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Using Alexander Street's Music Online

A guide to using a massive music database of over 900,000 items.


As stated previously, under the search bar and "Advanced Search" link on the landing page there are options to browse by category:

Landing page for Alexander Street's Music Online.

As an example, here is what it looks like after I click on "Classical Music" then "Instruments:"

Browsing by instrument in classical music.

I have seven categories to choose from: "Aerophones," "Chorophones," "Electronic," "Ensemble," "Idiophones," "Membranophones," and "Vocalizations." These are instruments categorized by how they produce sound.

Within each of these categories are sub-categories, which are specific instruments in this case. For "Aerophones," you can see how granular some of the sub-categories are ("Flute" exists, but so does "Flute, end-blown," "Flute, side-blown," and "Flute, transverse"). So, you can browse either broadly or narrowly.