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Finding Music in ZSR Library: CLASSICAL MUSIC

Advanced Search recommended

The following illustrations show the "Advanced Search" in the library catalog. (On the Library's homepage, click "Catalog" then "Advanced Search" beside the search box.) Here, you can specify whether you're looking for a title, subject, etc.

Short works (songs, piano pieces, etc.)

Try searching it by title

You can enter keywords, or if you know the exact title, use quotation marks so it will be searched together as a phrase:

 

          "gretchen am spinnrade"   in   Title

  

Didn't find it by title?  It might be in a collection.

Shorter works are often published in collections (songbooks, anthologies, albums). There are two strategies for finding a work in a collection:

(1) Try searching the work's title as a keyword search:

 

         "gretchen am spinnrade"   in   Any Field

 

(2) Consult a song index. You can find these using the following subject search:

 

           songs indexes   in   Subject

 

 Song indexes tell you what books (collections) contain your song. Then you can look up the books in the Library's catalog.

  

Is it an aria from an opera, or a song from a musical?

Well-known arias are often published in the collections described above, and can be searched the same way.

You may also find these subject terms useful for searching arias, or songs from musicals:

  • Operas -- Excerpts -- Vocal scores with piano.
  • Musicals -- Excerpts -- Vocal scores with piano.

Or, of course, you can locate it in a score or recording of the entire opera/musical. Search the opera/musical by title.

 

Don’t know which opera or musical it’s from? Try searching the song’s title in:

(1) Oxford Music Online (available on our “Find a Database” page).

(2) Opera websites such as Aria Database

(3) Opera or musical dictionaries in the Library. You can find them using the following subject terms:

  • Operas -- Dictionaries
  • Musicals -- Dictionaries 

 

 

Looking for a specific voice range?

For songs for your voice, use subject terms like these:

  • Songs (High voice) with piano.
  • Songs (Medium voice) with continuo.
  • Songs (Low voice) with orchestra.

 

            songs high voice piano   in    Subject

 

Looking for songs in a specific language?

Use this subject term:

  • Songs, [Language]

 

               songs french    in   Subject

 

Looking for songs on  sacred texts?

Use these subject terms:

     Sacred songs

     Sacred vocal music

 

Looking for vocal ensembles?

Use subject terms like these:

     Vocal music

     Vocal duets with piano.

     Vocal trios with continuo.

     Vocal quartets.

 

Works with Opus Numbers (symphonies, sonatas, etc.)

Works identified primarily by an opus number, thematic number, or other work number, are indexed in library catalogs by:

Form

Instrument(s) (for solo or chamber music)

Number

Key

 

Examples:

Sonatas, piano, no.32, op.111, C minor.

Concertos, horn, K. 447, E-flat major.

Quartets, string, H. III, 76, D minor.

Symphonies, no.2, op. 73, D major.

 

You can use these words and numbers for your search terms, combined with the composer’s name:

 

      beethoven sonatas piano 111   in   Any Field

 

Don’t know the number?

Consult the composer’s worklist in Oxford Music Online (available on our “Databases” page).

 

 Nicknames and popular titles  (“Moonlight Sonata”)

Some numbered works have also acquired nicknames or popular titles. These can be searched using the following strategies:

 (1) By the nickname or popular title.

 (2) Some library catalogs and other databases may only have the work indexed under the opus (or other) number. If you don’t know the number (or maybe even the composer), search the popular title in:

  •  Oxford Music Online (available on our “Databases” page).

Or these books in the Library:

  •  Book of world-famous music (Call no.: REF ML113 F8 1971)
  • Everyman’s dictionary of music (Call no.: ML100 B47 1972)
  • Harvard dictionary of music (Call no.: ML100 A64)

Or websites such as Amazon.com or Allmusic.com

 

 Still haven’t found it? It might be in a collection.

If you haven’t found a numbered work using the strategies above, search it using keywords from the filing title without any numbers, combined with the composer’s name:

 

      beethoven sonatas piano   in   Any Field

 

This retrieves collections of Beethoven’s piano sonatas, which may contain the individual sonata you want.

 

Or, try a subject search, using the work’s form in the plural, combined with the composer’s name:

 

      haydn symponies    in   Subject

 

  This will retrieve collections of Haydn’s symphonies, which may contain the individual symphony you want.

 

 Still haven’t found it? Try the composer’s collected edition.

 

Looking for repertoire for a specific instrument or ensemble?

For specific forms, use subject terms like these:

Sonatas (Piano)

Suites (Piano)

Variations (Orchestra)

Marches (Band)

Dance music (Keyboard)

Waltzes (Piano)

Concertos (Violin)

Symphonies

Overtures

Fanfares

Symphonic poems

Cantatas, Secular

Catatas, Sacred

 

Note that Library of Congress subject terms use both singular and plural forms ("Sonata" and "Sonatas"). What's the difference?

"Sonatas" gives you scores of sonatas.

"Sonata" gives you books about the sonata form.

 

If you also want to find music that's not in a standard form, use subject terms like these:

Piano music

Violin and piano music

Orchestral music

Piano and orchestra music

String orchestra music

Chamber orchestra music

Band music

For chamber ensembles, see "Chamber works" on this page.

 

Dramatic works (operas, musicals, ballets, tone poems)

These can be searched using the following strategies:

(1) By title. You can enter keywords, or if you know the exact title, use quotation marks so it will be searched together as a phrase:

 

        "forza del destino"    in   Title

 

(2) Or, if the title is a short or common one, combine it with the composer’s name:

 

         debussy mer    in   Any Field

 

Looking for a particular genre or form?

Use these subject terms:

Operas

Operettas

Oratorios

Cantatas, Secular

Cantatas, Sacred

Musicals

Ballets

Symphonic poems

 

Note that Library of Congress subject headings use both singular and plural forms ("Opera" and "Operas"). What's the difference?

"Operas" gives you scores of operas.

"Opera" gives you books on the subject of opera.

 

Chamber works (solos, duets, small groups)

If you’re looking for a specific work, you can search it using the following strategies:

 (1) By title, if it has a distinctive title.

  (2) If it has an opus, thematic, or other work number, see "Works with opus numbers" on this page.

 

If you’re looking for repertoire for a specific combination of instruments, try the following strategies:

 

Ensembles of like instruments

Try subject terms like these:

String quartets

Wind quintets

Percussion ensembles

 

         "string quartets"   in   Subject

(Using quotation marks will search this subject term together as a phrase.)

 

 Ensembles of mixed instruments

Use subject terms relating to the number of instruments:

 

         quartets   in   Subject

 

For ensembles that include piano, these subject terms can be used:

Piano trios

Piano quartets

Piano quintets

 

 Soloist with accompaniment

Works in a specific form (sonata, suite, etc.) can be searched using subject terms like these:

Sonatas (Violin and piano)

Suites (Flute and continuo)

Songs (High voice) with piano

Songs (Medium voice) with instrumental ensemble

 

         sonatas violin piano   in    Subject

 

Other works can be searched using subject terms like these:

Violin and piano music

Trumpet and organ music

Flute with instrumental ensemble

 

         "violin and piano music"   in   Subject

(Using quotation marks will search this subject term together as a phrase.)

 

 

Choral works

Choral works can be searched using the following strategies:

(1) By title.

(2) Or, if the title is that of a commonly used text, combine it with the composer’s name:

 

            locklair ave maria   in   Any Field

  
 

Looking for repertoire for specific performing forces?

In library catalogs, subject terms for choral works are formulated like this:

Chorusessacred or seculartype of voices (mixed, men’s, women’s, children’s), number of partstype of accompaniment.

 

Examples:

Choruses, Sacred (Mixed voices, 4 parts) with organ

Choruses, Secular (Men’s voices, 4 parts), unaccompanied

 

Use terms like the above for your search:

 

         choruses sacred mixed voices organ    in   Subject

 

Looking for vocal scores?

If you need a score with the accompaniment arranged for piano instead of the original orchestra, etc., then the subject term "Vocal scores with piano" can be added to any of the terms above.

 

         choruses sacred vocal scores with piano   in   Subject

Religious, Sacred, or Worship music

There are a number of subject terms that relate to music and religious practice:

 

Music of specific communities

The word “music” can be combined with the names of peoples, religious communities, or houses of worship.  Use subject terms like these:

 Church music

Synagogue music

Navajo Indians – Music

Hindu music

 

        "hindu music"   in   Subject

(Using quotation marks will search this subject term together as a phrase.)

 

Hymns and hymnals

Both these words can be searched as subject headings.

“Hymns” can also be combined with the names of countries, nationalities, languages, and denominations. Use subject terms like these:

Hymns, American

Hymns, English – United States   (“English” here refers to the language.)

Catholic Church – Hymns

Baptists – Hymns

 

         hymns american   in   Subject

 

Music for specific holidays

The following can be searched as subject terms:

Epiphany music

Lenten music

Easter music

Advent music

Christmas music

Passover music

Synagogue music – Rosh ha-Shanah services

 

         "Christmas music"   in   Subject

(Using quotation marks will search this subject term together as a phrase.)

 

Religious texts set to music

Well-known texts can be searched as subject terms, combined with the word “music”:

 

         ave maria music   in   Subject

 

         psalms 23 music   in   Subject

 

 Lesser-known texts can be searched as titles or keywords:

 

         "sursum corda"    in   Any Field

(Using quotation marks will search this subject term together as a phrase.)

 

Religious forms and genres

Use subject terms like these:

Chants (Plain, Gregorian, etc.)

Chants (Buddhist)

Masses

Requiems

Choruses, Sacred

Sacred songs

Sacred vocal music

Organ music

Spirituals (Music)

Gospel music

Contemporary Christian music

 

         chants buddhist   in   Subject

 

Composers' Collected Editions

For many composers, their complete works have been published in a single scholarly edition (called a collected edition).

In these editions, the variant readings in the primary sources are shown, either in the main volumes or in separate supplementary volumes.

Some of these editions are still in progress, so you may find that a specific work has not yet been published in the composer’s collected edition.

 

Finding a composer’s collected edition

To identify any collected edition(s) that may have been published for a composer, look up the composer's worklist in Oxford Music Online (available on our "Databases" page). The composer's collected edition(s) will be cited at the top of the worklist. (Foreign terms you may see that mean "collected edition": WerkeSamtliche WerkeGesamtausgabe,  Opere, Oeuvres.)

To see if ZSR Library owns a composer’s collected edition, see the following list:

http://guides.zsr.wfu.edu/composers-collected-editions

This provides links to the Library’s catalog record. There, you can find out:

  • If an online version is available, and click a link to it.
  • If we have a print copy in the ZSR building. Composers’ collected editions are shelved under the call number M3, alphabetically by composer.
  • If we have a print copy housed offsite. In the catalog record, you'll find a link to request delivery. (We can deliver same day.)

 

Finding a specific work in a composer’s collected edition

You can do this several different ways:

Check the composer's worklist in Oxford Music Online (available on our "Databases" page). For each work, the volume number in the collected edition is given.

Online versions will have their own hyperlinked table of contents.

Or, consult the following separately-published indexes, shelved in the Reference room:

  • Collected editions, historical series & sets & monuments of music: a bibliography. Compiled by George R. Hill. Call number: Ref ML113 H55 1997.
  • Historical sets, collected editions, and monuments of music: a guide to their contents. Compiled by Anna Harriet Heyer. Call number: Ref ML113 .H52 1980.

 

Websites that contain composers' collected editions

Subject Guide

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Leslie McCall
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