Prague Concert Life, 1850-1881

Help

For further information about any aspect of the database, its function or its content, please write to support@prague-concerts.info

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Help topics:

In which languages does the resource work?

  • The default is English.
  • Foreign language fascias are available for Czech and German readers, although the database itself is populated in English, and all records are written and presented in English.
  • Reader keyword inputs in the language of the sources covered should produce effective search results. For example, events associated with the Prague ‘Conservatory’ will be found by keyword entries of ‘Conservatory’, ‘Konservatoř’ or ‘Konservatorium’.
  • In certain cases however, owing to the need for the database to recognize occurrences of keywords within commentary texts, reader inputs in Czech or German may produce more focussed search results. For instance, using ‘Konservatoř’ or ‘Konservatorium’ instead of ‘Conservatory’ will retrieve a slightly more concise list of events in which that institution participated.
  • Different language variants of names recognized by the database, such as ‘Černý’ and ‘Czerny’, or ‘Bedřich’ and ‘Friedrich’ are listed on their dedicated page of Person Details. Venues, societies and institutions are similarly labelled on their own specific information pages.

How is the resource structured?

  • All information contained in the database is built around music performance events.
  • Events include concerts, music rehearsals, informal musical entertainments, church music services, and many other types of social occasions in which music was performed.
  • At the root of all records are Event Details pages. These pages, unique to each event, offer all information contained in the sources that directly or indirectly adds to our knowledge of the occasion. The date of the performance, the venue, the programme, the participants: all the information given by the sources is reproduced here.
  • Within Events Details pages appear underlined sections of differectly coloured text. These are links that lead to further, more specific pages offering more detailed information on the topic of the highlighted text. You can go back at any time to the previous page you were viewing by clicking the back button of the browser.

How do I search the database?

  • To begin to access the information contained in the resource you need to use one of the two search facilities, Basic Search or Advanced Search. These are accessed by clicking on the appropriate link seen on the home screen. Instructions on how to use the two Search facilities appear below in the relevant section

What is Basic Search?

  • This looks for occurrences of an input keyword within all principal fields of the database. These fields are: Title of an event, surnames, institution and society names, and in basic title details of works such as ‘Symphony’, ‘Concerto’, ‘Die Schöne Mullerin’ etc.
  • Because Basic Search looks over almost all of the data contained in the resource in blanket fashion, results may at first sight seem unconnected with your search term. Your search term may be contained within a prose commentary associated with a very different event from that which you may have set out to identify.
  • Basic search works best by entering a single keyword rather than a string of words. If you enter a string of words each word will be searched for individually. Thus, ‘Cecilia Society’ will also return results for ‘Society of Musical Artists’ as both names contain the word ‘Society’. ‘Žofínské divadlo’ will return results for both ‘Žofínská akademie’ and ‘Stavovské divadlo’.
  • Basic search can be narrowed by date. The facility for doing this appears at the bottom of the Basic Search screen.
  • When you ask the resource to search for something in Basic Search, your results appear as a chronological list of events with which your search term is associated. More specific details of each event, titled ‘Event Details’ may then be obtained by clicking on the particular event title that you would like to investigate.

What is Advanced Search?

  • With this search you can focus your query on particular fields and categories, and on any combination of fields and categories.
  • Section ‘1. Search Terms’ allows selection from a drop down menu of specific fields to search. Up to four Search terms may be entered and these may be related to each other through the expressions AND, OR or NOT. As with Basic Search, more effective searches are facilitated by limiting your search term to a single keyword. So to get best results in search for an individual, for example ‘Richard Wagner’ enter as keyword 1 ‘Richard’ AND keyword 2 ‘Wagner’ then click ‘Search’.
  • Sections ‘2. Category of Event’ to ‘4. Categories’ of Advanced Search contain various topics for searching. Any number of these topics in section 4 may be selected for an Advanced Search. To select more than one topic from a single menu, click on the topic you require while holding down the ‘Control’ key. To cancel a selection repeat this action.
  • Selected topics for searching in sections 2 to 4 relate to each other through the expression ‘AND’. Thus a search combining ‘Audience attendance’ in section 4 ‘Prague music – background’ with ‘Weather’ in the same section ‘4. Science, industry and the natural environment’ will return events in which both of these categories were mentioned by the commentary texts of those events.
  • Advanced Search can also be narrowed by date. The facility for doing this appears at the bottom of the Advanced Search screen.
  • As with Basic Search, your results appear as a chronological list of events with which your search term is associated. More specific details of each event, titled ‘Event Details’ may then be obtained by clicking on the particular event title that you would like to investigate.

Navigating the database

  • Each database record, including the ‘Event Details’ pages, contains Hyperlinks. These are underlined sections of differectly coloured text that lead to pages offering more detailed information on the topic of the highlighted text.
  • A new Basic Search or Advanced Search may be started at any time by clicking on the respective term in the small window at the top left corner the screen. This also clears any previously entered search expressions.

Key editorial points

  • Within any database record text, editorial additions and comments are incorporated in square brackets.
  • Where individuals cannot be identified beyond a simple name reported in a source or sources, the version of the name most frequently used by the source or sources is retained.
  • Surnames of women who were of Czech origin, married a Czech or became naturalized in Bohemia carry a suffix of -ová, or their name assumes the feminine case ending -á, for instance of Čermáková or Němcová. Women of known foreign nationality are incorporated into the database without the Czech ending, for instance Clara Schumann or Jenny Lind.
  • Dates in number format are presented in the order DD/MM/YYYY.