Research Assignment Instructions – VPMA93

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This assignment focuses on processes of research and critical thought. The goal of this assignment is to introduce you to a variety of resources that are available to you when researching a musical composition. To accomplish this, you will create an annotated bibliography.

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1) Choose a composition

2) Find eight secondary sources relating to the composition

3) Create an annotated bibliography from the eight sources

Step 1

Choose a musical composition that you would like to know more about as a basis for this assignment. It can be any type of music from any part of the world and from any time period. It would be best to choose a piece of music that has not been recently composed, since it will be difficult for you to find all of the secondary sources listed below.

Step 2


You must include eight sources from the locations included in the list below. At least ONE of the sources must be a print copy. Your sources must be directly related to your chosen composition.

1) Two scholarly books from the University of Toronto library system (include the call number after the citation if using a print publication).

2) Two scholarly articles from the U of T library system. Include the call number after the citation if using a print publication.

3) One book from your local public library. Include the call number after the citation if using a print publication.

4) Two scholarly sources from the internet. Before your annotation, include a reason as to why you feel that the source is scholarly.

5) One encyclopedia entry on your topic (be aware that some sources called ‘dictionary’ act as an encyclopedia; The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians is an example of this).

Step 3

A useful tool in conducting academic research is creating an annotated bibliography. An annotated bibliography is helpful during the research process because it includes all of your sources in one location and provides you with a quick reminder of the information contained in each source. Annotations must include a summary of the contents found in the source and a description of any argument/thesis included on the topic of your chosen composition.


Place your name and student number at the top of the page, then follow the format below:

Composition: provide a citation of your chosen composition

Citation style: list the style that you have chosen, such as Chicago, MLA, APA, etc. (you may use any standard citation style)

Recording: Provide a citation of a recording of your chosen piece – it can be in any format (record, CD, on-line, etc.)

Citations with annotations: an example of the format is provided below:


Please consult the “Helpful Resources” section below for more information about how to produce annotations and citations.

Example: Two scholarly books from the University of Toronto library system Citation of your book

Source: list if you found the source on-line or provide a call number and library Provide your annotation of the book

Repeat this for all other required sources.

Page format – example of the beginning of an assignment:

Name: Joe Student

Student Number: 123456789

Format: Chicago Style

Composition: Ludwig van Beethoven, Symphony No. 5


“Beethoven – 5th Symphony, 1st movement: Allegro Con Brío.” New York Philharmonic conducted by Leonard Bernstein. YouTube video, 7:02, posted by Classical Archives, Feb 2, 2008,

Two Scholarly Books from University of Toronto Library system

1) Geck, Martin. Beethoven’s symphonies: nine approaches to art and ideas. Translated by Stewart Spencer. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2017. Scholars Portal Books.

Source: Scholars Portal Books through the University of Toronto Library

Annotation: your annotation should be at least 6 – 7 good sized sentences in length

2) Etc.


Please submit your assignment on Quercus through the link in the Assignment section as a Word file or a PDF file. Please place your name and student number on the top of the page, as shown

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