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Syracuse University Libraries

Music Scores & Sheet Music

Finding Pieces in Scholarly Collected Works Editions

Many musical works from the mainstream European and American art music repertoire are published in large collections in the library, called collected works editions or scholarly editions. These specific types of scores are generally found in the stacks in the M2's and M3's, and each set can be dozens if not hundreds of volumes. It can sometimes be difficult to find exactly which volume you want when only searching in Summon or in the Classic Catalog. This is where using some additional reference books and databases can help. 

1. Look up the composer in Oxford Music Online. 

  • If there is more than one entry, choose the one that is from the Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians.

2. Locate the composer's works list and the titles of the collected editions that are available.

  • The works list is usually at the very end of the article. You can often navigate there by using the table of contents on the left for "works."
  • As new manuscripts and research are available, there are newer collected editions that are published. In general, use the edition that has the most recent publication date.

3. Locate your work in the composer's works list.

  • For composers with hundreds of works, they can sometimes be organized by instrumentation
  • You can use control+F to keyword search on the web browser page.
  • Be careful! some composers publish more than one work with the same name.

4. Locate the volume number of the collected edition that contains your work.

  • Series and volume numbers are often presented as Roman numerals.
  • There may be more than one edition, represented by more than one column of series and volume numbers. The collected works edition title is abbreviated at the top of the column.
  • If you do not see a series or volume number in the appropriate column, that means that the score had not been published as of the last time that Grove Dictionary article was updated. Check the library shelf anyway.

5. Locate the call number of the collected works edition in the library catalog.

  • Search for the last name of the composer plus a couple keywords from the