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Using Alexander Street Press Music Audio Resources

How to search and browse in ASP's audio resources. Including: Music Online, American Song, Classical Music Library, Contemporary World Music, Jazz Music Library, and Smithsonian Global Sound.

Searching in Classical Music Library

Search Options in Classical Music Library


Contents: Advanced Search, Keyword Search, Select Terms



There are a couple of ways of searching in Classical Music Library. This database allows you to do an Advanced Search or a Keyword Search.


Advanced Searching

Advanced Searching in the Classical Music Library database is pretty straight forward.

The most important thing is to remember to keep it simple (because not all resources are indexed equally well).

So only choose 1 or 2 of the special options and if not enough search results come up simplify the search more.

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   Select Terms

One of the useful features is the "Select Terms" feature, which is available on many of the search boxes.

This allows you to view and pick the words that are most commonly used to identify a certain subject or type or term. By using the terms that the database has chosen, you are likely to get a more complete group of results.

The only drawback to using this feature is that sometime it is slow to display (particularly with "People" terms).

Also if you build a search that is too complex you might not get any results, even though it seems like logically something should come up.

You can select these terms either by clicking on the "Select Terms" at the right side of the box,

Or by starting to type in a word and letting the database give you potential options... This way works really well for personal names.

It is better to look up the "Select Terms" for Genre because searching for a more generic term (like looking for "Quartets" instead of "String Quartets") may miss results that should be there.

Again, when you are doing this type of search it is best to keep it simple!

It can also be fun to use the "Instrument" (besides individual instruments this includes groups like string quartets) search (using the "Select Terms") combined with something general like a "Date of Recording" and/or a "Time Period."

Instruments in this database are sorted into broader categories: Aerophones (basically wind instruments), Chordophones (string instruments, including keyboard), Electronic, Ensemble, Idiophones (percussion instruments mostly of the non-drum kind), Membranes (like drums of many sorts), Singer and Vocalizations.

Similar to "Genres" it is best to browse through the "Select Terms" options to choose these.

Searching specifically with the "Ensemble" bar is a way of searching for all the recordings of a group (such as the St. Petersburg Quartet or the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra). Be sure to use the "Select Terms" to make sure that you are using the correct spelling of the ensemble!

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Keyword Searching

Keyword searching is pretty easy in this database and rather similar to doing a google search. As with the previously mentioned searches, it is best to keep this search as simple as possible, while including words that can help specify the aspect of music that is desired.


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Content compiled/Written by G. D.