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A listing of some basic reference works, databases, and Web sites for research in music and its many related fields, with an invitation to browse and discover other resources in print and online.

Online Scores

Many classical works, especially those published before 1923 (not just composed but published), are available at a few Websites:

Scores in UVM Libraries

To find most scores in the UVM Libraries (Howe, Library Research Annex, Williston Annex) follow this 2-step procedure:

  1. Use CATQuest (Advanced Search, then use facets) or the Classic Library Catalog. Select the Guided Keyword mode and enter search terms (see bulleted list below). Click on Submit.
  2. Limit your results to just music scores by selecting Music Score from the Type: menu.

Just entering a composer's last name and limiting results to Music Score (step 2) will, in most cases, result in a manageable list of titles. Or, if your list of results is already short, you can just look for "score" icons in the far left column. If it's too long, you can add an extra keyword, as described in the next section.

Classical music scores, when cataloged, usually contain several of the following terms or concepts, all of which can be used as search terms. These terms may be used in searching for other types of music as well:

  • Composer's last name
  • Instrument(s) or voice type (e.g., soprano)
  • Composition type (symphonies, sonatas, songs, etc.)
  • Title keywords (nicknames, e.g. "Moonlight" sonata, are not always helpful)

TIP: Speaking of nicknames, or popular titles for well-known compositions, consult Adrian Room, A Dictionary of Music Titles if you're near the Reference collection. This will tell you more about the work so you can search for it with the above concepts in mind. Wikipedia and other online sources can be helpful as well.

Popular music almost always has unique titles, and sometimes you will know the composer, so keyword searching is helpful here. The Guided Keyword search irving berlin always retrieves 2 titles, one of which is The songs of Irving Berlin : ballads.


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James Barickman
Rm 009
Howe Library
Subjects: Music