Music: How to Find Music
Find Music Scores
All music scores are accessible through QCAT searching by Author (i.e. composer), Title, Subject or Keyword Boolean.
Keyword Boolean searches are most useful to allow combination of terms 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)
- Excluding the sound recording format will retrieve scores, as well as historical, critical, and analytical works about the music. Understanding the shelving arrangement will indicate if the call number 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.
Call Number Guides by Instrument are useful for browsing available scores for specific instruments or voice.
Uniform Titles are assigned to music scores because a musical work is often 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 (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.
Types of Scores
- Performance scores: Most performance scores are classified in M6 to M9999 and often include editorial or interpretive markings. School of Music choir, band and orchestra scores are housed off-site in the Performance Library.
- 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 Performance Scores
The Performance Library (choral, band, orchestral scores) belongs to the Queen's School of Music and is held off-site. Permission to use its holdings must be sought from the Ensemble leaders at the School of Music (533-2066). The Performance Scores Database is searchable via composer, title, keyword or other terms of access. Ask Music Library staff for assistance.
Find Song Titles
The Queen's Music Library Song Index helps locate songs from published collections housed in the library stacks. The index provides access to specific songs by composer, song title or first line, as well as other means of searching.
The Library's collection consists of over 10,000 compact discs and 10,000 LP records. Recordings circulate for use in the Library only. Listening stations are provided. The album covers and booklet inserts are a valuable source of historical, analytical and performer information.
- QCAT records include complete index data such as: composer, title, Library of Congress subject heading (musical form/topic), thematic catalogue no., performer, record company number, etc. An attempt is made to index every work on all recordings. Use a Keyword Boolean search and add the nested terms (disc or sound), or the phrase "compact disc" to your search terms to retrieve only recordings. ALWAYS use and between all of your search terms. e.g. beethoven and sonat? and piano and "op. 13" and "compact disc". NOTE: Use ? to truncate a word to retrieve different possible word endings. Use quotation marks around two or more words to search them as a phrase.
- Note the shelf numbers (e.g. SRCD04-1156) and ask for items to be retrieved at the Circulation Desk.
Find Your Way around the Music Library
Items are arranged according to the LIBRARY OF CONGRESS CLASSIFICATION scheme, Class M for Music. Generally, items are shelved, alphabetically, in author order within each subject class number. Class M (MUSIC) consists of 3 main sections:
See the detailed Library of Congress subject classification outline for Music and Books on music (CLASS "M").
Ask Music Library staff for assistance.
Last Updated: 26 July 2012