ROCKnROM: The Ultimate Database of Popular Music

By Cardell, Victor | Notes, June 1997 | Go to article overview

ROCKnROM: The Ultimate Database of Popular Music

Cardell, Victor, Notes

ROCKnROM is an interactive searchable database of popular music artists and their works, intended "for professionals in the business of music," as stated on the opening window of the program. Michael Wadleigh, producer of the film documentary Woodstock, receives main credit for the disc. American and British rock music from 1955 to 1995 is the primary coverage of the product, but Wadleigh has extended the scope to approximately three hundred genres of popular music in the broadest sense, and, in fact, more than 100,000 of the 800,000 recording track titles in the database are devoted to jazz.

The main screen presents a kaleidoscopic assembly of clickable sections for words, artists, writers, works, recordings (tracks), products (CDs, LPs, tapes), musical genres, roles (instruments, performing group types, or functions such as arranger, producer, and engineer), dates, popularity charts, and places. Data is consolidated into boxes with labels such as "identity" (name, gender, product format), "space-time" (dates and places of birth, death, publication, work), "relations" (to performing groups, label names, publishers), and "attributes/achievements" (genre, medium of performance, works, recordings, products, contributions). Other aspects of ROCKnROM include concept analysis charts, biographies, reviews, photographs, and descriptions of musical genres.

This CD draws upon the databases of three leading music organizations - the Mechanical-Copyright Protection Society Ltd. (MCPS), a British organization representing over one million composers and music publishers worldwide, and Chart Information Network Ltd. (CIN) and Billboard, which are the primary managers and distributors of music popularity charts in the United Kingdom and the United States respectively. Descriptions of musical genres derive from the MCPS database and Steve Smith, Bits and Pieces (1988). Photographs were supplied by the Hulton Getty Collection in London. Most of the biographical information is several years old, having been extracted from Donald Clarke's 1989 reference book, The Penguin Encyclopedia of Popular Music. Sources for reviews of recordings include Dave Marsh, The Heart of Rock and Soul (1989), David Sinclair, Rock on CD: The Essential Guide (1993), and Caroline Sullivan, rock critic for The Guardian (1995-96).

Most text searching is dependent on keyword queries with right and left truncation. Other search methods include clicking on icons or lists of selected names and titles. Limiters include categories such as publisher, label, venue, gender of artist(s), place, dates, genre, type of product, biographies, and photographs. Search results often include tabbed windows that list products, contributions, recordings, or works. When returning to a list display, the most recently retrieved item is positioned at the top of the list. Throughout the course of a search session, the bottom of the screen variably contains options for returning to the home screen, reviewing search histories, returning to previous screens, searching, clearing searching windows, adding to playlists (bookmarks), and quitting the program.

Indexes in the database are sorted according to computer filing rules - uppercase characters file before lowercase. The situation is complicated by the fact that capitalization is used for full names of performing groups (BEACH BOYS) and artists known by single names (MADONNA) and for surnames of other individual artists (Michael JACKSON). The usefulness of the indexes is further weakened by a lack of authority control, by sorting a host of performing group names under the initial article "The," and by frequent listing of personal names under the first letter of the first name rather than the surname (Jackie GLEASON files under "J"). Collectively these factors often cause multiple alphabetical sequences in search results, so one usually needs to browse such lists with care.

The "Words" searching function is the most dynamic direct query feature that ROCKnROM offers, supplying exact word or phrase access to the one million words in the product's data entries. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Cite this article

Cited article

Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25,

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

ROCKnROM: The Ultimate Database of Popular Music


Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25,

    New feature

    It is estimated that 1 in 10 people have dyslexia, and in an effort to make Questia easier to use for those people, we have added a new choice of font to the Reader. That font is called OpenDyslexic, and has been designed to help with some of the symptoms of dyslexia. For more information on this font, please visit

    To use OpenDyslexic, choose it from the Typeface list in Font settings.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search


    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.