MUSIC SEARCH TIPS

Dynix is one of the better systems for answering music questions. Classical and popular music recordings both have some special features. Here are strategies for dealing with them in Dynix.


NON-DISTINCTIVE TITLES

Classical music is frequently described by words like concerto, sonata, and symphony. These are known as "non-distinctive titles," and, as the name suggests, by themselves they aren't very useful search terms. That's why most classical pieces by prolific composers have been given an opus number, to give each work a unique designation.

What to do: In general, you will get good results by searching on a combination of the composer's name with the opus number of the work you are looking for. If you don't have the opus number, it's easily found in a variety of sources, including the Schwann Opus catalog of classical music recordings. (Every branch has one.)

Information that is vital to a successful search in Schwann:

Example: You want to find Beethoven's Third Symphony.


Example: You want to find Mozart's Piano Sonata # 14.

MULTIPLE RENDITIONS OF A WORK

In any good-sized collection of classical music, the same piece of music will be found more than once, performed by different artists. In many cases, a particular rendition by a particular performer is the real goal of a search.

What to do: Repeat the search strategy above--checking Schwann Opus, searching for the composer by names keyword, the title by opus number, and adding in the performer as author.

Example: Find Mozart's Piano Sonata #14, performed by Mitsuko Uchida.

CONTENTS AND ADDED TITLES

Since popular and classical recordings routinely include more than one song or work, nearly every CD or tape is a kind of anthology.

What to do: Searching for popular song titles and classical pieces with distinctive titles is best done through contents keyword. For non-distinctive title searching, see above.

Example: You want to find recordings of the Star Spangled Banner.

DIFFERENT FORMATS

The results of a music title search can include CDs, cassettes, phonograph recordings, videos, and books. There are ways to pull just the formats that you want out of general search results.

What to do: In the example above, the keyword search on Star Spangled Banner also found some books and other materials.