College Music Symposium

Review Articles


REVIEW ARTICLES (Scholarly articles)
3000-5000 words

Literature, methodologies, technologies, and online multimedia are in abundance and keeping track of important resources and ideas can be daunting for CMS members. Review articles pinpoint significant data and provide useful information concerning important literature, tools, or technologies. These reviews deal with several items or perspectives, usually a handful, rather than just one (like a lone book or software review does). In review articles authors summarize ideas or technologies, identify problems and issues, and evaluate and synthesize findings related to a particular topic or subject area.

Review articles are viewed as scholarship and should manifest the author’s depth and breadth of knowledge on the topic. Introducing the individual items or concepts is important, but the author should not just provide a list of article abstracts or item descriptions that one might find on the product’s website. He/she should delve deeper and go onto synthesize key points of the material under discussion. The approach can be quantitative or qualitative, include existing theories and models, and in certain cases, information from the author’s own experience.

REVIEW ARTICLES might include but are not limited to:


1. Literature Reviews
A summary and synthesis of select articles, textbooks, monographs, or other writings on a specific topic. These reviews should have an underlying thesis or research question (e.g. which Music Appreciation textbook has the most relevant material for career musicians in the early 21st century?).

The author should be clear about what is and is not within the scope of the review. The author examines a number of studies, determines credibility and narrows sources, decides upon the most important and relevant information from each source, (including findings, methodology, theories), notes these key aspects, and usually draws a conclusion about similarities and differences, research gaps, areas of debate, helpful findings.

2. State of the Art Reviews
State of the Art reviews summarize current and emerging trends in the discipline, including contemporary priorities. They usually focus on publications or announcements within recent years. These reviews may synthesize current thinking in the field and/or offer new perspectives (also see Literature Review).

3. Methodology Reviews
Methodology reviews examine methods and procedures with a focus on a specific topic (e.g., “Best approaches to teaching sight singing”). Usually they highlight strengths and weaknesses of tools and methodologies and investigate positive impact. The author should keep in mind: who is the target audience for this methodology? what are primary benefits of a certain methodology? why is this methodology important to the teacher or learner? Providing personal insights, examples, small case studies, and web links are often helpful in methodology reviews.

4. Technology and Innovation Reviews (including Apps, Software, DAWS)
Similar to a literature review, for tech and innovation reviews, the author begins with a topic focus, examines a number of related items, determines quality and narrows choices, decides upon the most important and relevant aspect of the technology, draws a conclusion about similarities and differences, notes the gaps in technology performance, and discusses helpful findings. The author should explain the “who, what, why, and how” of the technology.

5. Online Course Site Review
Online Lessons and Courses from one source, one company, or one institution may be reviewed under the individual Tech/Online resource Reviews section of the Symposium. If two or more websites are being compared and contrasted, then a more comprehensive Review Article is appropriate, where various practices and theories are discussed and synthesized.

6. Music Business and Entrepreneurship Practices Review
A Music Business-Entrepreneurship review may be similar to a literature review. It may deal with online resources, methodologies, or websites. Oe should describe, summarize, and critically assess methods and practices that may be of interest to the music professional.

7. Other Types of Review Articles 
Review Articles not mentioned above that focus on a variety of material or items that may be of interest to CMS Readership are welcome for submission.