On the Search Options page, search terms are grouped in clusters to facilitate navigation. The authors opted for a simplified structure in which each term is found only once, even if it has multiple meanings or belongs to more than one area. The term “Master,” for instance, is given only once although it is sometimes used in the literature to reference a guild-based master-apprentice relationship and at other times applies to the Maestro di capella. Similarly, specific terms pertaining to musical education are distributed by the authors within subheaders (composition, performance, religious practice, educational structures), but the same term might regularly cross into two areas. The term “counterpoint” in particular pertains both to composition and to performance. Thus, the reader will want to scan the entire page before deciding which keywords are most likely to produce useable results.
Dates are entered by decade, and are given inclusively. An article discussing the period of 1521-1560 will be listed under the 1520s, 1530s, 1540s, 1550s, and 1560s, and a check of any one of those boxes should retrieve the bibliographic record.
Geographical Areas are, for the most part, inclusive. British Isles includes England, Ireland, Scotland, and Wales; Germany includes Germany, Austria, and German-speaking Switzerland; Iberia includes Spain and Portugal; Low Countries includes Belgium and the Netherlands; Eastern Europe includes Albania, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Macedonia, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Yugoslavia; Scandinavia includes Denmark, Finland, Greenland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden.
Finally, the encoding of illustrations and primary source type is, for now, incomplete. Searches in these areas will bring up a sampling of relevant records. Many other items, however, have primary source material of interest to the researcher, and the a thorough consultation of all appropriate bibliographic sources is recommended. Note as well that the authors have made no attempt to index editions--facsimile or otherwise--of the many relevant theory treatises and instrumental tutors available to the modern scholar. Such research projects, though important, largely fall outside of the scope of this study.