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Finding Sheet Music

Locating Music Scores and notated music at Sojourner Truth Library

Use the Catalog ADVANCED SEARCH to find music scores

The Advanced Search screen enables you to

  • search by author (the composer or performer is considered the "author")
  • search by title words 
  • limit your results to musical scores and recordings

TIPS

  • You only need to type in the last name of the composer.
  • The "author" of a popular song is often the songwriter.  Try that person's name rather than the recording artists' name(s).
  • If the composer's name is sometimes spelled a different way, try that alternate spelling
  • That * symbol in the image above?  It means "find me 'nocturne' or 'nocturnes'".  
    • ​concert* would locate the words concert, concerto, concerti or concertos
  • Was the original title of the work in a language other than English? Try typing in the title in that language
  • Do you know the Opus number?  Try that, too, BUT...
  • Be prepared to Browse!  A search will often turn up a collection of pieces but the individual songs/pieces are not displayed in the catalog.   Copy down the call number and examine the collection for your piece of music.

Is it sheet music? Look for the M

STL uses the Library of Congress (LC) call number system to organize items on the shelves.  Most of our music books are in the STACKS and OVERSIZE collections on the GROUND FLOOR.

  • Books with a call number that starts with an M are sheet music
  • Books with call numbers starting with ML are books about music
  • Books with call numbers starting with MT are books about learning music

Three of the call numbers on the image to the right -- the ones that point to books in the OVERSIZE collection -- are musical scores.  They have an "M" call number.
 
One has an "M" number, but it's in the Media/Music collection on the Concourse.  It's a sound recording, on CD.
 
The one with the ML call number found in the STACKS is a book about music.

All Mozart's stuff is not in one place OR Browsing Call Number Ranges

If you're really curious, here is the LC classification scheme (what the letters and numbers mean) for Call Number M

 

A quick glance at the LC classification reveals that sheet music/scores are placed on the shelves by type of composition and by instrument.  Only then does the composer become relevant to the call number.

This means that while all of Beethoven or Gershwin is not on one shelf, you'll find all the piano sonatas, string quartets, operas, hymnals, sea chanteys and protest songs in similar places.