Carl Rahkonen, Whatever Happened to Music Bibliography?

Carl Rahkonen is a Music Librarian and Professor at Indiana University of Pennsylvania and serves as bibliographer for the College of Fine Arts. He has taught courses in Music Bibliography, Information Literacy in World Music, and Ethnic Music and Culture and is currently doing research on Finnish American music. He is a practicing musician who plays classical, popular and folk music in a variety of ensembles. More information may be found on his personal home page at:

Event Timeslots (1)

Friday Program
I have taught a graduate course entitled “Bibliography of Music” since 1987. Although the world of information has experienced a revolution since then, I have continued to teach the same basic topics in that course which include: bibliographical citation, catalogs, indexes and databases, encyclopedias and dictionaries, bibliographies, thematic catalogs, collected editions, popular and world music, and copyright. I have revised the course substantially over the years, even adopting a flipped method of instruction since 2015, which greatly increased the transparency and communication in the course. As I learned more about how the current generation of students undertake research and how they conceive of information, I have begun to question the relevance of the traditional topics of music bibliography. This year I gave my students a pre-test (survey) to assess their knowledge of these topics and find better ways to teach them. My presentation will take a critical look at where we have been and where we are with regards to the traditional topics of music bibliography and suggest some possible directions to increase their relevance to the current generation of students.

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