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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 Smithsonian Global Sound

Search Options in Smithsonian Global Sound


Contents: Advanced Search, Keyword Search, Select Terms



There are basically two options for searching in the Smithsonian Global Sound database. The Advanced Search option which is good when you have a particular specification that you need to look for and the Keyword Search option.


Advanced Searching

Advanced Searching in the Smithsonian Global Sound database is pretty straight forward.

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

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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 more 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).

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 a little 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!

Searching by Cultural Group and Place great for getting music of a particular ethnic group, however it should be used with a little caution since sometimes they miss some selections...

These work best with the "Select Terms."

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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.