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Music: Research Methods

Selected resources for students of music

Research Methods

Many books about research methodology introduce the reader to a range of existing methods. This page selects online resources relevant to music and interdisciplinary studies and some books only have a chapter, or a case study, that applies to music, performance or creative practice. If you are seeking a particular kind of research methodology, you can meet a librarian online, or email

SAGE research methods online 
SAGE Research Methods Online (SRMO) is a research methods tool created to help researchers, faculty and students with their research projects. Researchers can browse by methods to help them design research projects, understand particular methods or identify a new method. Since SRMO focuses on methodology rather than disciplines, it is best to use music as a keyword in order to find applications to music research. You can also use the Methods Map to read definitions of key terminology, or to find narrower definitions for qualitative data analysis or research design.

Sage research methods foundations
SAGE Research Methods Foundations provides a concise introduction to methods and research terms for those who are new to research in general or to that particular method. While a general search can provide an overwhelming number of results, SAGE Research Methods Foundations offers a targeted list of entries to guide users through the content. The navigation menu puts the entry in context, so users can easily find more general topics related to a method or continue on to more specific sub-topics. There is an A-Z section on the innovators of methods, with profiles that evaluate their contributions. The content ranges from Participatory and Arts-Based Research, Analysis of Material Culture, Narrative Research, Autobiography to Sampling.

The Sage Encyclopedia of Qualitative Research Methods includes the following entry:
Music in Qualitative Research 

The SAGE Handbook of Digital Dissertations and Theses  includes the following chapter:
Practice-as-Research in Music Performance 

The Orpheus Institute Series aims to enhance and advance discourse in the field of artistic research in music and to generate future work. A number of titles in the series are found below. The library has access to all the titles through JSTOR.

Oxford Handbooks Online brings together the world's leading scholars to write review essays that evaluate the current thinking on a field or topic. You can search simultaneously across all handbooks by keywords. Methodologies are discussed in the following selectied chapters:

Toward a Methodology for Research into the Revival of Musical Life after War, Natural Disaster, Bans on All Music, or Neglect  
by Margaret Kartomi from The Oxford handbook of music revival (2014)
Music-Making As Data: Collection and Analysis  
by Kristen Pellegrino from The Oxford Handbook of Qualitative Research in American Music Education (2014)
Creating a Framework for Music Making and Leisure: Max Kaplan Leads the Way
by Marie McCarthy from the Oxford handbook of music making and leisure (2017)
Introduction: Situating Country Music Studies
by Travis D. Stimeling from The Oxford handbook of country music studies (2017)

Methodology of Music Research is a series published by Peter Lang in Switzerland.