Academic journal article Notes

Index to Printed Music (IPM): Collections & Series

Academic journal article Notes

Index to Printed Music (IPM): Collections & Series

Article excerpt

Index to Printed Music (IPM): Collections & Series. Developed and owned by James Adrian Music Company. http://www.ebscohost.com/academic/index-to-printed-music-ipm (Accessed December 2010). [Requires an Internet connection and a Web browser (for Windows, Microsoft Internet Explorer 6.0 or later, or Firefox 2.0 or later; for Mac, Safari 2.0x or Firefox 2.0 or later (build 412+)). Pricing: annual subscription for academic institutions is based on a variety of factors including but not limited to FTE, existing subscriptions to EBSCO Publishing databases, consortium agreements, and/or buying groups.]

In 2008, I reviewed this database on the NISC platform (1) and pointed out many shortcomings of the product in its form at that time. Since then, the Index to Printed Music has moved to the EBSCOhost platform and, in addition, the editors have addressed many of the problems I had found that were not platform-specific. This review is an update to that earlier essay, detailing how the resource works now, in comparison to how it worked then. I am happy to report that on the whole the product is now eminently useful and usable.

The task that IPM addresses is finding specific compositions published in collected editions, monuments of music, historical sets, or other sets or series that contain multiple pieces. IPM is the successor to Anna Harriet Heyer's Historical Sets, Collected Editions, and Monuments of Music: A Guide to Their Contents (American Library Association, 1957-1980) and the electronic "sibling" of Collected Editions, Historical Series & Sets & Monuments of Music: A Bibliography, by George R. Hill and Norris L. Stephens (Berkeley: Fallen Leaf Press, 1997; hereafter cited as Hill). The latter was intended as an update of Heyer's work, but was of limited use in its print form, which lacked an index. To quote from my earlier review, "A computerized index to Hill was envisioned from the start. Index to Printed Music (IPM) is that long-awaited index. Indeed, it is not an index to be used in conjunction with the book; rather it is the book in searchable database form, considerably augmented by similar data for additional, more recent publications, and more detailed information about the contents of the publications listed in Hill." I refer the reader to that earlier review for more extensive information about the coverage and intent of both the electronic product and its print predecessors.

Information about the product and online help are presented together on the EBSCOhost platform. The help is fairly extensive, though not easy to find. Information about the product, on the other hand, is scarce, unlike the situation in the NISC version. The "Help" link at the top of the screen when one is logged into IPM leads to general EBSCOhost help. The product also contains IPM-specific help, although it is rather buried. One can get to it in two ways, both of which arrive at the same Web page: by clicking on the "question mark" icon to the right of the Search box (then scrolling down to the bottom of the sidebar to Database Help | Index to Printed Music), or by clicking "Choose Databases," clicking "Detailed View" on the resulting screen, scrolling down to Index to Printed Music, and then clicking "More Information." This help includes a description of the resource, some search hints, a list of the indexed fields (not all of which are in fact available in the EBSCOhost interface), definitions of the fields, a description of the "Collections Authority File" (mentioned later in this review), copyright information, and a link for sending questions to EBSCO, as well as a U.S. Mail address for comments.

When one is signed into IPM, there is far less information about the resource and the parties responsible for it than there was in the NISC version. Consequently, the user would have no way to evaluate the source(s) of the data to come to a tentative conclusion about its credentials. There is a little information about the database on the EBSCO site itself (http://www. …

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