Sometimes Google products are useful in ways you don’t expect, and they can help you accomplish musical research in clever ways.
I’ve been doing research based on recommendations of a composer whose talk I attended a few weeks ago. One happened to be to listen to the composer Elgar.
Elgar’s most famous for “Pomp and Circumstance March No. 1” (played at US high school graduations). OK, fine. But I wanted to know – what are his most distinctive works in the literature?
I tried Wikipedia and the Elgar society’s web site. But these sources both provided only comprehensive, chronological catalogs of his works.
It’d be nice if someone had a database of the past programs of all the major symphonies in the world. I’d check the data on what’s performed most often. No luck there.
So by accident I discovered that the auto-suggest in the Google search box in Firefox gave me these suggestions:
elgar cello concerto
elgar enigma variations
elgar violin concerto
elgar pomp and circumstance
It turns out Nimrod is one of the Enigma Variations. And there’s an electronics company called Elgar. They make power sources.
After a little more research, I decided the Cello concerto and Enigma variations it is!