Search Tips for the Collection

The collection has three ready-made search lists to facilitate searching for a type of instrument, a country/region, or various materials. 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 understand the Knight System for Musical Instrument Classification

The Knight System classification number for each instrument may be searched separately by inserting this number in the Quick Search window. This will yield all instruments of the exact same type in the collection. To broaden the search and see the broader category to which a number belongs, replace the last digit with an asterisk (*). For example, suppose you choose the term "African flute" from the ready-made searches. Three instruments will be shown. Clicking on the K-S number A21.11 shown in the left panel will limit the result to two of these, which are vessel flutes. To see the broader family to which these belong, truncate the number by one digit and replace it with an asterisk (A21.1*). This will return the twelve vessel flutes or ocarinas in the collection, ten of which have a duct, two of which do not. Truncate this number again to A21.* and the results will show all the flutes, some 50 in number -- whether vessel, tubular, vertical, transverse, or oblique. Truncate the number further, to A2* and the results will show all of the 84 aerophones in the collection.