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Uniform Titles

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

Uniform title qualifiers are added in a prescribed order that identifies the piece. Keyword Boolean (recommended) searching of scores is enhanced when you know any or all of the qualifiers for the piece you need.

In the case of works with generic titles, the genre or form appears first (in plural, unless the composer ony wrote one work in that genre/form), followed by medium (i.e. instrumentation), numbering (serial, opus, or thematic catalogue) and key.

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.

Music Scores

Scores are found on the 2nd floor of Stauffer Library: Floorplan

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 Performing 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 Any Field (using Boolean operators).

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


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.

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

Instrument Guides

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

Find Song Titles

Search a song title in Omni Simple or Advanced Search mode 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.

Boolean Searching

Boolean searching is recommended to find scores, sound recordings and other formats or books on topics, especially if you don't know the correct subject heading, or specific author or title.  Use Boolean operators AND|OR|NOT to combine terms, to do phrase searching (use of quotes around your concept) or truncation of terms (use of * at root of word for singular, plural, or other possible word endings).