The Very Short Introductions – very good!
Sometimes university courses can be frustrating. Every new week you cover something new, and the readings are all vastly different. My tip of the week – go on Amazon and see if you can find a “Very Short Introduction” book!
The Very Short Introduction series are fully academic works, even though they are so short, and they provide great overviews of a vast range of topics. Perhaps you can find a topic that suits your course perfectly?! Are you perhaps doing a course on modern Irish history? Well how about purchasing Modern Ireland: A Very Short Introduction? As you can see, it is not expensive at all, and reading it does not take long. 184 pages might not seem so short, but look at the dimensions! This book is really small and fits well in your pocket.
The Very Short Introductions, naturally, cover music topics as well. I recently got the book Film Music: A Very Short Introduction out from the library, but it is one of the most popular books in the music section of the library, and it immediately got requested after I had gotten it (there is only one copy available in the library). I figured, given its briefness, its ability to be “to the point”, and its extensive list of sources, it was well worth paying a small amount of money to acquire it. So that’s what I did. I’m expecting it to arrive on Tuesday or Wednesday. I will probably add it to the article about film music books, which I believe is the longest article on this site (it happens to be my own favourite topic).
Once again I’d like to apologize about British and American spellings co-existing on this site. When I first learnt English properly I went to an American international school and got used to all the American versions (e.g “favorite”, “humor”). Now I’m studying in the UK, and tends to use British spellings (“favourite”, “humour”) instead, and to be honest, I can’t remember what way I initially chose to use in articles on this site. So now I fear I’ve been mixing them quite freely.