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Tips for Searching the Collection

The collection has three ready-made lists to facilitate searching for an instrument by name, country, or material. For all other searches on a single word, such as the name of an instrument, a collector, or an acquisition date, use the Quick Search window. Use the Advanced Search pull-down tab for searches involving two or more words, such as “tube zither.” Note that some searches may come up with zero results because of conventions adopted for the collection. For example, a search on “Chinese lute” will turn up no results, because in general, adjectival forms of country names, such as “Chinese,” are not used in the collection. However, type in “China lute” and several will come up.

Using a Search to study the classification of musical instruments using the Knight Revision of Hornbostel-Sachs

The Knight Revision, or K-Rev, classification system assigns a number to each instrument. When viewing an instrument, click on the K-Rev number to bring up all the others of the same type. To widen the search and see the broader category to which these belong, enter this number in the Quick Search window with the last digit replaced by an asterisk. For example, suppose you are looking at the ngoni, C61.23. Entering C61.2* in the Quick Search window will bring up several other types of lute. Further truncating the number to C61* will bring up all the plucked lutes. Entering C6* will bring up both the plucked and bowed lutes, C61 and C62.

Sometimes a number entered is recognized by the system as applicable to other digital collections at Oberlin, resulting in unwanted entries. To prevent this, open the left panel titled “Add or remove other collections to your search.” Click “Show 60 more.” Select them all, then deselect them all. Arrow down to the Roderic C. Knight collection, select it only, then click OK.