Exploring online music resources

Cambridge University Libraries have over the past year worked very hard on extending access to online resources. If you are a keen follower of the eresources blog you will already have a fairly good idea of the fantastic content that has become available in recent months. Let me pick out some interesting resources for music.

Earlier in the year we focussed on online notated music.  Since then, the range of our subscription resources has continued to expand. Our primary aim is to support teaching, learning and research at the University in an online environment. I would like to thank those of you who have helped us prioritize through providing feedback during earlier trial periods. Some, but not all, of the resources can be searched on iDiscover so please do remember to check our Music LibGuide (with selected resources on the ‘Home’ and ‘Researching a topic’ tabs) and of course also the full list of electronic resources on Cambridge University Libraries A-Z

In response to popular demand Music is now one of the available subjects in the Oxford Bibliographies Online series. The resource is incredibly helpful for undergraduate dissertations and for anyone starting to explore new subject areas of research. The concept is quite simple; selected literature about a music topic is collected and within the structured listing each resource is provided with a short description of its content and a link to iDiscover, enabling you to check availability in Cambridge with one click. Compared to bibliographic listings in Oxford Music Online and Die Musik in Geschichte und Gegenwart, or a literature search RILM or Music Index, the bibliographies contain the added dimension of a music scholar in the field providing information that will help you assess how essential the resource may be for your research. The difference with RILM abstracts, which also provide information about the content of resources, is the structured approach and selection by one particular subject expert in OBO. Which of these online bibliographic tools will provide you with the most up to date or complete information will vary on your topic of choice.

If your dissertation or research topic is jazz related, it will definitely be worth exploring RIPM Jazz periodicals, one of the newer RIPM offerings covering historical jazz periodicals from 1914-2006. The full text database contains many titles Cambridge University Libraries previously did not have access to and were until now difficult to access.

Another exciting addition is the Bloomsbury Popular Music collections. In addition to scholarly publications, the 33 1/3 and global 33 1/3 series and the Bloomsbury Encyclopedia of Popular Music of the World, the resource offers downloadable subject guides, artist pages, a timeline and an interactive world map.

Having already covered notated music and text based resources, let’s have a quick look at online streaming. Medici.tv offers concerts, operas, ballets, masterclasses and documentaries through a mixture of archival recordings and live streaming. What is available through live streaming is inevitably affected by the lack of live performances during the pandemic so, at the time of writing, contains a significant element of replay performances. The quality of what is on offer however remains unaffected. Have a break from YouTube adverts and enjoy uninterrupted good quality streaming as part of your learning and research.

The video streaming service Artfilms also offers interesting music related content through masterclasses, documentaries, interviews and concerts on topics including film, musical theatre, jazz and world music.

Box of Broadcasts (learning on screen) offers a wide range of on demand resources from television and radio broadcasts. You can create an account and find your way around the features and options in a series of introductory videos. You can search for and watch specific programmes or explore curated play lists.

All of these subscription resources are available through Raven access. If you want to find out about free online music resources Digital Resources for Musicology can be a good starting point.

AP

 

 

 

 

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