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Using RILM

A guide on how to use RILM, a database on scholarly works concerning music.

Boolean, Truncation, and Wildcards Summary

Boolean, Truncation, and Wild Cards are tools that can be very helpful when you want to make a very focused search.


Boolean is actually a term for a group of searching tools. These consist of "AND" "OR" and "NOT." By having these behave in a predictable fashion, it allows for searching that can be more targeted or accurate.

The "AND" tells the search engine that you want both of the words that it is between (like "Henri AND Wieniawski").

The "OR" tells the search engine that you want either of the words that it is between (like "Organ OR Harpsichord").

The "NOT" tell the search engine that DO NOT want the second word (like "Strauss NOT Richard").

For more information please visit the Boolean page (accessible through the drop-down menu under "Boolean, Truncation, and Wild Cards" tab).


Truncation is another tool. It helps by letting you use a symbol to stand for a group of search terms that are very similar instead of having to do multiple searches that are virtually the same. This search system uses "*" and "?."

The "*" can be used to symbolize a variable at the end of a word (like the difference between "Dance" and "Dancing"), and by using it this tells the search engine that you want both. This symbol can also stand for an undefined word between two others (such as "Gone with * wind").

For more information on how to use Truncation please visit the Truncation page (accessible through the drop-down menu under "Boolean, Truncation, and Wild Cards" tab).


Wild cards are a little less useful than Truncation and Boolean, but they can be nice when you have a couple of words that are spelled almost the same way (like women and woman) and you want to create a search that will find results with either word in it.

This search engine uses "?" and "#" to symbolize this.

The "?" tells the search engine that you want a given character in a word to be any letter (like "Wom?n" which would be find results with either woman or women).

The "#" tells the search engine that you might want an additional character inside the word (like "Colo#r" which would find results containing either "color" or "colour").

For more information on how to use Wild cards please visit the Wild Cards page (accessible through the drop-down menu under "Boolean, Truncation, and Wild Cards" tab).