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MUMH 4760: Chamber Music Literature

Guide to finding library resources for chamber music literature

Phrase Search

Purpose: Double quotation operators keep words of a phrase in the same order

Sometimes, you will need to search for a concept, proper name, or title that contains multiple words in a specific order. Generally, databases are better now about recognizing concepts that contain multiple words and produce relevant search results. Still, databases need your assistance to retrieve results with words in an intended order.

For instance, chamber music is a music term but some databases perceive a search for chamber music as a search for the words chamber AND music as two distinct words instead of a category of music for small ensembles. Initially, you might retrieve relevant results, but the further along in perusing the results, the words chamber or music might appear separately in the results but not together in the correct order as chamber music. To retrieve results with search terms in a specific order, put quotation marks around the phrase, e.g. “chamber music.” This is especially useful when searching for proper names.

For example, when searching in Google, my search term for chamber music retrieved 440,000,000 results and my search for “chamber music” retrieved 14,300,000 results. Regardless, both searches yield an immense amount of results, but using double quotations narrows the search by keeping the words of the phrase in a specific order.

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