New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians Online

By Bollerman, Jennifer | Reference & User Services Quarterly, Summer 2001 | Go to article overview

New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians Online


Bollerman, Jennifer, Reference & User Services Quarterly


New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians Online, 2d ed. New York: Macmillan, 2001. (ISBN 0333-913981). www.grovemusic.com.

Pricing: Based on a networked license for concurrent users, and for an annual subscription. VAT exclusive. Academic and public libraries: 750 [pounds sterling], single user; 900 [pounds sterling], 2-3 users; 1000 [pounds sterling], 4-6 users; 1200 [pounds sterling], 7-9 users; negotiable, 10+ users.

Technical requirements: For optimum performance, the Web site should be accessed using Internet Explorer 5.0 or Netscape 4.7 or higher.

In January 2001 Grove published the second edition of the New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians simultaneously in print and online formats. In the twenty-year period that elapsed between the first and second editions, its numbers have increased considerably from twenty-two thousand articles by twenty-four hundred contributors to twenty-nine thousand articles by more than six thousand contributors. More than fifty-six hundred new articles have been added to the work, reflecting advances in music scholarship as well as new perspectives and interests of music scholars and researchers. A thumb through the work reflects its new perspective; articles on attitudes and ideologies are now found, including pieces on feminism, Nazism, postmodernism, gay and lesbian music, and women in music. In addition, contemporary performers from all areas of the commercial music world are now represented in its pages with more than twenty-five hundred articles on jazz and world music included.

Although this release marks the first time the definitive music reference work has been available online, New Grove II is not Grove's first venture into online reference works. The publication of the online version of the Dictionary of Art in 1999, which was shortly followed by the New Grove Dictionary of Opera, was an important point in the development of online reference works, proving that an online reference work of large scope was a feasible and desirable option for readers and users. With New Grove II Online, libraries not only save the four feet necessary to house the twenty-nine-volume print set, but can save on cost as well. Pricing and licensing information can be found through the company's Web site, www.grovereference.com. A discount is available for those interesting in purchasing both the print and online versions.

Overall the Web site is easy to navigate. The primary search point is an Article Search box located at the top left of the screen; more sophisticated search options are listed below. To do a quick search of article headings, users simply enter a search term into the box and the system retrieves a list of articles ranked according to hit percentage. Articles display in frames with the right frame displaying the main text of the article and the left frame functioning as a navigation bar. Long articles load only in parts, so the user needs the left frame to navigate between different segments of the article. Users can opt to use the forward or back arrows appearing at the top of the article to maneuver instead. The navigation frame is perfectly functional, but there is a significant amount of text crammed into close space. Although the article is easy to navigate, the display can hinder the printing process. For example, a user wishing to print the complete works list for Beethoven must move between the twenty-two segments of the list and print each part individually. …

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