MLA News

Official News from the Music Library Association

Grove Music Online Update

A new version of Grove/Oxford Music Online was released on December 7, 2017.

MLA News will host a temporary list of questions, tips, and updates about the new version, in order to share information about this new interface and its architecture. Entries are listed alphabetically within their section. Major revisions are noted in a date next to the entry title.

3/16/18 NOTE: Oxford Online has asked us to post the following note:We have solved the problems we could address quickly and are now engaged in additional site development work to address the remaining issues. As the work requires more time to complete than the issues we addressed first, the pace of solutions will be a little slower, but fixing the remaining issues remains our top priority and we will update you as soon as work is completed.”

Submissions of new content can be done via the form below. Posts will be moderated and may be edited.

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Known Issues

This section is for ongoing or new issues.

Issue: The article preview in search results is of the keyword in context instead of the start of the article.

Status: Oxford replied: Displaying contextual snippets for full text search is part of OUP’s search display strategy to help users better contextualize their search results. As part of ongoing digital development, OUP will continue to review and evaluate their strategy to better reflect user needs.

Tip: Refine results to show “Article Title” using the drop-down  menu directly under “Modify Your Search” on the top left-hand side of the page to see the beginning of the article previews.

Issue: Citations pulled from OMO “cite this” or scraped using the Zotero (or other citation services) browser plug ins are not correct.

Example: Citations generated using Zotero’s brower plug-in display as:

    “Bach, Johann Sebastian | Grove Music.” Accessed February 9, 2018.

Citations imported into RefWorks using OMO’s “cite this” format display as:

    Wolff, Christoph and Walter Emery. No Title Interactive Factory,. doi:10.1093/gmo/9781561592630.article.6002278195.

Status: OUP has corrected the incorrect Publisher field in the exported citations and is working to address the issue with the missing Title field.

See also Citing Oxford/Grove Articles entry in Resolved Issues section.

  • Issue: Search results may retrieve similar articles, but lack identifying information to disambiguate one from another.
  • Different individuals with the same name (for example, Henry Purcell (i) and Henry Purcell (ii)) cannot be distinguished from the results list.
  • Multiple articles for the same person or topic with different emphases and of different lengths may have no prominent disambiguating features (for example, the three articles on Louis Armstrong, from AmeriGrove, Grove Music, and JazzGrove).

Status: Oxford has acknowledged.

  • OUP is working to improve disambiguation of article headwords and improve matching of biographical entries. “We will also be replacing the Roman numeral disambiguators that appear in some headwords with disambiguating text. This is high priority in our editorial post-launch schedule.”
  • Regarding the articles from different sources, Oxford at this point considers Grove in all its variety of scope and emphasis a “unified resource” that should be considered as such.

See entries for Article Preview in Search Results…, Grove Opera / Jazz Articles… and Lack of Source Attribution.

Issue: Individuals grouped under family articles (e.g., Johann Sebastian Bach) only resolve to the family article when selected in search results and are attached to the family article’s DOI.

Status: We have now replaced 32 family articles, previously on one page, with individual biography articles linked to a family article. Examples of articles that have been separated include the Bach, Mozart, Scarlatti, Strauss, and Wagner family articles. 

OUP has done the work on the main text and are filling in the metadata and adjusting relevancy results. While we complete this work, if you don’t see the name of the individual you are searching for at the top of search results, go to the family article and then find the linked name and click through.

See also Disambiguating Articles…, Grove Opera, Jazz, or Other…, and Missing Content entries.

Issue: Search results may or may not bring up OperaGrove,  JazzGrove, or other articles, which are different from Grove Music articles. Several scenarios are currently in force. 

  1. For some composers (e.g., Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart) links to OperaGrove articles appear under More on this Topic, which is linked at the bottom of the left-window, or at the foot of the article. For a link from AmeriGrove to JazzGrove and Grove Music, see Frank Sinatra.
  2. For others (e.g., Benjamin Britten), the Opera article appears at the top of the search results, preceding the Grove Music article. The word (opera) shows up in the search results list and in the article title. 
  3. In a third scenario (e.g., Giuseppe Verdi) two article links appear, but the word (opera) appears only when you click into the first article in the results list. For a JazzGrove example, see Benny Goodman or Boogie-Woogie.
  4. In a fourth scenario, the word (opera), (jazz), or (American) appears neither in the results list nor in the article title. For example, search Henry Purcell; the first article, by Curtis Price, is from OperaGrove. See also Louis Armstrong: the article by Anderson is from AmeriGrove, that by Cogswell is from Grove Music, and that by Dapogny is from JazzGrove.
  5. Note also that the “More on this Topic” links are applied inconsistently from article to another. One may find links from Grove Music to  OperaGrove or JazzGrove articles but not vice versa. AmeriGrove and Grove Music articles may link to one another, but not to a JazzGrove article.

Status: Oxford acknowledged and stated “The issues listed here are actually a complex of issues known to OUP and under development. OUP is working to improve disambiguation of article headwords and improve matching of entries.”

Tip: Be sure to scroll down the search results screen to see if there is more than one article on your topic.

Tip: Be sure to check the article title for the word (opera) or the word (jazz), when you click into an article, in case it does not appear after the title in the results list.

Tip: The dates of publication may help identify the original source of an article.  See the source list under Books at Revising Grove Music Online.

See also the entries under DOI Letters May Help Disambiguate the Source of an Article, Family/Individual Member Articles, Lack of Source Attribution, and More on this Topics Links Do Not Appear Using Chrome entries.

Issue: Content does not attribute source, such as Grove Music Online, Amerigrove, Oxford Dictionary of Music, etc. Users cannot filter by source.

Status: Oxford acknowledged and responded “Identification of the print source, where applicable, was added to the site several years ago in response to subscriber request to help identify article scope. This was never intended to be a permanent solution, however, because labeling articles with source volumes is fundamentally misleading, since accurate source data only goes back to 2001 when Grove was first digitized. To reinforce our vision of Grove as a single unified publication, we have removed the source designations once more and have replaced them with what we think will be a clearer and more accurate disambiguation approach.  The new approach involves adjusting some article titles to better define scope and in some cases identifying one article to serve as a primary entrance point to a topic through which other articles can be reached. Some of these changes are visible on the site currently and we are working to roll out the others as quickly as possible.”

Tip: For a list of the sources that make up Oxford Music Online, with their original dates of publication, see the Books section of Revising Grove Music Online, under About in the top menu.

See also Disambiguating Articles is Difficult… entry and Citing Oxford/Grove Articles entry under Resolved Issues section.

Issue: The layout seems to have not carried over very well in the new platform – columns frequently are hidden from view, and require horizontal scrolling to reach, but the scroll bar only appears when scrolling down to the very bottom of the (lengthy) list. This is a problem in every browser tried and isn’t fixed by zooming in or out.

Status: Oxford is aware of the issue.

TIP: For a wider layout that displays more columns (depending on the device and the size of your browser window), click on the “View large” button to see the works list table in a popup window.

Temporary Solution: Contact Oxford for PDFs of work lists from the previous iteration of Grove (see Contacting Oxford Music Online entry).

Issue: Several linked images turn up a page not found. Additionally, mentions to some other images are no longer in the text, when compared to the print 2001 edition, but perhaps were removed during an update.

Example: Graphic notation in the “Notation” article (section on “Non-Mensural and Specialist Notations”) — see links for figures 105 and 106. Noticed this also in a link to an image in the article for “Vinci, Leonardo”  by Markstrom.

Status: OUP is aware that some images are not properly displaying and are working on a solution (page not found errors). Not all images included in print are available online due to permissions issues. OUP is reviewing and replacing these as we are able and welcome suggestions for additional media at

Tip: Refer to print edition for missing images, if available.

Issue: When you click on the page icon to generate a pdf, the action stalls.

Status: The best place to view articles in Grove is directly on the website, where the built-in functionalities offer the best user experience. Due to the size and complexity of some articles in combination with the speed of internet connections, some articles may not be able to generate a PDF. If you are running into issues downloading the PDF of a particularly long article, we suggest using your computer’s “Print to PDF” functionality to save the PDF. Another alternative for bookmarking entries is to create a Personal Profile (see link in upper right corner of any site page), which allows you to save and annotate articles.

Tip: If you have any questions or need assistance, please contact our customer support team at

Issue: Results are listed in an unexpected order, particularly when searching on a single word. 

Status: Oxford responded, We continue to refine and improve the site’s search functionality. We have recently implemented several search developments to the site including:

  • Advanced Search functionality – Users can click on the ‘Advanced Search’ link in the search box to perform an advanced search using filters
  • Alternate headwords search boost – Text captured as alternate headwords will now appear higher in search results to help with increased search relevancy
  • Increased number of search results per page – The number of search results per page has doubled from 10 to 20 per page

 Tip: Use more than one name or word when searching for people or family articles (for example, Wolfgang Mozart or Mozart family).

Resolved Issues

This section is for issues that have been fixed/resolved by Oxford. You will also find tips and solutions to topics that have been noted as an established feature/component by Oxford and may not be altered in the future.

Issue: Journal (and other) abbreviations in bibliographic entries do not consistently appear with mouse-overs of the complete form of title.

Example: The Wiley Tchaikovsky article ( does not have the abbreviations setup with mouse-overs.

Status: OUP has implemented a fix to address this issue. The abbreviations should now appear in bibliographic entries.

Tip: Click on “View Large” to see if the abbreviations show when there is more than one work listed.

If you would like to go directly to Grove Music Online, access your Oxford Music Online subscription first, then add /grovemusic at the end of the url. Example-

There is now an Advanced Search link to the right of the search box, which allows users to construct an Advanced Search with filters, in the left-hand column of the page.

From search results, the advanced search options are located on the left side of the page under “Modify Your Search.”

Issue: For some individual articles within a family article, there is no left-window navigation link to the Bibliography section. Examples include Leopold Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, and Franz Xaver Wolfgang Mozart.

Status: OUP has implemented a fix to address this issue. Bibliography links should now appear for these articles.

Tip: Click on the last entry in the composer’s work list (left-window) and scroll down (right window) to locate the bibliography; or click on the next person’s entry (left-window) and scroll up. Use the recommendations under Search Within an Article entry.

Issue: Due to formatting in the new interface, particularly family articles, it is unclear how to cite.

Status: Oxford acknowledged. All articles are now considered part of Grove Music Online and should be cited as such. The source volume labels that were temporarily on the old site were never an accurate reflection of where the articles actually originated. Moreover, print editions do not acknowledge where the articles came from.  The current author citation information for sectioned (including family) articles has been carried over from the old site, but Oxford is working to improve it. They will be separating out sections of family articles to allow for better citation and to improve the way authors are defined on the site. (For more detail, see Family/Individual Member Article entry). Note that OUP has added metadata to all articles that improves the data within citations overall and allows for more flexible formatting.

Resolved: On 1/31/18 Oxford replaced 17 family articles, previously on one page, with individual biography articles linked to a family article. See Family/Individual Member Articles….

Tip: Consider GMO the equivalent of a print edition. You should cite the online edition if that is the one you are using. You can click on the pencil icon in the upper right of an article to get the citation for that article. (see also Disambiguating Articles and Grove Opera/Jazz entries).

See also Citation Exports Incorrect entry under Known Issues section.

To contact the Oxford Music Online Customer Services Team:

Customers in North & South America

Customers outside North & South America

See the Oxford FAQ at and #subscription.

Letter codes at the beginning of the last element may help to reveal the original source of an article.

  • A – for AmeriGrove 
  • J – for JazzGrove 
  • O – for OperaGrove

The lack of a letter may indicate a Grove Music article.


See also the Lack of Source Attribution entry under Known Issues section.

Issue: Hyperlinks to articles (DOIs, or permanent URLs) do not work in all cases. Many resolved to a DOI registration page.

Resolved: Oxford acknowledged, and as of January 19, reports that all the DOIs have been registered, and that the links are working.


There is no widget for creating an embedded search box for Grove, as there was in the previous version.

Solution: This widget is now available here

Status: OUP has implemented a fix to address the issue with journal article citation in “Find It In Your Library” links. If you encounter any other issues with your “Find It In Your Library” links, please contact OUP customer support.

Issue: About 75 articles (including Sigismondo d’India) were not displaying due to metadata issues.

Status: OUP has restored articles reported missing, including Sigismondo d’India.  OUP will continue to address the root cause of the missing articles.

Issue: Various searches have identified missing content, particularly from Amerigrove. 

Status: We have restored articles that were reported missing to the site. Content previously hosted on the old site is now available on the current platform. Please let us know if you are unable to find a particular article, and we will be happy to assist you.

Resolved: OUP has investigated and fixed the issue. Customers on Chrome may need to clear their cache for this to display properly.

Issue: Why is the old interface to Grove/Oxford not available while the issues with the new interface are being worked on?

Status: Oxford responded, “For technical reasons, it is not possible to return to the previous version at this point without delaying desired fixes in the new version. We pressed ahead with the new platform primarily because of the growing instability of the old website. After the necessary corrections and enhancements have been made in response to your comments we believe the new platform will enable Grove Music Online to deliver much better service than would have been possible with its predecessor.

“One of the major drivers of migrating to the new platform is the ability to import data and content from recent print publications which were delayed by the limited capabilities of the old platform. All AmeriGrove and Grove Dictionary of Musical Instruments articles previously published on the old site are now published on the new site.”

Issue: The “sign in” box is too prominent and users try to log in, getting confused by the options.

Status: Oxford responded, As a result of user and customer feedback, we have worked with our platform developers to improve the appearance of the sign-in panel on the Grove Music site. The sign-in panel now includes clear and specific language to show that a user is signed in and authenticated via their institution, indicating that no additional log-in is required. For customers that require cumulative access options, they may expand the truncated list and sign-in using the appropriate access method.

Issue: Oxford now uses protocol-relative URLs, which WAM cannot rewrite.

Solution: Innovative has created a web page to address the problem. You must be logged into your Innovative account to access.

Status: As part of ongoing digital development, OUP continues to review and evaluate our strategy to better reflect user needs. In order to provide a better user experience, OUP has removed this functionality from the platform based on user experience research and feedback.

Tip: To replicate this functionality, you can use the browser’s functionality (Control+F for PC or Command+F for MAC).

Issue: There is no “search within this article” box.

Status: In the training webinar on December 20, 2017, Oxford instructed users to use the browser’s search feature.

Tip: To begin at a particular point, for example a works list, click on the list in the left-hand column, then double-click in the right-hand window. Now search. The search should begin at this point. This works on a PC using Chrome; as of  early January was not working on a Mac with Safari.

Oxford Music Online Provided Support

Oxford Online provides their own support through an FAQ page. They also have an online tour video on their Help page that talks briefly about key features and functionality. For technical questions, such as updated MARC records, bookmarks, etc., view the Migration Checklist to see if the answer is there.

Submit a Question, Tip, or Update

To submit a question, tip, or update, please complete this form.

[contact-form-7 id=”623″ title=”Grove Music Online”]


Stephanie Lewin-Lane

Stephanie Lewin-Lane is the Coordinator of the Music Library at the University of Houston. Stephanie plans and administers the programs and daily operations of the Music Library and provides research and collection support to music, theatre, and dance. She is an active member of the Music Library Association (MLA), as well as the Texas chapter (TMLA), and currently serves on the Career and Development Committee and the Career Advisory Service. She participates in the Jazz and Popular Music and Sheet Music Interest Groups and is a proud performer with the MLA Big Band. Her areas of research in music are Rockabilly music, Rock and Roll, Jazz history, Renaissance music, and cultural appropriation in popular music.

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Suzanne Eggleston Lovejoy

Suzanne Eggleston Lovejoy is the Music Librarian for Reference and Instruction in the Irving S. Gilmore Music Library of Yale University. In addition to research support and teaching, she oversees a project to digitize the music manuscripts of Charles Ives. She is an active member of MLA and the New England Chapter (NEMLA), serving on the MLA Board of Directors, as the Conference Mentoring Coordinator, and on the Career Development and Services Committee. She is an organist and pianist. Her research interests have much to do with the archival collections at Yale: Charles Ives, J. Rosamond Johnson, Cole Porter, and Alonzo “Zo” Elliott.