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How to find...music dissertations

There are a variety of ways of searching for music dissertations. The preferred method will depend on the desired scope of search (e.g., searches covering only certain institutions or countries, covering certain subjects, and covering works in progress or completed dissertations only) and the desired amount of information retrieved about the dissertation (e.g., citations only, abstracts or full text). The following discussion is organized by scope of source coverage and includes important tools to know about when focusing on finding dissertations at UCB, dissertations at UCB and UC, dissertations at UCB, UC, and beyond, dissertations in musicology, and foreign dissertations.

Dissertations at UCB

Title Lists Retrieved. To get an alphabetical title list of dissertations submitted in music at UCB browse the OskiCat catalog by "Subject begins with..." using the following heading and limiting to "Dissertations/Theses" in the drop-down box:

University of California Berkeley Dept. of Music Dissertations 

Individual dissertations may also be found in OskiCat by author and by title or keyword. The Music Library selectively acquires dissertations in music completed at other institutions; such dissertations are most easily found by title or author searches of the catalogs, as subject headings describing them as dissertations are not always present in the records. UCB Music dissertations are housed in a closed stack collection designated in the catalogs as "Case X." Request "Case X" materials at the circulation desk, where they will be retrieved by library staff. Dissertations may be checked out for use only in the Music Library.

Dissertations at UC and UCB

Author Lists Retrieved. The web version of the MELVYL catalog by default generates a list of dissertations submitted in music across the UCs, alphabetized by author, when a keyword subject search is performed using the terms "dissertations" and "music." Such a search will retrieve hundreds of records, so the addition of other subject terms or setting limits to the scope of the search by UC location is often necessary.

Dissertations at UC, UCB, and Beyond

Abstracts and Many Full Text Titles Retrieved. ProQuest Dissertations & Theses (PQDT) provides citations for materials ranging from the first US dissertation, accepted in 1861, to those accepted as recently as last semester; those published from 1980 forward also include 350-word abstracts, written by the author. The database represents the work of authors from over 1,000 North American graduate schools and European universities. It is the "most comprehensive collection of dissertations and theses from around the world, spanning from 1861 to the present day and offering full text for most of the dissertations added since 1997."

Musicology Dissertations

Titles Retrieved. Doctoral Dissertations in Musicology—Online, or DDM Online, is freely available to the public and contains records for completed dissertations and dissertations in process since 1995 in the fields of musicology, music theory, and ethnomusicology, as well as in related musical, scientific, and humanistic disciplines. DDM Online also includes all the records previously published in the printed editions of Doctoral Dissertations in Musicology, available in the Music Library at ML128.M8.J6 (1961-1984) and ML128.M8.J7 (1984-1995). Coverage became international in 1984. Records in this index are largely submitted voluntarily by dissertation authors.

Abstracts Retrieved. Other freely-available, online indexes to music dissertations, such as Music Theory Online: Dissertation Index features a reduced scope of coverage and means of acquiring listings, providing abstracts to dissertations.

Titles or Abstracts Retrieved. Two major music periodical indexes, RILM and Music Index, include dissertations in their source coverage, along with standard music periodical articles, collections of essays, etc. RILM provides abstracts of titles retrieved; Music Index does not. For more information on these subscription sources, available only to those on the UCB network, please refer to the Music Library page on Find Music Articles.

Foreign Dissertations

Several of the resources listed above will retrieve citations to dissertations submitted at selected foreign insitutions in selected years. The following indexes and bibliographies are important sources focusing on foreign dissertations in music.

German. The German language equivalent to Doctoral Dissertations in Musicology—Online covers Austria, Switzerland, and Germany and is known as dms, Dissertationsmeldestelle der Gesellschaft für Musikforschung. A printed, retrospective bibliography of German language dissertations in music may be found in Richard Schaal, Verzeichnis deutschsprachiger musikwissenschaftlicher Dissertationen, 1861-1960, (Kassel: Baerenreiter, 1963), available in the reference collection at ML120.G3.S25, with a 1974 supplement covering dissertations to 1970 at ML120.G3.S253. This printed list is updated annually in Die Musikforschung, under the heading "Im Jahre xxxx angenommene musikwissenschaftlicher Dissertationen," available in the Music Library at ML5.M873. The Austrian Dissertations Database comprises all Austrian dissertations from 1990 onwards and includes abstracts in English.

Italian. Italian dissertations in music are listed in Giancarlo Rostirolla, "Le tesi in storia della musica discusse nelle unitersita italiane: 1933-1975/76," Nuova rivista musicale italiana 21 (1987): 656-700, and continued periodically, such as in vol. 22 (1988): 741-81 and vol. 28 (1994): 683-799. Nuova rivista musicale italiana is available in the Music Library at ML5.N86.

French. A retrospective list of French language dissertations in music is available in Jean Gribenski, French Language Dissertations in Music: An Annotated Bibliography / Thèses doctorat en langue français relatives à la musique, 1883-1979, RILM Retrospectives, No. 2, (New York: Pendragon Press, 1979), available in the Music Library reference collection at ML128.L3G7. Also useful for those working with French music repertories is Daniele Pistone, Repertoire international des travaux universitaires relatifs à la musique française du Moyen Age a nos jours: (thèses et memoires), (Paris: Honore Champion, 1992), Observatoire musical français, No. 1, available in the Music Library at ML270.P58 1992.

General sources for French dissertations include the union catalog of the Système universitaire de documentation (Sudoc), which contains citations to dissertations from 1972 to the present and offers an interface in English and the ability to search a "dissertation note" field by subject. Also useful are the Catalogue des thèses reproduites, available at Z5055.F8.L58 in Doe Reference, which lists dissertations at French universities from 1988 to the present, and the listing of earlier dissertations, 1884-1978, in Catalogue des thèses de doctorat soutenues devant les universites française, available from NRLF storage.

British. Index to Theses is the online version of Index to Theses with Abstracts Accepted for Higher Degrees by the Universities of Great Britain and Ireland, which covers theses accepted from 1970 to 2001 (i.e., all of volumes 21 to 50 and parts 1 to 5 of volume 51 of the equivalent print publication, available at Z5055.G69.I6). Index to Theses features abstracts only; the full text of many theses accepted for doctoral degrees by British universities is available from the British Library, British Thesis Service. Index to Theses is a subscription database available to the UCB community only. Dissertations completed prior to 1950 are indexed in the Retrospective Index to Theses of Great Britain and Ireland, 1716-1950, available from NRLF storage.

British music dissertations, both completed and in-progress, are listed periodically starting in vol. 3 (1963) of the Royal Musical Association Research Chronicle, available in the Music Library at ML5.R13. Starting with Supplement 2 in vol. 27 (1994), the Research Chronicle started listing only successfully completed dissertations. Details of newly registered thesis topics are now found in the Music Research Information Network Register of Music Research Students in Great Britain and the Republic of Ireland, published annually and available in the Music Library at ML5.R434 and online at the Royal Music Association Research Students' Register.

Other Sources

For other UCB sources see the list of Dissertation and Thesis Databases.

Specialized, if often outdated, printed bibliographies—such as Frank Gillis and Alan E. Merriam, Ethnomusicology and Folk Music: An International Bibliograhpy of Dissertations and Theses, (Middletown, Conn.: Wesleyan University Press, [1966]), in the reference collection at ML128.E8.G5, and Rita H. Mead, Doctoral Dissertations in American Music: A Classified Bibliography, (Brooklyn, N.Y.: Institute for Studies in American Music, Brooklyn College of the City University of New York, [1974]), in the reference collection at ML120.U5.M28—can be found by performing subject searches of the catalogs using keywords such as "dissertations music bibliography."

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