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DRAM Online Listening Database: Boolean Operators

This research guides provides advanced searching techniques tailored for the DRAM online listening database through a combination of text, images, and videos.

Video Instructions

Boolean Operators (AND, OR, NOT)

OR is the default conjunction operator. This means that if there is no Boolean operator between two terms, the OR operator is automatically used. The OR operator links two terms and finds a matching document if either of the terms exist in a document.

For example, to search for a work that contains either Theremin or Electronic, use one of the following search queries:

  • "electronic" "Theremin" 
  • "electronic" OR "Theremin" 


The AND operator matches documents where both terms exist anywhere in the text of a single document. Therefore, using AND will limit the number of returned results.

To search for a work that contains the piccolo and the piano, use the search query:

"piccolo" AND "piano"


The NOT operator excludes documents that contain the term after NOT. To search for a percussion piece excluding the djembe, use the search query:

"percussion" NOT "djembe"


Note: The NOT operator cannot be used with just one term. For example, the following search will return no results: NOT "string quartet"

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