Internet Resources for Historical Research in Music Education

By Hash, Phillip M. | Journal of Historical Research in Music Education, October 2009 | Go to article overview
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Internet Resources for Historical Research in Music Education

Hash, Phillip M., Journal of Historical Research in Music Education

The amount of primary source material available on the Internet has increased a great deal in the past few years. While the need to roll up our sleeves and dig through dusty files and boxes will (hopefully) never disappear, the World Wide Web can be a useful tool in locating sources that may have otherwise gone undiscovered. The following list provides several web sites and databases I have found useful while conducting historical research in music education. If you know of others, please contact me at and JRHME will publish them in a future edition. Happy hunting!

Google Book Search

This search engine finds books that have been scanned and made available on the Internet. One can, for example, find PDF files of Lowell Mason's Song Garden (bk. 2), the Progressive Music Series, Tuft's and Holt's Normal Music Course, Jepson's Standard Music Reader, and Luther Whiting Mason's National Music Course.

Internet Archive

This site searches digitized material on the Internet. Many sources can be viewed as PDF, HTML, or in flip book format. Examples include volumes of proceedings by the National Education Association and an audio file from the Siegel-Myers School of Music.

Mirlyn Catalog at the University of Michigan Library

This search engine identifies a number of digital sources available without a password from the University of Michigan or outside sources. Search results often link back to Google Books or other Internet-based sites, but is sometimes more thorough and organized than the original source. A link to the Hathi Trust Digital Library, for example, located School Music Monthly, published by P. C. Hayden, in digitized format from 1900-1908.

Library of Congress Digital Collections

The digital collections offered by the Library of Congress allow historical researchers to view primary source materials in the form of sheet music, audio files, and photographs. Band historians will especially enjoy collections devoted to African American band composers, Civil War band music, and J. P. Sousa. Each of these collections offers complete sets of parts to a number of band and orchestra compositions from the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

Band Music PDF Library

The Band Music PDF Library offers more than 400 public domain titles from the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries for free download. This music may be used for performing, research, or as authentic material for arrangers to set for modern bands. Users are encouraged to create and submit full scores and transposed [D.sup.b] piccolo and [E.sup.b] horn parts for modern instruments. When available, biographical information on composers and arrangers is included with the set of parts. New titles are added each month.

The Making of America

This database is a digital library of primary sources in American social history from the antebellum period through reconstruction. The collection is particularly strong in the subject areas of education, psychology, American history, sociology, religion, and science and technology. The collection currently contains approximately 10,000 books and 50,000 journal articles.

International Music Score Library Project/Petrucci Music Library http://imslp.

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