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Be a Smart Searcher!
Not all score collections or larger works have their song contents fully indexed in the library catalog. It's not that we don't have your song, but you might have to try more than one search strategy before you find it!
Be a smart searcher --use Oxford Music Online, the Lied, Art Song & Choral Texts Archive, or your favorite reference source FIRST to find:
- the aria or song title in its original language
- the name of the composer
- the title of the larger work (opera, song cycle) containing your song or aria
Catalog Search Tips: Finding Arias & Songs
First, try searching SUMMON for the title of the song or aria
This will retrieve scores for which the title of your song or aria is typed into the contents notes.
- Enter only as much of the title that you are sure of
- Skip words that have variant spellings or variant punctuation, or be sure to try a search for EACH variation.
- Put quotation marks around words that go together as a phrase
- Search for the title in its original language
- Limit your search results to "music score" or "music recording" under CONTENT TYPE on the left
Second, try searching SUMMON for the title of the larger work that contains your song or aria (opera, song cycle, musical, or oratorio)
This will retrieve scores that will contain your song or aria, though the catalog record may not have the song or aria title listed.
- Enter the title in its original language -- "Nozze di Figaro," not "Marriage of Figaro"
- Leave off begining articles such as "a," "an," "the," or their foreign language equivalents
- Limit your search results to "music score" or "musical recording" under CONTENT TYPE on the left
Third, for art songs, try searching the Classic Catalog for the composer's last name and the word "songs"
This will retrieve scores that are song collections by a single composer (i.e. 200 Songs for Voice and Piano by Schubert).
- Do an ADVANCED search -- put composer in AUTHOR and "songs" in KEYWORD
- limit your search results to "music score" (not a good search for sound recordings)
- Browse through titles in the catalog to locate collections that DO NOT have contents notes. Collect those call numbers, go to the shelf, and check each score's index for your song.
Guide to LC Classification
M - Scores
- M1495 Miscellaneous collections (secular & sacred)
- M1500 Operas/musicals (full)
- M1503 Operas/musicals (piano/vocal)
- M1507 Operas/musicals, anthologies
- M1508 Operas/musicals (show selections)
- M1528-29 Duets, trios, etc. for voice
- M1613 Voice with orchestra (full)
- M1614 Voice with orchestra (piano/vocal)
- M1619 Collections, multiple composers
- M1619.5 Collections, one poet
- M1620 Collections, one composer
- M1621 Separate works
- M1621.4 Song cycles
- M1623 Songs with one instrument (not piano)
- M1630.18 Popular music collections
- M1669-70 Spirituals
- M2000 Oratorios (full scores)
- M2003 Oratorios (piano/vocal)
- M2110 Anthologies
- M2112 Collections, one composer
- M2113 Separate songs
- M2113.4 Song cycles
- M2117 Hymnals