Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Saving Your Research: Why Bookmarking Alone Won't Do It

"I saved the permalink to an article I found, but I can't get back to the page." We hear variations on this panicked statement often. Here's how to deal with the problem.

Although you can bookmark or otherwise save the permalink URL for an article you've found in one of our databases, simply returning to that same web address won't bring up page. You'll more likely hit a page asking you to log in to the database. But what you really need to do is go back through the library website to be authenticated as a Berklee library user. Why? It's like a security system for a building. It may be faster and more direct to enter through a side door to head straight to your room. But the side door is kept locked; you have to go in the front door and swipe your ID at the security desk. Going through the library website to get to our online resources is how you get authenticated as a Berklee user who is covered under our subscription for access.

Armed with this knowledge, there are a few ways you can save the articles you find to use again later:

1. Bookmarking or saving permalinks

Use this method especially if you had already found your articles without anticipating later access problems.
  • Note which database your article came from, such as Educator's Reference Complete or Literature Resource Center. 
  • Return to the library's Search Articles & More page. If you're doing this from an off-campus internet connection, you'll be prompted to log in as a Berklee user. 
  • Click on "Search by database" in the center near the top of the page.
  • Click on the name of the database.
  • To use the previous metaphor, you've now gone through the security system. Fire up that bookmark or permalink to return to your article.
2. Using database tools within each database

If you use this method, you will need to keep track of which databases you used to find articles initially.

In most databases, you can create an account and save your research for later. The link to log in or create an account is often found in the top right of the page. The databases usually give the option to select or save articles from your list of search results. Here's an example from JSTOR:

Some database vendors such as EBSCO and Gale, supply multiple databases, so if you create one account that will cover you for all their databases.

To clarify, going through the library website is for the Berklee subscription, but logging in is for your own account under that blanket subscription.

3. Downloading or emailing for offline use

Most databases allow you to save articles, either by downloading them directly to your computer or emailing them as attached files, often with a properly formatted citation. The advantages are that you don't need to create an account within each database and you can then access them even when you don't have an internet connection. However, they can get lost in a boatload of downloads or other email, so consider setting up a folder just for the articles for each assignment and renaming the files to something meaningful.

Email links are usually along the top or right side of the page when viewing an article. Here is an example from EBSCO's Academic Search Premier:

If you find a bunch of useful articles in a single database, you may be able to select them all to download or email at once.

Be aware that some databases such as Oxford Music Online only email a link to the article, not the article itself, which requires going back through the library website to access it.

Using these strategies, you'll never again find yourself stuck without access that awesome article you found previously.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Blues People: A Classic Book Turns 50

Blues People: Negro Music in White America by LeRoi Jones (ML3556 .B37 B58) was published 50 years ago and has never been out of print since. A product of the Civil Rights movement era, it was a ground-breaking work in recognizing African-American contributions to American music.

NPR's A Blog Supreme has an article on the book's gestation and reception:

Black History Meets Black Music: 'Blues People' At 50

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Nailing the Audition

On July 23, 1968, the Jackson Five auditioned for Motown Records. While the library can't promise that your next audition will be that fruitful, we do have resources to help you with the audition process.

If you need material for a vocal audition, particularly for musical theater, we have scores with 16-bar excerpts edited for auditions. For example:
  • The 16-Bar Theatre Audition: 100 Songs Excerpted for Successful Auditions (Belter (Mezzo-soprano) edition) compiled and edited by Michael Dansicker (MP1507 .S615 2003 Mez.)
Search the subject "Auditions" to find books and clinics on the process. For example:
  •  The Enraged Accompanist's Guide to the Perfect Audition by Andrew Gerle (MT956 .G47 2011)
And whether you're dealing with the audition or the eventual performance it could lead to, we also have materials to help you deal with stage fright such as: 
  • "But I Played It Perfectly in the Practice Room!" by Charlotte Sibley Whitaker and Donald Ray Tanner (ML3820 .W45 1987)

Friday, July 19, 2013

Citation Formatting Made Easy in Subscription Databases

The obvious advantage of many of our eResources is that you can access them anywhere with an internet connection. But they also provide properly properly formatted citations that you can drop into your assignments without wondering where the quotation marks and italics go.

You can usually find citation tools along the top of the page or in the right column when you're looking at an article in our subscription databases. Each database provider does it slightly differently, so you may need to look around the page. You can choose the preferred citation style, such as MLA or Chicago, and download or copy and paste the citation into your paper.

Here are some examples:

In EBSCOHost, with databases such as the Music Index, Academic Search Premier and MEDLINE, look for "Cite" in the right column, then scroll through the pop-up window to copy and paste the right style citation.

In Gale, with databases such as Academic OneFile and the New York Times, the MLA citation is at the bottom of the article, and there are citation tools in the right column to download or export the citation.

In ProQuest, with databases such as the International Index to Music Periodicals and the Boston Globe, look for Cite along the top menu bar above the article. You'll get a pop-up window where you can choose your citation style to copy and paste.

If you have a resource where the formatted citation isn't provided, take a look at our research guide How to Cite Print & Electronic Sources for examples to follow and catalog links to our style guides.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

How to Start an Argument: Books of Lists

Anyone who has read Nick Hornby's High Fidelity (PR6058.O689 H54 2000) or seen the John Cusack movie based on the novel (DVD 595) knows that people obsessed with music like to make lists, particularly rankings. And any ranking is likely to incite argument; a recent issue of Entertainment Weekly ranked the 100 greatest of each entertainment media, and a letter to the editor noted that they finally wrote something guaranteed to anger every reader.

Books of lists can be discussion starters or sources of trivia. Browse the shelves at ML156 an you'll find lots of graded lists of songs and albums. But elsewhere in the library you'll find more specialized books of lists, some with extensive extensive explanations of what they've compiled on given topics.
  • Hang the DJ: An Alternative Book of Music Lists edited by Angus Cargill (ML156.4.P6 H36 2009
Sample list: "Lo, The Downcast Shall Be Exalted! Ten Reputedly Worthless Albums that Will One Day Be Recognized as Rather Nifty" Sample list: "The Song Titles: Country Music Best-Known Addresses"
  • The Official Punk Rock Book of Lists by Amy Wallace and Handsome Dick Manitoba
Sample list: "6 Great Moments in Puking"
Sample list: "A Nasty Hobbit: 15 Metal Bands Who Got Their Names from J.R.R. Tolkien"

What's your favorite list, or which one cause you the most outrage?

Friday, July 12, 2013

Sub Pop Silver Anniversary

Legendary Seattle record label Sub Pop will be celebrating its 25th anniversary with a Silver Jubilee festival in their hometown on July 13. Although most famous as an integral part of the grunge explosion with Nirvana and Mudhoney, they've found success in more recent years with the Shins, the Postal Service and Fleet Foxes.

There are many ways to learn about their rich history. You could start by searching our catalog with the label name in quotes and limiting the format to audio to find all our CDs issued by the label.

Prefer video? Check out Tad: Busted Circuits and Ringing Ears (DVD 4805), which our catalog describes as, "The story of the Seattle based rock band Tad, their label Sub Pop, and the Seattle rock music scene in the late 1980s and 1990s." Or watch Hype! (DVD 2983) which is more about the rise of grunge than Sub Pop exclusively.

You've got several options if you prefer your history more text-based. The label's own website is a good starting place. If you want some outside perspective, company anniversaries often lead to press coverage with an overview of their backstory. The label's 20th anniversary garnered such articles. Spin and Alternative Press are our local periodicals collection, and older issues of Billboard are available online:

"AP: DIY - Label Profile: Sub Pop Records." A.P. Alternative Press 08 2008: 58.

Harding, Cortney. "The Indie World: Q&A - Jonathan Poneman." Billboard Jun 28 2008: 25.

Kandell, Steve. "The Birthday Party." Spin 09 2008: 98-100.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Don't Get the Wedding Bell Blues

Whether you've been asked to play at a friend's wedding or you've picked one up as a paying gig, don't fret over finding scores for the occasion. Head to MP1977.W4 to find collections of wedding songs, where you'll get piano/vocal/guitar scores covering sacred, traditional, popular, country and Broadway crowd-pleasers for weddings. Still not enough? Use the Wedding music subject heading, which will include other instruments and specialties.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

For Independence Day: The Stories Behind Patriot Songs

The library will close at 4:45 p.m. on Wednesday, July 3 and remain closed Thursday, July 4 for Independence Day.

If, in honor of July 4, you want to bone up on your patriot song history, check out Songs Sung Red, White, and Blue: The Stories behind America's Best-Loved Patriotic Songs by Ace Collins (ML3551 .C65 2003). For example, he gives a brief history of how John Philip Sousa became the March King, the circumstances of his composing "Stars and Stripes Forever" and the path to the song's being named the Official March of the United States.