Simple Keyword Searching

Searching The Spirituals Database begins with the simple keyword search form–as well as a link to a more advanced search form–on the home page.  In the case below, the search begins for soprano Leontyne Price:

(Please note: There is temporarily a problem with the basic search of titles. You may need to use Advanced searching to generate correct results. Apologies for any inconvenience until this is resolved.)

The initial results are formatted in a list showing the number of items found on how many pages, the song titles and pictures of the album covers, if they are available in the database:



Click on an individual album cover to view details about each individual title in the results listed:

Advanced Search Options

One option for a more advanced search is the “Search Item Facets” list located near the bottom of each individual item record. Check beside one or more elements listed to conduct a new search, for example, to find all of the instances in the database where the title (song) is accompanied by a specific musical force (in this case, piano), check those selections and click “Find:”


The results can be sorted by title, creator (composer), or date added.

NOTE: Both the uniform title and song cycle item facets were just added in February 2020 and are still being populated, so the results will be far from complete. 

Another advanced search option is available from this screen by clicking the “Search Items” tab.  The keyword search can be narrowed to specific fields and further qualified by  selecting options “contains,” “does not contain,” “is exactly,” “empty” or “is not empty,” as well as several other conditions. Begin the search by clicking the “Search for items” button at the bottom of the screen.

There are also tabs at the top of the form to “Browse All” items in the database and to  “Search Item.”  The “Browse by Tag” tab leads to a display of links for all tags currently in use.  This is a new feature, so the number of tags and their results, while dramatically increased recently, are very incomplete at present.


Lastly, to the left of this and the other advanced search screens is a search box that allows keyword, Boolean, and exact match searches. Above that box is a link to browse all of the items in the database, the NATS Hall Johnson Spirituals Competition Repertoire collection, and the “Home” link to return to The Spiritual Database‘s opening page.



Hope you find The Spirituals Database to be a useful resource. Please contact me if you have recordings of concert Spirituals to recommend or have questions/suggestions.




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