Undergraduate Research in Music: A Guide for Students, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Undergraduate Research in Music

A Guide for Students, 1st Edition

By Gregory Young, Jenny Olin Shanahan


184 pages

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Paperback: 9780415787833
pub: 2017-08-10
Hardback: 9780415787826
pub: 2017-08-03
eBook (VitalSource) : 9781315225708
pub: 2017-08-09
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Undergraduate Research in Music: A Guide for Students supplies tools for scaffolding research skills, with examples of undergraduate research activities and case studies on projects in the various areas of music study. Undergraduate research has become a common degree requirement in some disciplines and is growing rapidly. Many undergraduate activities in music have components that could be combined into compelling undergraduate research projects, either in the required curriculum, as part of existing courses, or in capstone courses centered on undergraduate research.

The book begins with an overview chapter, followed by the seven chapters on research skills, including literature reviews, choosing topics, formulating questions, citing sources, disseminating results, and working with data and human subjects. A wide variety of musical subdisciplines follow in Chapters 9–18, with sample project ideas from each, as well as undergraduate research conference abstracts. The final chapter is an annotated guide to online resources that students can access and readily operate. Each chapter opens with inspiring quotations, and wraps up with applicable discussion questions.

Professors and students can use Undergraduate Research in Music: A Guide for Students as a text or a reference book in any course that has a significant opportunity for the creation of knowledge or art, within the discipline of music or in connecting music with other disciplines.


"This book provides an invaluable service as a guidebook for undergraduate research in music. As the authors make clear, once research involves the areas of the arts, it can take many forms and directions. Accordingly, this book provides the guidance needed not only for new undergraduate researchers but also for faculty and administrators interested in expanding the high-impact practice of undergraduate research across the curriculum." - Susan Berry Brill de Ramirez, Bradley University

Table of Contents

Preface vii

Foreword xi

Acknowledgments xii

1 Overview 1

2 Literature Reviews 7

3 Choosing Topics and Formulating Appropriate Research

Questions 19

4 Working with Human Subjects 29

5 Collecting Data 36

6 Analyzing and Synthesizing Data 53

7 Citing Sources 61

8 Dissemination of Results 65

9 Music Performance and Related Topics 81

10 Is Music Composition Original Research? 90

11 Interdisciplinary Projects 99

12 The Discovery of Knowledge in Music History 108

13 Music Theory 116

14 Music Education 123

15 Music Technology 133

16 Music Therapy 143

17 Ethnomusicology, Culture, and Popular Music 152

18 Philosophy and Psychology of Music 161

19 Online Resources 169

Index 181

About the Authors


Gregory Young is Professor of Music at Montana State University and has held ongoing posts in conferences in undergraduate research and in curriculum development.

Jenny Olin Shanahan is Director of Undergraduate Research at Bridgewater State University, with leadership positions in the Council for Undergraduate Research.

About the Series

Routledge Undergraduate Research Series

The Routledge Undergraduate Research Series was created to guide students and faculty, particularly in the arts and humanities, working on a wide variety of research and creative projects. After a brief overview, chapters on the research process common to all disciplines follow, and then several chapters that pertain specifically to the discipline. The National Conferences on Undergraduate Research have expanded annually since 1987 to about 4,000 participants. The British Conference on Undergraduate Research has been an annual event since 2011, and the World Congress on Undergraduate Research started in 2016, demonstrating the relevancy of this movement in our changing higher education curriculum.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
MUSIC / General