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Music Appreciation

Music appreciation

Online Resources for Music

These websites are featured, quality resources for Fine Arts.  This list is not comprehensive and is refreshed periodically to feature different links.  When choosing websites for academic research, you may be interested in our How to Search Databases guidelines.  

Evaluating Websites

All of the websites on this page are reliable sources of information.  However, this list is not comprehensive, and you may find other sites that you want to use for your research.  When deciding whether to use a website for academic research, apply the same rules you would use to judge the credibility of any information source.  The following questions should help you determine if a site is appropriate for your assignments:   

Does the site list an author? 

 You should always be able to identify an author of some type.  Some sites are authored by an individual, such as a scholar or a journalist.  Others may be authored by an institution, such as a government agency or news organization.  If a site does not identify an author, it is probably not an appropriate source for academic research.

Is the author an authority on your subject?

Most sites that are suitable for college coursework should be authored by a scholar or journalist for a credible publication.  Be very cautious when using  web content written by someone without proper credentials; some may be of value, but be selective!

Does the site show evidence of serious bias?   

All sources of information, whether print or digital, are biased to some extent.  The reliability of any information source, in large part, is determined by the nature and extent of its bias.  When trying to discern the credibility of a website, ask yourself the following questions:  Is the point of the website to inform, or does does it seem aimed at convincing readers of a particular viewpoint?   Might the author's bias obscure the truth in a significant way?  An article about climate change published on a major oil corporation's website, for example, might be too biased to be reliable.     

Does the author cite sources?  

Generally, it is important to understand the basis for your author's argument.  Sites that are good sources for college research often include source lists.  Government sites and websites belonging to news organizations are the exception to this rule.

Is the site selective about the content it publishes?  

Remember: it is very easy to publish information on the web!  Sites that are suited to college research are highly selective about what they publish.  Sites that allow anyone with internet access to edit or publish content, such as Wikipedia, should be approached with caution or avoided.  

Is the site's content current?

 The importance of date varies across academic disciplines, so check with your professor.  For disciplines like history and humanities, older sources are usually fine.  For areas like business, technology, social sciences, and the hard sciences, more current sources are preferred. When in doubt, ask your professor about appropriate date ranges for sources.  

The website evaluation standards outlined here are general guidelines; there is no one rule that applies to all sites in all cases.  A site that is an appropriate source for one assignment might not be appropriate for another.  Ultimately, it is up to you to use your own judgment when deciding whether to use a website for academic research.  If you are uncertain, check with your professor.