Detailed electronic structure measurements are required in order to fully understand many physical phenomena in solids. While photoemission spectroscopy is often the electronic structure probe of choice, there are many sample and environmental constraints that must be satisfied before meaningful data can be obtained with this spectroscopy. I will discuss the development of a new technique, high resolution synchrotron radiation-excited soft x-ray emission spectroscopy, which can probe solid state electronic structure in circumstances where photoemission spectroscopy is inapplicable. When the incident synchrotron radiation is tuned close to a core level absorption edge, the x-ray emission process is more appropriately described as a resonant x-ray scattering event, and this scattering technique provides further information on excitations in the solid. The x-ray emission and x-ray scattering techniques will be introduced, and examples of application to correlated oxides, wide band gap nitride semiconductors, and thin film organic solids will be presented.