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Music: Primary Sources & Evaluation

Evaluating websites

When using online sources you need to be wary of both the content and the content providers. Do not make any assumptions about the accuracy or validity of the sources until you've done a little background research. 

How to evaluate a website:

*Remember, scores have different arrangements by different authors. If you are unsure about the arrangement you want to use, talk to your professor. If you need help accessing a particular arrangement, make an appointment with a librarian or drop by the library. Do not forget to check PASCAL delivers or make a request with ILL if you would like to request a score that Jackson Library does not hold. 

*Use a trustworthy site to download scores and audiovisual recordings. Check the links provided by Jackson Library, we strive to provide sources which are relevant, safe, and accessible to Lander students. 

When using video hosting websites like Youtube, Dailymotion, or Vimeo you should always check what restrictions may apply to the content, just as you would with a score or audio recording. The same applies if you are uploading to those sites, make sure you know your rights as a creator!

How to evaluate sources for credibility

Primary sources for music

Examples of types of primary sources for music:

  • manuscripts and early printed editions of scores
  • marked-up scores used for early performances
  • reviews of first and early performances
  • sound recordings, including recording-session masters and outtakes
  • film footage of performances, rehearsals, and people involved in creating the music
  • ethnographic films and folklore collections
  • musical instruments and equipment of all kinds.

Primary and Secondary Sources