Searching the new MWI

One of the frequent comments about the “old” MusicWeb site is that it was hard to find specific reviews or content on a particular topic. Part of that problem was undoubtedly due to the way that the site evolved over 27 years, but mainly because of the sheer number of reviews and articles published over that time. It wasn’t helped by Google not indexing the site efficiently, supposedly because of its outmoded and non-compliant structure.

With this new site, we hope to avoid some if not all of these problems, and so from the start have provided a number of search/browse options. We have chosen not to provide a multi-category search facility, such as that on the Classics Today site, partly because of the ongoing costs, but mainly because of the amount of work that would be required behind the scenes to “prepare” the greater number of reviews that we publish for this type of search facility.

So we have retained a basic keyword search as the main mechanism, and that is found in the header (to the right on a desk top, full width on a tablet or phone).

It is designed to match whole words, but is not case-sensitive. For example, searching for Berg (or berg) will pick up any reviews containing music by the composer Alban Berg, but also any that mention him as part of the commentary, and anything that mentions the Alban Berg Quartet. It won’t catch any reviews of the Goldberg Variations or music by Kapsberger. If you use two (or more) keywords, it will only pick up reviews that have both words (there was an issue early on with this which is seemingly fixed).

You can search for a specific phrase, such as a disc title, using inverted commas around the phrase, and that will pick up only that exact phrase. For example, “pictures of light” will only find the disc with that title, but without the inverted commas, a lot of other reviews (presumably containing either the word pictures or light) are found.

If you are specifically interested in reviews of music by a particular composer, then a better way to look for these is the menu item Review Lists & Indexes/By Composer. Clicking on a name takes you to a list of reviews which include music by that composer. Please note that there may be some collections (e.g. big boxsets) including dozens of composers, where the list isn’t completely comprehensive.

There are also similar links lists categorised by Reviewer and Label, plus some other “types” of reviews (books, videos, operas) where we felt that readers may find a list useful.

For anyone who likes the older style, there is a simple “no frills” page which shows the reviews from the last week.

These lists only cover reviews published on the new site, so from December 2022 onwards. There are two large indexes on the Archive Site, which cover all reviews: Label and Masterwork. These are also on the drop-down menu list here. Both these indexes are in the process of being migrated to the new site, and those which have are not being updated on the Archive Site.