Academic journal article Notes

Music Index Online

Academic journal article Notes

Music Index Online

Article excerpt

Music Index Online. Published by Harmonie Park Press. http://www.harmonieparkpress.com/Musiclndex.asp and http://www.EBSCOhost.com/thisTopic.php?marketID=1&topicID=179 (accessed October 2006-October 2007). [Available on Harmonie Park Press's platform or through EBSCO Information Providers. Requires a Web browser and an Internet connection. Subscription rates for 2008: online only, $2750.00; print and online bundles ranging from $3095.00 to $3495.00.]

The Music Index has, since 1949, been an essential tool for scholars, students, and librarians working with music. As the only English-language index in its field for many years, the order and access it brought to the largely uncontrolled realm of music periodical literature proved essential to much music scholarship. Today the field is somewhat more crowded, and Music Index has more competition in the form of Repertoire Internationale de Litterature Musicale (RILM) (1967-), International Index to Music Periodicals (IIMP) (1996-), and the increased convenience and coverage of general periodical indexes. Printed volumes of Music Index are still available in quarterly issues and annual cumulations, but it seems a safe bet that most libraries that subscribe do so online, either on a platform from Harmonie Park Press (HPP), or through EBSCO Information Providers. Given the tendency by students to use sources they know from their general studies and their preference for online full text, many librarians may be wondering how relevant or important Music Index is today and whether their library should continue to subscribe. This review evaluates Music Index Online's coverage, indexing, currency, and functionality, significant factors in such a decision.

It is beyond the scope of this review to make direct comparisons with IIMP or RILM. In brief, though, IIMP contains over 600,000 records from more than 400 periodicals. Many of those are indexed only from 1996 on. Indexing of selected titles extends further back--to the nineteenth century in a few instances, but without subject headings. Recent records include abstracts. IIMP Full Text adds full text from 125 periodicals. (See http://www.proquest.com/products_pq/descriptions/iimp.shtml and http://www.proquest.com/products_pq/descriptions/iimp_ft.shtml.) A cooperative effort of several learned societies, RILM Abstracts attempts to index all significant musical literature published since 1967, when the print version was begun. RILM includes citations and abstracts for journals, books, dissertations, and even some research-based media. Available on several different platforms, the database contains over 400,000 entries. RILM is very international in scope, including items in over 140 languages. (See http://www.rilm.org/.) For comparisons of the three indexes, see the articles by Green, Jenkins, and Troutman cited later in this review.

In 2006, Music Index Online (MIO) became available on EBSCO's EBSCOhost platform. This access in an interface familiar to students and faculty at many institutions, and the accompanying access to full text from other EBSCOhost databases (provided one subscribes to them), immediately made MIO more competitive and relevant. While making occasional reference to HPP's platform, this review will focus on the EBSCOhost implementation. First, though, a little history may be in order.

The first annual cumulation of Music Index, covering 1949, provided "complete indexing" of eighty journals and magazines in five languages. In the beginning, the index included subject and composer entries but no author headings. The 1957 volume was the first cumulation to include author entries. These early volumes exhibit the practice--almost quaint-seeming now but certainly helpful to the latter-day reviewer--of noting, in the Foreword, changes to subject headings and indexing practice. For many years, beginning in 1955, Music Index published a separate set of subject headings in order to facilitate searching by subject. …

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