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Music

Search Tools

Best Bets:

Some other good general sources for finding music resources include:

Search Tips & Tools

Searching for scores can be challenging, but here are a few tips to get you started:

  • Performers and composers are treated as authors in library catalogues and search tools
  • Combine composers/performers, works, numbers (e.g. op. 105, k.545, BWV. 223), and keys for a more precise search. For example, search for Mozart + sonata + K. 545 + C major to locate Mozart's piano sonata no. 16 in C Major. 
  • Remove terms if you are getting too many results and  limit by format to  musical score
  • Scores are published in multiple languages and often using different numbering, so titles vary for the same work. For example, Mozart's piano sonata no. 1 in C Major is published as:
    • Sonata no. 1, C major
    • Sonata no. 15, C major 
    • Sonata no. 16, C major 
    • Sonate C-Dur für Klavier
  • Is the score you want to find part of a larger work, or in a collection or anthology? Library catalogues and search tools do not always describe individual pieces, so you need to search for the larger item just to be sure. For example:
    • To find "Casta Diva", from Norma (Bellini), you will need to search for Norma + Bellini to be sure you have found all available versions
    • To find "Die Krähe" from Winterreise (a song cycle by Schubert), you will need to search for Winterreise + Schubert to be sure you have found all available versions

In addition to the large collection of print scores in the library, the library subscribes to the following score databases and collections: 

Searching for recordings is fairly straightforward, but here are some tips for locating them:

  • Try combining authors (composers, performers, ensembles), with musical works/album titles/songs for an effective search. Here are some examples:
    • Shostakovich + Bernstein + New York Philharmonic + Symphony 5
    • Arcade Fire + Reflektor
    • Fischer-Dieskau + Schubert + An die Musik
  • Note: sound recordings in Rutherford Library and RCRF must be placed on hold from the library catalogue in order to be retrieved  

In addition to the large collection of physical recordings (CDs, LPs, DVDs, etc.) in the library collection, the library subscribes to the following streaming databases and collections:

Article Databases: 

  • Are indexes of scholarly and popular articles, and sometimes books and other materials
  • Contain the full text of each article or sometimes only contain abstracts and citations

Below are the most useful article databases for music research:

In addition to a large collection of print reference titles in the library collection, the following are useful online music reference resources:

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More Information on Search Tools

For more information on search tools and how to use them, see:

University of Alberta Libraries - University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, Canada T6G 2R3 - We are located on Treaty 6 / M├ętis Territory.