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Online Audio and Video Databases

Online Audio and Video Available at Case

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Reminder: Online Access

  • Library resources require going through CWRU Single Sign-On.
  • The best method is to follow links from the library website.
  • When logged in and a browser window is not closed, access should continue from resource to resource.
  • Remember to close your browser when done.

Smithsonian Global Sound: Content

The online Smithsonian Global Sound is part of a suite of databases from Alexander Street Press to which the libraries subscribe and also includes Classical Music Library, American Music, and Jazz Music Library. The three databases provide audio and video tracks from a wide range of record/video labels. Smithsonian Global Sound provides audio tracks, and to a much small degree, video clips in the following areas:

  • Folk Song: One of the primary content areas
  • World Music: One of the primary content areas
  • American Folk Music: One of the primary content areas
  • American Indian Music: One of the primary content areas
  • Struggle, Protest and Work Songs
  • Blues
  • Gospel and Spiritual

Particularly important content within Smithsonian Global Sound is audio that was originally issued on the Folkways recording label. These include important field recordings made by Alan Lomax, a pioneer in recording and preserving American folk music.

Non-audio content:

The database gives you access to written information on specific pieces, composers and performers through the program notes included in a recording originally issued as an LP or CD. The program notes which accompany Folkways are particularly important and provide much valuable information on American folk music. When available, the icon for these notes ("liner notes") will appear in the left-hand sidebar of the Tracks and Details page.

For more detailed information on composers, performers, and musical terms use Oxford Music Online.

Smithsonian Global Sound: Searching

Because Alexander Street Press allows searching across databases, it is possible to search Smithsonian Global Sound only or all databases which are part of this suite of Music and Performing Arts Databases. Recordings may be accessed by use of browse lists of which those for Composers, Performers, Genres and Instruments are the most useful. The Composer and Performers browse lists are particularly helpful if you are not certain whether a specific composer or performer is represented in the database. When using these browse lists be sure Smithsonian Global Sound or World Music is displayed as the title at the top of the screen.

The Advanced Search is set up so that it searches across the databases for types of music (Classical Music or World Music) rather than within a specific database. For Advanced Search within the database Smithsonian Global Sound be sure your screen has "in World Music" at the top of the screen. It is also possible to search all three databases by selecting "in Music and Performing Arts." When using the Advanced search, the most fruitful search strategy is generally a number of keywords in various fields or a string of keywords in the Words Anywhere search box. The Select Terms feature of the Advanced Search is not recommended as being useful.

One of the most useful features of the Advanced Search is the ability to search within the results of a previous search. This ability does not show up after all searches. If it does, you will see it at the top of the list of your search results.

Most recordings (albums) have a catalogue number and/or ISRC code (International Standard Recording Code) associated with them. If you find a recording you like or wish to use again, write down this number and search in the advanced search to find it quickly. Search a catalogue number via the Catalog Number search and an ISRC code via a Words Anywhere search.

Albums and individual tracks within Smithsonian Global Sound are searchable using Discovery, the Kelvin Smith Library's meta search engine, which searches across all of the content the library makes available. When searching for audio in Discovery please note that the source type limiter "Electronic Resource" is for online audio and the content type limiter "Audio Recording" is for physical media, such as CDs housed in the Kulas Music Collection.

Smithsonian Global Sound: Additional Features

Static URLs: Every track in Classical Music Library has a static or persistent URL (Permalink) assigned to it. You can access these by clicking on the Embed Link button [<>] which is part of every individual track on the Track Details page. These can be embedded in a MSWord document or PowerPoint presentation or even a webpage. These persistent URLs take you to the album which contains the track in question and put you within the database. Pleasethat the computer which is accessing the static URL must either be connected via CaseWireless or if by some other means of connecting to the internet, must be running VPN.

CWRU Libraries Discovery