Music Discovery Requirements

IV.E Other Aspects of Music Discovery: Phrase Searching

Phrase searching configured to override Boolean operators, proximity operators, and stop words is basic functionality for all materials. When Boolean operators and stop words are enclosed in quotes, they must be searched as terms, not Boolean operators, proximity operators, nor stop words. Otherwise, searches will fail for titles like "Gone with the wind" and "I am NOT going to get up today." Additionally, phrase searching should prevent a system from automatically searching for alternate forms of the word, such as a plural or possessive version of a singular term, or vice-versa.

Identifying numbers and musical key provide three music-specific situations where correctly configured phrase searching is especially important. The English "no." (as in "Symphony no. 5") presents a special challenge in systems that treat "no" as a Boolean NOT operator. With correctly configured phrase searching, a search on “no 5” returns works with recorded serial number “5” rather than excluding “5” as a search term (as would happen if “no” is treated as Boolean NOT operator). Similarly, the musical note "a" presents special considerations in systems which consider it a stop word. With correctly configured phrase searching, a search on “a major” will return bibliographic records containing the string “a major” (a musical key) rather than “major” alone. Finally, the pound sign (#), might be used in a query as a substitute for the musical sharp sign and, when enclosed in quotes, should function as a search term, not an operator such as a truncation or wildcard symbol.

See II.C, III.H, and II.E for additional considerations regarding musical key/range and identifying numbers.

Recommendation: Configure phrase searching to override Boolean operators and stop words when they are enclosed in quotes, particularly: “no”; “a”; “#”.