Alexander Street Launches Broadest and Most Comprehensive Music Resource Available Online

April 2, 2009

April 2, 2009, Alexandria, VA—Electronic publisher Alexander Street Press today announced the launch of Music Online, the broadest and most comprehensive resource available 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.

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

Every object in the collection is indexed for subjects, historical events, genres, people, cultural groups, places, time periods, and ensembles. As a result, students and scholars can combine keyword and fielded search capabilities to frame creative and highly targeted queries. Says Alexander Street music editor Elizabeth Dutton, “Searching on ‘banjo,’ a user can return a bluegrass recording by Ralph Stanley, a folk recording by Pete Seeger, multiple images of banjos and articles on the banjo from various reference sources, and a twentieth-century score by David Del Tredici featuring banjo. The kind of indexing that makes this possible involves painstaking work. It has taken years to develop this level of cross-search functionality, and this launch represents a significant milestone in digital reference.”

The hundreds of thousands of cross-searchable items in Music Online include 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, including EMI, Boosey & Hawkes, Garland, Rounder Records, Rebel, Arhoolie Records, Verve, Arabesque Recordings, Smithsonian Folkways, Merce Cunningham Dance Foundation, and Opus Arte. 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.

A unique and central feature of the Music Online suite is its 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.

“The wealth of content here is mind-boggling,” says Alexander Street President Stephen Rhind-Tutt. “If you’re looking for a Bach cantata to listen to while you read the score, you can do that. If you want to read about hip hop, its origins and influences, that’s here, too. You can access biographies of all of the great Western composers and read the liner notes of foundational recordings while you listen to them. Watch performances of The Nutcracker and Aida. If you’re doing any kind of music research or study, this collection is easily the best starting place.”

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 http://alexanderstreet.com/products/muso.htm

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About Alexander Street Press
Alexander Street Press is an electronic publisher of award-winning online collections in the humanities, social sciences, performing arts, and music. Since its beginnings in 2000, Alexander Street has developed a reputation for uniquely powerful search capabilities powered by Alexander Street’s Semantic Indexing™ and for offering content not available anywhere else. Alexander Street collections are available to library and educational institutions via annual subscription or outright purchase of perpetual rights.

Free trial access is available to libraries and educational institutions. To request trial access and pricing information, email sales [at] alexanderstreet [dot] com (sales [at] alexanderstreet [dot] com)

Reviewers, media contacts, libraries, and university faculty may request access to Music Online by emailing Meg Keller at mkeller [at] alexanderstreet [dot] com (mkeller [at] alexanderstreet [dot] com)

Contact Details
Meg Keller, Director of Marketing
Alexander Street Press
3212 Duke Street
Alexandria, VA 22314
703.212.8520 x 116
mkeller [at] alexanderstreet [dot] com (mkeller [at] alexanderstreet [dot] com)