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Music: Music Audio, Video, and Scores Databases

This guide covers finding music and scores at the OSU Library as well as using audio and scores databases and music research databases

Overview on Music Audio and Scores Databases

The OSU Library provides several databases with which you can listen to tracks of musical recordings (classical, folk, and world music, and other genres), view videos of musical performances, and can access classical music scores online.  They are listed alphabetically in Databases under the FIND ARTICLES section of the OSU Library Homepage.  You can search for some online tracks and the scores in the databases themselves, or you can also search for them using the library catalog (see the Books, Scores, & Recordings page of this guide) but it is better to search the databases themselves to find all the online tracks or scores they contain.

Music Audio Databases

These databases contain streaming audio clips and whole performances to which users can listen on their computers or on their mobile devices. 

You will need to log in with your OSU email address and O-Key password to access these databases off-campus.  Click HERE to log in.

  • Classical Music Library is an award-winning, comprehensive streaming audio collection of classical music. It currently provides streaming access to more than 252,000 tracks, including almost 50,000 recordings from EMI, and is growing monthly as new recordings are added. It covers
    • All major genres and time periods from medieval to contemporary, from choral works to symphonies, operas and the avant-garde.
    • More than 25,000 unique classical works that can be browsed by composer and the results sorted by title, date of composition and genre. Unique access points to drive discovery for users.
    • More than 400 distinct instrument categories.
    • More than150 distinct classical genres and sub-genres.
    • Data on more than 10,000 individual composers and 100,000s of artists and ensembles.

You can browse tracks by title, composer, performer, instrument, timer period, publisher, etc.  The Advanced Search page is the same for all the Alexander Street Press music databases.

Below are sample results for a search on the single (basic) search box for the Etudes by Chopin. You can play whole works or individual tracks using the audio player, or send the track to a mobile device.

  • Jazz Music Library is the largest and most comprehensive streaming audio collection of jazz music, featuring thousands of jazz performers from legendary record labels.  It currently provides streaming access to more than 130,000 tracks, with new recordings added monthly.  It provides coverage in breadth and depth for jazz music, and is essential for music history, jazz appreciation, jazz history, music performance, and African American studies:
    • Definitive audio database of jazz from the early ‘20s to today, including all major jazz genres including vocal jazz, bebop, acid jazz, big band music, modern jazz, and more.
    • More than 14,000 distinct song titles along with links to all the various versions recorded in Jazz Music Library.
    • Hundreds of distinct instrument categories.
    • More than 200 distinct jazz genres and sub-genres.
    • Data on tens of thousands of artists and ensembles.
  • Smithsonian Global Sound  is the largest and most comprehensive streaming audio collection of world music.  It currently provides streaming access to over 42,000 tracks from the Smithsonian archives and world music archives in Asia and Africa, and is growing regularly as new recordings are added.  This collection has been produced in partnership with the Smithsonian and is exclusively available through Alexander Street Press. It provides coverage in breadth and depth for world music, and is essential for music history, music appreciation, world music courses and ethnomusicology:
    • Music from 169 countries from around the world
    • Over 1,000 distinct genres and sub-genres available
    • Over 1,400 cultural groups represented
    • Over 450 languages represented
    • Data on 100,000s of artists and ensembles

Music Video Database

These databases contain streaming video clips and whole performances which users can view on their computers or on their mobile devices. 

You will need to log in with your OSU email address and O-Key password to access these databases off-campus.  Click HERE to log in.

  • Classical Performance in Video is a comprehensive collection of classical music video.  It has 2,000 full length titles from music publishers and performing houses like C Major Entertainment, EuroArts, Opus Arte, Arthaus Musik, CLC Productions, and the BBC.  It includes over 1,600 performances, masterclasses, documentaries, interviews, and other resources for studying classical music, and over 250 videos are added per year. It also contains nearly 300 operas.

Features of both include

  • Subtitles: text searchable in up to 5 languages and can be downloaded for ease of access (where available)
  • Mobile Access: stream to your mobile device / smartphone
  • Transcripts: Searchable, scrolling transcripts for select videos with English translations of key vocal works to enhance navigation and access*.
  • Index: video thumbnails provide a visual table of contents for scanning hours of video in seconds
  • Advanced Search: additional options include role, genre, instrument, time period, venue, date of recording and language
  • Liner Notes: available where possible
  • Custom Video Clips: Users can create, annotate and share clips from all video tracks.
  • Custom Playlists: create, annotate and share playlists, including ability to embed in websites (including Desire2Learn).
  • Permanent URLs: all videos, clips and playlists can be cited on permanent URLs.
  • Cross-search: video can be cross-searched alongside our related audio, video, scores and reference material to provide a powerful tool for music research.

Below is a sample shot of the video player.  Note the subtitle and transcript controls, and the button for making custom clips.

"Send to Mobile Device" Feature w/ Music Audio Databases

Users can now stream recordings from the Alexander Street Press audio collections provided by the OSU Library (Classical Music Library, Jazz Music Library, and Smithsonian Global Sound) on their mobile devices ("smartphones") using the "send to mobile device" feature.  ,

Click on the small cell phone icon next to the play button for a track in one of the audio collections

Alexander Street Press has additional information on its mobile access options its support site.

This pop-up box will give you the options for sending the track to stream on your mobile device.

There are several ways users can send a "shortlink" to their mobile device for accessing the tracks:

  • Email or SMS text the shortlink to the device
  • Enter the shortlink into the device's browser On supported devices
  • Scan a QR-code, or special barcode, directly from your computer screen

Music Scores Databases

Below is a database from the OSU Library that provides online music scores (in PDF format).

You will need to log in with your OSU email address and O-Key password to access this database off-campus.  Click HERE to log in.

  • Classical Scores Library from Alexander Street Press offers over 400,000 pages and 24,000 scores from both public domain and in-copyright editions by composers from the Renaissance to the 21st century.  Users can search for scores by composer, work/opus number, key, genre, instrument, time period; as well as score-specific fields, such as score type, duration, editor, arranger, publisher.  The scores are in page images and can be studied online or printed. 

Below is the score of one of Chopin's Mazurkas.  You can enlarge or shrink it inside the viewer, or use the printer button to format it to print on letter-size paper (and set the page ranges).

  • HathiTrust is a large digital collection of e-books from academic libraries in the US, including music scores (limit to Music under "Original Format" on the left-hand side of results list).  Includes almost 3 million titles, mostly older, public domain works.  Be sure to use the log in button at the upper right-hand side of the homepage, select Oklahoma State University, and then log in with O-KEY.  HathiTrust titles are also searchable in the library catalog system.  To print, use the download PDF links on the left-hand side of the full view text display page.