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Using RILM

One of the primary databases of scholarly works on music.


Index browsing allows the user to view all values that occur in specified fields in a database, along with corresponding hit counts. Access this feature by looking under "More" at top of the search screen and clicking on "Indexes."

The RILM Index.

Browsable indexes are phrase indexed; the exact form and spelling of terms as they appear in the database must be used in conjunction with the tags when entering a search manually.

Depending on what you are searching for, these can be "left-anchored." This means that if you were looking for Aaron Copland, you would have to enter his last name first ("Copland, Aaron"). Sometimes, it is most useful to not use a person's whole name, but the shortest version that is common.

Once you have figured out what information the indexes have about the subject you are interested, the system can formulate a search using tags. Tags are basically a label that the computer uses to identify what part of the record a piece of information comes from. An example of this would be if you were looking for someone who both wrote music and also wrote about music.

If you only wanted to get articles and books that Aaron Copland wrote, you could use the indexes to browse for author (the tag "ZA" is for author) in order to limit the results to literary works that he wrote. To do that, we are going to select "Author" for "Browse an Index and "copland, aaron" for "Browse for."

Using the Index to search for Copland as the author.

After you have checkmarked the items of interest, the "...and add to the search using" function allows you to add it as an "OR" (which will mean that the results might or might not have Copland as the author) or as an "AND" (which means that they definitely will have Copland as an author). Now, you can click "Search."

A list of results after searching for Copland as author.

On the other hand, if you wanted articles or books about Copland, you would select "Subject" for "Browse an Index" and checkmark the items of interest (and remember to check whether the Boolean "AND" or "OR" is being used).

Something to be careful of when doing this is that the search engine looks for strings of words that match the quoted words, so in the case of Copland, if you just changed the ZA to ZU you might not get the results that you expect (and in fact this particular subject search is better done through the Indexes).

The tags for all fields included in the browsing feature begin with Z and are listed below:

Author ZA
Collected Works ZK
Degree Institution ZC
Dissertation Title ZD
Document Type ZT
Journal Title ZJ
Language ZL
Major Topics ZS
Meeting Location ZG
Meeting Name ZQ
Meeting Year ZM
Music Catalogue Number ZN
Place of Publication ZY
Series ZW
Subject ZU
Subject Terms ZE
Year Published/Produced ZR