Category Archives: Databases

Recently Added Resources: RILM Music Encyclopedias; Music Magazine Archive

Two new electronic resources have been recently added to the Libraries’ collection:

RILM Music Encyclopedias

A full-text compilation of 45 seminal titles published from 1775 to the present and comprising nearly 80,000 pages, the majority of which are not available anywhere else online. It provides comprehensive encyclopedic coverage of the most important disciplines, fields, and subject areas, among them popular music, opera, instruments, blues, gospel, recorded sound, and women composers. Its content spans multiple countries and languages–English, German, French, Italian, Dutch, and Greek.

Music Magazine Archive

Music Magazine Archive is a series of digital collections focused on a number of popular music genres.  CUL currently subscribes to the Rock music group of magazines. These publications uniquely capture the social and historical context of the repertory, as well as scholarly research areas such as race, class, gender, American studies, youth culture.  Researchers will find all material represented in the original publications, preserved in its original context, fully searchable and in high-resolution full color.

Please send any comments or questions on these resources to

Naxos Music Library and Naxos Jazz audio now in CLIO

Streaming audio content available on Naxos Music Library and Naxos Jazz is now indexed in CLIO! Over 4,500 records from Naxos Music Library and 1,500 records from Naxos Jazz have been added. This means that when you are searching CLIO, any available Naxos streaming audio content which matches your search will come up, along with the usual results for CDs and LPs held by the Libraries.

The CLIO records include contents, performers, track information, etc. To access the audio, click on the link in the CLIO record which says “Online Link: Naxos Music Library streaming audio”. This will take you to the Naxos record, where you can select the particular track(s) you wish to hear.

If you’re curious about browsing the collection, here’s one way:

  • In CLIO, choose search type = “Keyword”
  • To browse Naxos Music Library content, enter keyword “965naxos”
  • To browse Naxos Jazz content, enter keyword “965naxosjazz”

If you don’t want to have to remember these keywords, you can also just do a keyword search using “naxos” and then add “jazz” or whatever other search terms you like (artists, performers, labels, etc).

For example: keyword = naxos jazz charlie parker

Note that this will also pull up any physical Naxos CDs the library holds that match your search. Streaming audio content is easily distinguishable from CDs by the “ERESOURCES” call number.

Lastly, please note the variety of audio player options available on the Naxos site. If you are experiencing playback problems with one player, try one of the other options. If problems persist, please let us know at

Please have a listen, and let us know if you have any questions, comments, or problems.

E-Resource: Contemporary Music – Gateway to Contemporary Music in France

Contemporary Music is an online resource which provides access to information about contemporary music in France. The site offers access to “124,993 biographies, books, music scores, sound recordings, videos… available in 17 databases”. The site offers a federated search across the holdings of its participating institutions (see here for a definition of federated searching). Users may also browse by institution; so, for example, you can search over 1,900 scientific papers offered by Ircam.

Audio files are mostly offered as excerpts, in streaming audio format. Access to scores is principally via bibliographic records, rather than by access to the full score. Information is provided on how to contact the institution of origin on this material. Scientific papers are offered with some full text (HTML format) with the remainder consisting of online citations only.

There are some limitations to the site. Although offered in both a French and English version (click on the flag symbols to toggle), the English version in many places has French terms in the text and in the search fields. In some cases, references to audio files are provided, but playback does not work. It does not seem possible to sort search results in all of the results screens. Also, some content is restricted to subscribers (for example, Ircam offers links to composers’ biographies in Grove Music Online, but following these links leads to a subscriber login. Note that full-time Columbia affiliates may access the full Grove Music Online via the Columbia Libraries’ standard link, via “Databases” on Library Web).

Despite these minor glitches, this gateway offers a valuable search utility to discover resources on contemporary music in France, with content that would not be easily accessible elsewhere.

Tip: audio interviews on Rock’s Back Pages

Rock’s Back Pages, an online database provided through the Columbia University Libraries, provides electronic access to an “… archive of reviews, interviews and features on artists from Aaliyah to ZZ Top, by the world’s best rock writers and from the most influential music publications.

One interesting area of content that may not be immediately noticed is an archive of audio interiews, available by clicking on the “Audio” link on the left-hand navigation menu. Spanning from 1970 through 2006, these audio interviews feature artists such as Bo Diddley, David Bowie, Tom Waits, Ronnie Spector, Van Dyke Parks, Randy Newman, Leonard Cohen, and many others. Also included, at the end of the listings under “others”, are interviews with record producers, sound engineers, and producers, including such noted figures as Ahmet Ertegun, and Gamble and Huff.

The interviews are encoded as downloadable 128kpbs MP3 files, which is adequate for spoken word content. The context and location of the interviews is not always clear, and it would be nice to have more information provided. There are links provided to additional articles by the interviewers.

Naxos Jazz database – temporary access workaround

The regular link for Naxos Jazz (via Databases) may not work for up to several days, as they work on the problem. The publisher has provided a temporary work-around for access to Naxos Jazz. Use the following link, and login information:
username: Columbia128K01
password: Columbia128K01

Contact the Music & Arts Library staff at if you have questions or want help in locating jazz content and resources.

Problem with access to several databases

Problems have been reported in accessing the following databases:

  • African American Music Reference
  • Classical Music Library
  • Classical Scores Library
  • Contemporary World Music
  • Music Online: Classical Music Reference Library
  • Opera in Video

No estimated time of resolution has been provided yet. We apologize for this interruption of service.

For possible alternate content  or solutions, please contact the Music & Arts Library staff, at

Problem with access to Naxos Jazz database

There is currently a problem with access to the Naxos Jazz database. It’s been reported to library systems staff, and we hope for a quick resolution. We’ll post when access has been restored.

In the mean time, please don’t hesitate to contact us, if we may be able to help you locate jazz content in our CD collection. You can email us at, or call us at 212-854-8523.

Tips on audio playback for Naxos Music Library

Naxos Music Library, one of the Libraries’ online audio databases, seems to have recently changed their web site, in a way that may impact some users.

When you select your audio and start playback, a window launches, running a Flash audio player. Unfortunately, this player will not work on standard library workstations!

If you look at the playback window, you’ll see that you’re also offered two other options:

Windows Media Player, and the Silverlight player.

For standard library workstations, choose Windows Media Player. For Macs, try Silverlight (including off-campus access). Silverlight requires download and installation. Please let us know if you experience any problems in connecting to this, or any other, audio resource!

Featured E-Resource: The Jazz Discography

The Jazz Discography (Tom Lord) is now available through the Libraries. It is “… the most up-to-date general discography of all categories of recorded jazz, from 1896 to today”.

This resource allows much more flexible searching than was possible using the earlier print and CD-ROM versions. Searches are available for leader, session, musician, tune, and record label, as well as a “multi-search” function which allows searches of multiple musicians and/or tunes. A good introduction to using the database is found by clicking on the “Help” tab on the upper right of the screen.

The Jazz Discography can be found under the “Databases” tab of the main Library Web search page. Access is available on campus, or off-campus to Columbia affiliates via your standard UNI/password login.

Let us know what you think!