Click here for guidelines on developing a Research Strategy and evaluating information.
Ask at the Jordan Library circulation desk for items on Course Reserve. These items (selected by the instructors) relate directly to course content and have, therefore, been assigned shortened loan periods of 3-hours, 24-hours or 3-days
For definition of terms, brief surveys of the historical periods, biographical data, bibliographies, directories, encyclopedias, thematic catalogs, etc.
New Grove dictionary of music and musicians (ML100 .N48 2001) 29 v.
New Harvard dictionary of music ( ML100 .N485)
Handbook of music terms / P. Grant ( ML108 .G88H3 )
ML12 - ML28 directories, international, national and local
ML113 general music bibliographies, research guides
ML128 specific subject bibliographies
ML134 thematic catalogues
Items are arranged according to the LIBRARY OF CONGRESS CLASSIFICATION scheme.
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, regular stack 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 and education + Instrumental/Vocal Studies and exercises
To see the detailed Library of Congress subject classification outline for Music and Books on music (CLASS "M"), go to the Library of Congress site.
Finding MUSIC SCORES in QCAT
The Queen's Library online catalogue provides index access to the Music collections.
Search by Author,, Title, Subject or Keyword(s) to access scores, books, journals, audio visual materials, microforms, etc.
Prefer Keyword(s) searches to combine composer and title terms. To avoid retrieving sound recordings, add not disc to your Keyword(s) search string. e.g. mahler and wunderhorn not disc. This search will retrieve the scores and historical, critical, and analytical works about the music. Knowing that scores are classed in call numbers beginning with "M" and books in "ML", you can easily recognize the item you want in the catalogue listings.
See the QCAT online TUTORIAL for other tips on searching the Queen's University Library online catalogue.
are assigned to music scores as they are catalogued in order to gather together multiple editions of the same work and facilitate QCAT searching. This practice is necessary because a musical work is often published under several versions of the title (i.e., title elements in variable order, and/or in several languages).
Knowing the basics of uniform titles will help you search QCAT more efficiently.
In the case of works with distinctive titles, the uniform title is based on the original language of the publication. (e.g. Mozart. Nozze di Figaro NOT Marriage of Figaro).
In the case of works with generic titles, qualifiers are added in a prescribed order to identify the piece. (Beethoven. Sonatas, piano, no. 8, op. 13, C minor).
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.
TYPES OF SCORES
PERFORMANCE scores: Most are classified in M6 to M9999 and shelved in the Library. The School of Music ensembles' scores for choir (multiple copies), band and orchestra (scores and parts) are housed separately in the Perfomance Library. Performing scores 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.
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 AND MONUMENTS OF MUSIC (Ref. ML113 .H52 1980 2 volumes). 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.
See also our handy printed Call Number Guides to locating scores for specific instruments and voice.
The Queen's Music Library SONG INDEX is a local index available for searching on the Web. This index provides composer, title and call no. access to many of the library's song collections.
The Library's collection consists of about 2000 compact discs and 10,000 LP records. Recordings circulate for use in the Library only. Listening stations are provided. Recordings are indexed by: 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. The album covers and booklet inserts are also a valuable source of historical, analytical and performer information.
Complete index data is in the QCAT library catalogue. Use Keyword(s) search and add the word "disc", "compact disc" or "LP disc" to your search terms to retrieve records only. ALWAYS use and between all of your search terms. e.g. beethoven and sonat? and piano 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 and ask for items to be retrieved at the Circulation desk.
There are about 200 videos in the Library collection; the coverage includes opera, conducting, ethnomusicology, etc. Use the Keyword(s) index in QCAT to locate videocassettes. Just add the word video to your search terms to retrieve this format. Note the shelf numbers and ask for them at the Circulation desk. Recordings circulate for use in the Library or Music classrooms only. A video viewing station is provided in the Library.
Periodicals and Indexes
Music Index Online indexes more than 670 international music periodicals from 1979 until the present.
Search QCAT under Journal Title for a list of volumes in the Library and the call number. Current issues of music journals are displayed on the open shelves. The bound, back volumes of journals are shelved in the journal stack area, in LC class number order (mainly in ML1 - ML5). Check also under Electronic Journals for an online journal title. Interlibrary loan requests for journals not available at Queen's can be placed electronically from the top of the QCAT search screen.
Humanities Index, Canadian Business & Current Affairs Index and Canadian NewsDisc.
These networked indexes are searchable online via the Article Indexes & Databases menu. You can also download or e-mail citations to yourself. Further details regarding how to connect from your home or office computer are available online via Get Connected.
The following are a few sites with mega-links for music research.
American Musicological Society. One of the most comprehensive sites linking to significant scholarly resources in music, including performance and musicology, ethnomusic, electronic music, theory and composition, education, popular music and topics relating to women.
The University of Saskatchewan Music Library site provides an extensive list of internet links to all aspects of music, including music education, ethnomusic, music in Canada, copyright issues, electronic journals, etc.
The University of Washington Libraries site has a lengthy alphabetical list of composers' biographical information, as well as links to a Composer Timeline through the centuries and anniversary birth/death dates in the Classical Composers Database.