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Oxford Music Online--are you searching smarter or harder?

Are you getting the most out of Oxford Music Online? Sure, you know you can keyword search all of New Grove, Grove Opera, and Grove Jazz, but did you know that there are search options that can help you work smarter, not harder?

Do you get search results that look like this? In this example I was looking for an entry about "practicing". Since I didn't know if I would find it under "practice" or "practicing", I tried a basic keyword search using "practic*", which searches for anything that starts with "practic".


That's way too many results to look through, and I don't see what I want at the top of the results.* (Kind of reminds you of Google, huh?)

There has to be a better way to do a search for such a popular term. Luckily, from the main Oxford Music Online page you have several options to narrow your search.

Across the top you can see that you have the option to narrow your search by type of thing you are looking for (a person? a thing/subject? Or do you want to do a basic keyword search, but maybe only in Grove?


Or, you can choose which resource you want to search in or choose an advanced search.


If you choose to do an advanced search, you really start to have options to narrow your search.

> You can choose to search in certain sections of entries (biography, bibliography, etc)
> You can choose to search in certain types of entries in each resource. Choose Grove and then select which subset of entries (People, places, terminology, etc)
> And, you can choose to limit your search to the title of an entry, the full text of the entry, the bibliography, or the works list, or the contributors.

Don't forget to use the help tips Oxford provides!


If you want to just search and/or browse the subject entries in a particular resource, click on the "Subject Entries" link at the top of the page.


Now that I know all of this, I can try a smarter search for the concept of "practicing." I'm still going to use "practic*" but am going to limit myself to the category of "Musical terminology and concepts" and limit my search to entry titles.


When I do this I get just two results, and the one I want is second. I never would have thought to look under "Psychology of Music" for this!


*Ok, so the entry I wanted is about 15th in the list--so not so bad, but sometimes the thing you want can be even further down the list.


Welcome to the blog for the Music and Performing Arts Library, at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Here we'll share information about news and tools relevant to music, dance, and theatre researchers, as well as information about new items in the collection. We'll also post about news in the arts world that may be of interest to the Music and Performing Arts Library's users.
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