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Gordon J. Callon

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[In completing this Worksheet, it is recommended that a second window be opened. (To open the second browser window, most likely the command is: Ctrl-N).
One Window can contain the Worksheet, while the second window is used to access the Internet (WWW).]

[ The WWW, explanation ]
[  The Assignments: A. Comprehensive Reference Resources:  1-2,  3, explanation,  3  ]
B. Facsimile & Iconography sites:  4, explanation,  4-5  ]
C. Instructional sites:  6, explanation,  6  |  D. Information sites:  7 ]

Music 1253 Worksheet no. 9
The Internet 4: The World Wide Web (WWW)

The Internet's usefulness as a research tool in Music History still is limited. Nonetheless, it is useful in some particular ways. These include: e-mail lists, research databases, sites with information content, and FTP. Normally, these resources are accessed using the World Wide Web (WWW).

Worksheet no. 8 provided a comment concerning FTP and some practice using e-mail Lists. Worksheet 9, together with Worksheets no. 6 (RILM) and 7 (Iter), offers a very basic introduction to the type of useful resources that are available on the WWW. These also may serve as a basic guide to the type of contribution that historians can make in development of resources on the WWW.


The World Wide Web (WWW) is a widespread collection of individual Internet sites (generally called Web Pages) and database sites. These are set up so individuals using software known as Browsers can read these Pages, with formatted text, visual material such as various types of graphics, scanned photographs, etc. Some Pages are set up so the browser can hear sound files of music and other aural materials, if the receiving computer has appropriate hardware in the form of sound cards, etc.

Within the Pages, links are established so the browser can move directly to other Pages, either at the same or other sites on the Internet. (These links are simply WWW addresses that are coded so a mouse click on the address will cause the computer to connect automatically to the address of the link.)

All of the information available on the World Wide Web is "democratic" in the sense that anyone can set up and maintain a site. In other words, it is a free-for-all. Consequently, the user may find much trivial or even offensive material, before discovering a site that is worthwhile. This being said, there is much valuable information that can be found on the World Wide Web.

University computer accounts are set up to use an educational or regular version of the currently most successful WWW Browsing software, called Internet Explorer. Use of this software is free for University students and staff members. These exercises may be done with this software or another World Wide Web browser.

If you need instruction or assistance using the World Wide Web, please see the instructor of this course, or ask the User Support Center.

For this exercise we will visit a few representative sites.

Many of these sites are available as links as part of the Acadia Early Music Resources, especially in the section General Music Reference Sources

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A. Comprehensive Reference Resources.

The most comprehensive and reliable sites, genuine scholarly reference encyclopedias for Music, providing the broadest range and depth of information concerning Music (including biographical, historical, technical, and many other aspects of the discipline) include:

Acadia University Library has a subscription to www.grovemusic.com, so students and faculty can access this when logged into their Acadia University accounts, or by using the Acadia University Library Proxy server. (Unfortunately, the University does not have a subscription to MGG.)

Another excellent resource is The Catholic Encyclopedia Online. While the title may suggest that this Encyclopedia is limited in subject matter, it is very useful in the study of Music. Since many musicians are and were employed by the Church, and many composed sacred music, this Encyclopedia has much information concerning composers' biographies, their compositions, and various types of sacred music.

Remember the The Catholic Encyclopedia Online for future Worksheets and other studies.

For this Worksheet, as an example of available resources, we will look at the Canadian Music Centre (CMC) at http://www.musiccentre.ca/
[If you encounter an invitation to complete a survey for the CMC, you can click on the "Exit this survey" link to bypass the survey and enter the CMC site.]

The Assignment:

Click on CMC Services, then on Library Loans.

1. What is the cost of borrowing a music score from the CMC?

[ / 8 points]
2. How long can scores be borrowed?
[ / 8 points]

Now, go to the Find a Composer.

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At the top of this frame, there should be an index in the form of an alphabet: Browse by Family Name.

Each student will find one composer for the following questions.


To keep this part of the worksheet interesting, each student in the class will be assigned a different name.

To ensure this, each student will select the name from the list at the Canadian Music Centre that begins with the same one, two, or three letters as the first one, two, or three letters of the student's last name.
So, click on the letter that is the first letter of your last name.

Then select a name that has as many letters as possible that are the same as those of your last name. If this is not successful, go on to the next name, closest to the correct letter. [For example, I would search for terms that begin Ca…. If this did not work, I would then search for a term beginning Ce… (etc.).]

First, simply select and copy the composer's name. [Do not worry about the biography given here.]

Complete each of the following:

Click on the little green symbol that looks like an abstract tree or head and shoulders: Top

This should lead you to a biography of the composer, with links to Sample Works, Find Works in the CMC Library, and possibly Recordings for sale at CMC.

Click on Find Works in the CMC Library.

3. For the composer you selected, supply the Composer's Name and dates of birth and death (if available - most are still alive), and the Full Title of one Composition, with date.

    Composer's Name:

[ / 8 points]
    Title of one Composition and date:
[ / 8 points]

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B. Facsimile & Iconography sites.

One particularly appropriate use of the Internet in historical study is for the provision of Facsimiles. Providing good Facsimiles on the Internet is a very laborious and extremely expensive process. (For example, the type of camera installation required for photographing historic documents, manuscripts, and printed sources, costs upward of $60,000, for one camera, its stand, and lighting. This does not include the computers needed to process the photographs.)

Nonetheless some significant and substantial sites are being developed.
One of the largest (and best) is at the University of Virginia, but it contains little music.

There are two important sites that feature extremely fine collections of photographic Facsimiles of historic American music.

One is Lester S. Levy Collection of Sheet Music at Johns Hopkins University (http://levysheetmusic.mse.jhu.edu/).
It is described as containing "over 29,000 pieces of music and focuses on popular American music spanning the period 1780 to 1960."

We will look at another site.

Go to:

Historic American Sheet Music [Rare Book, Manuscript, and Special Collections Library, Duke University] (http://scriptorium.lib.duke.edu/sheetmusic/). It is described as "...digital images of 3042 pieces from the collection, published in the United States between 1850 and 1920."

Then, click on: Timeline (http://scriptorium.lib.duke.edu/sheetmusic/timeline.html) (1850 to 1920)

The Assignment:

To keep this part of the worksheet interesting, each student in the class will be assigned a different date.

Select one year from the period 1850 to 1920 according to the following procedure:

Take the number of your birthday (day of the month), then add 60.
The number that results is the last two digits of the year that you will use.
[For example, if you were born on the 16 day of the month, use the year 1876 (16 + 60 = 76)].

Go to span of years that includes that year.

Pick one publication originally published in that year (viz. 1876).  (If there is no publication for that year, pick the next year that is available.)

Click on the thumbnail of title page to go to the score.

Click on the Title to get to the facsimile of the score.

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4. Name the Composer of the piece of music selected:

[ / 8 points]

Then, scroll down to, and click on View this Piece.

Go to first page of actual music notation (probably Image 2).
Save this image to your hard disk.
[Methods: type Ctrl+S  or:   on File menu: Save As...  or:  right click on the image, then use Save Picture As... or Save Image As....]

5. Send this Image to gordon.callon @ acadiau.ca as an attachment.
Be sure to indicate who you are in the mail message and that you are sending an attachment. [This is for security purposes; many attachments with e-mail messages are computer viruses or worms.]

[ / 20 points]

Alternately, submit the following:

C. Instructional sites.

As with other sites discussed on this Worksheet, sites that attempt serious instruction of advanced level music skills (counterpoint, analysis, etc.) are still very sparse on the Internet. (Sites offering rudimentary instruction are reasonably plentiful.) Nonetheless, some initial efforts are appearing. This is an area that should expand dramatically over the next few years.

For the moment we shall see some good, though modest sites that offer some reliable information/instruction of topics of interest to the music historian.

For example, try this using the address:
This should access a site explaining sixteenth-century notation.
This and similar sites change as often as daily, but the title should be:

Transcribing and Reading White Mensural Notation

The Assignment:

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Scroll down, past the four facsimile pages, to the small facsimiles, one of which is the link:

Note shapes

Click on this.

When the next page arrives, move down the page to


Click on the small facsimile (the one just to the left of the word "Ligatures").

This should cause the facsimile to appear by itself, in a larger size.

Save this ligature
[Methods: type Ctrl+S  or:   on File menu: Save As...  or:  right click on the image, then use Save Picture As... .]

6. Send this Image to gordon.callon @ acadiau.ca as an attachment. Be sure to indicate who you are in the mail message and that you are including an attachment.

[ / 10 points]

Alternately, submit one of the following:

D. Information sites.

Next, go to the Music Library Association (MLA) site, at: http://www.musiclibraryassoc.org/

Click on the menu item "Resources").

Then click on the menu item "Career Resources").

Then click on the menu item "Music Librarianship - Is it for you?").

This should lead to a section with the title, Music Librarianship - Is it for you?, followed by list of headings and discussion under each heading.

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7. Provide these headings.  [The last is provided for you.]

[ / 30 points]





vi.       Where can I get more information?

[Total:  / 100]

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Last updated: 16 September 2006.
Copyright © 2006 by Gordon J. Callon. All rights reserved. e-mail: gordon.callon @ acadiau.ca
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