Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

HLMU 3310: Music History I

Music History from AD 1 to 1800


This guide has been created for students in HLMU 3310: History of Music I.  It will walk you through the research process and highlight helpful resources. If you need help just contact me, your Humanities Librarian, by email or schedule a research appointment. 

You might also want to review our Music Research Starter for additional resources.

Choosing a Topic

In your Research Project Instructions, Dr. Yang provides suggested areas of research. Use these as inspiration for choosing your own topic:


  • Origin and development of the Italian madrigal
  • French opera in the 18th century

Composer (and the development of his or her style)

  • J.S. Bach and the style of his keyboard works
  • Palestrina and the Counter-Reformation style

Notation, Tuning Systems, and Historical Music Theory

  • Medieval Music Theorists
  • Shorthand systems such as figured bass

Financial Support of Composers

  • Patronage
  • Public concerts, benefit concerts, and subscription

Performance Practice

  • Embellishment and ornamentation
  • History of conducting

Compositional Process

  • Three means of polyphonic mass composing: cantus firmus, imitation, parody
  • Fortspinnung as a process

Analysis of a Major Work

  • Tonal structure of Handel's Giulio Cesare
  • The role of the program in Vivaldi's Four Seasons

Function of Music

  • J.S. Bach's sacred cantatas for Lutheran services
  • Lully and music for the Sun King, Louis XIV

Dr. Yang also suggests searching your textbook for ideas: