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Browsing in the Library

You can find music encyclopedias and dictionaries, bound scores, and bound periodicals on the fourth floor of the library. Please ask at the 4th floor circulation desk for assistance with miniature study scores, CDs, LPs, and DVDs, which are housed in closed stacks behind the desk.

Our sheet music collection is also on the fourth floor. Items are placed in hanging folders organized by ensemble size (from solo to octet, followed by vocal music), then by composer and title. Refer to the guides posted on the sides of the shelving units for details. You may benefit from getting the uniform title (see below) of a work from the catalog before looking for sheet music.

You can find books about music on the third floor under the call numbers that start with ML (music literature) and MT (music theory, pedagogy, and techniques). 

The Catalog

Use our online catalog to search for resources available from the UNCSA library: print books and ebooks; music scores and sheet music; articles from scholarly journals, magazines, and newspapers; and physical and streaming audio and video recordings. Here are some tips for using the catalog most efficiently:

  • Use the filters on the left side of the screen to fine-tune your search results. Some especially helpful filters for music research include Resource Type (to limit your search to scores, audio, books, or whatever else you may need), Subject, and Availability.
  • Consider starting with an Advanced Search. You can refine your keyword searching to look for author (or composer) name and title in separate fields and choose your resource type right away.
  • Check your spelling of a name or title. Unfortunately, unlike Google, the catalog isn’t smart enough to figure out what you’re looking for if you misspell something.
  • Try opus or work numbersComposers' works are often numbered in an opus number system or a cataloging system such as the Köchel numbers of Mozart's works. For example, if you are having difficulty finding Mozart's Piano Sonata No. 10 in C Major but you know the Köchel number, try searching "mozart 330". Opus and work numbers are easily found on Google and most major streaming music platforms.
  • Make sure you're getting what you wantPay close attention to the information in the General note field of a catalog record for a musical score. A full score may not be what you need for a simple harmonic analysis, and a piano reduction may not be what you want to study orchestration!
  • If our collection does not have something that you want, please follow these instructions to request the item through Inter-Library Loan or through a purchase request.


Music Scores

The library provides a wealth of music scores, both print and electronic, to support the performance, study, and research needs of students and faculty. To find a score, search by title and/or author in the catalog and then limit your results by clicking on the “Resource Type” filter on the left side of the screen and choosing “Scores.” 

Our sheet music collection is located in hanging folders on the fourth floor of the library and is organized by ensemble size (from solo to octet), followed by vocal music. Other print scores are located in the fourth-floor stacks, arranged by Library of Congress call number. The information after “Available at” in a catalog thumbnail record will tell you where to find an item.

Uniform Titles

The title of a specific musical work may be known in a variety of languages or formats. For example, the fifth symphony of Beethoven may appear as:

  • Symphony No. 5 in C Minor, Opus 67
  • Beethoven's 5th Symphony
  • Symphonie Nr. 5 c-moll op. 67

We use a standardized form of the title, known as the uniform title, to link resources (mostly scores and recordings) in the catalog that reflect all variations of the title, regardless of the format or language of the original. Using any of these variations in a keyword search will retrieve records containing the uniform title. For example, if I type “beethoven’s fifth symphony” into the catalog search box and then limit my Resource Type to Score, clicking on the title of the first result will show:

You can see in the line labeled “Uniform title” that the uniform title for this work is “Symphonies, no. 5, op.67, C minor.” Clicking on that uniform title will retrieve all resources containing that title and all of its variations. This will ensure that I get all possible results for scores and recordings of Beethoven’s Symphony no. 5 in C minor, op. 67. Please note that our sheet music collection is also arranged using uniform titles!