1. Omit Articles (a, an, the) in any Language from a Search:
Articles in Foreign Languages:
- English- a, an, the;
- French- l', la, le, les, un, une;
- German- das, dem, den, der, des, die, ein, eine, einem, einer, eines;
- Italian- gl', fli, i, il, l', le, lo, un, un', una, uno;
- Spanish- el, las, lo, los, una, unas, unos
The exception to this rule is titles for songs or other shorter works in other languages that have an elided article.
Example: The safest way to search for Nadia Boulanger's song "Lechange" is to type in boulanger and l'echange. This is because this song may only appear in a contents note with its article intact.
2. Distinctive Titles Use " "
For titles by non-English-speaking composers, search under:
- Distinct words from the title in the original language (ex: l'histoire du soldat for A Soldier's Tale by Stravinsky)
- Distinct words from the English version of the title (ex: Soldier's Tale)
- The composer's name (ex: Stravinsky)
Type this: handel AND "water music"
To retrieve this: Water Music by G. F. Handel
Type this: debussy AND mer
To retrieve this: La Mer by Claude Debussy
Type this: Stravinsky AND "soldat"
To retrieve this: l'histoire du soldat by Igor Stravinsky
3. Generic Titles
Searching for generic titles in Library Search is sometimes a case of trial and error. The following tips may help:
- Figure out what the initial title element is, i.e. symphony, oboe, concerto, piano trio, Schubert, Vivaldi, etc.
- Consider including a foreign equivalent, which may increase your retrieval number (i.e. sinfonie, Konzert, etc.)
- Identify some numbers that are associated with the work, such as opus numbers, thematic catalog numbers, etc.
- Identify some other keywords that might appear, such as a popular title (i.e. Beethoven's Sonata no. 14, opus 27, no. 2, in C sharp minor, is also known as the "Moonlight Sonata." Try using the word "moonlight" in your search.
- It is difficult to search using a key signature. They tend to retrieve a lot of irrelevant entries because the flat and sharp symbols are not used in common keyboards.
Type this: Beethoven AND eroica and 3
To retrieve this: Beethoven's Eroica Symphony
Type this: Vivaldi AND oboe AND concerto
To retrieve this: Vivaldi's Oboe Concerto, RV 461 in A minor
Type this: Schubert AND trios AND 898
To retrieve this: Schubert's Piano Trio in B-flat