Writing about Music: An Introductory Guide / Edition 4

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Helping users write clear, convincing, persuasive prose on musical topics, this practical guide focuses on general writing issues as well as special challenges of writing about music–with clear, step-by-step explanations of the process of writing a paper. Updated to reflect the latest research methodology, resources, and technology, it continues to offer strong coverage on research, organization, drafting and editing–and includes a thorough section on basic writing skills. Contains complete chapters on writing about music, analysis and research, getting started, writing a research paper (from choosing a topic through outlining, writing the draft, editing and revising), questions of format, other kinds of writing projects (i.e., seminar presentations, concert reports, program notes), writing styles, and common writing problem. Covers the latest musicological research and new resources for researching both print and electronic publications. Discusses writing papers on a PC, and provides a sample paper in the appendix that illustrates matters of format and discusses the events in the musical work. For writers.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780136157786
  • Publisher: Pearson
  • Publication date: 1/12/2008
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 4
  • Pages: 208
  • Sales rank: 302,878
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.80 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface to The Fourth Edition

Purpose of the Fourth Edition

Changes in the Fourth Edition

Other Resources

How to Use This Book


Chapter 1. Writing about Music

Why We Write about Music

The Special Challenges of Writing about Music

Inappropriate Ways to Write about Music

Musicological Research and Writing

Chapter 2. Analysis and Research


Questions to Consider

Examples of Works and Research Directions

Carlo Gesualdo: “Moro, lasso”

J. S. Bach: Opening Chorus of Cantata No. 80, Ein’ feste Burg ist unser Gott

W. A. Mozart: Concerto for Piano and Orchestra in C Minor, K. 491, First Movement

Giuseppe Verdi: Otello, Act I, Scene 3

Franz Liszt: “Faust” Symphony, First Movement

Igor Stravinsky: The Rite of Spring, Opening Sections

Karlheinz Stockhausen: Gesang der J ünglinge

Chapter 3. Getting Started: Research

Choosing a Topic

Kinds of Topics

What Research Means

Gathering Materials

Places to Start: Print Resources

Library Catalogues

Dictionaries and Encyclopedias

Histories of Music


Thematic Catalogues



Scores and Recordings

Places to Start: Electronic Resources

Search Engines



Online Journals


Evaluating Resources

Foreign-Language Resources

When to Stop: How Much Research Is Enough?

Chapter 4. Writing a Research Paper

The Outline

Topic and Thesis

Topic Outline versus Sentence Outline




Revising the Outline

Writing the Draft

Musical Examples

Diagrams, Graphics, and Tables



Revising and Editing the Draft

Computers and Editing

Checking Spelling and Grammar

The Editing Process



Keep Your File

Quotation, Paraphrase, and Plagiarism


Chapter 5. Questions of Format

Format for College Papers


Page Format




Page Numbers

Format for Quotations

Short Quotations

Block Quotations

Ellipsis and Editorial Additions

Bibliography and Footnote Form: Humanities Style


Additional Notes for Both Bibliography Entries and Footnotes


Articles in Dictionaries and Encyclopedias

Articles in Periodicals


Notes on Articles in Lexicons

Articles in Collections of Essays


Sound Recordings

Citing Interviews, Correspondence, etc.

Citing Electronic resources

The Author-Date System of Citation

Reference Lists (Lists of Works Cited)

Parenthetical Citations in the Text

Format Issues Related to Writing about Music

Stylistic Periods

Referring to Centuries

Referring to Musical Works

Naming Notes and Keys

Foreign terms

Musical Examples


Chapter 6. Other Kinds of Writing Projects

Seminar Presentations


Organizing the Presentation

Tone and Approach

Concert Reports



Writing the Report

Program Notes


Who is the Audience?


Working within Limits

Special Problems

Texts and Translations


Essay Examinations


Preparing for Essay Examinations

How to Proceed

Common Errors


Chapter 7. Writing Style

Some Basic Ideas about Writing

Different Kinds of Prose


The Stance of the Writer

Referring to Yourself

Writing Effective Sentences

Word Choice

Word Combinations

Sentence Structure

Effective Paragraphs

The Effective Essay





Chapter 8. Common Writing Problems

Errors in Basic Grammar and Writing

Incomplete Sentences

Run-on Sentences

Agreement: Subject and Verb

Agreement: Pronoun and Antecedent

Proper Cases of Pronouns

Relative Pronouns

Misplaced Modifiers

The Split Infinitive

Mixed Metaphors

Spelling Issues

Using a Dictionary

Forming Possessives

Plurals of Borrowed Latin and Greek Words

Foreign Words

Medieval and Renaissance Names

Some Troublesome Word Pairs

Its and It’s

Your and You’re

Whose and Who’s

Affect and Effect

Due to and Because of

Fewer and Less

Like and Such as

Predominant and Predominate

Principal and Principle


The Period

The Comma

The Semicolon

The Colon

Quotation Marks

The Hyphen

The Dash


Special Problems Involved in Writing about Music

Technical Terms

Describing Musical Events





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