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MUHL 423

Western Music History

Develop a topic

Choosing a topic can be overwhelming.  You might want to test a  few areas before you decide on one that:

  • Will sustain your curiosity and interest throughout the semester 
  • Yield insights.  You are not repeating the findings of others, but joining in a scholarly conversation in which you weigh evidence and offer your own conclusions.
  • Be sufficiently focused in scope to be covered adequately in your presentation/paper.

Have you already done a great deal of reading on a topic you want to explore further?  Is it an area that recently twigged your interest?  Or are you at a loss at what area would engage you for the semester?

Begin with tertiary sources, encyclopedias, dictionaries and discographies to

  • Get a quick overview of your area of interest
  • Learn unfamiliar terms associated with your topic
  • Focus in on narrower topics within your broader area of interest 
  • Alert you to important scholars and source in the area