Finding Text
emusicquest provides a number of more sophisticated searching tools for text. They're simple to use:

First of all, Start basic - just type in the word(s) or partial word(s) in a field.
Sonata, Op. 4 will find Sonata, Op. 4, as well as Sonata in G minor, Op. 4, and even Sonata in d, Op. 6, No. 4.

If the search results is too broad, you may use the following operators to narrow down your search:

Use quotes to find a search string in a field. ex. "Sonata, Op. 4" will find Sonata, Op. 4, but not Sonata in G minor, Op. 4.
Use @ to indicate any single character (a wildcard). ex. Mo@art will match Mozart, but Mo@rt does not (@ is for one character only).
Use * to indicate any number of characters (0 or more) to match. ex. Mo*rt will find Mozart.
Use = to search for whole words. ex. =Bach will find Bach but not Bacharach.
Use == to search for an exact match. ex. ==Sonata Op. 4 will find Sonata Op. 4 but not Sonata, Op. 4 (note the comma) and not Sonata in G minor Op. 4.

Other Search tips:
Keep your searches simple at first. "Less is more"; if you type in less information, it will return more results.

Start from general and move to specific. Start by entering in one item of information (ex. Composer) and examine the results found. Move on to composer and edition (title), but try to keep the title basic at first until you see the results. You can always go back and type in more information on the search page (just use the Back button on your browser).

Use keywords in the Edition field. You do not need to enter the complete word in order for emusicquest to find it. For instance, you need not type the entire phrase Moonlight Sonata - emusicquest will locate the work with simply Moon Son! Please note that in addition to locating Moonlight Sonata, you might find other unexpected titles such as "Moon Dance" from a collection called Popular Cowboy Songs, or a collection containing "Valentine Song" and "Roll along Prairie Moon". Once you examine the results, you can go back and modify your search criteria.

Partial information typed into a field is often sufficient to locate "hits". For example, typing Beetho in the Composer field will locate all records by Ludwig van Beethoven. Typing Bee will locate works by Beethoven, as well as works by Beesley, Beechey, Beer, and Beeson.

Most structured titles have been entered in a standard way and language. Although typing Konzert when searching for a concerto may find results, far more works in this genre are listed by the English form "Concerto". We regularly comb the databases to find and fix inconsistencies in nomenclature.

Keep in mind that if you cannot find the work listed after typing your initial search criteria, adding MORE information will not help. Be creative! Consider if the work might be listed in another way, or with an alternate spelling.

The Results page will allow you to browse through the list of records that meet your search criteria. Each record contains Composer and Dates, Title (our name for title is Edition), Instrumentation, Arranger/Editor, Publisher, and Publisher Number, as well as a Detail link which will provide further detail on that edition. The Detail page will provide additional known information such as opus number, remarks, duration, price, and status: active (in print) or inactive (not listed in the most recent publisher's catalog). Here you will also find updated publisher contact information, including website and email addresses.

More search tips

Use several fields in a search to limit searching for very specific editions, or to browse very general results in a non-specific search (in the Piano database, search for Germany in the Nationality field and Baroque in the Period field to browse a listing of German Piano music in the Baroque period).

If you are searching for a specific sequence of words, put them in quotation marks. For instance, if you are searching for Moonlight Sonata and Moon Dance is included in your search results, put quotation marks around "Moonlight Sonata" exactly as shown. Moon Dance will be excluded from your found set.
NOTE: This method of using quotation marks to specify an exact sequence of text will also work on most Internet browsers, helping considerably when performing searches in other areas online!!!

Directions for searching by Duration.

In the Title or Edition Keyword field, type in the number of minutes followed by the ' sign [apostrophe], then if desired, the number of seconds (DO NOT include the " sign [quotation] for seconds). The " sign is interpreted when searching on an exact search string.

Example: type 4'30 to locate works of exactly 4 minutes and 30 seconds.

Type 4' to locate works that are between 4 and 5 minutes (this will locate works that are 4'0" as well as 4'30" and 4'59"

Searching by date can narrow your search to a specific time period based on birth and death dates of composers listed in Music-In-Print.

For example, typing the year 1750 in the Date field will locate works by J.S. Bach (who died in 1750), and also works by Antonio Salieri (who was born in 1750). In other words, this will locate composers who were either born or died in 1750.

We can look for music written during a certain date range. Select a category at the bottom of the database search page (optional). Separate a date range by typing two periods, and the database will return results 'from' the first year 'to' the second year. For example, type 1712..1719 in the Date field. You will be given a set of results with a number of titles by composers who were either born or died during that period.

In order to further specify dates, it is necessary to understand the format of the dates in the database. Dates are listed in the following manner: ( 1685 - 1750 ). Note that there are spaces between the leading parenthesis and birth date, both before and after the hyphen, and between the death date and closing parenthesis. To locate a composer born in 1685, type your request this way, including the quotation marks at the beginning and end:"( 1685 - " . The Music-In-Print web interface only lists the first composer of a collection, so some works that might not initially appear to fit the criteria do in fact, have a composer that was born in that year!

We can combine our search of dates with a nationality for even more specific results.

Searching the NWBI (Numeric Breakdown of Wind Instruments)

Here is a hypothetical example, and some suggestions on fine tuning your inquiry:

Problem: hrp,org,strings returns no records.
Searching the database for a specific instrumentation can be done.
First - and the primary reason for no records in this case - is that there might not be any entries with that specific number scheme. There are numerous entries with and also numerous records with, but none that have both! You can use the @ symbol for a single wildcard character as in:

@.0.0.2 or even @.@.@.2

Second, there is no abbreviation for harp; just the word harp alone. This issue will prevent any records that would have the exact numbers above from being found.

A search that does find records is the following:
@.@.@.2 harp, org, string

Some other quick tips are:
-use quotes for an exact string, as in "pno solo" in the Instrumentataion field to locate piano concertos
-use a single equals sign to find that exact word, as in =sonata, which will find Sonata in G, but not Sonate in G (the above method sonat@ will find both, but not sonatine or sonatina - try sonatin* for that!)
-use two equals signs to find an exact field match, as in ==sonata in g which will ONLY find Sonata in G, not Sonatina in G or Sonate in G or Sonata in G Major!!

In summary, the best way to search the database is to start with less information, and begin to narrow your search once you have received results. Use the tips in this tutorial to compose queries that may not be readily apparent, but can be more helpful in searching for specific information. As an additional resource option, you can always contact us to inquire about searching, or to ask for assistance. We are here to serve you!

This page and all website content is Copyright © 2000-2007 emusicquest.