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Alexander Street Launches 'Music Online' Database

Posted Apr 2, 2009
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Electronic publisher Alexander Street Press has announced the launch of Music Online, a comprehensive resource for the study of classical, jazz, world, and American music. Unique to the resource is its ability to deliver audio recordings, video content, full-text reference materials, musical scores, liner notes, biographies, and images through a single interface, according to the announcement.

The culmination of a music publishing program that began with Alexander Street's purchase of Classical Music Library in 2002, Music Online has built on that collection's technical features and functionality by applying rich controlled vocabularies across all format types to achieve the search capabilities Alexander Street's Semantic Indexing makes possible.

The objects in the collection are indexed for subjects, historical events, genres, people, cultural groups, places, time periods, and ensembles. Students and scholars can combine keyword and fielded search capabilities to frame creative, targeted queries.

Music Online includes more than 88,000 tracks; 285 hours of dance and opera video; more than 13,000 scores; and more than 45,000 pages of reference content, from over 150 different record and video labels, print and score publishers. The continuously growing collection also makes cross-searchable thousands of liner notes, biographies, and images. In May, Music Online will expand to include 20,000 jazz recordings. By September, all of the content in both African American Music and Smithsonian Global Sound for Libraries will also be cross-searchable though the new interface.

The Music Online suite features a robust playlist functionality, which allows users to build playlists, incorporating content from anywhere in Music Online—or from anywhere on the Web—and then annotate them, keep them at a permanent URL for private use, or share them, either within the institution or with all subscribers.  Users can, for example, build a playlist that includes multiple recordings of a single work, its score, a dance video that incorporates the work, an essay about it published elsewhere on the Web, and a biography and photograph of the composer. The collection also includes featured playlists designed to be used in conjunction with leading music textbooks and in university-level survey courses.

Libraries may subscribe to the entire Music Online suite of products, or to specific subsets (all reference or all listening collections, for example). Much of the content is also available via outright purchase of perpetual rights. The cross-search interface is available to any library subscribing to component collections and will return results only for those components to which the library subscribes.

Additional information about Music Online is available on the Alexander Street Press Web site at

Source: Alexander Street Press,

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