Category Archives: Tips & Tutorials

Music Technology Workshops for Summer 2018


The Music & Arts Library is presenting a series of music technology workshops, led by MFA Sound Arts program graduate student Lee Gilboa, throughout June and July 2018. Topics include Logic Pro, Mixing, Audacity, Ableton Live, Max/MSP, and more.

The workshops will be held on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, from 12:30-1:30. These workshops are open to all full-time Columbia students.

Registration is required. For full details, a list of topics and dates, and the registration form, please go to:—summer-2018.html

Questions? Please contact

Hope to see you in the library!


Get to know the SCOPUS database

All Columbia students, staff, and faculty are invited to attend Scopus Day on Wed. Oct 31, 2012.  Scopus is “…a large citation and abstract database, covering all subject areas. It contains nearly 18,000 peer-reviewed journals from more than 5,000 publishers with a range of advanced research features”.

This event will offer a “lunch and learn” session, from 11:30am-12:30pm (with free pizza!); there will also be Scopus reps on-site during the day to answer questions. There’s also a free Kindle giveaway you can enter. Full details on the event, including registration information, are offered here:

So, if you’re researching in music, why would you use Scopus? While it’s true that the major journals in music are indexed in the music literature indexes Music Index Online, International Index to Music Periodicals (IIMP), and RILM, so much scholarly work being done now is interdisciplinary, and you may be surprised at the useful and relevant content that you can find searching in Scopus, in journals outside of the usual music-specialized titles, especially if your research interests overlap with the sciences. Another useful feature is citation tracing; you can see which other articles (and how many) have cited a given article.

Whether you can attend the Scopus Day trainings or not, take a look at Scopus and do some test searches, to discover the kind of content which is available. You’ll notice the “E-link” icons on much of the content; click on those to see if they can easily find full-text content available through the Libraries’ subscriptions (if they can’t, don’t despair – check with your reference librarian for further possible options).

Let us know if you have any questions, as always, at

Our Quick Reference Guide can help you get started

Getting started in the Music & Arts Library, or, need a refresher on some of our resources?

Our Quick Reference Guide (link opens as PDF) can help. It contains an overview of contact info, loan periods, resources to help you start your research, music-related databases, and more.

In PDF format, with clickable links to the resources mentioned in the document, we hope that this will be a handy guide to help you in your work. Please contact us with any comments or questions at

Research Help Available!

Looking for a little extra research help, as your final papers and projects take shape?

Here’s a reminder on some resources that may be useful:

  • Walk-in reference help: you can ask for assistance at the circulation desk of the Music & Arts Library any time we are open, excepting Saturdays;
  • Email reference help: you can email us at, and our staff will respond to you within one business day;
  • Chat/IM reference help: available at this link, or under the “Ask Us” menu on the Libraries home page, this general library reference service will help answer your questions and point you to resources, and will forward your questions to subject specialists for further help if needed;
  • Schedule a consultation: You can meet one-on-one with Music & Arts Library staff, to discuss your research needs. Just contact us at;
  • Quick Reference Guide: this guide (PDF format) lists some fundamental music research resources to help get you started and is available on our home page, along with links to some other resources.

Questions? Please let us know, and good luck with your research!

Digital Music Lab info sessions offered in March

Four info sessions on the Music & Arts Library’s Digital Music Lab are being offered in March 2011.  The sessions will give an overview of the available software and hardware, designed to enable users to work with digital audio, MIDI, and music notation, and will offer time for questions. Follow-up consultations are also available. These sessions are open to any Columbia students, faculty, or staff.

The sessions are offered on:

  • Thursday, March 3, 2011, 2-3pm
  • Thursday, March 10, 2011, 2-3pm
  • Friday, March 11, 2011, 2-3pm
  • Wednesday, March 30, 11am-12 noon
  • Thursday, March 31, 11am-12 noon

Space is limited, so please note that RSVP is required. Please RSVP at this link. You will receive an email confirming your session. For any other questions, please contact us at We hope to see you in the library!

CLIO beta: limit search to music scores

Limiting your Title or Keyword search results to music scores just got easier in CLIO beta. Responding to user feedback, “Music Scores” has been added to the “Limit” menu under the search box on the main CLIO search page (also available: “Music Sound Recordings” and “Videos/Films”). You can also limit your results after your search, by selecting from the limits on the sidebar to the right of your search results.

So, limiting results to music scores, sound recordings, or videos is now a one-click operation, either before or after your search.

Questions? Contact us at

CLIO beta tutorial videos available!

Some very useful video tutorials on using CLIO beta have been put up by Barnard Library, at this link. Although the videos emphasize Barnard content, they are still an excellent introduction to some of the general features of CLIO beta, and to searching in general.

For searching CLIO for music-related items, one additional thing to note is that you can limit your title or keyword searches to music sound recordings, music scores, or videorecordings, by using the “Limit To” drop-down menu, below the search box.

If you find that you have additional questions about searching for recordings or for music scores, don’t hesitate to contact us, at!

Introducing CLIO Beta!

As you may have noticed, a new and re-designed version of CLIO is now available. It’s titled CLIO Beta, and, as that implies, is an ongoing development which will, we hope, offer an easy-to-use and convenient interface to the Libraries’ collections.

Please note the green “feedback” button towards the top of the search page. Your input is important, so don’t hesitate to use this to comment, request features, etc.

I’d like to point out a few general and a few music-specific things:

  • In old CLIO, results showed in “brief view” and “full view”, and you had to click through to the “full view” in order to see information on performers and ensembles for recordings. Happily, CLIO Beta now has one all-inclusive record, which lists contents and information on performers on the same page as the title, author, and call number information.
  • Note that in CLIO Beta that the default search type is set to “keyword” (was “title” in old CLIO).
  • Note that in CLIO Beta your results list from a keyword search is sorted by “relevance” (was “date, newest” in old CLIO). You can re-sort by choosing from the “Sort by” menu on the right side of the screen.
  • Quick Limits – as in the old CLIO, you can use the “Limit to” menu to limit your search to sound recordings or video recordings (remember that these limits work only with Title and Keyword searches).
  • Limiting results to music scores – in order to limit your search results to music scores, go to the Advanced search page. From there you can select “music scores” under the “format” pull-down menu
  • The sidebar – note that many services and links have moved to the pale blue sidebar on the right-hand side of the screen. This is where you’ll find the links to place recalls/holds, or connect to Borrow Direct or Inter-Library Loan.
  • Some new features! Note that you can now email a CLIO record to your cell phone (as well as send it as normal email). Also, each record now has a stable URL (at the bottom of the record) which can be saved, or shared, and which will correctly link back to the record you’ve chosen. For example, you could link to this recording.

One last note: you may notice some results marked with this icon:   and the text “not available”. This may just indicate that the item is checked out – so, unavailable for the moment. Remember that you can request a hold or recall, or, if you need the item right away, try a Borrow Direct request.

Please let us know if you have any questions or need help in searching, at Comments on CLIO beta can also be sent using the “What do you think?” button at the top of the CLIO search page.

Inter-Library Loan or Borrow Direct – which to use?

The Inter-Library Loan Office has published a handy guide, which explains the differences between inter-library loan service and Borrow Direct, for those pesky times that Columbia’s Libraries don’t own an item, or all copies are checked out. Highly recommended!

Note that music scores can be requested through either service (Borrow Direct is faster). While ILL is the recommended service for recordings, be aware that many libraries do not supply media. One other possibility: Princeton, who participates in Borrow Direct, will generally supply sound recordings.

Because the Borrow Direct search interface allows searching only by title or by author, it can sometimes be challenging to search for music scores or recordings. If you need some help in doing this, please contact us at – we’ll be happy to help you try to track things down.

Check out our recordings!

Hey, music lovers…!

Did you know that sound and video recordings in the Music & Arts Library circulate for 2 weeks, to all Columbia full-time students, faculty, and staff?

Check ’em out!

  • Almost all sound and video recordings are listed in CLIO.
  • Use “Quick Limit” feature in a CLIO search to specify either sound or video recordings.
  • If you want to see only CDs as a result of your keyword search, try including the keyword “digital” along with your other search terms, for example “mozart magic flute digital”. Our CD call numbers all begin with the CD prefix .
  • If you need further help with search tips for recordings, contact us – music searching can sometimes be tricky, and we’re glad to help!

Note that all of our vinyl LP recordings (yes, remember – records?!) are held in Offsite storage (L, LS, W, and JS are all call number prefixes for vinyl LPs). You’ll see “Offsite” locations for those items; request them by clicking on the “Offsite” button at the bottom of the CLIO record. Delivery time is 2 business days, and turntables are available in the Music & Arts Library, if you don’t have access to your own.

Lastly, don’t forget about music available through our streaming audio databases. These can all also be accessed from off-campus via UNI login.

Please let us know what you think, or if you have any questions or problems: