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Music Research: Research @ TCC Library

Research Tutorials

Recommended Databases

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View the Complete List of TCC Library Databases

Academic Search Premier - Search for full-text articles on a wide range of topics in 4700 magazines and journals.

Films on Demand Databases : Master Academic Video Collection - A curriculum-focused streaming video subscription has grown their unlimited access to almost 32,000 full length videos and over 293,000 segments from 26 core academic collections, including music appreciation, music history, and world music.

Gale Biography in Context - Find information about 525,000 individuals from reference and periodical sources.

Gale Fine Arts - Provides access to scholarly journals and magazines in drama, music, art history, and filmmaking. Emphasizes full-text content for publications included in the Wilson Art Index and RILM bibliography.

Gale Pop Culture Studies - Provides access to scholarly journals and magazines that analyze and contribute to popular culture, offering useful information for social science, history, art, and liberal arts.

Oxford Music Online (Formerly Grove Music Online) - The authoritative resource for music research with over 52,000 articles written by nearly 9,000 scholars charting the diverse history, theory and cultures of music around the globe.

JSTOR - Includes 4 databases with full-text scholarly journal articles and images covering a wide range of topics, including humanities, sciences, social sciences, and more.

Music Commons -  The Digital Commons Network brings together free, full-text scholarly articles from hundreds of universities and colleges worldwide. Curated by university librarians and their supporting institutions, the Network includes a growing collection of peer-reviewed journal articles, book chapters, dissertations, working papers, conference proceedings, and other original scholarly work.

Oxford Reference Online - Find facts, figures, quotations, definitions, and translations from 500+ reference books with scholarly articles published by Oxford. The upgraded database now Includes Oxford Reference Literature, Western Civilization, and Quick Reference.

Formulating Research Questions

Research questions should be:

  • aligned with the parameters of your assignment
  • complex
    • Not something answered in a few words
  • clear, concise and focused
    • And identify main concepts (keywords)
  • meaningful
    • Add to your knowledge base

Your research questions will evolve over time!

Start with what you know, and branch out into what you might be curious about. Think of the who, what, when, where, why & how. You might also consider the origins, impact, and cultural, social, or historical context of your topic.


What do Fanny Hensel's correspondences reveal about her life as a female composer?

How did Chopin's time in Mallorca influence the composition of his Preludes?

Search Tips

  • Use keywords in library databases instead of sentences and questions. 
  • To look for an exact phrase, type your phrase within quotation marks ("  "). The results will contain the exact words in the quotation marks.
  • Use an asterisk (*) at the end of a root word, known as truncation, to retrieve results containing any form of the root word.
    • Example: music* will find music, musical, musicals, musician, musicians, etc.
  • Use filters to refine your results by subject terms/topics, date, type of publication, language, peer-reviewed, etc.
  • Some databases use Boolean Operators. Narrow or expand your search by combining keywords using  AND / OR / NOT operators, as shown below.


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