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Music @ Webster University Library

How to Find Music in the Catalog

How to Find Music in the Catalog

When looking up music, first ask yourself: Am I searching for something with a "distinctive" title or a "generic" title?

Some "distinctive" titles                                             Some "generic" titles

Blues for Stephane                                                      Symphony no. 5

Quartet for the end of time                                           Trio in D major

Saint Stephen and the Eleven                                        Piano sonata


Using the "Keyword" search option is the best approach for finding music titles. 

Enter as much of a distinctive title as you wish, but do not truncate the final word.  For example, quartet for the end


Enter several elements for a generic title in order to reduce the likelihood of getting too many hits.  Some examples:

beethoven symphony 9 bernstein      (for a recording conducted by Leonard Bernstein)

beethoven symphony 9 universal         (for a score of this symphony published by Universal Edition)

haydn quartet 76 3 string                     (for Haydn's quartet no. 77, which is his opus 76 no.3)


If you enter a search and receive a large number of hits, you can follow up by clicking on "modify search," which allows you to limit the results by medium, date of publication, language, etc.  The 'modify search' screen also lists helpful hints regarding truncation, proximity searching, etc. 

Tip: For arcane reasons, you may actually benefit by truncating generic forms.  For 'symphony,' use 'symphon*'.  For 'sonata' or 'sonatas,' use 'sonat*"

Call Numbers for Music

Emerson Library materials are classified and shelved according to the Library of Congress call number system.  The general outline of the classification system for music scores and recordings is shown in the first link; in it, to bypass a lot of the details, scroll to the bottom to see the chart.  If you need more of a breakdown in any area, you can click on links that will expand the information. 

The second and third links will take you to charts outlining the classification schedules for books about music (Class ML) and for instruction and study of music (Class MT).

Feel free to ask a librarian for further assistance in using this classification system.