Tag Archives: Tips & Tutorials

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!

End-of-semester music reference resources

The final push is on!… and here are some reminders of a few music reference resources that may assist you in your work. Please remember that you can contact us by phone (212-854-4711), by email (music@libraries.cul.columbia.edu), or in person during library hours in the Music & Arts Library, 701 Dodge. Please let us know if we can help!

Many basic resources are gathered together in our Quick Reference Guide, including print resources, and electronic text and audio databases, and indexes to music periodical literature. Try starting with this, and if you have further questions, don’t hesitate to contact us!

Here, in addition, are some more recent resources, not yet listed in our Quick Reference Guide:

  • African American Music Reference – includes “…text reference, biographies, chronologies, sheet music, images, lyrics, liner notes, and discographies which chronicle the diverse history and culture of the African American experience through music.”
  • Encyclopedia of Popular Music – covers popular music genres and periods from 1900 to the present day, including jazz, country, folk, rap, reggae, techno, musicals, and world music.
  • Garland Encyclopedia of World Music – a comprehensive online resource “devoted to music research of all the world’s peoples”. Each volume contains an overview of a geographic region, a survey of its musical heritage, and a description of specific musical genres, practices, and performances.
  • Music Online: Classical Music Reference Library – “… brings together more than 30,000 pages of essential reference materials, spanning the entire history of Western classical music, in a unified online database. Included are the authoritative reference titles Baker’s Dictionary of Music, Baker’s Biographical Dictionary of Musicians, and Baker’s Student Encyclopedia of Music, which are available for the first time in electronic form”.
  • Opera in Video – database of streaming video of full operas, currently comprising 42 titles.
  • Rock’s Back Pages – rock reviews, articles and interviews from the late 1950s to the present day.

Tips on Naxos Music Library for Macs

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Recently, Naxos Music Library, one of the streaming audio databases available through the Libraries, updated its interface. One of the changes is the availability of the Silverlight media player (from Microsoft), which may help in improving off-campus access, specifically if you are using a Mac.

I noticed before I downloaded and installed the Silverlight player that when I would launch an audio playback window in Naxos Music Library, it would hang and not play back. After installing Silverlight (via the download link available from the Naxos playback window), playback was restored, and working again.

Please let us know by email at music@libraries.cul.columbia.edu (or post a comment here) if you experience problems accessing Naxos Music Library (or any other music resource), or have questions about using them.

Reminder: Naxos Music Library, and other electronic audio and music-related resources from the Columbia University Libraries, may be accessed from off-campus by full-time students, faculty, and staff only.

Recordings circulate for 2 weeks to all full-time students, faculty and staff

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 (L, LS, W, and JS are all call number prefixes for vinyl LPs).
  • 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. 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.

Updated: Library Quick Reference Guide

The Music & Arts Library “Quick Reference Guide” has been updated, and is available on our home page (or, click here to open the file directly). It can be downloaded as a PDF file. Please feel free to contact us with comments and suggestions!

Quick Reference Guide

Here’s a link to the updated Music & Arts Library Quick Reference Guide:


This brief 2-page guide lists basic circulation information, as well as resources in print and online that students can use as a starting point for their research. It also includes links to the Libraries’ online audio databases.