Friday, March 28, 2014

Tool for Finding High-Quality Images

Google image will find you lots of image results, but they may not get great results. can increase your odds by hitting up the right sources. Enter some keywords or even a whole paragraph, and you'll get image results from repositories like Digital Public Library of America (DPLA), Europeana, Flickr Commons and the National Library of Australia's Trove.

For example, a search for "Electric Guitar" brought up a bunch of images from the Smithsonian.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Researching Potential Employers

Guest post by Zoya Mohan, Singer-Songwriter, Music Business Major, Class May 2014, Voice Principle, Guitarist

Researching potential employees can either be excruciatingly tough or, as Marci Cohen points out, we are lucky to have the Internet to aid our process. It may seem obvious, but it is smart to begin by executing a general search on your company of interest by browsing through the employers website. Start by studying their mission and history, while also finding out what they are doing now. Using social media sites like Twitter, you can also pick up on recent announcements and insights on what the company is like. LinkedIn is probably our most important asset when researching potential employers. Begin by finding out if they have a company profile and, if they do, see if any Berklee Alumni work there. Using LinkedIn we have the power to message them right away. Don’t be afraid to ask how their job is or what their daily activities are like. These are great starts to finding out if you would fit with your prospective company.

So now, how do you impress the company you wish to work for? Marci suggests that we should be able to answer, “What are THEY proud of?” Utilize their key words in describing yourself in your cover letter, resume, or even at the interview! If you are only running into dead ends on the Internet when you research through your company’s web page, LinkedIn, or other social media sites, you can also access loads of information in the Stan Getz Library databases. To look up companies you can access the library's databases in e-resources, click "Search Articles & More," check the music business category, and simply type in the company’s name. Once you find the company you are looking for you will find an excess amount of information in the company’s profile, SWOT analysis and more. Searching for the right employer is extremely tough, but with some simple research and if you take advantage of these tools you will be on your way!

This workshop was part of the Prepare for Career Jam series. Career Jam! Shape Your Music Future is Saturday, March 29, 2014, 12:00 - 5:00 p.m. and is open to all Berklee students and alumni. Click here to learn more and register. 

Monday, March 24, 2014

Media Center Now a Quiet Study Space

With the opening of the 160 Massachusetts Avenue building and the new lobby at 142 Massachusetts Avenue, students now have more spaces for socializing spaces on campus. Because quiet areas are hard to find, we have turned the Media Center into a quiet study space. If you'd like to use the Media Center, you'll need to keep your conversations at a whisper and silence your cell phone. Eating is not allowed because the noise of wrappers and the smell can be distracting to those trying to study or use the A/V equipment.

Our campus is filled with sound. While in most instances this is what makes Berklee so wonderful, sometimes you need a quiet refuge.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Girls? The Roots? Finding Articles About Bands

DWNTWN, GHXST and SBTRKT are part of a minor trend of artists using intentional misspellings to make their names more Googleable. But what do you do when you want to find information about a band with a less distinct name? Keyword search alone won't cut it.

In our catalog, you can switch the search type from "keyword" to "author" to find materials by a group or "subject" to find things about them. You'll also notice in our catalog that we use clarifying phrases to make names more distinct, like "Roots (Musical Group)."

A similar idea applies when looking for articles in in our subscription databases about bands, but you do it in a slightly different way depending on the database. Even more specific than just searching by subject rather than keyword, different databases classify band names as people or companies/organizations.

If you're not sure how, try a basic search in a database, then look for suggestions on the side of the results page on how to narrow down.

Here are some examples.

In the International Index to Music Periodicals Full Text, a basic search for Roots returns more than 30,000 results. But by expanding the Company/Organization options under "Narrow results by," you'll find Roots at the top of the list, with a tidy 139 results. You can further limit by document type, for example, to suit your research needs.

The Music Index and other EBSCOHost databases consider bands to be people. Searching "Girls" as a keyword (the default option, "Select a Field (optional)) in the Music Index brings back more than 8,000 hits. Switch the switch drop-down box to People, and you'll knock it down to less than 10% of the original search.

Look in the left column of the results page for "Subject" to see the top hits, then click "Show More" to see all the options. Then you can select "girls (performer)" to single out that band from the Indigo Girls, Spice Girls and every other band with "Girls" in their name.

You may not always need to be so precise in your search limits, but it helps to know these tools are available when you get an overwhelming number of search results.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Visualize Jazz Connections on Linked Jazz

Jazz history and modern technology come together with the Linked Jazz project. The project shows the connections between different performers and others in the jazz community.

As the project describes itself:
Linked Jazz is an ongoing project investigating the potential of the application of Linked Open Data (LOD) technology to enhance the discovery and visibility of digital cultural heritage materials. More specifically, the project focuses on digital archives of jazz history to expose relationships between musicians and reveal their community’s network. New modes of connecting cultural data and making them searchable as a whole in a seamless discovery environment would open unprecedented opportunities to create new kinds of meaning and elicit new streams of interpretation. The goal of this project is to help uncover meaningful connections between documents and data related to the personal and professional lives of musicians who often practice in rich and diverse social networks.
One fascinating aspect is the visualization tool that show the connections. Take a look and have fun exploring.