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MUSC 1110 Kevin Olson: 1. Find Scores

[MUSC|1110|Kevin Olson]

Browse scores at the library

The music collection at the Merrill-Cazier Library is organized according to Library of Congress classification and is located on the library's 3rd floor:

  • M = Music (scores)
  • ML = Literature on music (including music history, criticism)
  • MT = Instruction and study (including music theory, education)

Scholarly editions of the complete works of selected composers (M3) can also be found on the shelves on the 3rd floor.

The score collection is small enough in certain sections to browse, if you'd like. Use the Library of Congress classification scheme to find the number associated with the instrumentation you're interested in, then browse alphabetically by composer last name. For example...

  • M22 contains pieces for solo piano by a single composer. Chopin's Ballades would be here.
  • M1507 and M1619 contain collections of musical theater/opera excerpts and collections of arts songs, respectively. The French Song Anthology for High Voice would be in M1619.

Search for a specific score

Single score

If you're looking for a piece or collection by a single composer, use the library catalog's advanced search, entering composer as author and selecting the material type music score. Then, add things like words from the title, an opus number, or a thematic catalog number (e.g., BWV or K number) in the second box as a keyword search.

Advanced search example with Dvorak as author and music score as material type

Piece in an anthology

If you are searching for a piece that might appear in an anthology with works by many composers (such as an art song or character piece), don't search for the composer as an author. Instead, search the composer's name -- along with the title of the piece -- as keywords.

Want to figure out what collection your piece is in? Try using a song index. Here’s an online option for art songs and arias and one for popular songs.

Uniform titles

Uniform titles take the guess work out of searching for music scores and recordings by standardizing names, languages, and identifying information about a piece. They allow you to find everything in the library collection associated with a particular piece. There are uniform titles based on the musical form (e.g., "string quartets"), the distinctive titles of works (e.g. operas), and collections with multiple works by a single composer.

To learn about uniform titles and how to use them, check out this tutorial from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Request scores we don't have

If USU Library doesn't have the score you need, you can borrow it (for free!) from one of our partner libraries through InterLibrary Loan.

First, identify the specific score you'd like to order, including title, publisher name, and date or edition.
Here are some ways you can do that:

  • Ask your applied lessons instructor
  • Ask your theory instructor
  • Ask your librarian
  • Look it up on WorldCat (a shared catalog of libraries across the country), limiting your search to musical score:
    WorldCat format filter set to musical score

Then, put in a request via your ILLiad Account:

  • Log in with your A# and password
  • Set up your profile if you're using the system for the first time
  • Select "Make a Request," and then "Book"
  • Fill in as much information as you have about the item

We can typically get materials within a week, and you'll be notified when they arrive.

Find scores online

Help for Statewide Campus/Online Students

As a USU Statewide or Online student, you can access all of the library's databases, articles, and e-books from home or anywhere with Internet. To access library resources from the USU Libraries website, a research guide (like this!), or your Canvas course, you will be prompted to enter your A number and password. For more information on how to order physical books, get research help, and other time-saving tips, visit the Library Services for Statewide and Online Users website.