Begin your research by finding an authoritative score and a recent recording of a work composed before 1700
Put your composition in context by consulting information that will provide a good overview and lead you to other sources of information through bibliographies. To do this consult dictionaries, encyclopedias, and basic texts in music and other related disciplines.
Find out about other world and cultural events which occurred during the year(s) your topic was composed, it may be helpful to consult timetables.
Find Periodical articles and Internet sites
Photograph of renaissance canvas "Woman with a Cittern" (1677) by Pieter van Slingeland. In the public domain.