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MUS 221: History of Western Music (Annandale)

This guide supports students in MUS 221 hosted by the Annandale campus. For questions, see Crystal Boyce,

Need Help?


For individual research help, schedule an appointment to meet with a librarian.

Search Tips

Searching in Library Databases

When searching for articles (like from magazines or newspapers) in databases, you're going to get a lot of results if you use a single, broad keyword like "sugar" or "climate change." One way to filter your results to get closer to what will help you, is to combine search terms using AND, OR, and NOT. These terms help you focus or broaden your search results. Look at the picture below. The yellow areas reflect the results that would be returned if you'd searched for "puppy" and "kitten" using different combinations.

Select the most important 2-3 terms or phrases (keywords) related to your topic. Put the word AND between each new term; this tells the database to look for resources with ALL your terms.

U2 AND religion

Use quotation marks ( "  " ) around phrases (two or more words); this tells the database to look for the words in that specific order.

"civil war" AND music

Use an asterisk ( * ) to find multiple endings of one word.  Using censor* as a search term will include results that refer to censor, censors, censored, censoring, and censorship.

censor* AND Shostakovich

Article Databases

Where to Search for Newspaper, Magazine, & Journal Articles

Some of these databases are included in the Library Catalog "Everything" search, but by using the individual databases you will get more powerful search options.

Find Journal by Title

To find out what journals NOVA subscribes to, and where to find them, search for a journal title (e.g., Journal of Musicology) using the link below:

Reference Articles

Reference Articles

These are links to reference sources, including some listed in your research paper guidelines. An encyclopedia or dictionary is a type of reference book. Reference books are used to:

  • Define important vocabulary words related to your topic
  • Find a basic overview and main issues related to your topic
  • Find references to additional resources
  • Discover important background information related to your topic.