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MUSC211: Music, History, and Ideas

information about how to search for books related to music

Finding Books

How do I search for books on an music-related topic?

Search DELCAT to find library resources related to your research topic.

Search Tips

  • Place quotation marks around keyword phrases (e.g., "woodwind quintet" or "Journal of the American Musicological Society").
  • Using the truncation symbol (*) is a useful feature in DELCAT and other databases. For example, wom*n will find woman or women; opera* will find opera, operas, operatic, etc.
  • Use the facet bar on the left side of your results to further refine your search.
  • Finding scores: Search the composer's name (e.g., Leonard Bernstein), then go to the Format box (on the left) and select Musical Score. Or, search a keyword (e.g., vocal, orchestral, piano) and select Musical Score in the Format box.


What categories of books are important for research in music?

  • Monographs on a Specific Composer or Performer

  • Biographies/Autobiographies

  • General Books on a Period or Style or Concept

  • Analysis/Theory

  • Scores

NOTE: This is a basic list of starting points for research.

Locating Books

Where are the music books located?

Books in the library are grouped together by subject.  Music books are located on the third floor of the library within the M section.  Here is how the M section of the library is divided. 

 M - Music - printed music, scores

  • M5 - M1480 (Instrumental music);
  • M1495 (Collections of vocal music);
  • M1497 - M1998 (Secular vocal music);      
  • M1999 - M2199 (Sacred vocal music);

ML - Literature on music

  • ML47 - ML58.4 (Libretti);
  • ML100 - ML109 (Dictionaries, encyclopedias);
  • ML159 - ML3785 (History and criticism);
  • ML3805 - ML3820 (Physics and acoustics; physiological aspects of music);

MT - Instruction and study, music education

  • MT170 - MT810 (Instrumental techniques);
  • MT820 - MT915 (Singing and vocal technique);
  • MT918 - MT948 (School music)

 Important:  Some music books are considered oversize (designated as Folio or Folio+). All oversize books are located on the Lower Level of the Library.