 

Finding Books

To find books on the ethnographic study of music, try using subject headings and keywords to search the Libraries Catalog.  Go to the libraries' home page and lib.ua.edu and click on Libraries Catalog.  Click on Basic Search.  Type in one of the subject headings below, and choose "Subject Heading" from the drop-down menu at the right. 

Subject Headings:

  • World Music-History and Criticism
  • Ethnomusicology
  • Popular Music-History and Criticism
  • Folk Music-History and Criticism
  • Music-Social aspects

It is also useful to search with combinations of keywords.  Click on Advanced Search.  Try the following keyword combinations, using one box for each search term:

  • ethnography; music
  • popular music; ethnography
  • popular culture; music
  • oral history; music

Finding Scores

To find scores of folk music and popular music, go to Advanced Search. In the first search box type one of the following terms:

  • Folk music
  • Popular music

Below the search boxes, find the designation Type.  Choose Music Score from the drop-down menu. Then click "Search."

Useful Reference Books

Good Titles to Use as Models