Queen's Music Library Introductory Guide [Queen's MUSIC Library WEB page] [Queen's Libraries Home Page]


eighth note on music staff Introductory Guide

Reference Collection Shelving Arrangement Finding Music Scores Song Index
Audio & Video Recordings Periodical Indexes Internet Resources Performance Scores Database

Click here for guidelines on developing a Research Strategy and evaluating information.

Reserve Collection

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

Reference Collection

For definition of terms, brief surveys of the historical periods, biographical data, bibliographies, directories, encyclopedias, thematic catalogs, etc.

Shelving Arrangement

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:

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.


The Queen's Library online catalogue provides index access to the Music collections.


  • 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 Queen's School of Music PERFORMANCE LIBRARY DATABASE (choral, band, orchestral scores) is also available on the web.

    The INDIANA UNIVERSITY Music Library site is also helpful in locating call number areas to browse for specific repertoire. Sections on LOCATING SONGS AND ARIAS in collections as well as TRANSLATIONS OF SONG TEXTS are also included.

    Sound Recordings

    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.
  • Video Recordings

  • 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.

  • Click here to link to the CANADIAN MUSIC PERIODICAL INDEX at the National Library of Canada site.

  • The ERIC database provides access to music education materials in the Educational Research Information Center.
  • This comprehensive database includes journals, books, dissertations, and various unpublished resources.


    Internet links can be found from specific music research guides on Queen's Music Library web pages:

    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.

  • HARVARD UNIVERSITY, Eda Kuhn Loeb Music Library. Check the "Internet resources for music scholars", another comprehensive compilation of links.

  • INDIANA UNIVERSITY MUSIC LIBRARY provides a list of internet resources. One of the major databases available from Indiana is the index to DOCTORAL DISSERTATIONS IN MUSICOLOGY ONLINE

  • 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.

  • Try searches for music sites on the Web using a search engine such as GOOGLE . For guidelines on searching and evaluating web resources, click on How do I...? Search The Web

    Return to Queen's Music Library homepage.

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  • Need help? Please speak to the Jordan Library staff or send an e-mail message addressed to Music Librarian jordlib@post.queensu.ca or TEL: (613) 533-6929.

    Last revised: 01 October 2004