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MUSC 385: Research, Issues, and Methodologies in Musicology

Navigate the Music Collection

Floorplan: Stauffer 2nd floor

Items are arranged according to the LIBRARY OF CONGRESS CLASSIFICATION scheme: Class M for Music and Books on music.

Generally, items are shelved alphabetically in author order within each subject class number. Class M (MUSIC) consists of 3 main sections:

  • M - Scores. Scores are shelved in 3 sections, by size: miniature (study scores), regular stacks and oversize.
  • ML - Books on music literature, history and criticism. The BIOGRAPHY/CRITICISM number for composers is ML410. Books are grouped in alphabetical order by the biographee/subject. e.g Bruckner ML410 .B88
  • MT - Books on Music Theory, Teaching/pedagogy or Technique for instrumental/vocal study

Music Scores and Sound Recordings

Types of Scores

  • Performance scores: Performance scores searchable in Omni are classified in M6 to M9999 and often include editorial or interpretive markings.
  • Miniature/Study scores are classified in the same way as the Performance scores but, because of their size, are shelved separately. These are suitable for analysis and study while listening to a piece of music.
  • Historical Sets, classed in M1 to M5, include the collected works of the masters and anthologies of historically significant works (many not found in performing editions). See the index listings in: Harriet Heyer's bibliography, Historical Sets, Collected Editions, and Monuments of Music: A Guide to Their Contents (Ref. ML113 .H52 1980 2 vols.). Also, annotated FACSIMILES of composers' manuscripts are shelved in Ref. ML93 - ML96 .5. The scores in these valuable, historical collections are for use in the Library only.

Find Music Scores in Omni

All music scores are accessible through Omni searching by Author (i.e. composer), Title, Subject or Boolean.

Boolean searches are most useful to allow combination of terms (see under Uniform Titles) and avoid retrieving sound recordings. Examples:

mahler AND wunderhorn NOT (disc OR sound)
beethoven AND symphon* AND (pastoral* OR "no. 6" OR "op. 68") NOT (disc OR sound)
Note that excluding the sound recording format will retrieve scores, as well as historical, critical, and analytical works about the music. The call number will indicate if it is a score (M) or a book (ML).
Truncation (*) allows the possibility of finding a call number for the single work or a published collection (anthology) of the composer's symphonies, sonatas, etc. which contains the individual work required.

Sound Recordings

Request a mobile music cart at the Stauffer Reserve Desk and book a Music Listening Room when using audiovisual materials. There are two music carts, each containing a Philips DVD/VCR, Sony turntable, Dell laptop, Behringer mini amp and 4 sets of headphones.

Compact discs on the 2nd floor circulate for one week.

DVDs on the ground floor in the Multimedia Collection circulate for 3 days.

LP recordings (33 1/3 rpm) in Music-Storage can be requested at the Circulation Desk for 3-hour in-library use only. Album covers and booklet inserts are a valuable source of historical, analytical and performer information.

Search sound recordings in Omni using Boolean to combine any elements (composer, title, genre, opus or thematic catalogue number, instrumentation, etc.) and add the bracketed terms (disc or sound) or the quoted phrase "compact disc" to your search terms to retrieve only recordings:  

  • beethoven AND sonat* AND piano AND "op. 13" AND "compact disc"

(NOTE: Use * to truncate a word to retrieve different possible word endings, such as singular or plural. Use quotation marks around two or more words to search them as a phrase.)

The shelf numbers reflect the date of accession to the collection. e.g. SRCD04-1156 means the 1156th Sound Recording Compact Disc acquired in 2004.  Ask for LP numbers (e.g. SR11-047) in Music-Storage to be retrieved at the Circulation Desk.

Online Scores

Instrument/Voice Performer Guides

Instrument/Voice Performer Guides are useful for browsing available scores for specific instruments or voice by classification number in the library.

Find Song Titles

Search a song title by Boolean in Omni   Omni using quotation marks: - e.g. "il pleure dans mon coeur".

Use the Song Index to help locate songs from published collections/anthologies housed in the music collection stacks. If title access does not yield the song (since the search string is followed literally), try searching only by the composer's last name.

Uniform Titles

Uniform Titles are often assigned to music scores because a musical work may be published in multiple editions with varying versions of the title (i.e. variable order of form, medium, key, opus numbering, use of programmatic titles such as Beethoven's Sonata Pathetique for Sonata op. 13, no. 8, as well as titles in different languages).

In the case of works with generic titles, form, instrumentation, numbering and key qualifiers are added in a prescribed order to identify the piece.

Beethoven. Sonatas, piano, no. 8, op. 13, C minor

In the case of works with distinctive titles, the uniform title is based on the original language of the publication.

Mozart. Nozze di Figaro (i.e. NOT Marriage of Figaro)

In the case of arrangements, transcriptions, or reductions, "arr." is appended to the uniform title to indicate that the score is not the original version.

Concierto de Aranjuez; arr.